Thursday, May 31, 2012

Here we are in Paradise

It seems that when you are living aboard your vessel, no matter where you are or what you may be doing it is still paradise.  Most of us are living our dream.  Retired and lines casted off.  The weather doesn't even seem to really put much of a damper on things.  It is not always sunny in paradise.

This is what the sky looked like most of the day yesterday.  It did not stop us from doing the things that we enjoy on and off of Enigma.  The thing we like the most when off of the boat is eating.  Sometimes it's just burgers and fries or appitizers like nachos or crab legs.  Yesterday we went to a little place on Aviles Street.  This is an all old brick road with very narrow sidewalks.  I really am surprised that they let cars and the trolleys travel on it.  It is claimed to be the oldest road in the U.S.

I had been wanting to try Gaufre's and Goods for a long time.  It is a Greek and Polish Cafe.  I had Ola's Potato and Cheese Pierogies sauteed with onions.  There were six of just the right size to fill me up.  Bill had the Borsch, a red beet soup with mushroom dumplings.  It was good but not real filling.  So we walked to Chianti's.  The happy hour there is from 3 to 6.  You get two glasses of anything, from milk or soda to wine, beer or any crazy concoction. It comes with a nice slice of pizza.  I gave Bill mine since I was full and he just had the soup.

It kept raining so we just came back to the boat.  We had drinks.  Even our dog.  Now as most of you know Bill and I had rescued dogs, mostly English Mastiffs for over 20 years.  We currently have one dog.  We just call him Robo Dog.

My camera battery ran out right after Bill took this photo.  I will get more shots of him soon.  Meanwhile, we will still call him Robo Dog unless someone can come up with something better.  He has been Robo Dog for about 3 years now but I am sure he will answer to anything.  So what do you think?

Patti and Bill :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend - Day 3 4 and TS Beryl

At approximately 12:10 Monday morning Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall on Jacksonville Beach.  St. Augustine is just south of Jacksonville.  I was up chatting with friends and family and playing Internet games.  I am getting hooked on Margaritaville Online.  I blame Bill for that.  Anyways, we were rocking and bouncing quite a bit with rain pouring down. I sleep very well in this weather.  At a little after 1 am Monday I woke up to Bill looking out of the salon window on the starboard side.  He said he heard engines and was afraid someone may be in trouble.  Who would be out in this weather?  It was one of the marina's boats.  They were redocking next to us.  Everything looked under control so we went back to sleep.

Monday morning Bill came back from getting the paper.  Part of the dock a few slips away had broken.  It was blocked off with rope and it was listing a bit.  That was why the boat was moved next to ours overnight.  The marina has staff on 24/7 including holidays.  They walk the docks all of the time.  Very nice and knowledgeable people.  No damage to any boats here in the marina.  The wedding that was scheduled to take place at 6:15 the day before was successfully moved to 1:00. 

Monday afternoon we went to Meehans, an Irish Pub (surprised? I think not!!) for lunch.  This place overlooks the bay on the other side of the Bridge of Lions.  Bill did point out that Towboat US was going over to a boat moored there in the field.  It was far out so we couldn't really tell what was going on and if it was storm related.

Tuesday was rainy in the morning but the sun came out in the afternoon. Nothing much happening.  People that work in the downtown area said that they didn't get as much business as usual.  This whole weekend was a washout due to TS Beryl.  The city, like many southern cities right now, are in need of rain due to a drought.  It's just to bad it happened this weekend. I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature to check her calendar.

Patti and Bill  :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend - Day Two

This will be short.  Since it was Sunday we decided to go to brunch. We have been meaning to try this little place we kept passing for lunch, so we went in for brunch.  La Pentola claims to have Continental Cuisine.  The menu always looked good.  Both of us prefer menu/service brunches more than buffet styles so this suited us fine.  We sat inside just in case some rain started a bit early from Tropical Storm Beryl.  The inside was very nice.  White table clothes and all.  The food was delicious too.  We will need to go back for lunch or dinner. 

The wind was picking up but since the storm wasn't really suppose to hit until either late afternoon or evening we decided to make one stop at OC Whites to watch the Weather Channel . People laughed a bit because I had on a light raincoat.  I said it was so it wouldn't rain, like if you want it to rain you hang out laundry.   It was really getting windy out now.  A group of people came in wondering if it was always windy like this here.  Umm no, and a bunch of people pointed to the TV.  You didn't know we are getting hit with a Tropical Storm?  Really?  I think some patrons were thinking "Do you live under a rock?" 

