Weather Update for the Reunion:

It looks clear, but a little cool (at least for us) during the reunion period – lows in the upper 40’s to lower 50’s, highs in the low to mid 60’s. Saturday will be warmer in the low 70’s with a small chance of rain.

–Ed

The 2018 USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion will be held in Jacksonville, Florida, from Wednesday, March 14th through Sunday, March 18th. Ed and Chrissie Bender volunteered to be our local hosts this year.

If you have not attended a reunion before, and would like to check us out, we would love to see you. There  are no registration fees, and all of the tours and events are optional. You can attend as many events as you  wish, or you can just drop by and visit us at our hospitality room each evening, just to say hello.

The hospitality room is our base of operations at the hotel, and it is open from when we return from the days tours until the last group decides it is bedtime (This comes earlier each year, lol). Our reunion is family friendly, so all relatives and friends are welcome.

The reunion hotel will be the Jacksonville Marriott, located at 4670 Salisbury Road, Jacksonville, Florida  32256.

You may make your hotel reservations now. We would like to have the reunion sign-up sheet returned by February 14th.  We can handle some late sign-ups, but the earlier you can submit the sheet, the better it is for all. You can always cancel if your schedule does not work out.

There is a space on our sign-up sheet to indicate if you are interested in sharing a room with a fellow shipmate. If you mark the box, we will put you in touch with others willing to share the cost of a room.

When you make hotel reservations by phone at (800) 962-9786 or (904) 296-2222,  be sure to mention that you are with the USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion so you will get our rate, or you can book a room online using this link.

The hotel will honor our rate of $119 per night ($134.47 with taxes) for three days before and after the reunion. If you are arriving before, or staying after the reunion, the online reservation system might not accept those dates, so you may have to make reservations directly through the hotel.

The hotel will furnish a complimentary cooked breakfast for two persons per room.

For our daily tours, we can have one of the buses equipped to handle wheelchairs. We have also contacted a company that will deliver rental wheelchairs to the hotel, if anyone should desire one. Please check the block on the sign-up sheet, if this is of interest to you.

Transportation Information

The hotel is 23 miles SE from JAX Airport. This location was chosen to allow us to travel to our daily tour destinations with little problem from city traffic, but it will require a taxi or limo ride if you are arriving by airline.

The estimated cab fare is $65, so some coordination of rides may be desirable. Gator City Taxi is the airport taxi service at 904-355-8294 or 904-3741-0008 . . . also Top Flight Carriers 904-728-2028 is available for limo service.

The Jacksonville Amtrak Station is located at 3570 Clifford Lane, Jacksonville, Florida 32209, and is about 15 miles from our hotel.

Scott’s Cell 412-951-0588
Nadine’s Cell 814-221-6813
Ed’s Cell 904-728-2753

If you are driving from I-95, take Exit 344. Turn East on Butler Blvd. Make 1st right on Salisbury Road. The Marriott Hotel is 2nd on the right at 4670 Salisbury Road.

 

The Events Schedule for this Reunion is:

 

Day 1, Wednesday, March 14

Arrive, check in, (Hotel check-In time is 3 PM) get reacquainted, and swap sea stories. There will be a welcome buffet served at the hospitality room from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  You are welcome to sign up for this event if your arrival time allows. The buffet will feature All American Picnic fare, including:

Coleslaw Potato Salad
Shredded BBQ Pork, Buns on the Side Barbequed Chicken
Corn on the Cob Bourbon Baked Beans
Warm Rolls and Butter Sliced Watermelon
Coffee, Decaf, Hot and Iced Tea

 

Day 2, Thursday, March 15

St Augustine Tour – St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, and is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the contiguous United States. Our guide will explain the history of the area, and we will stop at the Fountain of Youth and the Castillo de San Marcos.

There will be free time for shopping and lunch on your own at St George Street. We will be back at the hotel around 3:30 PM.

Alhambra Dinner Theatre – Boarding the bus at 6 PM, our evening tour will be a visit to the Alhambra Dinner Theatre, where we will enjoy a meal while watching the night’s presentation of “Little Shop of Horrors”. We expect to be back at the hotel by 10:30 PM.

 

Day 3, Friday, March 16

Mayport Naval Station Tour – Boarding the bus at 8:30 AM, we will proceed to Mayport and tour the Naval base, with lunch at the Chief’s Club.

Memorial Service at Memorial Wall – After lunch, we will bus downtown to remember our departed shipmates at the Memorial Wall. We should be back at the hotel by 3:45 PM.

Dinner is on your own.

 

Day 4, Saturday, March 17

Jacksonville City Tour – Boarding the bus at 9:15 AM, we will enjoy a guided tour of the most populous city in the United States.  We will have lunch at the River City Brewing Company. We had originally planned to visit the USS Charles Adams, which was supposed arrive in Jacksonville as a museum ship in the Spring of Her arrival looks doubtful at this time, but if she does show up, we will see if she is available for a visit. We should be back at the hotel by 3 PM.

We will hold our annual business meeting upon return to the hotel after the day’s tour. Would you consider hosting a future reunion in your hometown, or in an area you know well?  All it takes is a familiarity with the local geography, and an idea of some interesting events and attractions that your shipmates might enjoy. We can provide advice on hotel selection and negotiations, and do all of the paperwork to make it happen. We just need ideas, and some groundwork on your end.

In the evening, we will enjoy our Banquet in the banquet room of the Marriott Hotel.

Menu choices are:

  • Panko Crusted Chicken Picatta, with Lemon Caper Sauce
  • Sliced Roast Strip Loin of Beef, with Mushroom Demi-Glace
  • Garlic and Lemon Baked Cod, with Lemon Caper Sauce

The above menu choices will include a Field Greens House Salad, with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Ranch Dressing, Warm Rolls and Butter, Savory Rice Pilaf, and Fresh Steamed Green Beans (Soft)

This year we are also adding a vegetarian choice for the banquet:

  • Pasta Primavera – Penne Pasta and Julienne of Mixed Vegetables tossed in a Light Alfredo Sauce

Dessert will be a choice of Chocolate Mousse, or Strawberry Shortcake.

 

Day 5, Sunday, March 18

Departure –  Hotel check out time is 12:00 PM. Farewell until next year !

 

If you have any items to donate to our raffle, please bring them with you to the reunion. The raffle drawing will be at the Saturday evening banquet. We fund the Hospitality Room with money raised by the raffle.

If you wish to order Lloyd Thomas clothing or items from the website, please let us know what items you would like before the end of February, and we will bring them to the reunion and save you the cost of shipping.

Be sure to check us out on www.DD764.org, and on Facebook at USS Lloyd Thomas Reunion Family.

The 2017 Charleston Reunion Book is available on Picaboo.com. To view our book, use one of the following links:

Our signup form is here for you to download, fill out and mail back to us.  Please send to this address:

Scott and Nadine Sheffer, Reunion Coordinators
PO Box 37, Lamartine, PA  16375

We hope to see you in Jacksonville !

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