Monday, October 24, 2016

Girls Weekend 2016, St. Augustine, Florida

St George Street
Saturday, October 22, 2016   Another glorious morning in St. Augustine, Florida.  We were awakened a bit earlier that expected this morning by the 6 am alarm that Kathi inadvertently set last night while placing her iphone on the charger/clock radio last night.  Once she turned it off, we both got up to use the bathroom, but deemed it too early to start our day and both climbed back into bed and went back to sleep for a couple of hours.  When 8am rolled around we were both ready to start the day.  These days, Girls Weekend morning usually start with a cup of coffee and some time on the computer.  Catching up on emails and social media and the like.  For me, this also includes catching up on all of my many word games, Lexulous, Words With Friends and WordChums.  On this particular morning Kathi was searching on line for an adapter that would allow us to connect an HDMI cable to her computer.  She was so involved with this search that she totally missed out on my breakfast preparations and was convinced, when we finally left the room that I had not had any breakfast, while in fact, I had cooked and eaten fried eggs and had English muffins and yogurt.  Man, can that woman get focused!!! Then while I showered, Kathi wrote up our journal/blog entries for our first day.  We try to keep up with our journaling daily because, otherwise, we seem to forget much of what we have done! Our first plan for the day was to visit The Fountain of Youth once in town, then do some shopping in the amazing and unique shops on St. George street then find our way to the starting point for our Ghosts and Graveyards tour scheduled to start at 8:20pm.  Then we talked about driving into Jacksonville to visit the Free People store for some shopping as well as the Best Buy store to buy the HDMI cable.  Then Kathi did some investigating and found the the HDMI cable was significantly less expensive on Amazon and Jacksonville was ruled out.  Kathi then showered and got ready and by the time that we got into town we realized that we really didn't have time to visit the Fountain of Youth after all, so we skipped that, boarded the trolley and made our way to Stop #5, St. George Street. While walking down St. George we could hear music coming from different venues along the way, reminiscent of New Orleans, and found ourselves drawn into a charming place called Colonial Square from which came some amazing guitar riffs. This place had a little stage set up at one end with benches for seating set up in front of the stage and under a big tree that had lanterns and lights strung up in its branches.  The performer was Dewey Via, who played some amazing guitar and had a voice like Wolfman Jack.  He smoked and drank and entertained the crowd.  We discovered that he was going to be playing later in the evening at a different venue and we decided that we would try and seek him out there after we did some shopping.  We continued along St. George street wandering in and out of various shops, noting many people dressed like pirates as we walked along, but, somehow, not thinking that this was strange at all.  At one point we wandered into a nice little clothing store called Shopaholics Plus, where we spent the next 2 hours trying on and ultimately buying some great tops.  Kathi has often commented on how we seem to buy some our favorite clothing items while on Girls Weekend and this trip seems to be no exception!!
Dewey Via
  We walked to the end of St. George street then made our back toward our trolley stop on Spanish Street, that runs parallel to St. George in search of a place to catch a quick bite before our ghost tour.  Finding nowhere to eat on Spanish street, but many charming homes, we cut back across to St George and eventually into Mi Casa Cafe, where our musician, Dewey Via, was now playing.  Kathi dutifully ate her apple, while I ordered up a bowl full of red beans and rice and a Stella and we sat down at a table to listen to Dewey.  Initially we were sharing a table with a couple who, apparently meet up in St. Augustine for date night, since they live in different nearby towns.  They left after a couple of songs and we were then joined by two couples, Lisa and Frank and Julian and Shelley, all locals who shared some stories with us after we shared the "Girls Weekend" story with them.  When it was time for us to leave for our ghost tour, I shared the address to this blog with Shelley and she graciously invited us to visit with them at their waterfront home sometime before we leave.  We will likely take them up on that offer!  While sitting in the cafe listening to music several men in bras came through collecting money for breast cancer research.  We, of course, had to tuck a couple of bucks.  Once we left the cafe, we came upon a group of zombies and ghouls dancing in the middle of the street.  I love this place.
Hugenot Cemetery
  We boarded the bus for the "doomed" Ghosts and Graveyards tour and were entertained with stories and even a few dramas acted out over the next hour and a half.  The tour includes a stop at the Tolomato cemetery, which is the cemetery located within the city limits of St. Augustine and is where the city's Catholic residents are buried.  I took a picture or two here, and while I didn't capture any images of apparitions, I did get a number of "orbs" in one shot.  Orbs are thought by many to represent spirits.  I'm not so sure that I buy into that idea, but if that is the true, then I have a picture with quite a few spirits making their presence known.
Orbs in Tolomato Cemetery
 The tour ended and the city jail, which is a beautiful building on the outside (Henry Flagler wanted no eyesores in his town), it is unmistakably a jail on the inside and at night, in the dark, is pretty creepy even though it is kept in pristine condition. This part of the tour includes some wonderful storytelling by an actor clothed in jail stripes who claims to be the ghost of a prisoner who had been hung on the gallows in back of the jail earlier that day.  It was delightful.  
The gallows at the Old City Jail
  Once the tour was over, we walked the couple of blocks to where our car was parked and headed back to the condo and a good night's sleep, so that we could be refreshed for the next days' adventures.  

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