Hanna Park, Jacksonville Nov 26-Dec 5, 2005

On the 26th we were finally able to move to Hanna Park, a City of Jacksonville campground we stayed at in November 2003.  In 2003 we were in site #157, with 50AMPs and it was a nice site for our Dolphin.  This time we were in site #158 and it was a bit tight for the Dutch Star.  Here are some pictures to show how tight.  The first picture shows how close to the road we were on the drivers side and the power box in the back is right by the slide.  The second shows the passenger side and the tree.

Here is a closer look at how close the tree was.

Here is another view of how close to the road we were.  We had about 4" we could move front to back and fit in this site. 

Then we messed with the internet dish and had to put it as high as Bill could reach using a step stool to point through a hole:

We are going to try for site #159 next time, where the 4x4 pickup is visible behind the dish picture.  Our internet dish would have been lower to the ground from that site and there would be less obstacles for the motorhome.

Ken and Carolle were working most days so we had dinner with them and were on our own during the day.  One of the first things Bill did was find Howard and Linda Payne of http://www.rv-dreams.com/ .  Here is a photo of their internet setup:

We visited with Howard and Linda on November 28th, which they documented in their journal.  We chatted more times while we were all at Hanna Park.  These Payne's are different people than Norm and Linda Payne of http://www.seeya-downtheroad.com/ , who we met in Indiana this October.  Both Payne families are originally from Louisville, KY, but they only know each other through email. 

Also in the campground were our friends the Smith family, http://www.redroadsliving.com/ .  It was a surprise to them and to us that we were all together.  Here is their rig:

They were busy and sightseeing a lot and we were gone every evening, so we only got to say a few hellos and didn't get much visiting with the Smiths. 

Hanna Park has lots of live oak trees and they cause the main noise, the sound of acorns hitting your roof.  At one end of the park, which has a lot of day use area, is the ocean:

About 100 yards from our campsite is a small freshwater lake, where we saw many birds but no alligators:

Since there were gators in the area, we felt they must catch and move them or they were staying well hidden.

We dropped the CRV off to get its SRS system fixed and some brake and tire work.  The SRS problem was a computer and took two days to ship.  We think the brakes were fixed right this time and we are getting tired of buying tires due to brake problems.  The Honda dealer, Coggins, was good to us two years ago and was good to us this time.  They gave us a deal on new tires, fixed the brakes, determining what the other dealer didn't do, and did the 60,000 mile checkup and all for a reasonable price.  We borrowed Ken and Carolle's spare vehicle, an Astrovan and were very grateful.  It did turn out that since the SRS computer was under warranty we probably qualified for a "free" rental car.

Here is the CRV all nice and clean and with new tires:

Ken had a Direcway dish stored away he wasn't using so we made a deal so Bill could replace the dish we had, since the dish was cracking.  There were some modifications that needed transfer:

Here is the tripod waiting for the new dish and the dish in place:

We visited the Fort Caroline National Monument in Jacksonville and took this picture of the replica of the fort, which predated St. Augustine:

But our highlight was having dolphins playing in the water.  Try as he could this is the best picture Bill got of the dolphins:

They were just too fast. 

That same day there were people fishing on the ocean and here is a guy catching an ocean catfish and the catfish before he threw it back:

Another day we walked the Theodore Roosevelt Area of the Fort Caroline National Monument at low tide, here are the oyster beds:

The local Indians harvested the oysters for centuries and made piles of shells, called middens, now trees grow on them:

We really enjoyed the national monument and will return again.

While we were enjoying Florida weather our friends Dan and Jenny were in western Washington State in 8" of snow, but it makes a great Christmas picture:

While in Jacksonville we had a couple of really good meals out with Ken and Carolle.  We went to Carrabba's Italian Grill, owned by the same company as Outback Steakhouse.  We also went to the Longhorn Steakhouse on Roosevelt, the best Longhorn we have been at.  Longhorn is an eastern chain and has a good variety of chicken and seafood dishes in addition to steaks.

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