02 June 2021
We stopped in Jacksonville on the way from St. Augustine to Florence S.C. to see Grant. It was great to see him. After a night in Florence, we traveled to Bath N.C. to see Becky and Robert. They bought a precious little cottage here to be near family when they are not cruising. We had a delightful lunch and look forward to seeing them when the come on their boat for the summer in Urbanna. We were home just before dark. What a great trip!
02 June 2021
The next morning we drove across the state and back up the east coast. Another stop in our favorite St. Augustine. This time we spent two nights on the beach side. We loved it! The weather turned chilly but we enjoyed driving the coast to Marineland. We even bundled up to walk out on the beach.
02 June 2021
We enjoyed our two weeks in Treasure. After "checking out", we drove south to Sanibel Island. I haven't been here since my childhood and it was a must see on my list. The clouds were rolling in as we drove onto the island. It is such a cute place. Lots of shops with people walking and biking around. We headed straight for the beach at the end of the island. It was starting to spit rain a little. Because it was overcast, there were only a few people on the beach. The shells were plentiful, just as I remembered. I had to restrain myself and only picked up a few. After a stroll on the beach we stopped at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This may be where my love for birds began. I wished that we had more time to commune with nature here. But we have places to go and people to see! As we drove off the island the skies opened up and it poured. Our next stop was Naples to see friends from Urbanna. Ed and Mary Ann stay in their RV here for the winter. It is a great campground and it was fun to catch up with them and see where they stay. After a short visit we hit the road again. We have a dinner date in Marco Island. We met our friend Denise,that we met in Key West our first year cruising, at The Oyster Society for dinner. It was great to see her and the food was fabulous! This was a lot to squeeze in one day! We were exhausted by the time we got to our hotel back in Naples.
02 March 2021
We woke to sunny skies and 48°. After breakfast we checked out at 9 a.m. and hit the road. It is only around 215 miles from St. Augustine to Treasure Island. We stopped for gas and to stretch our legs. The traffic was crazy around Disney World and came to a stand still. Our waze redirected us to avoid the worst of it. Still, it was 3:00 when we finally reached our destination. As we drove over the bridge to Treasure Island, it felt like another world. It had warmed up to 66°. We settled in to our adorable airbnb bungalow and walked to Caddy's to see the beach. It's a hopping place! We would soon learn that this is a favorite spot and is really busy on the weekends. Young and old alike, but mostly young people on the weekend. We just kept our distance, moving farther down the beach to set up our chairs. During the week, we took advantage of the smaller crowds and the free chairs and umbrellas at Caddy's. We ordered drinks with an app and they delivered to our chairs. Perfect! This is the life!
Treasure Island has that old Florida feel. Sunset Beach is an event everyday at sundown, and the cottages are all reminiscent of Key West.
Sign sign everywhere a sign
19 February 2021
Tired of the cold and headed to Florida! There were many travelers on the road headed south too. We left a day earlier than planned because of predicted bad weather. Another round of ice was expected in Virginia. So off we went! We left Urbanna at 10 a.m., made a few stops and arrived in Florence S.C. around 4 p.m. We passed a car along the way towing a loaded, tarp covered trailer, with a sign that read, "Goodbye PA and NJ, Hello Florida". A sign of the times.
We left Florence the next day at 9 a.m. after breakfast. 95 South was littered with Billboard signs . Half were for "adult" stores and the other half for Jesus. Satan vs. God. Evil vs. Good. A sign of the times.
We arrived in St. Augustine around 3 p.m. After settling in to our room at the Flagler Inn, we drove to the historic district. Parking is nearly impossible. We have many fond memories here. We have made many stops here over the years, on our way both South and North on S/V Bay Breezin'. Many times we wished for a car when we were here on the boat, but now it seems it would be much easier to walk everywhere from the city marina than it is to drive in all of the traffic and try to find parking! After two rounds we lucked into a parking spot across from the marina. It happens to be right in front of one of our favorite restaurants, O.C. White's. We had talked about walking to a little Polish restaurant that we like. Instead, we were lured under the trellis of the outdoor patio at O. C. White's, by the music of a lone guitar player. Almost everyone seated here had a dog by their side. Obviously, a popular spot for the locals. We enjoyed a glass of their special "St. Augustine Sangria" and we split a plate of lasagna. It was delicious! After dinner we enjoyed a stroll over to the marina. It was a beautiful evening.
