As I waited in the dark parking lot I wondered if we would get along, if we would like each other, if we would have anything to talk about... I shouldn't have been the least bit anxious though. When Denise stepped out of her car to greet me with a hug and a big smile it was like being reunited with an old friend rather than meeting someone for the first time. In a way we had come to know each other, through our blogs (she at Moultrie Creek and Family Matters), but now we have actually met, face-to-face, and I'm delighted and honored to say that we are truly friends.
It was Friday evening (December 11th) when I met Denise and her husband for supper. It's hard to believe it was 10 days ago. Good golly, how the time does fly!
Saturday morning (12/12) Denise and I attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Cemetery in St. Augustine. It was impressive, especially with the Florida Patriot Guard Riders in attendance. It had been raining all morning but as the ceremony was about to begin the skies opened up and it just poured. Denise had loaned me her umbrella since she had worn a jacket with a hood and the sound of the rain on the umbrella pretty much drowned out the voices of the speakers.
After the official ceremony was over, Denise and I were honored to lay a wreath at the grave of Emily Kennedy – the only female veteran buried in that cemetery. Emily served in the Army Nurse Corp from 1905-1907 and in the Navy 1909-1912. She also enlisted in 1917 the Army Nurse Corp, when in her 30s, serving during WWI. On facebook, Denise linked to the online article but here's the link for those who missed it or don't “do” facebook...
Since it was raining, we just “hung out” at Denise's place Saturday afternoon. Talking. Army, Navy, National Guard, Travel. Family. With a little bit of internet, checking email and reading blogs. But mostly talking. After a supper of Denise's own chili and rice, which was quite good, I departed for the night (I stayed at Anastasia State Park).
Sunday morning saw warmer weather and sunshine! And that meant sightseeing in St. Augustine and the Historic District. Denise was the best tour guide, ever. Very knowledgeable about the history of the area, the buildings, and the various ethnic groups who have lived in St. Augustine. It was, quite simply, delightful. It was a beautiful day, weather and otherwise.
We got together again for a “farewell” supper Tuesday evening at the neighborhood Mexican restaurant, about two blocks from Denise's house. I certainly enjoyed the time I spent at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine but the time I spent with Denise and her husband was enjoyable as well, but moreso. Their friendliness and hospitality was greatly appreciated. Thank you!