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September 17, 2012

St. Augustine

by Brendan

We just got back from a quick trip to St. Augustine — on Saturday about 1:00, I said to Pam, “Let’s go on a little trip,”  and she said she’d been thinking we should go for a drive.  We thought about Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, and decided on St. Augustine, mostly because it’s closest of the three (not by terribly much, but closest) and a fun place to be.

We stayed at Marion Motor Lodge, a small, somewhat tatty but really just fine place right on Avenida Menendez, which is on the river — in fact, Marion Motor Lodge is right across from the marina and 100 yards south of Bridge of the Lions.  We had an upstairs picture-window view of river, marina, and bridge as well as a large outdoor deck.

First we went exploring.

St. Augustine Skyline, including Flagler College

Down King St., where there are shops (and all sorts of tourists, including what looked like a wedding party heading to a reception).  Then to St. George St., the center of Downtown St. Augustine, a walking street with no auto traffic, many shops, and lotsa people.  Went to our favorite shoe store, didn’t get anything. (I already own three pairs of Merrell shoes, so any more seemed unnecessary, though I love my Trail Frees and would like another pair sometime, but not yesterday.)

Then dinner at O.C. White’s 2 doors down from the hotel.  Our hotel clerk recommended it highly (along with the Columbia Restaurant, basically Spanish food ). O.C. Whites’s is steak and seafood.  We had an excellent salad with nuts and raisins, Mandarin oranges, and all sorts of other good stuff; also Abaco shrimp, which in addition to the shrimp has pasta, artichokes, and mushrooms in a light cream sauce.

Here’s a picture of us eating on

O. C. White’s, St. Augustine, upstairs balcony

the upstairs balcony, enjoying the river and bridge view as well as live music in the courttyard.

Then another walk around town and home to bed.  The next morning (this morning) we read the Sunday paper outside on the deck while watching the sunrise.  Then breakfast at La Herencia, a little Cuban coffee shop and restaurant we had walked by on the night before and noted as a possibility.   Great choice!  Can’t wait to go back and have breakfast there again.  Watched the street traffic, not so much ’cause it was early (before 9:00).  The gift shop across the street was opening up, watering plants, putting up their flags, and our server interpreted the sign in the window about a re-creation of the oldest jail — their plan is to knock down a wall or two because the gift shop actually IS the site of the oldest jail, and they plan to re-create it.  Should be next year, we’re told.

Another reason to come back.  Maybe we’ll run the always-fun Matanzas 5k when it comes up in January or February — the race course goes right through Downtown and is partially on the river, too.

More later about our side trip to Jacksonville and the Apple store on the way home.

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