Our Fall Getaway ~ October 2007
Izzie & Al
After three days of Bluegrass activities in Nashville we headed south for some time off! We arrived in Savannah, Georgia at 7:30PM on Thursday, October 4th and checked in at the Hampton Inn on Bay Street in the heart of the Historic District (see photos). Our dinner was at the Cotton Exchange which is in a historic building on the Savannah River (see photos). Izzie and I both ordered the crab stuffed filet mignon with asparagus. For dessert Izzie had the Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie and Al had the Fried Cheesecake with strawberries. On Friday, October 5th we took the 90 min. "Overview" Trolley Tour and got a feel for the many historic homes and squares in the Historic District. Our tour guide was a real southern cracker! Full of all sorts of information about Savannah, lots of southern jokes, and a few songs to boot (see photos). Izzie ended her stay in Savannah with a bit of shopping. She bought a beautiful pair of earrings made by a local artisan (see photos). After a bite for lunch at the October Fest on the banks of the river, we set off for Florida at 3:00PM. After a trying drive through heavy rain and serious traffic delays, we arrived at our hotel, The La Fiesta, on St. Augustine Beach at 5:30PM. We had a very pleasant dinner at The Amici Italian Restaurant and then retired to our Hotel for some relaxation and a good night's sleep. We awoke to see the sunrise Saturday morning at 7:00AM -- a nice way to start the day.
We had breakfast in our room at 10:00. This place is really quaint -- Old Florida! Like the 1950ies. The only down side so far is the "Red Tide". An algae bloom moved in from the Ocean. It causes everybody to cough! We hope it will pass once the winds shift.
Here are some views of St. Augustine Beach (see photos). We spent a couple of hours there today enjoying the ocean breeze and sunshine. After freshening up we went to the Publix to get some supplies for our room. Then out to dinner at La Strada for some more Italian food! (see photo) We ended our day with a movie in our room -- "The Georgia Rule". Sunday started with another walk on the beach. We got out early enough to do some scavenger hunting. Saw lots of treasures washed up from the sea as well as some Florida wildlife (see photos). Afterwards, we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday breakfast (see photo) in our hotel room. Later that day, Izzie's nephew, Bob Reed, drove up from Orlando to pay us a visit. We spent the afternoon visiting and then had a nice dinner together at the Salt Water Cowboy's restaurant here on the island. We had a great time talking family and life in general (see photo). Monday started with another walk on the beach followed by a 10:00AM breakfast in our room. We walked down the beach to the Beachcomber, a little restaurant Bobby had told us about. They open at 7:00AM, so Wednesday we may eat our breakfast there. Monday afternoon we visited Fort Matanzas located about 14 miles south of St Augustine. The fort was built on Rattlesnake Island in the Matanzas river by the Spanish in 1742 as a defense for St Augustine. The Fort and roughly 300 acres of surrounding land that also includes a nature walk is administered by the National Park Service. The fort is only accessible by boat and the Park Service runs a free ferry service to the island every hour. This was our third visit to the fort and it is still a great experience. (see photos) We ended our day over an absolutely wonderful dinner at Chef Paolo Pece's outstanding ristorante, Cafe Atlantico, located on A1A Beach Boulevard here on Anastasia Island. We started with the Fior di latte mozzarella, tomato, Portobello, eggplant & spinach "tower" as our appetizer. For the main course Izzie had a divine Veal Ossobuco Milanese and Al had the Charbroiled New Zealand Lamb loin chops. Everything, from the tasteful decor, to the outstanding service by our wait person, Michelle, to Chef Pece's Italian cuisine was exemplary! The perfect finale to a great day! (see photos) Tuesday, the 9th, we did our daily beach walk followed by another LaFiesta breakfast -- then it was off to Titusville, 100 miles to the south. For the first half of the trip we traveled on A1A, the scenic route along the coast and then went over to I-95 on down to our destination. Our first stop was Gold Tone Music to pick up 7 new banjos we had ordered at the Trade Show in Nashville last week. We had a nice visit with Wayne and his wife Robyn. Also got to meet a few of his staff. (see photos) After loading up we headed for the famous "Dixie Crossing" to have a dinner with old friends, Shari & Warren Buck. It was a fun evening and great to see them again after too many years! (see photo) Wednesday morning we walked down the beach to The Beachcomber, the little beach front restaurant Bobbie had told us about. Izzie had her favorite, two pancakes, link sausage, and an egg over light. Albert had his favorite, a veggie omelet with whole wheat toast and home hash brown potatoes -- well worth the walk! (see photos) This afternoon we went to the St. Johns County Pier. Got to watch the folks catching and cleaning fish. Also found ourselves fascinated with the bird's eye view we had of the surfers! It sure looked like lots of fun. (see photos) For our last dinner on the Island, we had to return to Chef Paolo Pece's Cafe Atlantico! We started by sharing an Open Ravioli of Grilled Shrimp Enhanced with Basil Pesto & Aged Ricotta Cheese. For our entrees, Izzie had the Balsamic Marinated Duck Breast with Mushrooms, Roasted Vegetables & Parmesan Polenta, Albert had the Paper Wrapped Chilean Sea Bass, Shrimp & Mussels in a Cream Caper Reduction, Served with Homemade Pappardelle. Our server for the evening was a young gentleman named Jay. Cafe Atlantico is the finest restaurant we have discovered on Anastasia Island! (photos) Our final evening for this visit was spent with a last walk on the beach to watch the sun set.
Sunrise ~ The view from our room. Sat, Oct 6th, 2007
Sunset over La Fiesta. Wed, Oct 10th, 2007