JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Air Force One has lifted off from Jacksonville International Airport, carrying President Barack Obama to West Palm Beach after a four hour stop in the River City.
The presidential visit started slightly behind schedule Thursday. The president was supposed to land at 12:45 p.m. but stormy weather forced Air Force One to circle the city for about a half an hour.
Obama finally de-planed, umbrella in hand, and hopped into his caravan for the ride to the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
"I don't know why they picked me," said Karen Johnson-Akers, moments after President Obama pulled away.
She was still a bit in shock. Her day was spent at the airport. But it was unlike any trip before. Johnson-Akers was one of a handful who got to wait -- on the tarmac -- as Air Force One landed and the President of the United States walked out.
"I turned back and looked up and there he was," she said. "I was like, OK there's the President!"
She's spent long hours volunteering for the Commander-in-Chief but never dreamed she'd meet him. Neither did Barney Roberts.
"It was fabulous," said Roberts. "It was like bringing the Super Bowl back to Jacksonville again!"
This moment was even a first for State Representative Mia Jones.
"This was one of those things that was on my bucket list so I got to check that off today!" she told Action News.
But as Air Force One approached, the weather took a drastic turn. The Head of Security told Action News the pilot made the call it wasn't safe to land. The plane entered a holding pattern for about 30 minutes. And then, as the rain began subsiding, lights were spotted peaking through the storm clouds. And no one seemed to mind having to wait in the rain.
"You know," Johnson-Akers said shaking her head. "I met the president today. I got to shake his hand. I got to stand next to him."
Rain or shine, the Obama supporters on hand say they proved on Thursday they will stand by the president no matter what.
"It was worth it. All the rain, whatever it was going to take and that's how we are about his campaign," said Jones. "Rain, storm, whatever, we're gonna be there for him."
President Obama will be in Fort Myers and Orlando on Friday.