St. Augustine, Florida

In St. Augustine is a fort that dates back to the 1700s. We loved the late afternoon light shining on the old stones of the fort, and as the sun began to set, we got some beautiful shots over the water, with the full moon beginning to shine above the sunset. We wandered all around the outside, took a ton of photos, and watched the moon rise.

As we left, we chatted with a park ranger about the fort, and he told us about the film crew that was shooting scenes here tonight. We were heading into town to see more of the old section with its stone buildings, then chose a Cuban restaurant for dinner. We had window seats overlooking the waterway and bridge, and could watch the horse-drawn carriages go by. The paella for two that we chose was very, very good, and so was the wine I had with it. Dave had a margarita with his dinner.

After dinner we walked back through town, which was very lively even at this late hour. Our rental car was right where we left it (not that I expected otherwise), and we drove back across the bridge to our little motel and crashed. The room is small but clean, and the bed was very comfy. A good thing: we're driving to Savannah tomorrow, and the alarm will go off early.

Zebra Lighthouse

Near St. Augustine, Florida is this beautiful lighthouse. We could see it from the beach, where we did a geocache before heading for town to look for a motel. The lighthouse was down a short road through a neighborhood of old homes, a beautiful black & white spiral painted tower, capped by a red metal roof. It’s a working beacon, with original Fresnel lens.

We didn't realize how big the structure was until we got close. Look how tiny the people are, out on the circular deck around the lens. We could have taken a tour of the grounds and climbed the tower, but we were anxious to get to town and find a motel, then visit the 1600s fort before the day ended.

Why do you only find striped lighthouses on the East Coast? Our Pacific coast lighthouses, from Canada to Mexico, are painted white.


Snow Bookends

Tonight I opened the Columbia Crest Two Vines Shiraz I bought at QFC. It was very good, especially for the price. It’s a 2005, the year the experts are predicting to be one of the best vintages ever for Washington State.

On one trip to load wood into the stove, I noticed the deck was white… again. I peeked outdoors, and it was snowing hard with two inches already on the ground! How cool is this… my 17-day holiday was bracketed by snow at both ends, just like bookends.