"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

February 21, 2016

Feb. 20 - Jacksonville, FL

Ortega River Marina

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” —Dr. Seuss

We've been Jacksonville for a week staying busy visiting with friends, meeting new friends, working on the boat and eating.

Our local friends, Barbara and David, told us about a great place to eat. Definitely not a fancy place, but the food was outstanding. Southern Charm is a down home joint run by a local character and chef that personally greets each guest as they enter his little diner. The place is only open a few hours each day for lunch and then again a few hours for dinner. Friday was his shrimp and fish buffet. Along with the main course we had some of the best sides I've ever eaten...mac and cheese, potato salad, cole slaw, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, cheesy grits and cinnamon rolls. Art "Cracker" does all the cooking, he howlers "shrimp up" or "fish up" when each batch is done and his staff brings plates of fresh food to your table as long as you want to keep eating. We were as full as two little ticks when we left.

One of the things we've always enjoyed in Jacksonville is the Riverside Arts Market...a nice combination of farm fresh items, crafts, music and food. It's located near a neighbor called Five Points under the I95 bridge. Today was a beautiful day to spend at the market, along with the normal vendors the market was hosting a chili cook off. There were twenty five booths filled with free samples of chili and cornbread with all the fixings. The sample cups looked small, but after tasting ever contestants chili, a few pieces of cornbread and a couple of cookies for dessert we were stuffed.
Art busy cooking up fresh shrimp, fish and green tomatoes
This was my plate after going through the line...
then they start bringing you plates of fish and shrimp.
The Riverside Art Market
Vendors of all kinds...
and lots of good food too.
A few of the beautiful winter vegetables 
I think these may be the largest shrimp I've ever seen. The lady told us the red ones taste like lobster. 
The view from the market
The Chili Cook-Off
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