Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beaufort, South Carolina

We've been enjoying ourselves here at Parris Island.  Every couple of days we head out and see the sites.  We've been reading and just relaxing while at home, perhaps a daily walk.  While walking we noticed smaller birds flitting around and it was decided to put up the feeding station because we thought we saw a blue bird. Well we haven't had one feeding but we did have a Painted Bunting show up almost immediately.  Also, purple finches, brown headed cowbirds and house sparrows.

Painted Bunting
The other day we went into Beaufort for lunch and discovered a beautiful Waterfront Park that is fairly new. They brought in tons of fill and created it in the bay!  The flowers and trees are gorgeous and the lawn is like the greens on a golf course (according to Jim).  There are swings for viewing the bay and a pavilion that hosts concerts.

 
 




 
Driving around town we found some fine examples of Centuries old homes.  Most all the trees had Spanish Moss dripping from the branches and just looked....Southern!

 
 
We had lunch a Plum's overlooking the park and the food was yummy.  Jim discovered a new beer, Son of a Peach and that he likes fried green tomatoes!

Tropical Storm Debby did gives us a couple days of clouds, mist and light rain.  But that is nothing compared to the flooding and destruction she left in Florida.  We left the state just in time!  Cindy and Pat at Low-Key Hideaway  in Cedar Key kept us all informed via Facebook with updates and pictures.  It's messy there but I'm sure they'll have it all cleaned up in time for the 4th of July festivities...

Now if we could just get the fires out in Colorado where other friends are staying!  Marilyn and Ed are in Colorado Springs keeping us updated on that area.  Four states out west are having an awful time with hot, dry weather and fires.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Parris Island, South Carolina

We left the very pretty RV park at Kings Bay Submarine base yesterday around 0945. I'd go back and stay here!  Our site had a view of the lake and the location on the base was quiet.  Out the back window was the forest
Last sunset over the lake

Heading north on I-95 we enjoyed the scenery as we drove over various waterways.  Still it was an interstate and soon we were both yawning.  Stopped for lunch just before the welcome center in South Carolina.  What was really neat was the the entrance to the state.  It was like driving through the gates of a southern plantation.

We are set up at an 18 site campground on Parris Island....you know, where they train young people to become Marines.  Just had a flock of them jog by in 73 degree heat with 94% humidity.  I'm just glad I don't have to do it!  We have full hookups and the free wi-fi is fast!

We back onto a marsh though we can't see it for the trees and down the street we have a beach.  We'll have to get out and explore!  The base is self contained and if we wanted to we could just stay put.  Commissary, fast food restaurants and beauty....but we want to see more of the low country.  Maybe even find some plantation homes


Friday, June 15, 2012

St Augustine, Florida

Yesterday we left around 1000 for the hour or so drive to St Augustine.  We drove A1A and it was a pleasant drive with little traffic.  When we arrived we found a parking lot and paid $6 to park across from this church


Beautiful way to start our visit!  For those who don't know St Augustine is the oldest city in the continental US and the architecture here is awesome with the Spanish influence

Our first stop was The  Floridian Restaurant, (www.thefloridianstaug.com) suggested by Sonsearae.  She and I had a discussion about fried green tomatoes and this restaurant had a sandwich I needed to try!


The decor is interesting and eclectic


I think this gator was done in charcoal


My FGT hoagie...fried green tomato with a side of salad.  Jim had a shrimp hoagie with a side of salad.  we both had iced tea

After lunch we just started walking the old town and wandered into a couple shops.  Jim's was an ice cream shop while I chose a tourist shop with all manor of 'stuff'.  All I bought was some post cards.

Oldest wooden school

Wells Fargo building but it sure is pretty


coquina wall, you can see the shells in the upper right


more of the same wall


Flagler college is another beautiful set of buildings but the many trees prevent good pictures of the construction.  This chain is part of the fence around the campus

After wandering the Old Town for a couple hours we were tired, hot and thirsty so we stopped in at Scarlett O'Hara's for a cold beer.  I know I needed something cold and this hit the spot.

Jim and I met in Jacksonville when we were both stationed at Cecil Field (now closed) so we've been to this lovely city before.  A lot has changed in the last 35 years but it still holds memories for us.

We headed home and arrived in time to feed Boo his dinner and have our afternoon coffee.  The evening was spent reading and watching television.

This morning we were treated to the USS Barry coming into port firing off her guns!  Not sure who is aboard the station to warrant the salute but it was awesome to see and hear.  Boo on the other had was scared silly and not impressed at all.  Hid for the longest time and only ate his breakfast around 10 am

USS Barry

Shortly after that we saw a Navy ship leaving port, looked like a family day aboard ship.  

I'm loving all these Navy ships passing by....I think this campground will rank up there with my favorites!