I came into the boat to check the weather again.  Bill added some lines and put down the dodger so it would not rip.  There was supposed to be a wedding at 6:15 on the Pirate Ship Raven.  We didn't think that would happen.  The wind was worse and the clouds were darkening and the boats were really starting to bounce.

We hunkered down with grinders to eat.  I was talking to family and friends online and we were both playing games.  The rain started around 5:00.  Beryl made landfall at 12:10.  Just after midnight as predicted.

Another wonderful day in paradise.

Patti and Bill :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend - Day One

What a gorgeous day.  Sunny and hardly a cloud in the sky.  Tropical Storm Beryl is a ways off.  They say it should hit Saturday Night.  But We are not to worry about that right now.  The marina is filling up as scheduled. It was a beautiful day to walk around this morning.  Nothing opens util 11:00 really.  Some stores do open at 10:00 or a bit earlier as it is tourist season.  We first went to OC Whites for a cocktail.  There was nothing we really wanted for lunch there.  But right on course for something to go wrong for the holidays....drip...drip..drip...woosh.  down came the water right above the glasses hanging above the bar.  Sarah, the manager, followed by 4 waitstaff went running upstairs.  Then up went a few more staffers with mops and squeegees.  The dishwasher was then right down at the bar with a large tub helping Casey take down all of the glasses to wash.  These people work quickly and so well together you would almost think this was a drill.  It seems the Pepsi Machine that also makes the ice had a busted line. 

We couldn't take much more excitement so we went to lunch at the Local Heros Cafe.  We like sitting near the doorway and watch the people go by.  Most people just had on the normal garbs with sneakers or sandals.

My personal pet peeve, socks and sandals.  I think they knew it and were trying to hide.  See him there behind the trash can.

And worse, BLACK SOCKS with sandals.  UGH!!

Back at OC Whites (our second home?) the Pepsi guy came finally and repaired the line.

Many boats came in too.  This one docked next to us in El Conquistadors spot.  We lended some lines because all they had was lines like string.  He also said that it was kinda new to them and very much intended on changing the name.

It is getting bumpy as I write this  now.  Sorry it is late.

Sunday it should start with the storm.

Patti and Bill  :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Just Another Normal Day

Friday was just another normal day here in St. Augustine.  That is as far as normal goes.  The marina is filling up with transients going north and some for the long holiday.  Because of this we were up early to grab a shower before they all did. There are only 2 women and 2 men showers and we were told about 20 boats were in Thursday night.

We also needed to return the car by 9:30, so off we went.  Breakfast first.  There is always a good breakfast at the diners.  The silverstream ones anyway.  And there was one in St. Augustine, just a short drive from the marina.  We picked up our new boatcards.  Went to CVS to pick up a script.  Then returned the car.  It is really nice that Enterprise picks you up and drops you off.

Next is the real normal part of our day.  In the afternoon we just walked to Trade Winds Lounge for a beer on this steamy day.  It was open mic afternoon.  Cool, but only 2 guys showed up.  They were ok.  Something light for lunch.  Nachos at Mi Casa.  The music there was much better.  A  glass of wine at OC Whites (I must remember to give Casey some extra tools for jewelry making).  Back on the boat it was reading and games.

Normal for a day in paradise.  I'm not going to complain.

Patti and Bill  ::-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

We are Floridians

On Wednesday we rented a car from Enterprise for a couple of days.  We needed to run a few errands.  One of which was to go to the Green Cove Springs DMV to get our Florida drivers licenses and to also pick up a few items at different places.  Enterprise gave us this cute car/suv.  It is a Chevy HH6.  And of course my favorite vehicle color, red.

We made sure that we had all of the appropriate documents to change from CT licenses to Florida.  So off we went.  When we got there it was huge with hardly anyone there.  I was up first.  All paperwork in order, yup,  Answered a few questions, ok.  Eye test.  What?  I have to take an eye test?  Well ok.  It is on my CT license that I wear glasses.  I had lasik surgery done about 7 years ago, so I should pass with no problem..  Nope.  No license for me today.  Bill did get his.  I did remember that last year I knew my left eye got a little worse, so Lasik Plus gave me glasses.  We will get them Thursday and go back.  Meanwhile, since we had the car we drove to Anastassia Island to a place we have been wanting to go to for lunch.  The Conch House.  We have only heard good things about this place.  It was so nice.  We got a nice window seat inside With a nice view.

