Monday, February 21, 2011

A night in St. Augustine...

For Valentine's Day we treated ourselves to a trip up to historic St. Augustine.  We drove up Florida's state route 17, which goes along the St. John's River in places, and stopped by Green Cove Springs, where my permanent address is located.  It's just a store front for forwarding mail, so not much to see, but there was a lovely little Episcopalian Church right down on the St. John's River that was a lovely site inside and out.

When we finally arrived in St. Augustine, we checked in the Powder House Inn, a reasonably priced and really wonderful bed and breakfast.  From there we could wander through the historic town, and made it from one end to the other of St. George Street, where there are sufficient bars and restaurants to take care of a small army of visitors, and of course boutiques galore.  
We wound up around 1600 hours on the ICW waterfront sitting in the veranda of the Casa Blanca Hotel at the Tini Martini Bar, where we soaked up the view and a couple of martinis.  Then arrived Bob Fraioli, a piano player, who set up in the corner just next to us.  When he discovered I played too, he immediately had me sit down a play.  It was great fun, in part because I haven't had the opportunity to play like this for a while, but also because he turned out to be a great guy in addition to a great piano player.

We had an early dinner reservation (1730) at Collage Restaurant, advertised as the most romantic restaurant in St. Augustine.  Not only romantic, but wonderful food as well!  Quail and oyster appetizers, excellent salad and carrot soup, rack of lamb and veal tenderloin, not to mention a good California cabernet.  Yum, yum!!

Then it was back to the Tini Martini, more piano playing, martinis, Irish Coffee, and more.  Met a young couple from Jacksonville, Florida there, and we had great conversations in between the music and amidst the libations.  Finally, over-beveraged as we were, we made our way back to the Powder House Inn. ...  The next morning, the breakfast was scrumptious and the ride home, down the coast highway A-1-A, delightful.

Now we're beginning to get final preparations made to take Alizee around to Tampa Bay.  Our departure date is 3 March, so only nine days to go.


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