Oct 10, 2012

St. Augustine

Vacation is separation from both reality and people, lounge-time for me started not in Orlando, but crossing St. Augustine's threshold.  20,000 humans crawled Disney like insects, I was ready to escape and plant my albino-white glutes in the sand, doing jack squat for days.

St. Auggie's a tasty casserole layered with 500 years of Spanish history, iced Atlantic and our AirBnB rental cut-and-pasted from a Nicholas Sparks beach flick.

The core of the oldest city in America is St. George Street, a lanky lane of limestone shops selling handmade leather sandals and jewelry, sea shells, thin crust pizzas and brew pubs.  We shuffled the bricks for hours, egged on by Kilwins honey-roasted pecans and a tall latte.  Curls gave in to a Japanese silk bracelet, Pigtails a lead paint mood ring.  I poured another bag of sugar pecans down my hole.











Florida's a sticky hot mess, we needed a cold treat to whack the humidity.  The web guided us to The Hyppo, fighting sweaty armpit rings with flash-frozen popsicles made from natural fruit juice.  I sucked a spicy-cool mango habanero, the girls did strawberry basil and key lime. 

 

  What possess a full grown man to ride a pair of back-pocket bedazzled Silvers?  Does not compute.



Built 125 years ago by oil baron Henry Flagler, the Spanish-tiled luxury hotel got educated and became Flagler College in the 1960s.




Next door is the Lightner Museum, another relic of show-off-pants Flagler.  We opted out, instead squatting outside feeding koi in the courtyard shaded by palms.  Bit-by-bit Pigtails lobbed morsels at the sloshing swimmers.  Holy happenstance, we didn't realize in a few days she'd help lay the same scene on canvas in an art gallery hundreds of miles away along the Gulf of Mexico.


 Like a boss.



The sun set and rose, we zinced noses, stocked the cooler with Hawaiian Sweet Roll sandwiches and iced tea...to the beach!

Marked our territory with umbrella and boogie boards, then set out for a barefoot 6er.  Ran 100 yards, the sand was granulated concrete, so I spun back, laced up the Asics and got it done.

Pigtails was entranced by the ocean, Curls doesn't know how to swim, I returned from the trot coated in hot grease and dove in straightaway.  Sucked air at waist level as the cold water shriveled my boys into ovaries.






We brought along a plastic shovel and bucket from the buck bin at Targhetto, Pigtails filled it with shells and all sorts of wet treasures.


Wide open sand and no tacky high-rise 'tels jacking up the horizon, I'd like a second helping, please.


 

I don't know why, but simple turkey sandwiches and a cold tea from the icebox tasted better than anything cranked from a 5-star kitchen. 




The thunder rolled in mid-afternoon, we were okay with leaving since a five hour sun-broast on our pasty Iowa skin was enough.





AirBnB host, Victor, shared keys to his other beach house in the gated community, we drove over to check it.




Shower and shave back home, you've seen the outside, here's the innards of our rental:







Refreshed and hungry, we trounced on St. George St. for din', bubbles and fort Castillo de San Marcos.


 
 
 
 
 
 


I'd like to write more about St. Augustine, but I'm tired and out of time.  We loved the town, the 500-year history with character up the wazoo and a quiet beach were perfect.  I'll wrap this with a walk through our stay and the leading minutes of Pigtails seeing the ocean for the first time.  A pulsing storm from the west spooked the beach bums, the Atlantic was ours alone.



Next post, we'll drive over to Sarasota along the west coast of Florida.

-Beard

18 comments:

  1. Did Pigtails really paint that?! If so, I'm about to commission her to do some paintings for me!! It's beautiful!

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  2. Ha, no way, she just added a yellow dot on a fish.

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  3. Rachael10/10/2012

    St. Augustine looks amazing! I was there with my family when I was 10 but all I remember about it is that I left my favorite pillow at the motel. It might be time for a re-visit, not to mention time to forgive and forget. :)

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    1. I liked St. A's enough that I'd return for a repeat, it's rare that I want to visit the same place twice. It was that good.

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  4. I want to go to St Augustine now! Love that shot of the storm rolling in. You should try the Pacific Ocean on your next holiday - it is much warmer. Well, in California it would be I imagine. I am from Australia so I like the Pacific better. :)

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    1. We'll do the Pacific some year, the water on the Gulf side of Florida was 90+, like a bath.

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  5. Ha! I love your comment about the dude in the bedazzled jeans. I've never understood bedazzled jeans on anyone under the age of 16. That ESPECIALLY goes for all the 30 & 40 somethings that wear them :) To each their own ... but ... I would equate it to wearing too much hairspray or that purple eye shadow or even fake baking too much - it ages you.

    Thanks for the giggle!!

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    1. Amen. Many of those in their 30s and 40s wearing jeans with back pockets tricked with plasti-jewels and sequins don't often have the sort of cheeks that should be trying to draw attention. #bumperrumper

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  6. Finding solitude on a beach is difficult anymore, unfortunately. Our favorite thing to do when we visit family in the Rio Grande Valley is to drive to the very northern end of South Padre Island. We always have it all to ourselves. Of course you have to have 4WD to get there, but that's part of the fun. =) It looks like y'all had an amazing time!

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    1. I think we must have hit the off-season, since we did Florida in early August when families were starting to think about readying the kids for school rather than getting lazy on the sand. I'm thankful we found solitude, a crowd would have ruined the Atlantic.

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  7. I was going to ask if pigtails painted that picture, but I saw the above comment! I was going to say, why haven't you told us about her amazing skills before?!?! But the yellow dot looks amazing as well :)

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    1. Daughter unfortunately was born with my artistic skills, a yellow dot it tapping out our potential.

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  8. I'm thinking you need to write a film noir, Beard.

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    1. That'd be fun, I'll get on that after the self-publish thingy is done.

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  9. I love St. Augustine. My husband grew up surfing that very beach, and we have rented a house just a few blocks from the pier. Happy days!

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    1. The waves rolling in at high tide were no joke, crashing above my head at the 7-ft mark. I knelt on the boogie and rode them for 200 yards, with a big grin.

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  10. In the second pic that man in the background is waving at you.

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    1. Correct, you just earned yourself some bonus points, young lady.

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!