Posted on September 6, 2021
Can you believe it is September? A few more weeks and life is going to change again. I will go from being a parent to a grandparent. It is so exciting and a little stressful as well. Having a baby during covid makes my heart beat a little faster.
With all this going on there has not been a lot of photography done. This year has run me down to be honest. But we did try to get a 2 day away in before the baby comes along and Richard and I traveled up to St Augustine. A place we used to visit regularly but have not been for a few years. We did take a detour last year on the way to Georgia and it was so busy we kind of by passed and went away from the historic district.
It turns out that this month Lynne chose a quote and it work perfectly with our St Augustine trip.
“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport”
— Steve McCurry
We love to travel. We have been doing the odd get away. Richard has been a little nervous taking his vacation because he doesn’t know whether he will need his vacation. I on the other hand am conscious that I still have 3 weeks vacation to take.
So we hit the road and 4.5 hours later we booked into a quaint little Bed and Breakfast right in the historic district of St Augustine. It was a 5 second walk to the main street and all the restaurants. A 10 minute walk to the cruise. This trip we did something different, something that we have never done in St Augustine. We took in the winery, the distillery and the brewery. And that was all before lunch. Oops, I needed food. Seriously though, they only give you tiny little glasses which are half full. But if you are heading to St Augustine I would recommend you check them out.
Richard loves the sunset cruises and so that was our goal for the first evening. We quickly grabbed dinner at Harry’s and then headed down to the quay to wait on the cruise. The weather was iffy to be honest and I was not optimistic that I would get anything worth while but I did manage capture a few images I was happy with.
When I looked at this picture I thought that Richard looked like he had been out in the sun all day. This is one of the side effects of the immunotherapy. His skin turns really red. The other side effect is that he gets a very itchy rash.
The boat trip was just a intracoastal trip and not out to sea, but I do enjoy seeing the under carriage of different bridges and this was was not too bad.
The company on the cruise was quite fun, and very chatty which made the slow moving boat a lot more interesting, and I managed to get a few sunset images as well.
We were fortunate that we made it back to land dry and we were able to get back to the guest house and to relax.
Day 2 was a marathon of walking. This was our booze walk, if you can call it that. We headed up through Flagler college, which is an incredibly beautiful university in St Augustine. This was the first time I had actually walked through the college.
On the far side of the buildings grounds, there is a fence that looks like it has been made out of old cannon balls. St Augustine’s history is that this is the oldest city in Florida, originally Spanish founded and occupied in 1565. St Augustine has a really interesting fort that you can visit. Richard would try and find a bit of shade while waiting for me. Me on the other hand was just distracted by all there is to photograph.
With it’s history, St Augustine is well known for it cemeteries and we passed one I had not seen before. Just to the side of the bench I see a little squirrel digging deeply for it food.
Our first stop was San Sebastian winery. They gave us a tiny tasting glass and we made our way around tasting wines at various stations. Some I liked and some I didn’t. We each have our own palate. What I did walk away with was a really smooth bottle of sherry. We also decided to buy some cheese and crackers and have our own little cheese and wine evening in the gardens of our Bed and Breakfast.
Next stop was the St Augustine Distillery where we got to taste, gin, rum, vodka and bourbon. I am a rum person and it was pretty good. The distillery has an eating place upstairs but we had one more stop before we planned to eat, so it was back to walking again until we arrived at Dog Rose Brewing Co.
I am also a beer person, but I tend to stick to something like Heineken, whereas Richard likes IPA. So he is at home at these different brewing companies and I find myself really restricted. When we were in Naples I discovered that a larger kind of works for me, and so I asked to taste a larger at Dog Rose Brewing Co, and I was not disappointed. In fact, after all that walking the first beer went down super fast and the second I took my time.
Last stop was a lunch garden before heading back to put our feet up and relax and catch up on the highlights of the Tour de France.
St Augustine is a great place to visit if you are looking for history. There is so many different areas to seek out that we did not visit this time around. It is definitely worth stopping at if you are heading to Florida.
Just a reminder if you are hitting Florida, remember the suntan lotion and a big floppy hat. It is hot here and you want to take care not to get seriously burned. Richard is dealing with the results of plenty of sun and not enough sunscreen. Melanoma is not something to play with.
