Another laid back day. We seem to have plenty of those in this lifestyle. Yes, tis a hard, difficult life we lead. We thought we’d visit Lighthouse Park & Fishing Pier on the Matanzas River. Tucker is permitted to be there, not unusual in dog friendly St. Augustine, and Don would have the opportunity to see the lovely St. Augustine Lighthouse up close.
The lighthouse is built on the site of its predecessor, a Spanish watchtower erected in the late 1500’s. The original watchtower became Florida’s first lighthouse in 1824. But as is often the case, eventually erosion from the sea threatened the old watchtower and construction began on a new one in 1870. The present day lighthouse was completed in 1874. The old tower succumbed to the sea during a storm a few years after.
In 1876, a brick light keeper’s house was added. It served as a residence for the light keeper, his family and his lighthouse assistants until 1955 when the light became automated. Today it serves as a museum.
Walk up tours of the lighthouse are available but we chose not to make the climb not only because of having Tucker with us but also on account of Don’s knee replacement. We’re not sure how well he would do with that many steps.
On Aug. 24, 1990, Lt.’s Duane Stenback, Craig Lerner and Paul Perlt and Officer First Class Matthew Baker died in a crash off Puerto Rico. The crew of the Hawkeye, then stationed in St. Augustine was flying a surveillance mission in the battle against drug running. A hydraulic leak caused one wing to catch fire. The plane went down just 500 yards short of a runway.
It being such a beautiful day, sunshine, blue skies and no humidity, we felt a walk on the beach would be the perfect way to end today’s outing.
Our plans for the day didn’t unfold until late afternoon. It was time for a date night. No puppies allowed. Nothing says romance more than a horse drawn carriage ride through the old historic district followed by a seafood dinner in the courtyard of a popular riverside restaurant.
Once again we had another lovely day albeit a tad breezy, which made it a little on the cool side. It’s easy to see we’ve been in the south for a while when 69 degrees seems chilly.
Missy, our horse, and Tiffany, our driver, led us not only down familiar roadways but even a couple of unfamiliar ones not often visited by the tourists. Tiffany was very informative and chatty. A carriage ride is the perfect way to either begin or end one’s stay in St. Augustine.
Harry’s Seafood Restaurant on the Matanzas riverfront at the base of the Bridge of Lions was our restaurant of choice. I had dined here in the past with my gal pals during our visit 6 years ago. The courtyard with its strings of white lights,curved entry way and blossoming Orchid Trees is an ideal setting for a night out. At 6, the one man band begins serenading the audience.
We started our meal with a Sangria, Ragin’ Cajun Bloody Mary and deep fried dill pickle slices with a chipotle ranch dipping sauce. Very good. Especially the Ragin’ Cajun. Don ordered blackened sea scallops and shrimp on a fried grit cake topped with tasso cream sauce and collard greens as a side. I had crab cakes with red pepper aioli sauce and Maque Choux, a New Orleans style succotash for my side. A loaf of soft warm French bread served with chive butter accompanied our meal. I was not impressed with the crab cakes but everything else was delicious. Normally we don’t order dessert when dining out, but tonight was date night and Harry’s had beignets on the menu. I introduced Don to beignets while in Alabama last Fall, it was love at first bite.
A hand in hand stroll along the river back to where we parked our truck completed our romantic interlude.
Sightings on the riverfront.
Beach Day! All day! Shortly after breakfast we found ourselves back at Crescent Beach with all the accompaniments one needs to spend the better part of a day there. Tucker enjoys beach days as much as we do and is straining on his leash to get to the water even while we’re still trying to set up the umbrella and chairs. Don tells me to go on ahead with our boy and he’ll get our piece of oceanfront real estate situated. So off we go for a romp in the waves. Soon Tucker realizes his daddy is missing out on all the fun and returns to our land claim to coax dad to join us.
A walk on the beach, the joy of chasing shorebirds to see them take flight and jumping over crashing waves makes for one tired little boy. Soon he is napping while grudgingly sharing his cot with daddy. We both agree, it’s time we bought Tucker his own beach chair.
Nearing dinner time, we pack it up and head back to the Suite Pea and an oft used grill.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid……………….