Home to Sarasota via Savannah and Jax

January 22, 2016 21:51 – 21:51

I changed hotels. The Homewood Suites in Sarasota was old, smelled of mildew, and the hallway floors were mushy in spots–rotting, I’m guessing. And, the internet speed was very slow–less than 2Mbps. There was no desk–just a kitchen table with non-adjustable chairs that were very hard to slide, which made working on the computer very difficult. Also, there were these tiny bugs everywhere. Not bedbugs, but disturbing nonetheless.

The Springhill Suites appears to be new. Everything is clean and bright, there are no bugs (unless I brought some with me, but I haven’t seen any yet), and the internet speed is about 50Mbps. There is a desk with a modern ergonomic chair that actually works. Oh, and it’s $30 per night cheaper. Yes, this room doesn’t have a kitchenette, but if I really needed one, I could’ve stayed at the new Residence Inn next door.. . for about the same prices as this room. But, Springhill Suites typically is quieter than Residence Inn. Fingers crossed. There seems to be a lot of bouncy children in the adjacent rooms. L

Hilton needs to work on their quality & pricing. Marriott seems to have them beat. In fact, I can’t remember a satisfactory stay at a Hilton property.

The first night, I spent in a Comfort Suites in Port Wentworth, GA. The internet speed was okay, but the furniture really needs to be updated. The desk chair was so low I was practically sitting on the floor.

The second night, I spend in the Airport Residence Inn in Jacksonville. They were remodeling, and the noise was terrible. I should probably try them again after the remodeling is done.

Wednesday, I hiked in the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. It’s one of the best hiking & birding NWFs I’ve ever visited. I shall return. One new bird I saw was the black crowned night heron… a strange and beautiful bird.

Not new to me, but beautiful is the “common” moorhen. They were plentiful in Harris Neck. Its bill looks like cheap plastic, or candy corn.

Yesterday, I visited the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve / Fort Caroline National Memorial. It’s also good for hiking, but not nearly as extensive as Harris Neck. Birding was also okay, but not great. I did see a couple of new birds, though: the roseate gross beak and the gray crane.

Today, I visited Celery Fields, a major stop on the Florida birdwatching route. At first, I thought it was a landfill, but that’s not the case. It was formerly a farm, and they used bulldozers to build an 85-foot “mountain” to help develop the area into a wetland. It appears to be working.

For dinner last night, I ordered delivery pizza from Jet Pizza. It was okay. No competition for Faccia Luna or the all-time winner, Alex’s pizza in Biddeford. For dinner tonight, I tried to remember where I went last time, and failed. The internet recommended El Toro Bravo, which was okay, but not as good as Mi Pueblo, which is in fact the place I was trying to remember.

Working backwards… for lunch yesterday, I stopped at the The Pig BBQ in Jax. It was good, except that the BBQ wasn’t hot enough, and the sauce was too sweet and thick.

Continuing the backwardsing, for dinner Wednesday night, I had a fried build-your-own platter at St. Mary’s Seafood and More. It wasn’t all that great. The scallops seemed stamped and perhaps weren’t even real scallops. The fish seemed anything but fresh. But, the shrimp was pretty good. The Stella on draught was perfect, though.

When I don’t report on a meal, it’s because either I had something from the grocery store or I had fast food. Today, for example, I was in a hungry hurry, and got some chicken thighs from KFC. KFC needs stronger forks. Sporks don’t cut it.


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