The other night Taylor wrote this email to our families. He captured our weekend so perfectly, I'm just going to cut and paste it here (with the appropriate pictures). Enjoy!
"To all: After class on Friday, Hilary and I decided to drive up to the St. Johns River ferry. The details on the ferry website say that it leaves every half hour from Mayport Villiage to Ft. George Island. The tickets were listed at a dollar per person, and we thought it sounded like a great date for the broke, law school couple. Without researching the location of Ft. George Island, we jumped in the car and headed towards Atlantic Blvd. On the way to the ferry we stopped at McDonalds to fuel up on Spicy McChicken "sangwhiches," and salty french fries.
"We arrived at the ferry port exactly at the half hour. The director told us that the ferry was leaving, and that we needed to hurry. We parked the car as fast as we could and boarded the ferry, with the gate closing behind us. Once on deck, the First Mate asked for our fare, and we handed over our two dollars. The sun was setting in the western sky, and dolphins were playing in the wake of the ship. We thought we had found the perfect date.
"About one minute after departure the ship made a 180 degree turn towards the west. I was somewhat confused why the ship would be heading down river, but was too enthralled with the scene to care. Five minutes later the ferry docked on the other side of the St. Johns River. It didn't take us long after our arrival to figure out that Ft. George Island is merely the mass of land on the north side of St. Johns River. We had both assumed that since it was called an island, it surely must be out at sea. What Newbies are we. Fortunately the First Mate allowed us to travel on the return trip free of charge. I guess you get what you pay for.
"After our adventure at sea, we stopped at a Singleton's Seafood Shack, which was next door to the ferry port. We were still full from McD's, so we only ordered a basket of fried calamari. The batter was fair, but the calamari was tender and fresh. The back porch, where we chose to sit, was a floating dock with four large fishing/shrimping boats docked at its edge.
"The food was great, and the scene was even better. With the sun setting, and salty air at our nose, we enjoyed our delicious, seafood treat. On the way home we stopped at Peterbrooke Chocolatier for some homemade ice cream.
"I spent Saturday morning at the law school, working on a paper due this Wednesday. When I got home we packed a cooler full of Diet Coke and headed out to our favorite beach. On the way out to the beach we spotted an alligator basking in the sun, so we pulled over to snap a shot. They are impressive creatures on TV, but even more so in person.
"Now that the water is too cold for a typical day at the beach, we have adopted a new beach activity; hunting for fossilized shark teeth. The trick is to wait for a wave to wash away and scan the shoreline for little, triangular-shaped, black dots. We found about twenty teeth in just over an hour. Hilary is a better tooth scavenger than I, and she found the largest, and coolest teeth. Every weekend feels like vacation, which provides a much needed, weekly decompression from law school.
"We can't believe that it is almost Thanksgiving. The daily high is still around 75 degrees. Hilary isn't phased by the warm weather, and she is already decorating for Christmas. We are both excited for the holiday season this year because it marks the end of our first year of marriage, and my exit from the Army.
"Unfortunately I don't plan on making emails like this one a regular event. I just happened to have a few spare minutes this evening while Hilary decorated the house. Love, Taylor
"PS: Hilary here! Taylor covered everything, but I just want to send my love and a few words about decorating. I love the holidays, and since we'll only be in our place for half of December I jumped over Thanksgiving and decided to decorate for Christmas now. Taylor and I drove down the street this evening and collected some big, beautiful pine cones and acorns. Then we went to the dollar store where we bought festive wrapping paper and some ornaments. Voila! Six dollars later we are seasonal! Love, Hilary"