We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
Since were sadly not able to spend Christmas with family or friends, we had a very non-Christmas-y Christmas. So we decided to take a few days to celebrate the holidays by playing “tourists” in St. Augustine. Since we arrived here over a month ago we haven’t done any of the typically touristy things here– no museums, tours, nothing. So we decided to treat ourselves to a few days of pure unadulterated tourism. First, we went on the Holiday Lights Trolley. It is one of the train/trolley tours that runs endlessly around the streets of the historic district carting tourists around. The Holiday Lights one only runs at night and they give you these dorky 3D glasses to wear while you are oohing and ahhing at the holiday lights. We have been watching them for weeks now and people look they are having a good time, hooting and hollering and singing Christmas carols.
So we bought tickets and went. The 3D glasses made all the lights look like a santa shaped hologram,which was really cool for about 5 minutes. The trolley driver we had didnt lead any Christmas carols or ring the bell at all the whole ride, and we felt that we had gotten on an unusually dud train, so when we got off, Capt K complained to the management and we ended up getting our money back and getting a discount on a different trolley tour. And, we got discounted tickets to the famed Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum!
We went to the museum today and were thoroughly entertained for hours. Where else can you go to see things like an Egyptian mummified cat, a wreath made out of human hair, a shrunken head from a “primitive” tribe, and a picture of a guy who could ascend stairs on his head? (by bouncing) And not only that, they had some crazy optical illusions, a fascinating and educational display on pirates, and some stunning artifacts from around the world such as ornately carved Tibetan headpieces made from human bones. With some totally random stuff thrown in like the guy who could hold 25 quarters in his ear, and strands of JFK’s hair. What a hoot! The most unbelievable one for me was an exhibit featuring the Lords Prayer carved on the head of a pin, supposedly made by a guy in prison who did not have a magnifying glass.
Believe it or Not!!
But none of that is as good as the present I got from Cap’t K. He is legendary for getting me fabulous surprise presents, many of which have been experiences such as a surprise ride in a glider plane, or a 600 mile road trip just to see an amazing dance troupe perform, or a hang glider lesson. He has also given me presents that required stunning feats of secrecy and weeks or even months of planning to pull off, and he always succeeds in totally surprising me. And he did it again, and this present may be the best one yet.
He told me the present was hidden somewhere at the marina, and brought me there to discover it. I had no idea what it could be. We got to the dinghy dock and he walked over to an amazingly adorable sailing dinghy, innocently floating there waiting for me. I was elated and shocked! My very own dream sailing dinghy! A boat that sails AND rows! (I love rowing) We have been talking about getting one of these for months but somehow I never guessed I would get on for Christmas. It is an 8 foot fiberglass dinghy that can be rowed or sailed, and it has a sprit rig. It even has a pirate flag flying from the mast.
I am naming her Delilah.
We took her out right then and there for a test sail, and, after a close encounter with the 60 foot Schooner Freedom, we succeeded in getting pushed by the current into the dock of the Santa Maria restaurant, where we had to get out and pull the dinghy around back to the marina. This place is not the greatest place to learn to sail a small dinghy, as the current is so strong it can easily be overpowering, but we are looking forward to playing with Delilah nonetheless. We will just have to time our outings with the tide!
I took her out again today for my first solo sail around the anchorage and did ok, except for the part where I freaked out and panicked and almost capsized the boat. I have a lot to learn about the responsiveness of such a small vessel!!
Cap’t K also learned a lesson about how tippy this little dinghy is last night when he had the bright idea to take her for a little sail around Way Happy after having a drink or two. He capsized the boat immediately, and got a shocking dunk in the chilly water!
The highlight of Christmas for our boring cats was getting to play with ribbons attached to packages that were mailed to us. In this case, SloMo is not really enjoying the ribbon that much, but we thought it was cute!
– Capt’n K & Lala