Once you’ve lived in one place a while, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Autopilot is your default mode as you run from the office, to the kids’ schools/activities, the grocery store, etc. It gets so bad that you can’t even join in on the snarky criticism of Apple maps because, well, you don’t need maps where you’re going.
Well, for me, that’s about to change. My resolution for the new year is to explore more of Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville and St. Augustine than I already know. And maybe spend a little more time in some familiar, but rarely visited, places.
Case in point…I live a matter of miles from the beach. Yet I only tend to see it if I’m showing an oceanfront house or condo. The view from the decks of these properties is great. But I’m committed to getting my toes in the sand, and the surf, a bit more than usual in 2013.
I’ve seen a lot of great shows already in and around Jacksonville and St. Augustine. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is a great outdoor venue, and I’ve been able to see national acts like Wilco, the Decemberists, Blondie and Devo. And the Times-Union Center and Florida Theatre are both venerable old venues that I’ve visited on quite a few occasions.
This year, however, I’d like to expand my horizons at places I’m familiar with (Jacksonville Symphony at the Times-Union Center is calling my name, I believe), and ones I’ve not gotten to yet (Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and downtown music spots like Jack Rabbit’s come to mind).
And while a more traditional new years resolution is to eat less, I’ll take the contrarian approach and vow to eat more. Well, if not more, maybe better. There have been quite a few good restaurants popping up in and around Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Pele’s Woodfire was a highlight of 2012. But it’s time to find some more favorites, and I may start with Black Sheep in 5 Points. Regardless, I hope to get out and experience more of the great food and atmosphere that northeast Florida establishments have to offer.
Are there great places in your hometown that you take for granted, yet never seem to get to? Tell me about them in the comments and let’s commit to getting out to support the great local businesses that are in every community.