Down by the Sea
Only 20 minutes from my house is the place that settles my soul: the beach. It’s funny, because for Floridians, 60 degrees isn’t beach weather. It’s nearly fireplace weather. But I did make it to the beach my first few months here and it was abandoned, but in a peaceful way. The ocean still roared, the sand still tickled my feet, and it was a dormant place that was waiting for someone to strike the match that is summer.
It was a bit lonely at first. Me and the ocean with the Jax suburbs in between. It was also cold. Only a few degrees colder than Orlando but I wasn’t used to it. And I wasn’t used to so much alone. It made me want to hermit in my apartment. To wear thick sweaters and nestle into the couch. I didn’t want to explore that much because the sun was hiding and the air was too crisp.
Meandering to Jax Beach
One Saturday I meandered to the beach. I decided it was time to check out the boardwalk even though it was somewhat abandoned. The wind whipped at my face, but the air was salty, cool and pleasant still. I visited The Pier. As summer months crept on I would discover that this was a loud place that filled with beach goers, but in January, it wasn’t like that yet. I had plenty of seats to choose from. The place is mostly patio, so I found a spot with some sunlight and settled in for a solo meal.
One bar down at the Wreck Tiki Lounge a beachy guy played guitar, singing beach jams and some reggae tunes. I was in complete adoration for a town that could have live music, nice restaurants, and a beach all clumped together – and so close to my house.
Seafood by the Jacksonville Seashore
I ordered a fish and a steak taco. The best of both worlds. The server brought my chips with killer salsa that I nearly filled up on before my food. My brother and his wife got me into fish tacos. You should see how excited my brother says fish tacos, especially after a day after surfing. I try to share his enthusiasm, but don’t always love that fish taste – even when it’s all blackened and spiced–, so part of it is the experience of trying something new.
These were delicious though. And the steak tacos had big pieces of meat. Later I took some friends there and tried the burritos. Also delicious – but big enough to share with someone (ok they’re giant and some have fries in them!). It’s a teeny bit pricier than other places, but I think it’s worth it. They have a ton of drinks too, but I didn’t see any particularly exciting specials.
Apparently this place becomes a club late at night. But I’ve yet to wait through the long line to check it out. Besides, I think that chilling by the ocean, enjoying some live music and appetizers might be more my speed.
Oh and About The Pier
This place is the quintessential demonstration of location, location, location. It’s central, has a parking lot nearby and is full of summer life. Oh, and it is right near a pier. The pier was longer and in better condition until last Fall when it was hit by Hurricane Matthew. That was right before I showed up. Now some parts of the beach look a little worn down. Next time I move I’ll try not to send a hurricane to clear my path. 🙂