All posts for the month February, 2020

On Friday morning 2/28/2020, Tim and I started riding from Jacksonville to St. Augustine, FL It was on the cool side when we left, about 37 degrees F, but I was prepared and dresses appropriately. I had assembled my bike the afternoon before in the room at the Hampton Inn. I got everything right, but somehow I criss-crossed the cables for the gears and was not actually able to shift any gears at all. But fortunately it was flat and we at least didn’t have any wind in our faces, so it was OK. We made it to our hotel around 2:15 p.m. It was the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, FL, and it was built in 1887. But it was really really nice. Here is a photo of what it looked like from the parking lot.

The view of Casa Monica hotel from the parking lot.

From inside the hotel, especially from the pool, the hotel reminded me of the French Foreign Legion fort in the 1939 movie Beau Geste. All that was missing was the French flag. Here is a photo in the stairwell of the hotel. I really like this picture because the moon is not full – in movies and TV shows and most pictures, the moon is always full, so I really liked this picture.

Nancy and my favorite picture in the Casa Monica Hotel, St Augustine, FL.

After getting to the hotel, Tim and I drove to Island Bike Shop at St. Augustine Beach, where in about 2 minutes, the bike mechanic diagnosed and fixed my gear problem.

The ride today was, as a result, much easier. The entire ride was on A1A South, so there was no chance of getting lost. We only stopped twice, and the first time was at Fort Matanzas, an old Spanish fort that was constructed in 1740. We didn’t take the short ferry ride to the fort – so we just took some photos from the National Park we entered right off of A1A. Here is a view of the fort.

Photo of 1740 Spanish Fort Matanzas on the way out of St. Augustine, FL.

The next time we stopped was at Flagler Beach, where the colors of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean were very striking. Here are two photos I took at Flagler Beach, where Tim and I sat at a picnic bench and ate the excellent sandwiches that Nancy made for us. Today they were turkey and cheese, much better than the peanut butter and jelly we ate on the ride yesterday, since it was the first day of Lent.

This photo captures some of the vibrant colors of Flagler Beach, FL. It was better in person, trust me. 🙂

We made it to our hotel in Ormond Beach at 1:15 p.m. and had to wait until 2 p.m to check in. So Tim and I sat at the hotel pool reading while Nancy and Beth made a run to a local Wallmart. Once they were back, we showered, went to the 4 p.m. Mass at St. Brendan the Navigator Church in Ormond Beach, and then went to dinner at the Black Sheep Pub, also in Ormond Beach. Then it was back to our hotel for a refresher course in blogging from Beth.

We had a delightful stay in Casa Monica, formerly the Coronado Hotel It was built in 1887 in the heart of St. Augustine. 2nd day was another relatively short one at a little less than 50 miles. Perfect way to start such a long trek.

Obligatory morning photo at about 9:30. Later start than usual for us. No buffet at this hotel. Sit down breakfast
Plague Brian was photographing. Couldn’t do anything about the shadow
One of many vistas of the Atlantic Ocean today.
Lunch stop. Brown sand.
Covered table and bench for lunch today I doubt we will be this lucky every day.

The girls caught up to us at a traffic light less than a mile from tonight’s hotel. Right on the ocean. Tomorrow is our first of two long days. Supposed to have a tail wind again. Time to go to bed.