This guy watched over us as we ate to make sure everything was ok.  I think he was waiting for leftovers.

If we opted to eat outside there were tables and chairs on the deck or these huts.

We understand that this place is really hopping at night.  Especially out at the bar.

Lunch was great.  We even had a good Key Lime Pie for dessert.

Next day back to the DMV with my glasses.  Still did not pass.  What??  My eyes could not be that bad.  We came back to St. Augustine to Walmart to get my eyes checked. Only $54.00 for the exam, not bad.   Yup, my right one now needed a corrective lens and my left changed a little too.  Sigh!!  At least Walmart is not expensive  so I ordered new glasses, took the form signed by the doctor back to DMV that I was getting them and I finally got my drivers license.  Thanks to Bill for hanging out at Walmart and West Marine for 2 & 1/2  hours and driving me back and forth.  We also got new boatcards with Enigma in color.  Pretty.

Note:  For those of you who have the Walnut Street in Green Cove Springs address there is no #411 but there is a nice old theater for sale on the corner.

These Florida licenses are soo much nicer.  It is the Sunshine State after all.  And they are good for 8 years.  Nice!!

Patti and Bill  :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oh no we didn't. Oh yes we did

Really?  No way.  From the time we came in to St. Augustine there were two places that when asked about the person (both people that work in the business and people visiting) would wrinkle up their nose and shake their head NO.  Not good food.  Service is horrible.  Of course this to us was like if someone said to you "Don't look down" you would.  I wanted tacos.  Bill had them at Mi Casa but said they were kinda dry.  Just like most pub food is down south.  So we went to the mexican restaurant Acapulco.  Of course we were expecting the worst.

It was very dark.  The dining area was upstairs with outside or inside seating.  Everyone ahead of us was outside and fanning themselves.  Silly people.  We chose inside with the air conditioning and ceiling fans.  The menu was ok with your normal options like tacos and burritos.  It had the look of a chain restaurnt.  The service was not bad and our food came out rather quickly.  The plates were pretty large for lunch specials filled with rice and refried beans, a salad like thing with sour cream and guacamole.  OK so far.  Now the taste test.  Um, well it was warm.  My chimichanga was a bit overfried but I just poured the cheese sauce (which was good) over it so I could cut through.  Except for the yummy cheese sauce it was kinda bland.  Bill usually gets a burrito but these were filled with rice so he stayed away from that. He instead had enchilada.  He noted the same thing.  Not much flavor.  Not spicy.  Oh well.  Will we go back?  Probably not.  But it wasn't all that bad.  Really.

Next up was dinner.  We wanted someplace with air conditioning again as the passing storm seemed to make it muggier.  So we walked over to Santa Maria's next door.  We had been their once before and had appetizers.  One yes and one no on them.  The drinks were good. So we would give dinner a try.  The inside dining room was filling up and no one was at the bar, so we decided to sit there.  We got our drinks right away.  Bill had to flag her back down to get menus.  We made our decisions then waited....and waited....and waited.  Good thing we are patient people and don't need to be anywhere, and we had our drinks.  Finally orders were taken and we didn't need to wait too long for the food.  My chicken had an 'Island Sauce'.  Thing was it was so smothered in it I had to scrape a lot of it off to find  the chicken.  My sides were cole slaw, ok, and mashed potatoes.  These were delicious.  I ate them all.  What a shock.  Bill had the clam strips with hush puppies, baked potato and cole slaw.  He said the hush puppies were real good.  Then for the key lime pie called the key lime sunshine pie. Well, he ate most of the inside.  My Irish Coffees were excellent.

So both places on a scale of 1-5. Food: 2 or 3.  Drinks:  5

Today will be much different.  We are becoming real Floridians.

Patti and Bill  :-)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's Martini Time

After a short romp to the post office and lunch it was time to relax.  What better way than to sit back, enjoy the view and have a martini or two.  There is a great little place on the bayfront to do just that.  The name is appropriately, TheTini Martini Bar.

They have 4 pages of all sorts of martinis.  Okay a real martini, as you know, is gin and vermouth.  In my book these are just nice mixed drinks in a martini glass.  But hey, I am not going to argue.  Bill just opted for a topshelf Black Russian.  No martini glass for him.  I got a Cappuccino Tini.  Yum!!

