My front yard daffodils
I'm sure we've all heard of a stay-cation... where you stay at home or in your own town and have a "vacation"...

Well how about a "workation"? 

Where you squeeeeeze in as much fun time in between actual work at a conference or convention. I try my best to explore and enjoy my time/environment whenever I'm sent somewhere for work.

This last week I was sent to Jacksonville, FL. It was not only my first time to the sunny state of Florida (which thank god I needed because it snowed the day I left Portland) but it was my first time to the East Coast.

The one thing I was determined to do, even if I did nothing else but work the whole week, was to see the Atlantic Ocean. I'm a born and bred San Diego girl. The Pacific is all I know. So it was time for me to see "The First Coast" (as all the Florida brochures referred to it) for the first time.


Jacksonville Beach Pier, Jacksonville Beach, FL
Not only did I see the Atlantic Ocean, I got to play in it. I brought up sea shells. I walked a 1/4 of a mile out into the ocean on the Jacksonville Beach Pier. And I got there and back by Jacksonville public transportation!! (With the assistance of my bff who was able to maneuver the JTA website)

Aside from accomplishing this AH-MAZ-ING feat, I also went to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. It was a fun and cute zoo.  And for only $2 I got to FEED GIRAFFES!!

That's my hand in the bottom left
I've done it before, at the San Diego Zoo, but this was still amazing. They were just inches away and one almost licked me!! I also fed lorikeets and lories - one of which tried to eat the ruffles on my blouse, my sunglasses and screamed in my ear. Haha.

Just before the blouse-brunch
Even while I was at the conference itself, I was having a wildlife adventure. I pet a Geoffrey's Cat (South America's smallest wild cat), pet an opossum who was snuggled in his keepers arms, took a picture of a chinchilla and got pretty up-close and personal with a six year old camel.

He tried to give the BF a run for his money.
Don't we make a cute couple? 

I'm sure you're wondering what the hell kind of "conference" I was at. The conference centered around booking entertainment to come to  your school. While I may not have been able to afford to sign some of the entertainment up I at least got evenings full of comedians, magicians, a petting zoo and (best of all) new musical talent.

Such as my new found love Blair Crimmins & The Hookers (a Ragtime-Dixieland Jazz Band)

The concert wasn't the only place I was exposed to (potential) musical history (I really think some of the entertainers will become bigger the more they play the college circuit)... Jacksonville also gave me ELVIS!!

For those that don't know I was (apparently) born a few generations late. I should have been right out there next to my grandmother (who yes, was also an Elvis fan) screaming and fainting for The King. 

Anyway, Jacksonville's Florida Theatre (where Elvis played his first indoor headliner concert in 1956) was only two blocks from my hotel and you better believe when I found this out I was right out in front of it taking pictures!

Only photo of me and Elvis history
Also, during my recent "workation", I tried grits for the first time (liked 2 out of the three variations I ate), saw dolphins swim in the St. John's River (one of the world rivers that flows north), explored and photographed some beautiful old churches (one dating back to 1840) and (of course) enjoyed the roof top pool and hot tub at the hotel. 

View from hotel roof top pool
Over all, no matter how disappointed I was in the (usefulness of the) conference I certainly had a memorable and unforgettable "workation" to Jacksonville, Florida!


  1. I like the idea of "workation" :)

    I'm also a Pacific person and I'd love to see what's in the Atlantic. Good for you, you got the chance.


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