Business Travel at its Best

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Where I stayed
Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I will spend at least five weeks in Jacksonville this summer, maybe more, though later travel might be at a different location. Now, though, I'm in JAX, as people seem to call it, staying on the beach.

Thankfully the sun goes down late this time of year, and it cools off just enough in the evenings to make a walk on the beach pleasurable.

Studies show that the ocean is rising, that living on the coast is not a good idea because the houses are doomed to, someday, succumb to the rising seas. I believe that. Yet I understand why people live on the coast. We humans always have. Part of it is survival. Bodies of water provide food. The ocean was also a source of salt. It's more than that, I think. An ocean is devastatingly powerful. Weather forecasting was very imprecise, and while civilizations were able to predict the weather with surprising accuracy, they couldn't explain it. Yet they still lived on the sea, still took their boats far out from the coast, pushing the limits, finding new lands and building new boats to enable them to explore further. Always further.

Walking on the beach, there are those that understand and those that don't. Staring out, I see a large ship on the horizon. I cannot tell if it is a container or military ship. It is large, and far away, barely visible. What must it have been like back when natives stood on the same beach and saw the masts of European sailing vessels? I know what that ship is, and I find it awe inspiring. It is impressive that something so large can float, surviving the roughest storms. All of that started with a canoe thousands of years ago.

The wind blows in gasps. I spread my arms like an empty kite, leaning ever so slightly into the strongest gusts. The beach is impressively broad at low tide, with small lakes and rivers formed from when the tide was in, many hours before. Did ancient people walk thus on the sand, letting the wind blow their hair as the water lapped at their legs, picking up shells, humming to an unheard song?

I make it back to the hotel and overhear a newly arrived gaggle of young teenage girls talk about their rooms, which are on floor five, low numbers, just like mine. I dread the night ahead, anticipating the irritating noise of people sincerely trying not to be noisy, but unable to comply because, like me, they are at the beach, and that is a thing of wonder.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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