Our fantastic trip, part one

There are ALL sorts of gators in Florida!

There are ALL sorts of gators in Florida!

I’ve said it before, I love to travel.  Not all the time, but yes, once in a while it is so much fun to get out and see something new, something different.  Recently we had a wonderful opportunity to go to three states, two of which we had never been to before – Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.  In Florida (which was not a new state for us) we spent three nights with our friends and part-time neighbors, Irv and Elaine.  In GA and SC we tried to take in all we possibly could in the cities we had chosen to visit.  It was a whirlwind trip and it sure seemed like we were on the go, go, go!!

We flew into Jacksonville Florida, rented a car, and then drove the hour and a half or so it took to get to our friends’ home.  All I can say is that Irv and Elaine showed us the epitome of “Southern hospitality”.   One day we went out on the lake in their boat… the lake leads to a river… the river led to a waterside restaurant where both John and I tried some awesome new foods!  (fried catfish, hush-puppies, black-eyed peas, cheesy grits, okra in tomatoes on rice, and FRIED DILL PICKLES!)  Along the way we encountered alligators, turtles and plenty of birds.  It was warm and sunny and just the tonic we needed after our very long, wet, dreary winter up here in the northwest. 

Alligator, sunning on a log

Alligator, sunning on a log

Folks, these are fried DILL PICKLE slices! I have to admit they were good!!!

Folks, these are fried DILL PICKLE slices! I have to admit they were good!!!

Hush puppies, fried catfish, and black-eyed peas.  Again, everything was delicious!

Hush puppies, fried catfish, and black-eyed peas. Again, everything was delicious!

The next day we drove over to St. Augustine to explore the oldest city in America.  We had a great day, despite the weather being cool and windy.  We wandered through the pedestrian-only streets, check out the fort right there on the water – Castillo de San Marcos, and had lunch at a delicious restaurant, The Columbia. 

outside the Columbia restaurant, St. Augustine

outside the Columbia restaurant, St. Augustine

John and Irv played in a golf tournament on the Saturday we were there.  Of course, just the mention of golf and John was all for it!  After the tournament, Irv and Elaine hosted a get together at their home for some of the other golfers and their spouses.  We loved getting to meet the folks that are their friends and neighbors in Florida.  There was plenty of food and beverages, as well as quite a few games of pool played in the basement.  I don’t think we made it to bed till at least 2 AM!  A very late night for us “older” folks! 

The next day it was time to say a huge thank you to our gracious hosts and head north to Charleston, South Carolina.    To be continued!

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