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22. St. Augustine, Florida (Round 2)

Dates: April 14-22, 2022

Why do something once when you can do it twice?


Yes, I'm now quoting myself. It feels right.

Finishing the Drive

We left off at Flagler Beach and continue on through Butler Beach to St. Augustine.

Note to self: come back. I wish I'd have stopped to take pictures. It's a beautiful area where a river meets the ocean. Other points of interest to see: Matanza State Park and Saint Anastasia Catholic Church.

Where I Slept (and did some work)

How cute is this rental?! It's a house the owner chopped up into 4 different units. It must be well insulated because I couldn't hear my neighbors. I had this adorable front porch to work from, too. The owners, Lizy and her husband, even had me over for dinner one evening. Their home is just a block away.

Midday Walk Ramblings

I love outdoor seating with shade. Most houses have a cover porch here and it makes me happy. If I ever land somewhere, a big covered patio with comfy chairs is top priority.

Good Friday Friends

I'm kitchenless this week so needed to find something for dinner. Fish Camp restaurant came highly recommended. I sat at the bar per my norm and met fellow Catholics Toby and Kami. They'd been at the same Good Friday mass I was at! I think she saw me cross myself is how we started talking. I can't recall. But we had a wonderful conversation about how God changes hearts.

Saturday Morning

RELÁMPAGO COFFEE LAB & ROASTING. When coffee takes longer, does it taste better? This fancy drip system says, "Yes."

Hot Date

...with yours truly. Saturday evening, I took myself on a date to a fancy place. You know it’s fancy when you can’t read the wine menu.

Me: I’d like something red, bold, and peppery.

Waitress: Well, we have a red blend [something I don't know].

Me: Umm.

Her: I’ll get you a sample.

2 samples later...

Me: This is great

Her: Would you like me to leave the wine list?

Me: Nah, I can’t read it. (Said with a chuckle.)

She does not look amused.

Back to myself and I. We left me at home. She's the more selfish one.

The best part of dating myself is setting the time. I like eating when I’m hungry so a 4pm reservation was an easy decision.

Picking what to eat though. Ai yi yi… I had to phone a friend.

The First Course

Acorn squash bisque soup du jour: Mouth watering.

Note to Elaine: next time we’re together let’s try making this!

Elaine is my super foodie friend. So much so that she developed The Cookbook Creative, an online platform where you can upload your own recipes and stories then export them into a professionally designed cookbook. I may have helped a little on this passion project of hers. If you have a good acorn squash soup recipe upload it here and send me the link!

Note to self: when in a fancy restaurant don’t pause too long or they will take your plate. I had 2 bites left of my soup and she scooped it up. I feel rushed. It's only 4:20.

On my mind waiting for the main course

I wore my fanciest dress! And flip flops. Because it’s Florida. I can still see sand on them from Cocoa Beach.

The wait staff swap out my unused salad fork with a dinner fork. Poor dishwasher.

Ooo, look! A butterfly.

The Main Course

The ribs are good. But not enough to come back for them.

It's not even 5pm. I'm done with dinner. My date is heads down on the phone so conversation is lacking.

Easter Vigil

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday! Which means tonight is the Easter Vigil mass. It's 3 hours long and worth every minute. (I would not have said this 10 years ago.) This is when the people who are joining the Catholic Church are fully initiated. They are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time.

Now let's backup to when I was walking into church around 7:30pm so you can fully understand why I need to repent daily. There's a lady in a white dress and veil standing outside the church doors getting her photo taken. My first thought, "Ugh, how disrespectful to get married on Easter weekend AND be taking pictures in front of this beautiful cathedral."

Fast forward 30 minutes... she processes in with the rest of the people joining our faith... I judged too quickly. Sorry, Lord. He's teaching me a lesson.

I watched this lady on and off through mass. She was so joyful and then after receiving communion for the first time was weeping. Literally. Her friend held on to her. It was beautiful.

I saw her again at daily mass over the next week. She had this wonderful glow about her. I'm happy for her and a tinge jealous at the same time. I've taken for granted ALL of Him I've had access to my entire life. There's the lesson.

Easter Morning

Sunday morning I went for a long, sweaty run and am grateful for all the blessings in my life!

Mom asked for a photo of me in front of the church. It's not embarrassing when she asks me to do things anymore.

I was downtown in time to catch the end of the Easter Day festivities in the town square. Lots of dress up!

Sightseeing Over the Week

Another pic for Mom.

This is where the first mass was celebrated in north America. There's a newer main church here as well with daily mass and adoration. I'm attended several times over the week. And am grateful!

The Oldest Wooden School House

If this doesn't creep you out... It gives a glimpse of what school was like waaaaaaaay back when children were second class citizens. The wax figures told the story of what learning was like.

This little coffee shop was a great find. Good wifi and breakfast menu. I had the avocado toast 3 times! The extra thick whole grain bread was toasted (Ok, who are we kidding? It was fried.) in butter and I assume Parmesan. The avocado was perfectly ripe and dashed with a savory pepper seasoning that makes your tastebuds sing.

One of the baristas got to know my order. She wasn't there on my last day and I ordered a different drink. I asked for something with less caffeine. The barista mumbled iced coffee something. My heart was racing after half the drink! Turns out the ice cubes are made WITH coffee. I'm leery of baristas now.

Next Time:

  • Saltwater Cowboys to eat. Get there at 5pm.

  • The Conch House

  • Caps Restaurant

  • Nights of Lights on New Years Eve

  • Anastasia Island

  • Iguana Wildlife Park guided tour

  • Captains BBQ off A1A. Must see hidden gem.

Would I visit again?

Well since this is round 2 and I enjoyed it, I gotta give a yes to this.

Would I live here?

Solid maybe. I like the atmosphere. It's active and feels alive. Lots of charm on these old streets.

Enthusiasm level: 7. I enjoyed seeing more history, but miss being with friends.

Here’s to Easter and avocado toast,

Megan “attitude of gratitude" Giles

Placeholder for a fun shirt design to commemorate the trip.

Unedited by another. Typos are on the house.


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