You’ll never feel alone

That’s the title of the review I’ll be writing about the hotel I stayed at my last night of vacation. It couldn’t have been louder if I’d invited everyone in the hotel to come sit on my bed and talk through their issues. How could only ONE person on tripadvisor have mentioned the noise issue? I mean how am I supposed to take that one person seriously?


I’ve thought about it, and anyone can show you lovely pictures of St. Augustine and tell you the history blah blah blah. But I would like to take a different route and share outtakes with you from my whole trip, with a few lovely pics of St. A at the end. Outtakes such as…

The picture Little brother sent of me remembering what flowers and color look like.


That time I decided to ship some stuff home because of poor planning. (Little brother, NEVER let me buy books on a trip. What were you thinking?) I’m embarrassed. Other women would have bought a superb new handbag, or earrings in each town. I found the whole Anne of Green Gables set in a used book store. Sigh…

That time the postal folks in the small town where I stopped were pretty shitty to me, actually giving me pause and the thought, hooray for consistency across states. Why you so mean, postal peeps? Why???

That time I immediately started drinking when I got to Charlotte and was disappointed in Little brother’s lack of participation.


That other time in Charlotte, when this innocuous-looking scoop of mac and cheese I ate made Little brother drive rt 77 out of Charlotte at the speed of light so that I could die alone in the comfort of his home. In the guest bathroom. With the feral one-eyed cat.

That'll teach me to take pictures of my food.
That’ll teach me to take pictures of my food.

That time I was on a little red train whizzing around St. Augustine and it started to pour.

Smokey the tour guide: This is one of the most photographed streets in America blah blah blah. --A little hard to give a damn under these conditions.
Smokey the tour guide: This is one of the most photographed streets in America words words words. –Smokey, dude, DRIVE US TO SHELTER STAT!

Or the time in St. Augustine when I thought, What is up with that huge Statue of David behind a bush across the street?

David1 David2

And then realized, no, no, it’s his hands that are huge.

The time I called the hotel to pick me up at the airport. A van showed up and a guy named Omar told me, out of a crowd of people, to hop aboard. He then drove a couple guys and me around to all of the parking lots.

Omar: Which lot are you parked in?

Me: Huh? Um, Microtel?

Omar: No, I’m not going to any hotels.

Me: Why did you pick me up?

Omar suddenly forgot how to speak English, and the guys in the van didn’t know who to look at. Funny, because I was thinking the whole time, How did he know it was me? Did the front desk tell him to find the fat lady in the striped shirt? Truly.

Or that time I had to call the hotel back and start with, “This is embarrassing, but can you send out the driver again?”


So at the risk of you thinking I’m a skosh less than perfect, I share these stories with you because when you travel solo, there’s no one else to tell. And I want you to feel better about your own misadventures.

And now, to take your mind off of some of the oversharing, pretty pictures of St. Augustine:

Allegedly the oldest school house in the country.


StA4 StA6

Lisa Rubin, you have competition here...
Lisa Rubin, you have competition here…
Aviles St. The oldest in the US. Oh, St. A and your "oldest" everything.
Aviles St. The oldest in the US. Oh, St. A and your “oldest” everything.
Won’t lie–jury’s still out on my thoughts regarding St. Augustine.
That street from earlier, under much better conditions. If someone knows a trick for photographing Spanish moss, I’m all ears.

StA5  StA7 StA11 StA12 StA14

And then there’s this…


This cottage is for sale. it’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. And it’s right next to two more of the most adorable cottages I’ve ever seen.


Did I mention it’s for sale? I’ve spent a couple days now weighing out shoveling snow in New Hampshire vs. dying from giant bees in Florida. Haven’t made up my mind yet. But Cottage Girl Musings doesn’t flow quite as smoothly. It would have to be something like Yellow Cottage Misconduct or Zero Square Foot Satire. Something to think about while I’m back in New Hampshire watching the snow melt.


The sun came out for four hours

When my friend Miss Robin posts pictures of Beaufort, SC, on facebook, they are all lovely sunsets and beautiful water. What do I get when I visit?    glumsky

But at least Miss Robin is a little ray of sunshine herself. She’s got a good thing going in Beaufort. In just a few years she’s become a local, and I envy the ease with which she makes friends. She’s an inspiration.


Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend much time in Beaufort. I needed to find sunshine somewhere. So I hit the road. And of course I saw sunshine over Beaufort in the rearview mirror. Figures.

The whole ride to Florida was gray and messy. Luckily, Florida has other amusements to offer.


The paper by the door handle starts off “Went to jail…”

I headed to the coast. Even if the weather was not great, I needed to see the ocean without snow and ice. I present to you Fernandina Beach. Only surfers and a few hearty souls, but it was nice to sit for a while and enjoy it.


Back in the car with messy beach hair, I headed further south. And right around Atlantic Beach, the sun came out. Praise Jesus! I found a secret squirrel parking strip in a residential section and followed the blue…

AtlanticBeach1 AtlanticBeach2

It was an amazing couple hours on the beach. I just lay there soaking up every drop of sunshine. I texted a few people to let them know I was going to move there. I thought about how happy the cats would be out on the lanai. Then I dealt with the traffic on the strip. Oy. That actually made me miss rural NH.

It was a straight, slow-as-dirt, traffic-laden drive down the coast. Might as well take the highway, frankly. There’s no chance of seeing ocean at any point. All the houses have soaked up the view. But finally I got to my destination: St. Augustine!

I was immediately engaged in traffic chaos there too, so I just took an out-of-the-way moment and watched the sun go down. Today was what I hoped the whole vacation would be. I needed to take in every last minute of the sun.