On Tuesday we stopped at a Raceway station because their diesel was $3.69 a gallon!  That's the lowest we've seen in awhile and I hope the price continues to go down.  I thought for sure Florida would have higher prices and now I'm curious as to what the cost is around the country.  Make a comment and I'll publish it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lunch out....

I'm not sure what happened to my post!  I wrote about several things



We had lunch at Engine 15 Brewing Company.  Kevin in the picture above was so nice!  Introduced himself and let us taste a couple of the 35 beers they have on tap and we made our selections.  Jim had Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat and I had Lagunitas Dogtown Pale.

For lunch we both had brats, Jim's was a split double with Swiss cheese and I had a beer steamed brat with sauerkraut.  Yum on the beer and brats!


Hard to tell in the picture above but those are tap handles, neat way to decorate


Sunrise
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ponte Vedra Beach, Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve

I had finally had enough of sitting around reading, playing games and watching tv.  It's been raining everyday and if we wanted to see or do anything we just needed to do it!  Sunday was that day.  I figured if we drove far enough south we'd get out of the clouds and rain and find sunshine.  We did almost as soon as we left Mayport.

It was nice driving down A1A and seeing beach towns and beautiful houses.  We stopped at Panera's for a bite to eat.  Our destination was Ponte Vedra Beach where I was sure we'd find some shells.  This first picture isn't the best but there was no way I could remember the name of the reserve.



There is parking for a fee ($3) on the west side of the road, so we put our money in the envelope and put on our water sandals.  I also put camera, binoculars and  sunscreen in a bag and we headed across the dunes to the street, crossed that and over more dunes to the beach.
Passion Flower near the boardwalk
Atlantic Ocean looking south
Atlantic Ocean looking north

Jim took off his sandals while I left mine on for a bit.  Silly me!  Soon I had mine off and in my bag while we walked in the surf.  I like this beach because of all the Coquina shells http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coquina
  
future sand!
this nest was well above the high water mark and I cannot imagine how labor intensive it had to be to dig it.
We saw several turtle nests along the beach 


looking south
 It was wonderful spending time with Jim on the beach.  Many years ago we got up early one morning, headed to this beach and with coffee and sausage biscuits in hand we watched the sun come up
 
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Mayport

We left Tallahassee with sad hearts....we love spending time with Sonsearae and Chris but it was time to move on.  Our drive to Mayport was quite easy until Jim took us through downtown Jacksonville!  Still we managed to find our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mayport Naval Station.

Pelican's Roost campground is right on the water and we get to see all manor of sea going vessels pass by.  Night before last, between showers we took a walk

shrimp boat
osprey
 
bath time!
Atlantic Ocean
 
Casino boat heading out to sea


We've had quite a bit of rain since we arrived.  First day here we needed to get some dog food for Boo so we headed out and located a PetSmart.  Then we had a wonderful lunch at Olive Garden, using the gift card Sonsearae and Chris gave me for Mother's Day.  Wine and pasta with salad and bread....


Yesterday we were up early and headed to the VA Clinic. But before we left we were treated to a submarine coming into port!  It was awesome!!!
 The folks in the RGV wanted me to have a follow up on a procedure I had in February.  When they told me, we had already left the valley.  So I've been trying to get an appointment and be seen.  You just can't call and ask for an appointment at a new clinic.  You have to show up and take your chances.  I have to admit they worked very hard to accommodate me.  After being weighed and having blood drawn we had time to kill so we left and found a Chinese buffet type place for a quick lunch.  We think it was a McDonald's at one time, and I'm not sure it was an improvement.

Back at the clinic I was seen quickly and examined.  Then the fun began. After several phone calls and suggestions I have an appointment for the 13th, but only if the films from my mammogram arrive in time!

On the drive home it started raining and boy did it rain!  A real gully washer type of storm but we made it home in one piece just in time for coffee and Boo's dinner.

We had hoped to see Bridget and John but they left this morning.  Hopefully we'll run into them 'down the road'.

Today we've had cloudy skies and gusty breezes.  Even had the windows open all morning.  For our dinner I fixed a  new recipe, Beans Florentine.  Feels good to be cooking again!

from The McDougal Quick and Easy Cookbook 

Beans Florentine

1 onion chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 t fresh minced garlic
1/2 cup water
3-15 oz cans white beans
1 cup vegetable broth
1 T soy sauce
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups chopped fresh spinach

Place onion, celery, carrot and garlic in large pot with 1/2  cup water.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add beans, broth, soy sauce, basil, oregano and pepper, cook over low heat for 20 minutes.  Add spinach and cook 3 minutes more.  Serve over grains, potatoes, toast or English muffins.

We both enjoyed this and I'll make it again.  It made quite a bit so I froze some for a quick meal some day.