This is a circle blog and as I mentioned, we have some very talented ladies in the group. The sneak peaks are stunning and I cannot wait to see the rest. Take some time to follow the links and see what they have for you this month. My incredibly artistic friend Lynne of Lynne Grant Photography is up next is up next. I can’t wait to see what she has to share. You can see more of her work by clicking on her Facebook page or Instagram page. Definitely take some time to check her out.
Posted on May 31, 2021
Life has become day by day. It is precious and moments are not to be wasted. Given that we do not know what the time frame looks like we have opted to make the most of it. We both have a lot of vacation to take this year or we loose it. So for the month of May we decided to take a short 3 day vacation to Naples, Florida.
I am not sure that we have ever stayed there before but I left Richard to do all the planning. The only input was that perhaps we consider heading to the Naples Botanical Garden on our second day when we did not have a whole lot of plans.
Wednesday we headed out. From our home is is about a 2 hour drive across Alligator Alley. Short, quick, and before we knew it we were there. Richard booked into Cove Inn. The room sat on the edge of the waterway, and it came with a room, kitchenette, bathroom and a balcony. Only change I would make would be to go to an upper level. Our balcony looked more to the boats than the bay. That said the place was perfect for what we needed.
Once we had settled in, we did a 30 minute walk down town to the historical district. We wanted to check out restaurants and breakfast places. Turns out that Cove Inn had it’s own breakfast place and it was more than adequate for us. Extra large eggs means you get three instead of 2 even though it is a 2 egg breakfast. Below is a cell pic of some of the Cove from the dock across the way, where our sailing ship would leave from.
One of the purposes for going out there was that Richard wanted to get back out on the water. Planning is a little more challenging now. We both love the sun, but he has been told to stay out of the sun. It is hard. Your default is that you want to go back out and do all the things we have done for the last 34 years.
We planned a sunset cruise. So today’s blog is about getting back out on the water. However, Richard has factor 50 sun screen on, a factor 50 shirt and a hat. All things that we did not think about before. It was a perfect sky and I was convinced I could see a bird in these clouds.
We are ready for our cruise. Just a few steps away from our room, was a restaurant called The Dock. We chose to go there for dinner before heading out on our cruise.
Dinner was a share of calamari and mussels. Filling for both of us and done in time for us to settle the bill and leave to walk down the dock to our boat. The Sweet Liberty crew do not offer drinks and snacks on board but you were able to bring your own. While the boat was not full to capacity, there were enough people on it. We headed to the back where we shared space with a couple from Nashville. If I have to say anything negative, it was that a young girl was on the boat with her entourage, doing a photoshoot. So every where you moved you kept tripping over a model, her mother, a camera man, and 6 other people. Beyond that the boat ride was perfect.
The cruise itself was so enjoyable. The captain was informative and his crew got the sails up and had us under wind power and on our way. Heading out to the ocean, I think they took us on the scenic route through the waterways. It was a lot shorter coming back. Like the east coast the waterways are lined with big, fancy houses and impressive boats.
I was pretty impressed with the clouds and the formations in the sky, that was until sunset and then it was too much.
My thirty minutes officially ends here but I am going to continue so I get all the images from our cruise together. The picture below is looking to Marco Island and I will share more about that in a few days.
It was so good to see Richard smiling and enjoying the outdoors, wind in his face, and the smell of sea and factor 50 sunscreen. I find myself wanting to take images where ever and when ever I can because I don’t know what tomorrow may bring.
Our cruise is over but we have more planned. Check out our walk through the Botanical Garden on the Thursday, and our boat ride on the Friday through the 10 000 island and towards Marco Island. One of the views that really impressed me was the dome houses, so look out for that blog.
If you are a sunseeker like we have been, please consider using sunscreen that provides a significant cover, watch out for odd looking moles, and educate yourself. Australia, Florida, California are listed as the top 3 places for melanoma. I am going to add South Africa to that listed because where we grew up the climate is exactly the same. See a dermatologist and get yourself checked out. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and we are dealing with this right now. This was the first thing I did since Richard came home. I am good, but the peace of mind is so worth it. At this point we have no idea if the medication Richard is on is working, so each day has become a memory making day.
Thank you for joining me for another 30 Minutes in the Life. This is a circle blog. It’s a small circle this month. Please follow the link to see what my very talented friend Kim, of This One Ordinary Life, has to share this month.
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