Merry Christmas!

Our stay at the Marina at Ortega Landings was purpose-driven. We wanted a secure location to leave Maerin while we traveled to PA to visit family and a base of operations to obtain a rental from JAX as well as re-provisioning upon our return. A good choice on all counts! Our typical MO for these trips is to get an Enterprise rental for a day, use it to do some errands and travel to JAX airport to obtain another rental (typically much less costly) for the trip home. We typically save more than the cost of the additional rentals, although the rental car dance is tiresome. We only do it at the most once a year, so it’s not hard to endure. Still, it’s necessary to do the rental since we’re traveling with a dog! Molly’s a great cruise companion and traveler. She has the drill down, and seems to know she’s going to be cruising, whether it’s by car or boat; she reads the signals and happily takes her place on the pilot berth if we’re on board, or in the designated seat if by car. Our trip to PA began just after 7AM, our travel timed to intercept our daughter’s flight into BWI at 8:45PM. Our granddaughter’s first flight, and all went pretty smoothly for a 3-month old out of her routine! We arrived at sister Lisa’s just after midnight taking some delay for baggage, something to eat, and a fussy baby!

Sister Lisa and hubby Dave were our gracious hosts, their home became our home for the week of our visit. We took care of some doctor, dentist, and vet visits during our stay, and since our daughter and family were also guests, we had a wonderful opportunity to be close with them during our stay.  Visits from family kept the pace lively, and we enjoyed a wonderful family dinner on Saturday evening with lots of family stopping in. It was delightful to visit and catch up! We departed for the airport at 0530 on Monday the 21st, dropped Andrea, David and Kyla for their 0830 flight to SFO, and continued our return trip to Jacksonville.
Our return trip was uneventful, we arrived close to 10PM, a long day! The following day was taken up with retrieving the upholstery we left for repairs, returning the rental, re-provisioning, and of course, laundry! We wrapped up all our tasks and readied the boat for departure the following morning. We slipped lines on the 23rd, headed toward St. Augustine where we had reserved a mooring ball. We arrived about 1815 hrs. and were successful in locating and securing our mooring in the dark! Always an interesting challenge!

We enjoyed a meal out and attended Christmas Eve services at Grace UM and enjoyed St. Augustine’s beautiful light decorations as we strolled back to the dinghy landing. Christmas morning turned out to be a white Christmas, thanks to very dense fog that rolled in during the night! We’ll spend a week here before we continue south.
Merry Christmas to all!

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