With an extra day before we check into our air bnb on the Gulf Coast, we decided to stay another night in St. Augustine. The chance of rain today is 100%. Despite the rain, we drove across the Bridge of Lions Bridge to the beach front. We toured the lighthouse and had a wonderful lunch at Sunset Grille. We had homemade clam chowder and key lime pie...yum. The sign outside said "You are now somewhere on A1A".
16 August 2019
Yesterday I stayed home alone while Heather worked. After work, we went to Root 42 for a drink and then to The Old Stone Farmhouse for dinner. The restaurant is charming. Over two centuries ago, the building with two foot thick stone walls was the hub of a 250 acre Danish sugar plantation. It was a hard decision, but I settled on the Mahi and shrimp over roasted cauliflower steak with citrus butter and green mango salad. Heather had the 8 ounce filet with truffle herb polenta, roasted mushrooms, bordelaise and bearnaise, grilled asparagus and crispy leaks. We enjoyed these with a bottle Chardonnay. Our waitress was great and she was a friend of Heathers. She insisted on sending us home with a decadent chocolate mousse and coconut macaroon to share, on the house. It was truly an amazing dining experience.
Thursday August 15
We were up early to catch the 6 a.m. Fast Cat in Red Hook to the Westin in St.John. This new, very modern air conditioned ferry is owned and operated by Cruz Bay Watersports. It is a 100 foot power catamaran. The interior is beautiful, a lot like an aircraft except the seats are more comfortable and has much more leg room. This is Heather's commute numerous times a week. We were on the dock at the Westin Hotel by 6:30.
The boat for this day long trip to the British Virgin Islands is S/V Daydreamer, a 55 foot catamaran. She is at the dock with two other Cruz Bay boats, Island Time and Jost Boat. There are 45
passengers today. After everyone fills out their paperwork for customs and immigration and hands over our passports, we can board. A continental breakfast of ham and cheese croissants, fruit and pastries is waiting for us. Everyone helps themselves as we depart. Captain Brent is at the helm. Ivan, the other crew member gives the safety talk. Our first stop is back to the north shore of St. John at Lovango Cay for snorkeling. Local legend has it that 18th century pirates visited a brothel located on the island, sought their pleasure and sailed away. The "Love and Go Island", hence the name Lovango. We are under sail, the bar is open and our next stop is a BVI customs office on Jost Van Dyke. We picked up a mooring and Ivan took the dinghy in with our paperwork and passports to clear us in. We motored around to White Bay where there are many boats anchored. Brent pulls Daydreamer right up on the beach. Both aft and bow anchors are set and the guests depart for a few hours on Jost Van Dyke. There is a selection of beach bars and cafes. Heather and I made our way to the most well known, the Soggy Dollar Bar. It is where the Painkiller was born. I got a chicken sandwich with pasta salad and ate while Heather took lunch back for the captain and crew. There is a photo album on the picnic table that shows pictures before the hurricanes and of the aftermath. Everything has been rebuilt. I took a walk on the beach, snapped some pictures and visited the gift shop. There are lots of people enjoying lunch, drinks, playing the "ring toss" game and hanging out in the water. There is a great vibe here. The party continues back on the boat. Some of the passengers take a turn at the helm for a picture. We sail back to St. John where we have to stop at the customs dock to clear back into the U.S. With our passports in hand we file through the office. As Captain Brent explained, they have a great arrangement with customs in the BVI. You pay their fee and they just wave you in. Back in the U.S. they want to see our smiling faces. We motored around St. John to the Westin on Cruz Bay. After the boat was "ship shape", we took the 6:30 Fast Cat back to St. Thomas. It has been a "lovely cruise". A great ending to my time back in the islands. It's always hard to say goodbye. I am so glad to see Heather so happy. She loves her life here!