Jacksonville Adventure

October 11, 2009

Today I’m at work, and it’s been very quiet (a fact that we will pay for tomorrow), but last weekend I went on a road trip to Jacksonville.  I had been planning to renew my lay speaking certification by taking the required 10 hour class that was offered in Crawfordville about a month ago, but it conflicted with my work schedule.  Most of the classes are offered on two consecutive Saturdays, which does not work with the way my work works :).  So they were offering one more class this year in Jacksonville on Friday night and Saturday all day.  I could go to that and only have to take a few hours off from work instead of a whole day.  They had a spot left in the advanced “You Can Lead Worship Class.”

I left work at 3 on Friday to get there in time for the 6:30 start time.  And I was able to spent my down time that day planning what I could do with my extra time while I was there.   I even considered getting the hotel room for 2 nights so that I could visit the young adult ministry at one of the Big Churches and go to the Fort Caroline National Memorial, but my cheapness won out and I decided that would have to wait until next time.

But here’s what I did get to do.

1.  I went to the class.  It was mediocre to bad, I am sad to say.  And I guess that’s mainly because I did not learn very much.  The content level was only slightly higher than confirmation class.  And the tone was so pessimistic, whining about how no one wants to got to worship service and no one ever listens to what the pastor says.  And things like spending at least a half hour talking about acrostics that have to do with prayer (PUSH= Pray until something happens…groan.)  On the positive side I am encouraged by the number of people seeking leadership development, and how course there are the people in general who are just the best part of the operation: the leaders and the participants, kind and generous and with great stories and testimonies.

2. I decided to skip the provided lunch so that I could go to “Cozy Tea.”  Which was a bit pricey and caused me to be late back to class, but was totally worth it. Best Scone EVER!!!


3. After class I went to the bank, because they have Compasses in Jacksonville so I was able to make a night deposit. Then I went to the Cupcakery. It is no longer called Vanilla’s even though the canopy still says that. They were apparently involved in a trademark dispute with a California company. Now it’s called Savida’s which is the chef/owner’s name “A.Davis” backwards. How Oprah of him. They have 24 different kinds of cupcakes on the menu, but when I arrived 30 minutes before closing time on Saturday, there were only 8 cupcakes in the whole store, 2 coconut and 6 pumpkin. I went with the pumpkin, which was ok by me, because I very well might have picked it any way. I a sucker for a special. I took my cupcake to a park around the corner that my GPS sent me to so I could have an al fresco moment.


4. Speaking of things that I am a sucker for… 6 months ago my mom said to me “So I see that they are carrying Martha Stewart stuff at Walmart and Macy’s, I’ll bet they are getting rid of the stuff at Kmart.” “Oh, no” say I “that’s just craft stuff at Walmart and it’s a different line at Macy’s. I was just at Kmart checking on my favorite kitchen gadgets and they are all safe and sound.”

Well fast forward to October, and I’m at Kmart buying my cell phone refill and I find the doomsday predictions have come true. All Martha Stewart items are being clearanced off. This is sad on so many levels. First there are things I need, MS Grandpa pillows are the only ones I use, my MS bath mats could really use replacing, and I want some new MS pillow cases to match my MS comforter and sheets. And that’s not even mentioning the kitchen gadgets and the green glass bakeware set that I definitely don’t need but love anyway.

Well what is to do but to go to as many Kmarts as possible. How can anyone blame me? (Btw, this is not my first Kmart odyssey. I once hit all the Kmarts on the way down to the performing arts center in Tampa and got my lovely fire pit at a bargain basement price as well as the matching sheets and shames to the clearance quilt I had. Fun times.) I got to 4 Kmarts in Jacksonville, where I got 4 of the 5 pieces to my green glass bakeware, (anyone need some pyrex?) the toilet shaped bath mat, the matching lamp to my MS “Retro Table Lamp” that was $9 marked down from $45, and some pillow cases that are not quite the right color but will work and were $4 instead of $19.  I did decide to leave behind the best cake stand, for alas I don’t bake cakes, and that sucker was big and heavy.  See, I have some self-restraint.  And with the end of Martha’s line it may be the end of my Kmart love.  Except for Christmas stuff they had their Christmas stuff up and it was still MS.

5. My last stop was to Anthropologie.  My happiness about them is a bit off kilter considering that 75 percent of the store is dedicated to clothes that would barely fit my thigh.  But I can’t help loving all their kitschy housewares.  It’s a fun place.

Google maps said that it was not a mall, so I asked it to tell me what other stores were at that address.  A list of about 6 other stores shows up, one being Swoosies.  So that’s what I’m expecting 7 stores maybe in a little shopping strip.  As I’m following my GPS directions I am noticing that it’s kind of out in the middle of nowhere. Curious… until I round the bend and see the “Jacksonville Town Center.”  It turns out to be like a giant mall… with streets, like the one in Lakeland and the one in West Palm Beach.  Only it’s much bigger, with its own hotel.  And those 7 store were probably only the stores that shared a block.  They had a Publix, Pier One, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cheesecake Factory, Movies, Dillard’s, Blockbuster, Pottery Barn… and on and on.  You name it they had it, including whole sections of designer boutiques.  As you might have guessed, parking was near to impossible, especially since I wanted to be somewhere near the one store I wanted to go to.  It’s a tease to have the spaces there but have them all full so you have to walk blocks and blocks. And in driving try not to hit one of the 50 percent of the Jacksonville population that was there.  I hope they rethink the setup if they every try to build something this big again.

So I eventually made it.  Anthropologie was as cute as ever.  I decided I was going to get a clearance headband for my trouble.  I didn’t buy anything at Swoosies, next door, but came perilously close to getting the Krinkles “Flying Lion” ornament. It was sparkly and had a christmas tree person riding on its back.  But $40 seemed too much… unfortunately that’s what it costs everywhere on the internet too.  Christmas clearance perhaps? I must have it.

Finally I decided to have Yoga Berry green tea frozen yogurt for dinner.  It was just across the street.  Though I now know we have one in Tallahassee on Ocala Street, but I’m never over there so I had no idea.  No need to drive to Jacksonville.


-Then I came home… made it by about midnight. I had a busy day.  And it was fun because if I’ve ever been to Jacksonville I was too young to remember it.  And I still want to go to the Fort Caroline Memorial, and I could go to the tea room again (I miss tea rooms.)

All photos included in this post are borrowed from various internet sources and are used with love and gratitude. Please contact me if you own the rights to any of these and would like them removed.

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