Thursday, March 17, 2016

J is for Jacksonville, Florida- My Hometown

This month A-Z Guidebook is featuring the letter J.

Well of course I have to write about my home town of Jacksonville. I was born and raised here, graduated high school, went to college, met and married my husband and had our first child right here in Jacksonville! No wonder this place is dear to my heart.

We've moved around the country quite a bit but we're thankful to find ourselves back home.

Jacksonville is located in north east Florida just a few miles from the Georgia state line. It's the largest city by land area in the United States and boosts one of the largest urban park systems in the county. We have miles of beaches on the Atlantic ocean and rivers galore!  The beautiful St Johns River is one reason Jacksonville is called the 'River City'. You can't go anywhere in this town without crossing a bridge!

We enjoy beautiful weather with bright sunny skies. We even call the rain liquid sunshine because it might rain one minute and be clear skies the next. Winters are mild. Heck I don't even own a coat! And we joke that in the winter we run the heater in the morning and the air conditioner is turned on by noon.

Jacksonville, like most of Florida is flat. You won't find many hills unless you go towards Tallahassee and the Panhandle. We're pretty much at sea level so if you want to practice mountain climbing you'll have to tackle a bridge to get any incline.

In Florida hurricanes are a constant threat from June through November. We haven't had a major storm hit our area since Hurricane Dora blew through in 1964.

I had a hard time picking just one picture to sum up Jacksonville. I could have picked a photo from the beach or one of the many city parks and trails, or even from the fantastic Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. In the end I choose a photo of our beautiful riverfront because it's one of our favorite places to walk.

Friendship Fountain on the River Walk

The St Johns River is the longest river in Florida and one of the few rivers in the United States that flow north. The river begins its lazy travels in the marshes of Brevard County and slowly flows 310 miles north to mix in with the Atlantic Ocean at Mayport in Duval County. 

There is a beautiful river walk on both the north and south banks of the St Johns River in downtown Jacksonville. You can walk across the river on the Main Street bridge (also known as the Blue bridge) or the much more difficult Acosta bridge.

Looking across the St Johns River from Friendship Fountain downtown Jacksonville.

Friendship Fountain is located next to the Museum of Science and History in downtown. The blue bridge in the background is the Main Street bridge and it's an easy walk over to the Landing on the north bank of the river.

This is just a small glimpse of my hometown of Jacksonville were we enjoy mild winters and all the trapping of a big city in a small town atmosphere.

Come and visit us sometime!

You can see another photo of our river front by checking out this post. 

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

San Biagio Church - Montepulciano, Italy

Built from locally quarried travertine San Biagio Church sits at the base of  the medieval hill town of Montepulciano. We could see the church from the wall of the town and we just knew we'd have to make our way down the hill to check it out. 

The church is even more impressive close up. Built around 1500 the church was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. A nice solid building.

The dome of San Biagio served as the inspiration for the dome of St. Peter's at the Vatican.

The front of the church is actually pretty plain with one lone tower. There was supposed to be a matching tower but it was never built. Even so it is a beautiful, impressive church surrounded by a lush green lawn perfect for a picnic or a little nap.

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