Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 18: Livin' up Fernandina!

 Route: House to Beach to Mini Golf to Dinner to Home
Mileage: 3 miles

I woke up to my alarm because I wanted to get up early to see the sunrise.  Keegan wasn't in bed and I popped up to see what was the matter.  He was already up drinking coffee so he could be caffeinated enough to join me, how sweet!  We went and watched the sun rise, which was beautiful.

Because it was low tide, the shell beds were exposed and it was prime shark tooth hunting time!  Keegan found his first tooth, and in all we found 14 teeth this morning (and had 4 more at home!).  It fit our theme of 14 this trip: biking 1400 miles to raise $14,000...and find 14 shark teeth :)

We then came back and I cooked up breakfast and we proceeded to do a little work for a bit.  I actually ended up taking a 2 hour nap too, which was pretty amazing.

Keegan then made us sandwiches to bring to the beach and prepped us a whole bunch of snacks.  We headed out to the beach with the chairs and umbrella that the house we are renting provides.

Once we got there we got all set up and Keegan secured the umbrella in the sand.  But oh man--the wind was fierce!  It was blowing at us full force, we were literally covered in sand.  Keegan noted that this is what we have to look forward to biking down the coast.  Yikes!  Such a strong headwind that will be.  We tried to relax, but it was somewhat difficult when you're squinting the whole time and have to hold the umbrella from blowing away.  We finally gave up on the sitting-on-the-beach thing and headed into the water.  As we walked to the ocean we were almost cold the wind was so strong.  But once we got to the water and started diving about, it was great fun.  Keegan made fun of how I attack waves--chest forward with arms out wide--but it suits me well, bring it, waves!

This guy was hilarious.  He teased the birds with food, and then they came after him.  Ridiculous.

After the beach we came inside to shower off and regroup.  We then headed out (on the tandem) to go play mini golf at the place my sister and I used to go to as kids, Island Falls.  It looks the exact same.  We had a good time but didn't keep score.  I was pretty consistently mediocre at each hole.  Keegan was either great (he got a hole in one!), or kind of sloppy.

Hole in one!
Not so great
By accident hole in one...when the ball skipped off the hole we were on and went into the hole of another course.  Doesn't count!

We passed by our bicycle! 
Where the balls get caught on the 18th hole.  20 years ago this used to be clear plexiglass, now you can't see in!
We celebrated afterwards with ice cream, because we obviously had to have ice cream.  But we then headed down the road to dinner.

We had a great dinner at La Mancha, which I found on Yelp.  It was funny to me because I'm almost positive that was the old Shoney's we used to go to.  Now it was a classy Spanish restaurant.  We had great food, but we also had a great waiter.  He had asked about the bike we locked up outside, our crazy tandem, so we told him about the ride.  He came back later and asked what age is considered JA, to which I told him before 16.  He said his mother just missed that mark when she developed arthritis, but that she also had battled juvenile diabetes.  We talked about her struggles and how she outlived all the predictions and is still fighting the good fight today.  It was wonderful to hear his (and his mom's) story and feel like because of sharing our story we connected with him and got to learn of his families' challenges.  That's what this is all about!!!

With our server, David!
We then came back and watched the sunset from our roof deck.  We took a moment to reflect on the incredible journey this has been.  It truly has been the trip of a lifetime.

We also put out a fundraising call, as we are just 2 days and 200 miles out from the JA Conference in Orlando, yet we are $4000 shy of our $14,000 goal!  We hadn't reached $10,000, but when we asked someone to help push us over the edge, several responded!  We are now in the 5-digit numbers!  Woo!  But where we have $10,226, we still have a ways to go! If it's within your means and in your heart, please consider donating.  We so want to reach that goal and show the kids and families affected by JA that the people we reached throughout our journey want to help make the world a bit better for them. The JA Conference itself is a magical place where families can connect with others going through similar experiences.  It's actually what got me hooked on this area of work 12 years ago.  Hundreds of people are scholarshipped by the Arthritis Foundation to go to the JA Conference every year and this year we have over 1000 new attendees--their lives will be changed forever, like mine was!  So think about that if you are able to donate, you truly can have a profound impact on the lives of these families.  You can donate here:

We hit the road for Flagler Beach tomorrow, but with a pit stop to meet some more fabulous JA families along the way!  We are rested and ready to hit the road!!

With love...

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