Monday, April 11, 2016

The Pleasures of St. Augustine

Waiting for bridge openings, lots of fun.
We finally broke away from Vero Beach after a week and headed to Cocoa. Now that we are on the move we get to experience lots of bridges again.

The next morning we were headed to New Smyrna near Daytona. We went into the municipal marina there for the first time. They do not have many transient slips so we had called two days ahead for a slip. It was a nice small marina and only a block from the main street of town where there were shops and a few restaurants.
The marina office at New Symrna
We were told you can walk across the bridge to more shore shops and a beach but we did not plan on staying the next day, so something to do on our next trip. We did go in for a great country breakfast at the “Golden Biscuit” Restaurant. I can't remember the last time we had breakfast out, so it was a real treat.
Al's favorite breakfast.
We were the last of the transients to leave and the wind had picked up and blowing us into the slip. I could tell Al was concerned about reversing out of the slip, but with the help of marina staff and other boaters we made it out without incidence. We headed on to Halifax Marina where we picked up fuel at a reasonable cost, and just anchored on the other side of the most northern bridge at Daytona for a different view rather than our usual across from Halifax Marina.  We did get a nice sunrise over the tree tops as we left.
Sunrise at Daytona.

Next, we headed to St. Augustine to a mooring for four nights. We caught up with our friends whom we traveled down the waterway with, Ron and Maryann on CAVU. We also met up with people who spent the winter in George Town, and the other two boats from Rock Hall, Bob and Carol on Pepromenon and Cherie and Dave on Blue Sky. It was a like a reunion running in to all these people at the marina or on the streets of St. Augustine.

We experienced three new restaurants while in St. Augustine. One called Casa Maya with a nice courtyard and live music and very good food. Pizza Alley that all the cruisers said should not be missed. They have Happy Hour from 3-6pm where drinks are buy one get one free and a free slice of pizza. Then if you are still hungry, you get $5 off any size pizza. And the pizza was delicious! Cruisers were right. It is a great find! Finally, we went for “linner” (lunch and dinner) to the Columbia Restaurant which I had recommended to friends, but never gone. It was excellent, so we are glad we went and definitely will go again.
With Ron and Maryann enjoying our meal at the Columbia.
Outside the Columbia Restaurant

You can see the bar inside the vault.
One night after going for pizza we stopped at a new venue called "The Vault".  It is often used as a wedding reception spot, but when they don't have a wedding, they open it to the public.  It was an interesting building once being a bank and the bar was in the vault.  We stopped for a look and should have stayed for the music.  

The Vault- felt  like I was in New York!
They were going to video tape the band and we thought they might not want us "oldies" there.  However, Carol and Bob stayed and the band was more like a wedding band and played music we would have liked!  Live and learn!

I also used the Port of Call shuttle to go for a “pampering day” for a manicure and pedicure and to pick up groceries at Publix. It worked well and I feel like a new woman, since it has been six months since my last self-indulgence day.

Bob, Carol, Ron, Maryann, Al and I headed out for a walk along the water front on a beautiful day.  We got to the fort and they were getting ready to shoot the canons so we stayed to watch.  The resulting smoke ring was fun to watch.
The largest smoke ring of I seen!

We continued on up a street with some lovely waterfront properties, as well as interesting decors.  
Can't say I have seen a door like this before!
Now we have an idea what to do with all the shells cruisers collect.
The famous St. Augustine landmark.

We made it as far as the well known giant cross we see from the water and the park around it.  It could not have been any nicer of a day.
Our Lady of La Leche Chapel-destroyed 4 times by war

Our last day at St. Augustine, we had our friends over for a veggie lasagna dinner. Everyone brought something and a great time was had.
Cherie, Carol and Maryann enjoying dinner.

The ladies sat below 

while the men ate in the cockpit since it is difficult to get 8 around the table. 

Ron, Dave, Bob and Al enjoying dinner and man talk!
I could not resist taking a picture of our bare feet while we were all in the cockpit enjoying our drink and appetizers.. How many other places do people go for dinner and come barefoot? It happens all the time on a boat while cruising!
The cruiser's way for going to other boats.

We are moving onto Cumberland Island and have decided to go through Georgia. The main reason is for the unseasonably cold weather further north. We want to take our time so we are not freezing and so we can stay in bare feet!


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