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STILL ALIVE AT BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER, JACKSONVILLE, FL

Nancy's surgery was a success!  Yesterday on Thursday December 7 Nancy got a new left hip and seems to be doing well today, Friday.  Surgeries are never fun and Nancy's was no exception.  First, we arrived 1 hour early and learned that our surgeon was running 2 hours late.  Since Nancy was required to arrive 3 hours ahead of her scheduled time, this meant that she just laid there in the pre-op room for 6 hours.  When the doctor finally made his appearance Nancy actually shouted out YAYYYY! 
     It seems that nothing is ever easy for Nancy and her surgery was no exception.  Apparently, Nancy's genetic orthopedic issues complicated the surgery and gave the surgeon quite a challenge.  She ended up on the operating table for an extra hour and a half.
     After the surgery the surgeon painted a nice rosy picture regarding the procedure.  It wasn't until the nursing staff took over that the full extent of Nancy's recovery was understood.  It seems that doctors are…

GOING OFF THE ROAD

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Our Jacksonville, Florida adventure was dedicated to daily medical appointments for Nancy.  Jacksonville has a lot of great doctor's and 2 excellent hospitals (The Mayo Clinic & Baptist Hospital) so Nancy was very comfortable with the doctors, the medical advice and the strategy to resolve her issues.  With our spare time we availed ourselves to the delights of Jacksonville.  Jacksonville is a nice city with all the fun traffic, but they have a nice riverfront downtown area and a lot of activities.  Also, Jacksonville's proximity to the ocean makes this a great place to hang out.

     We always love "farmer's markets" and Jacksonville has a cool one which combines all the usual farm offerings with an artist market.

     Also, we were fortunate to have Jim and Nanc Tidball join us for a day at the Elks lodge.  Jim and Nanc were one of the first couples that we befriended on-the-road and it was great catching up with them.  We even found a wonderful place…

THE MAD DASH TO FLORIDA

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C'ville was our next stop and what a wonderful town it is!  But what the heck is C'ville?  We know it as Charlottesville, Virginia.  This town is the home of the University of Virginia and a gorgeous downtown.  Of course, like most great tourist towns, there is a pedestrian mall in the center which is full of interesting shops and great restaurants.  The surrounding neighborhoods are full of stately Federal and Greek Revival buildings on tree-lined boulevards.  Considering all the history that surrounds the area, this was a perfect place to spend a week.

     While in C'ville we discovered that the University of Connecticut's football team was playing UVA so we couldn't resist the opportunity.  The game was on a warm yet cloudy day and our seats were on the 20, 15 rows back from the field.  It was a perfect day for spectating.  UVA has a great band and their opening ceremony with a "Cavalier" prancing around the field on horseback was a real hoot.  U…

RHYTHM & ROLLING

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After leaving Connecticut we drove all of 1 hour to Rhode Island to the Rhythm & Roots Music Festival in Ninigret Park to celebrate Labor Day weekend.  The festival offers a wide variety of genres, but there is a heavy emphasis on Zydaco & Cajun music.  Bluegrass, blues, jazz, etc. are also featured.  Artists such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Marcia Ball, Natalie MacMaster and Rosanne Cash graced the main stage.

     Our favorite band was Shinyribs.  The lead singer/performer put on a spectacular show which can only be appreciated live.  The band is a little weird, with an eclectic array of songs reminding me a little of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks.  We even had the opportunity to see this band twice as it performed on both the main stage and the dance stage.
     The festival was a very laid-back event with no stress to line-up early for camping or the need to rush to set up chairs at the Main Stage as all spots were great for camping and viewing.  We lucked out with our c…

IT WAS A GREAT SUMMER FOR FAMILY FUN

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Whew!!!  We certainly had a great summer, but are completely exhausted.  I know what Dickens meant when he penned A Tale of Two Cities and stated that "(i)t was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
     We spent the entire month of August holed-up in a campground in Litchfield, CT and it may have been our worst campground yet.  The campground had a great pool, but the roads were so full of muddy potholes which were so deep that they painfully jostled Nancy's back every time we drove our car.  Further, our site was surrounded by poison ivy so we had to be very wary.  Even though we enjoyed the residents of this campground, our stay felt very depressing.  The good news was that we spent little time in the campground as we were on the run everyday.  In fact, we ran so much that we only spent 1 full day in the campground the entire month.
     We opted to visit Connecticut in August as we had 2 weddings, my mother's 94th birthday, and the Milford Oyster…