Those little brown things floating on the top are coffee beans.  We sat inside to get out of the sun for the day but we could still see outside.  Tow Boat went by towing a sailboat.  Sailboats, trawlers and a few small fishing boats went by.  And the horse and carriages were in view.  This guy was taking a break..

There were a lot of flowers in this place.  Making it a very pleasant environment.

One of the outside walls was a waterfall wall.  Pretty cool.  You can't see the water but it is there.  Just stare long enough.  And no, it was NOT the martinis.  LOL.

After two drinks we decided to head somewhere for a bite to eat.  I did not want to end up like this lady in a picture on the wall.

So we went and got some crab legs and shrimp.  Yummy!

SIGH!!!  Another beautiful day in paradise.

Patti and Bill  :-)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sea Turtle Festival

The Sea Turtle Festival did not open until noon so Bill and I decided to go out for breakfast.  We used to do this a lot, but not so much anymore.  The festival was at the marina and they were setting up.  This is the view from our boat.

After breakfast we took a nice leisurely stroll through some of the residential streets.  We walked by what is supposed to be the Oldest House in St. Augustine, but it looked like all of the other houses next to it.  Not really picture worthy.  I did see this tree.  Well actually two trees.  It is a palmetto growing in a living oak.  It looks kinda like the oak is hugging it.

Back at the marina the festival was underway.  It wasn't a very large festival, as festivals go.  The Keepers of the Coast is the organization that puts it on each year.  This is the 6th annual.  There were lots of educational booths, many of which were geared toward conservation and they were child friendly.

There was a stage set up for different musical acts, like the singer and mandolin player here.

Captain Zack, Head of Eco Tours, was there with his daughter Julie.  They were off to the face painting booth.

It was an extremely windy day by the water.

This was the only "Adult Only" booth.  Yes, the beer booth.  Sweetwater Brewing donated the beverages.  Bill had the IPA and I tried the Blue (blueberry).  Not bad.

If you look real hard you can see Enigma.  She is the blue sailboat.

And yes, of course, there was a Sea Turtle.

Off to linner (lunch/dinner) at an Irish Pub.  Hope everyone had a great day.  We did.

Patti and Bill  :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cemeteries and Romanza

On the third Saturday of each month the two old cemeteries in town are open to the public for a few hours.  I love the really old ones.  So much history.  First we entered the Tolomato Cemetery.

 We chose the self-guided tour.  This one is the oldest planned cemetery in Florida State that the burials in the Spanish Period as far back as 1565.  The last burials are in 1884.  They were ceased in the city due to health reasons. Bishop Augustin Verot was the first Bishop in St. Augustine.  This was his grave and monument.

Many of the graves are surrounded by wrought iron fences.  Some say it is to keep demons out.

Some were simply surrounded by stone or coquina walls.  But most were very hard to read due to the weather in the area and type of stones used.

The cemetery is currently the property of the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine.

Next we went to the Huguenot Cemetery..It is territorial Florida's first Protestant Cemetery.

The said thing in this cemetery seemed to be infants and very young people.  By young I mean in their early 20's the the time of death.  Yellow Fever and Consumption was the cause of death for most.  There were a few with the wrought iron fences and some with stones around the grave, such as this one made of marble.

Since it was also Romanza week there was a parade.  First we went to lunch at the Local Heros Cafe.  This was in the courtyard.  Amusing.  A bear of beer cans.

The parade was very small.

The Tea Party was there with their mascot pooch with a Nobama sticker.

And of course there were the Flamenco Dancers.

And so came an end to another gorgeous day.  Tomorrows forecast....beautiful.

Patti and Bill  :-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park

Early start and walked to the center to catch a cab to bring us to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park.  It is located on Anastasia Island.  I figured this would take us about 30 to 45 minutes to go through.  Boy was I wrong.  There was soooo much to see. Not just alligators.  I took so many pictures that the battery just about died on my little point and shoot.  I would definitely recommend this as a must see if you are ever in the area.  I will stop my babbling now and show some pictures of our Day At The Zoo.

Gators name is Bobby...LOL

And what's a place in St. Augustine without a cannon.

That was just a few things to see.  There is so much more. I really do recommend this place.  And set aside 2 or 3 hours of your time.  12 noon is feeding time.  That was fun to watch.  Don't miss that.  I didn't do the zipline.  It was more an obstacle course in the air with some zipline fun in between.

We had a fabulous lunch afterwords.  If you like German or French food the Le Pavillion is great. And very reasonably priced.

Patti and Bill  :-)