Home Away From Home

Another Day in St. Augustine

Got up and had our usual slow morning with spark, coffee and for breakfast I had sausage balls. Apparently I wasn’t thinking when I set the microwave on 2 minutes and it suddenly dawned on me when 28 seconds were left – yikes. They were hard as rocks. Since no one else is eating them I threw them away and started again. Got dressed in my turtle necks and boots, went outside, came back in and took my turtle neck off. What a difference a day makes. It was sunny and much warmer. I decided to just take my raincoat and not a heavier jacket but I still wore my boots.

We parked at the Sebastian Winery and then walked to the Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church. Along the way I was bemoaning the fact that I had on hot boots and warm socks instead of my flats. The church was erected in memory of his daughter and granddaughter. The church is amazing. Although supposedly one of the nine most beautiful churches in the US it still doesn’t compare to the Bascilia in Montreal but it is indeed beautiful. The stain glass windows each portray a fragment of the Apostles Creed. Henry Flagler built the church for the Presbyterians so he could have the property that the original church was on and amazingly enough this church was built in less than a year, 351 days I think. 500 people worked on it. The floors are small tiles and they were laid one at a time, not in sheet form. The chandeliers are in the form of gold crosses and are lovely. The ceiling looks like tiles but since the architect advised against using tiles due to their weigh the ceiling is faux painting. Interestingly enough Flagler’s third wife is from and is buried in Kenansville, not far from our home. I never knew the connection between Kenansville and Carolina (UNC) before. Kenan and Flagler were good friends.

Next we headed downtown and took a picture with the statue of Flagler. We walked over to the Trolley stop and waited for the next one to arrive. Since we didn’t have our stickers to indicate that we were trolley riders we stopped in the booth to get some. They were remodeling today so they told us to get one from the driver when we got on. He didn’t have any either! We took a ride all the way around the corner and then got off! Went into another store that was at the trolley stop to get a sticker. They didn’t have any either and told us we could only get them at stop one – no way we were walking there or spending that much time on the trolley.

We wandered on down the street and Donna and I went in the Filthy Rich store. Don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t replicas of Hollywood stars’ jewelry. Rodeo Drive this wasn’t! The prices were great but I’m quite sure my finger would be black by the end of the day if I bought one of their rings. LOL

We finally located the oils store that we had been on the lookout for. They had many different oils along with lots of samples. I sampled a balsamic vinegar with tangerine and it was really good. I almost bought it but decided that since we rarely eat bread we really didn’t need any more balsamic vinegar. I’m sure I’ll regret not buying some.

We then went to the Lightner Museum and wandered around the lobby. We decided against going in since it was an extra charge and it consists mainly of sets of collections obtained during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Lunch was next on the agenda. Donna and I checked out the cafe at the museum. It is located in what used to be the huge swimming pool. It is obviously very slanted as you head to the deep end. It was very picturesque with tables mainly for two set toward the deep end but it was extremely cool in there. I guess on an extremely hot day it would prove to be a respite from the heat. We decided against eating there though and the menu just didn’t seem too appetizing.

Then we started the hunt for somewhere else. Using Yelp Donna and Ken located a restaurant and we headed for it only to end up on the waterfront at the White House. I had a Crab BLT (crab salad with lettuce and bacon), crab bisque and FF’s. One could look at my plate and know it was delicious. Jerry had a Cuban sandwich on Cuban bread, a new treat and he said it was very good.

What a shock when we walked out. The weather had changed dramatically. I was mighty glad I had on my boots and warm socks! Flats would have been very wet and cold. Not only was it raining but it was pretty chilly. The tour guide told us Monday that if we didn’t like the weather in Florida to just hold on, it would change. I thought that was a NC thing! Guess it’s pretty much everywhere! We lingered around waiting for the next trolley. We went in the alpaca shop and Ken bought some gloves he can use as liners with his motorcycle gloves. The rugs in there were oh so soft and oh so warm and oh so expensive! We also wandered around an art gallery. Jerry maybe has found a new hobby, oil painting. The paintings were quite good, some very large and all very expensive, one over $100,000. I don’t quite understand why you would want a painting of someone you don’t know but there were several paintings of various women and people are obviously purchasing them.

As we were waiting for the trolley Ken discovered that is we took the trolley we were going to be on for a long ride going places we’d already been so we said heck we wouldn’t melt so off we went. It was raining pretty hard but Donna and I got the wettest when a car went by pretty fast and hit a puddle and splashed us pretty good. I’d only seen that in movies!

Our next stop was the Whetstone Chocolate Factory. We had about 45 minutes to wait for the next tour so Donna and Ken shopped. I went to the bathroom where I set my purse on the trash can. Yep, it fell in and then I couldn’t get it out! Hopefully it was just full of used hand towels! After a brief video we donned our lovely sanitation hats and trekked through the rain next door to the factory. We sampled about seven pieces of chocolate and I definitely was on a sugar high. I did worry about Jerry’s sugar level although the printed information stated that the dark chocolate was good for diabetes. Um… the candy was delicious but we didn’t buy any.

Running through the rain again we made it to the San Sebastian Winery. We slipped in just in time and watched a video, took a brief tour and then went to the wine tasting. The tour guide started off with the dry wines, not good to me, and ended up with the sweeter wines. I don’t think I have ever had sherry before but that was delicious and again, I’ll probably be sorry that I didn’t get it.

Our next visit was the St. Augustine Distillery. Another trip through their small museum, another video and a tour. They had finished for the day (as had the chocolate and winery) but we were still able to go through. It reminded me a lot of the brewery and reminded me that I really need to go on a tour of the brewery. Then we sampled vodka and gin. The vodka was some kind of kicking mule concoction and was OK. The gin was – well piney! One sip was quite enough for me. A short trip through the shop and we were finally on our way “home” after a long day of sightseeing. There is a lot to see in St. Augustine and you can’t see it in two and half days but we gave it our best shot.

A brief stop at Camping World for Ken to get something he needed and then we were home and guess what – it had quit raining. Since the Oregon-Ohio State game was at 8:30 we planned for dinner at 7:00. I had the spaghetti and Donna brought a salad. After dinner we had pound cake with amaretto drizzled on the plate topped by ice cream. I have to say – it was absolutely delicious!

Donna and Ken stayed to watch a bit of the game and then I worked on the computer for a while and what a memory that brought back. I sat at the dining table to work and when I got up my shoulder was hurting just like it used to when I worked at Parrott and in Craven County.

I got ready to bed, turned on Castle and have no idea how it turned out. I never even heard Jerry come to bed and I don’t know who won the game! Good night all!

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