St. Augustine, Florida is an old stomping ground for B. J. and me. Our first memorable trip to this historic city came when we carried our young son Richard to Marineland and we included a visit to the Fountain of Youth and the Old Jail. Since then, we have spent much time there. We have nice condominiums on Vilano Beach and on St. Augustine Beach. It is a fun area with lots of fun things to do.
Entering the historic district, we reined Big Red through the narrow streets admiring the ancient architecture. The town was filled with gleeful weekend tourists. Big Red is an eye catcher anywhere. In old St. Augustine he presented a striking contrast between the old and the new. Eyes turned and we got some high fives as we idled along. Although the Big 5.0 with 412hp is capable of bolting from 0-60 in three and a half seconds and hiding the 170mph on its speedometer and make a good showing at the Daytona 500 (they say), he can be as gentle as a newborn colt.
We wound our way to our old familiar corral to find a hitching rail. There to greet us with a cheery “Good morning!” was Christy the proprietor and trolley tour representative. Christy, a young petite vivacious blond without blemish, and a radiant smile is always full of fun, vitality and warm hospitality. We got right into some enjoyable camaraderie with Christy. She liked Big Red and provided a choice stall for him. In no time we had our trolley tour tickets and choice seats for the tour.
Our driver/guide/lecturer was terrific. He was full good humor and was knowledgeable about the history of St. Augustine. He stopped often to lecture and highlight various points of interest. The tour carried us along streets and into nooks and crannies accessible only to trolleys and pedestrians. The trolley tour lasts around two hours and is one of the most popular attractions in St. Augustine with the river cruise coming up a close second.
The tour over, Christy welcomed us back to our place of origin. She was beside herself and ready to pose with us in some photos. We were right up for it. B. J. and I like pictures. We have thousands of pictures in our library. We can tell the story of our lives in pictures--and in my writings.
It had been a long time since breakfast in the condo. We were hungry. There is no end to fine eateries in St. Augustine. We’ve dined in quite a few of them across the years. Today, though, we opted for one of the most outstanding cafes in St. Augustine--Scarlet O’Hara’s.
Scarlet O’Hara’s was about a half mile’s walk along the oldest street in St. Augustine. We hot-footed it through the throngs to the diner.
Scarlet O’Hara’s, with décor highlighting the movie Gone With the Wind, has indoor and outdoor seating and a live band to entertain while you eat. The Old South home cooking is lip-smacking fundelicious and the hospitality is genuinely southern. It is a little pricey but it is worth it. We ordered our favorite--the southern crispy fried chicken platter.
Wanted to get in some shopping. After our sumptuous meal, we hurried back to Big Red, mounted up and headed back to one of B. J.’s favorite shopping places the I-95 outlet malls. I wanted to be back in the condo on Amelia Island before dark. Knowing B. J. when she gets to shopping, I figured that we probably wouldn’t make it--but she’s worth it.
B. J. wanted to go to the SAS shoe store and another shoe store she likes and I did too. I wanted to go to the Hagaar store, the Kitchen Collection and another cooking stuff store and whatever else seemed to grab us. The “whatever else” would prove our downfall and make us nearly dark leaving the mall under foreboding rain clouds.
I found some SAS shoes that I really liked but guess what? They didn’t have my size. B. J. found some shoes she liked (not SAS) and they had her size and $$$she bought them. She promised me that we would go to the SAS store in Savannah soon and get me a pair of the popular good wearing shoes.
Finally, we hit Big Red’s saddle and headed him north. I was bushed so I gave B. J. the reins and told her to take us to the condo on Amelia Island.
B. J. and Big Red took I-95 and Jacksonville with the greatest of ease and got us to the condo in the dark but otherwise in good shape.