Slow Southern Living

After leaving Fort Lauderdale, we slowed things down and stopped to smell the roses. We made some little stops on our trek up the Florida coast, nothing exciting or remarkable, but things like stopping at beaches such as Melbourne Beach and seeing whe8re some of our past greyhounds lived before retiring to our family. Instead of driving up major expressways like 95, we drove the smaller roads right along the coast. It’s not the fast route, but it sure was scenic.

Saint Augustine, the oldest city in America, has never been at the top of my list of places to visit, it was more of a “maybe some day” kind of place for me. I highly underestimated it! I highly recommend a visit for any American. What an awesome place, rich with so much beauty and history and culture. We spent a few days wandering the same narrow streets that the Spanish laid in the 1500s and marveled at some of Americas first roads, forts (where they dressed in time period clothing and held a connon firing demonstration), houses, cathedrals and churches, hundreds of years old, still standing today. There’s really nothing else quite like it in all of the United States. Our family never misses an opportunity to try local cuisine, so we ate well in St Augustine as well. We tried conch fritters, Minorcan clam chowder (yum!), shrimp and grits, and the local datil pepper. Since we were in Saint Augustine for Valentine’s Day, which has special meaning for our family, we celebrated with huge ice cream sundaes.

We were going to stop for a quick overnight in Brunswick, Georgia, and keep moving but when I was checking into the RV park, the woman checking us in said it was really too bad we didn’t have more time there and started telling me about all the great things to do. I was sold and we decided to stay to check things out. The big seller for us was Saint Simons Island. It’s a gorgeous island with the iconic deep south Georgia feel as huge oaks draped in Spanish moss line the streets. Being such a low lying land, there is no shortage of bridges, including the a cable stayed bridge that took us out to St Simons which is the longest bridge in Georgia and tall enough for 13 story high ships to clear. In addition to the adorable little beach town on the island where we window shopped and ate great southern food like fried green tomatoes, they have a unique tourist destination that nobody planned on and is only available for a short time- an over turned ship right off the pier. A massive ship carrying 4,000 cars hit a sand bar and overturned. Half of it’s 60+ foot width is under water while the other half sits above water posing for pictures. What a sight to see!

The first 6 to 7 months of the trip I had planned meticulously. I knew where we were going, what we were doing there, and we had a strict time schedule to follow. A lot of that was due to weather and having to move south before the snow came and some of it was due to wanting to do a couple specific things that had time constraints- like making it to Busch Gardens for Allena’s birthday. It was good because we saw so so much and we didn’t have any time to get bored or get too home sick. With a few exceptions, the last few months here are relatively unstructured. I know where we’ll be and for how long, but what we’ll actually do there is largely up in the air. We don’t have day specific tickets to anything and only have one reservation on the books. We had SO much to see and do in such a short time period so I’m hoping the next month or two will be keeping up with the pace we’ve set here the last couple weeks. It’s felt good.

*pic- Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine. America’s first parish, founded September 8, 1565

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