Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jared and Jacksonville

We spent the afternoon exploring downtown Jacksonville. It's very different from many of the cities that we have visited in the U.S. First of all, over a million people live in Jacksonville, but that is in 758 square miles. That is a big and spread out area for one city. I figured the downtown would have shops and restaurants, but the downtown is comprised of some big buildings and businesses. What we learned was that there are many areas within Jacksonville, that all offer everything that a person needs to live, related to eating, working, and playing. You don't need to go to the downtown to get these things, instead they probably are all within reach wherever you stay in Jacksonville.
Jacksonville, though, felt like home away from home today. We had the pleasure of meeting up with Jared, one of our first employees. Jared drove to Maine to become a Registered Maine Guide with only 3 days to reach Maine before the 8 day class started. Since that time, Jared has worked for us every summer. He goes to graduate school in Jacksonville and was definitely surprised when we called to say hello and that we'd like to meet up for dinner. It's funny, we all spend every day together during the summer, working at Northeast Guide Service, leading trips. Then, the season comes to an end and we all go our separate ways. So, it was really cool to see Jared in his town and in our off season.
Jared picked an authentic Italian restaurant for us to enjoy and it was delicious...Casa Dora is the name and if you are in downtown Jacksonville, check it out! After catching up over dinner, we walked across the blue-ly lit up Acosta Bridge, talked and enjoyed the music playing in the San Marco area. Thanks Jared for a great time and we look forward to another season of whitewater rafting in the spring, after you enjoy sunny Florida this winter and we go back to snowy Maine.

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