We made it to the beach this year! Better late than never, right? So far, we have gone on a trip to the beach every year of our marriage: Seacrest, FL and Outer Banks, NC the first year, Kiawah Island, SC with my family the second, and now…Jacksonville, FL! After Nathan interviewed at the Mayo Clinic here and enjoyed it, we decided to sneak in a few days down south between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It was the perfect getaway!
Jacksonville is a beautiful city with highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s. Sooo much better than the single-digit temps we experienced in Indy the past couple weeks 😉 We were more than happy to shed our coats and put on some sandals to explore.
We wanted to make the most of our trip, so we tried to see as much as we could of the city. Thanks to the recommendations from one of the Mayo residents Nathan met, we hit the ground running!
Night one was spent near Atlantic Beach. We ate dinner at North Beach Fish Camp. By the time we got there, it was dark, so it was hard to take photos but the food was delicious! We ate outside and lots of people were out walking around. It totally put us in the vacation state of mind.
We had to get some seafood. It was SO good – could definitely tell we were in Florida!
Shrimp and grits for Nathan
Crab cakes for me!
The next day, we had breakfast at the hotel before heading downtown.
We walked along the riverside and enjoyed soaking up the sun. It was such a pretty day!
After a couple hours, we ended up walking across the bridge and finding a Panera for lunch. We ate outside again…we couldn’t resist the chance to when we know we won’t be doing that in Indiana for a long time!
We stopped at the hotel to change clothes before heading back to Atlantic Beach. This time we had plenty of daylight to enjoy strolling along the ocean. It was so pretty there! White sandy beaches, gentle waves, seagulls…the whole deal. We were in our happy place! Nate helped me pick out a few seashells to take home for souvenirs and add to our collection too 🙂
Next stop: Poe’s Tavern for happy hour. This is the place they took Nathan for dinner during his interview, and it was a great hangout spot for us – open air and good vibes.
When we got hungry enough, we walked to The Flying Iguana for an incredible dinner. Everywhere we went had come by recommendation, and they didn’t steer us wrong!
We started with great chips and salsa, plus a house salad. Then for our meals, we got a variety of tacos:
Junkyard Taco: grilled chicken, roasted potato, queso sauce, cabbage, charred corn, flaming iguana sauce
Baja Fish Taco: beer battered cod, with cabbage, salsa fresca, and charred corn remoulade
Carnitas Taco: slow roasted pulled pork, with salsa verde, queso fresco, and cilantro
Achiote Chicken Taco: grilled, marinated chicken, with salsa roja, house crema, and fresh avocado
Blackened Shrimp Taco: ginger purple cabbage slaw, chipotle aioli, and mango pico
Plus a side of AMAZING sweet potato fries!
Everything was absolutely delicious and seriously cheap. We left full and our wallets stayed relatively full too – win win! 😀
Tomorrow is our last day here, and we’ll have until early afternoon before we need to leave for our flight. We plan on going to the beach one last time (weather permitting – rain is in the forecast…) and then having one last lunch in town before heading out. We are both so grateful for this time together and want to bottle up the sunshine to bring it back with us!