exploring and revisiting, travel

St. Augustine – Saturday

The headache finally clears, sleep finally settles in, and the morning eventually comes.

Unlike yesterday, we have no clear plans.

The normal hot chocolate at Koko Black is rich...
Not the hot chocolate we got. Image via Wikipedia

The boy has suggested (in what I can only hope was meant to be irony) that we go to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum. I have visions of some combination of repugnant physical oddities and reminiscences of urban legends or tales of absurdity. Any of which I feel like I can see a close approximation of, any day of the week, on cable TV. (And yet, somehow I choose not to…)

But I distract him from this pursuit by pointing out the sign to something else he’s expressed interest in seeing: the San Sebastian Winery. And when we don’t find that right away, he notes that it’s pretty late and we haven’t had lunch yet. So we stop at Columbia Restaurant in town. Mia had called it out the prior day as being a good place. It proved to be delicious Cuban fare (which means, I ordered my “usual” Cuban dinner selection: palomillo with rice and plantains) with slightly subpar service (no, really, it’s a good place; our waiter was just a little off his game).

[Incidentally, one of the more interesting things to notice in a restaurant, while your service is being extra slow, and your own party has settled into a comfortable silence, is what is occurring at the other tables. Like, that the three older gentlemen at the table ahead of us are having a very good time together, but seem to be making our waiter really nervous. (He tells us he’s very sorry to keep us waiting, each time surreptitiously gesturing that the other table is unduly demanding his time. By which I can only guess he means, by needing service, because they don’t seem like a problem to me. Maybe I’m missing something.)  And I never quite get the gist of what’s happening at the table to our left. That’s a couple in their mid to late 50’s, and two of them seem friendly, but not close. They don’t seem to know each others stories, but stories are being told (mostly on his part and with a subtle element of braggadocio in some and way too much medical detail in others). If it’s a first date, I wonder if it’s a good one, from their perspectives.]

After lunch, the boy and I walk the length and breadth of the central part of the city (again) in what is now a much larger crowd of people, and yet the popcorn place is not to be found again. The city is lit up early for Christmas, because there’s a yacht-carnival-Christmas-festival “thing” (specific, no?) happening at the waterfront that night.

We walk up, away from the main comings and goings, to the Winery after all. No tours run on Saturday because of the crowds. Instead, there’s a video running upstairs to introduce the basics of the place’s history and the making of their wine. Then 6 stations give a taste of 10 of their wines. I like all but the sherry and port, but he doesn’t particularly like any except those two… their wines (at least the ones they’re showcasing) are all very sweet. VERY. Sweet.

In case that’s not enough sweetness, we stop at the Whetstone’s Chocolates on the way back into town… too late to get a tour there, but still in time for a somewhat disappointing in flavor but pleasingly hot hot chocolate to keep us toasty on the walk back into town.

Honestly, I don’t know what-all else we did that day. We were in town. We walked around. And then on the way out of town, much much later, we got stuck in the most obnoxious traffic jam ever. We decided to stop at the grocery store for dinner, and just get snacky foods — specialty crackers and cheese and such. But it seemed like a typical Saturday in that it disappeared so quickly and quietly, we could almost have missed it.

I guess that’s how Saturdays go. And since I had an early flight back home on Sunday morning, it was just as well.

And I guess that’s all there is to tell you about that.

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