Happy summer one and all! We are back on board a shiny clean Therapy after spending a month at home to allow the virus to subside and the country to simmer down. So much for that.
While home, we found lots of things to keep us busy. The men in our lives decided to surprise us moms and book a girls weekend at the lake. It was much appreciated and just what we needed. The resort was lovely. If you ever need a great family resort with lots of amenities I would highly recommend Watermill Cove Resort in Kimberling City, MO. You can check out their google reviews for more info.
We were also fortunate to be home when our refrigerator decided to quit. Whew! That could have been a smelly, moldy mess if we were abroad at the time.
The trip from Daytona to St. Augustine took a pleasant 5 hours but docking into the Municipal Marina was a bit tricky. The current created by the tide can be wicked here and we pulled in just as a storm was a’brewin (that’s two strikes if you were counting). Even with Mother Nature trying to pull a fast one, Captain Tom was able to back in the slip without too much trouble. Part of our entertainment has included watching other vessels dock here. We are happy to assist when we can.
A little St. Augustine history: It was founded in 1565 by Spanish Admiral Pedro Melendez de Aviles making it the oldest city occupied by Europeans in the USA. Now, Ponce de Leon arrived near St. Augustine, Florida first in 1513 but was actually searching for the island of Bimini and the rumored fountain of youth. He landed here around Easter time (“Pascua Florida” in Spanish) naming the land accordingly. He returned to Spain where he was given permission to colonize Bimini and Florida. However, upon his return in 1521, he was fatally wounded by native Americans and died in Cuba.
Our first visit ever to St. Augustine has been fantastic. We walked around town and admired the Spanish architecture and Colonial style buildings. A bunch of these impressive buildings were built by Henry Flagler of Standard Oil fame and his name is everywhere, streets, churches, colleges, hotels, hospitals, etc.
Life seems to be moving on here with some safety precautions. Most every restaurant and shop employee wears a mask. Hand sanitizer is readily available and menus are all either disposable or sanitized. On our first evening we wandered into Casa Monica, a beautiful hotel about three blocks from the marina. We ordered up some wine and charcuterie and enjoyed it with other patrons in a normalish fashion.
Day two was spent using the dinghy to explore a bit. We first zipped out towards the ocean but found the waters too choppy and the waves a bit large for my comfort zone. We quickly found a piece of beach on the inside of the inlet and spent a couple of hours sitting in the sun.
Day three (June 11 if you’re keeping track) was hot and humid. We had a wonderful New Orleans style lunch at Harry’s then I shopped. Dinner was light on the boat, then drinks on the bow as we watched tour boats attempting to dock in the savage winds.
Day four was Old Town Trolley ride day. These kinds of trolleys seem to be in every touristy city. Pay one price, then hop on and off all day. We saw a bit more of the historic district and toured Whetstone Chocolate factory. The tree below is called “Old Senator” and is believed to be 600 years old. It is very large and impressive.
I attended Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday. It was the first time since Covid that I have been to Mass in person and the homily was so appropriate. In a nutshell, Jesus is the bread of life in which to feed the restless soul. There sure are lots of hungry, restless souls these days.
The congregation of St. Augustine’s Cathedral is the oldest Christian congregation in the contiguous US beginning in 1565. The first structure, however, was burned in an attack in 1586. There was a sad pattern of destruction and consequent rebuilding of the church until 1797 when the church standing today was built.
On this leg of our journey we have met three couples in various stages of their loop. They all seem to be out here just enjoying life right along with us. So far, everyone’s attitude has been one of gratitude just to be moving again.
We are leaving St. Augustine and taking off to Fernandina Beach, Florida on Monday, June 15th where we will be reuniting with some good friends. We met Tom and Renee Thompson in Springfield in the early nineties through my job. We participated in many shenanigans with them. It will be so good to catch up.
Whew! This post was longer than I wanted it to be but there is so much to take in here. Next up, Fernandina Beach, then off to Georgia. Stay tuned.