Day 2 – New Experiences, Old Friends

First and foremost, thanks to my lovely husband for guest posting in the comment section of the last post. He’s an outstanding guy and always ready to set the record straight, lol. 

I forgot to let you know what kind of classy establishment we’re staying in.

toiletries(Click on any of the pics to see them full size) They have the really good toiletries bolted to the wall in a glass case. Are we supposed to break this in case of an emergency? There’s also a little slip of paper (a Notification of Exemption to Sanitization Requirements) laying next to the drinking glasses. It lets us know that although the glasses have been cleaned using “household dishwashing agents” they haven’t been sanitized according to Federal and State standards for public food service establishments. My mother sent me a video recently covering how hotels in Atlanta “clean” their glasses. It’s gross. So, I look at these glasses, and sure enough, there is a lipstick imprint on the first glass I pick up. And they were washed? Even with dawn and a rag you could get a lipstick imprint off. We’ll be using the plastic covered paper coffee cups.

Today was another beautiful day. Warm weather, small breeze, beautiful scenery and great company.

We got ready and had breakfast at the restaurant of the hotel. Well, I should say that while I was the first one up somehow I was the last one still working on myself. Du took the girls down to the restaurant and I proceeded to blowdry my hair. I blew, and I blew, and I blew and I blew. It takes so much less time to dry hair in Missouri. Although I love the humidity, it does a work on my hair.

The restaurant is called Sluggers, and their logo has two slugs in it. Need I say more? I’d hate to guess what their cleaning standards are like remembering the slip of paper in our room. Ashlyn preferred Trix cereal over eggs. We’d barely get a piece of egg in her mouth and she would open up as wide as she could, stick out her tongue and let the egg fall where it may. The Trix on the other hand were gone before we could finish putting them on her plate. Reagan’s diet was just as healthy. We look over at her and she’s smearing butter on her bacon. My heart almost had a sympathy heart attack. The gagging motion promptly got it back to beating in rythm.

After that delicious start to the day we headed to the Castillo de San Marcos.

family at castilloSelf-timed in front of the Castillo. We did a combo self-guided and tour-guided walk through. The most interesting thing to me was their toilet system…or lack thereof. There were two “necessary” rooms. They both had three holes cut out of a wooden plank that was set against the back wall. There was a trench dug from under the boards out to the water. When the tide came in the trenches filled with water and people “went”. When the tide went out it took the waste out with it. The guide even went so far to say that the best fishing during that time was right outside of the trench opening. Yeah, I needed to hear that. Du’s favorite part was probably how one of our tour guides explained the construction and sieges. I’m sure he’ll comment on it.

The view from the top of the Castillo is great. The ocean on one side and historic St. Augustine on the other.

plant pickerOur horticulturist in training aided the National Park System by picking their clover.

skyline Historic St. Augustine

One side note here. If you visit Florida bring your quarters. We were gouged yesterday in the toll booths and we were gouged today by the parking meters.

We left the Castillo to meet our friends, the Porters, for lunch. Tim was our chaplain in New Mexico and Pat is his awesome wife. They both have amazing hearts for God and for bringing other people to God. They were great mentors for both Du and me, and we were excited to visit with them. It’s been 4 and a half years. They went from NM to Alaska to Valdosta, Georgia. And God, being the awesome God He is arranged this whole meeting. They actually were in Jacksonville for a long marriage retreat weekend. Jacksonville is less than an hour north of St. Augustine. How cool is that.

We were having a great time and they were complimenting both kids profusely when Ashlyn showed her true colors. Du was talking to Tim, I was talking to Pat. Ashlyn, needing to become the center of attention dropped her earthenware plate onto the tile floor so that it made this huge crashing, shattering sound. Why did that child have a plate? A lapse in judgment. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again. The visit with the Porters was way too short but they had to get back up to Valdosta.

Next came a visit to the beach. Don’t forget it’s FEBRUARY!!! We’re wearing swim suits in February! The water was cold though. There were idiots zealots surfing the waves that were crashing onto the shore. I guess they weren’t that crazy. They’d stand in a huddle on the beach until a righteous wave would come along. One of them would dart into the water, ride the wave (or fall flat on his face), and dart back out of the water. Dude, like take a break already. Isn’t there some kind of Wii surfing game you could play indoors?

We, being the smart, contientious parents that we are managed to make the youngest cry by sticking her feet in the water and managed to make the oldest lose her footing in the rip tides that were creating those righteous waves. Reagan loved it though and we had a hard time getting her to step back from the water.

cold waterCan you see the look on Du’s face? It’s because there are ice crystals forming in the water….I swear.

ashlyn beachTo all you good parents out there: Just look away.

Dinner tonight was at Cafe Spain. Good Spanish food. Not as good as the awesome seafood last night though. We were the only customers in there for a while, but they know how to keep the lights on. They sent the mother-in-law out to wait on us. Spanish accent and everything (although later we find out she’s Cuban American). She takes our order but proceeds to convince us to try one of the most expensive appetizers on the menu. Later two men came in and were seated next to us. And what do they have for an appetizer? Take one guess…

OH, I almost forgot to mention again what a great mother I am. Before we met the Porters we had to get some summer shoes for Reagan. She couldn’t even walk from the Castillo over to the historic district because her toes were pressing against her shoes. We walk into a little shoe boutique and mention that we need some sandles or flip flops for R. The sales lady says: “I’m guessing she’s about a 10 or 11?” She is several feet away while saying this. I think to myself “little do you know lady” and verbally say, “she’s about a 9” So we buy the shoes (a size 10, one size too big), the lady cuts the strings, takes our money and we head away. We get several blocks away and Du notices that Reagan’s heels are hanging off the backs of the flip flops when she walks. What? Me, notice things like that? Apparently not. With head hanging down I go back into the store and explain that since I’m one of the least observant parents out there I had no clue that my daughter’s feet had grown since last summer and could we puhleese exchange these 10s for 11s? Later at Target I was vindicated though. In regular shoes Reagan is actually a size 9.

Oh, and to all you haters in Johnson County, Missouri…shame on you for voting for McCain over Huckabee. Yes, we’re sitting in the hotel room, blogging and watching the returns.

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6 thoughts on “Day 2 – New Experiences, Old Friends

  1. haDu says:

    Another great post by Vicki, highlighting the events of Day 2 of “the Great Florida Adventure”.
    The Castillo de San Marcos was outstanding. The battles between the English and Spaniards were intriguing and the layout and construction of this castle was amazing. The walls are about 17′ thick at the base and are made of seashells and sand to absorb cannonball hits. We were warned in writing 5 times and verbally 3 times about not touching the seashell walls. Reagan apparently thought she was “above the law” and liked leaning against the walls, trying to sit on them, pushing on them, etc. After me reminding her 5 additional times, she didn’t touch it one more time in our last 2 minutes there – yeah!
    Reagan loves the water and we are hoping that will lead to her learning how to swim this year. She really wanted in the water so we went in to what should have been Reagan’s ankles. It was a pretty steep slope and a wave came in at Reagan’s knees and picked her right up in the air and dropped her in the water. I had to really hold my position not to get knocked down by the wave. I was tightly holding her hand and had to drag her back up as she was quickly being sucked into the water and into the shell sand. Whew – that is the closest thing to a riptide as I’ve been in. Reagan started to get upset, then said she wanted to stay in the water. I said, no, and figured that one near death experience per day was good for this trip.
    In the end – what a great family – vacations are underrated. We’ll have to take more of them 🙂

  2. Du says:

    haDu – my evil twin that likes to author blog posts. This is the real me, Du. One more note: while being my usually comedic self at dinner, Vicki laughed and (accidentally, according to her) spit food across the table and it just so happened to land on and around me. That plus Ashlyn’s standard trail of bread crumbs and lifeless vegetable bodies lying on the floor did not get us invited back. 🙂

  3. Cousin Kristie says:

    Hahahaha! Here I am laughing again picturing Vicki spitting her food across the table as she laughed. That so reminded me of growing up. I think I recall her doing that before, sometime in our past……I’m sure of it!

  4. St. Augstine is one our favorite places to go for a quick get-way. We like the outlets better there than Orlando because we can get everything we want in a more compact space.

    As for the exemption stuff were you staying at a time-share, they are are exempt. We ususally stay at the World Golf Village. It is a very nice place that has the same stuff.

    St. Augstine is the prettiest at Christmas time. Couple of years ago we went for the 18th century Christmas. It is at night and is a candlelight procession. It starts with caroling in front of the Government house and proceeds down St. George St. to the Castile. The finale was firing of the candle. Oh, anothe cool part was that all music was from the 18th century, so it openly mentioned Christ & Christmas.

    We like to eat along A1A beach road. It is cheaper & quirky.

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