Tuesday, August 01, 2006

lost? no i'm not- i'm right here, wherever that is.

we've just finished dragging everything up from the car (i hadn't realized i'd had so much fun with my credit card while down at disneyworld- oops. perhaps i should get some stock or something.), and i'm currently avoiding the whole, painful unpacking process.

after a quickstop at our resort's gift shop (souvenirs for SO's niece and nephew), the penny squishing machine (i had six spaces left in my little squished penny album), and the food court (we weren't about to let those last 4 snack credits go to waste), we pulled out of the parking lot around 11:15.

"but, duff," you ask, "how come the trip only took you seven hours heading south, but it took you a full 12 hours to return?"

perhaps it was the weak tropical storm off the florida coast.....or the pull of mars, which is surprisingly close to us right now (what's that date i'm supposed to mark on my calendar? august 27th?).....or the apprehension about coming back to work (riiiiight- unlike this time last year, i have a job i like and bosses i adore- i was perfectly okay with coming back to work....and i'm sure my credit card company is, too.).

actually, we had a slight detour on the way back.

scratch that- we had a series of slight detours- some intentional, some not so much.

i can't remember whether i mentioned it in an earlier post or not, but when we went down to disneyworld for the first time, when i was seven (crap- when did i get so damned old?), we stopped at st. augustine on our way back up the coast. as you already know, i'm a big fan of the national park passport program, and the combination of that little fact and a bit of nostalgia (not to mention SO's fondness of st. augustine) led to our first, planned, detour.

ft. matanzas national monument, where we (literally) missed the boat, but not the informative 8-minute video, which described how the spaniards here massacred a bunch of frenchmen who came down from nearby ft. caroline. according to the video, the fort got its name from the spanish word for "massacre".

after wandering around the grounds for half an hour, we got back into the car and headed north to castillo de san marcos, located in downtown st. augustine.

naturally, i took some of the best photos i've ever taken here, but sadly, blogger does not feel inclined to let me share any more of them with you. it's too bad, really, as these pictures are friggin' spectacular. really, they are. museum worthy, as a matter of fact.

please hold- it's getting a little deep in here, and i'm having trouble locating a shovel.

anyway, as easy as it was to find our desired targets (3 new cancellations in my passport, by the way), it was equally tough to get to our desired destination just outside of jacksonville. (not that it really mattered, as there was no way for us to make it to fort caroline before the gates closed at 5:00.)

we didn't get lost, mind you, we were merely "exploring the area".

i mean really exploring the area. though we only added about 30 extra miles to our trip, i think we were uh....charting new territory not covered on my atlas....for somewhere between half an hour and an hour.

if there's blame to be placed anywhere, i'm throwing it on armando. clearly, it's all his fault.

(sorry- no picture to upload, even if blogger were feeling cooperative, which it still isn't.)

you see, after wandering around the castillo de san marcos for around an hour in the blazing heat (though i understand it was about 10 degrees warmer up here in south carolina), we worked up an appetite. one of the gift shop employees suggested a restaurant in town, but there was a mexican restaurant across the street from the national monument, and we were too hungry to walk any further.

we seated ourselves upstairs, and were immediately tended to by armando, who looked a bit like billy zane and had a voice equally as deep, if not maybe even a little more so.

normally, that would be enough, but armando also had a bit of an accent.

actually, that's a huge understatement. armando's accent was thicker than molasses- so thick, in fact, that i had a hard time figuring out what he was saying half the time.

it was one of those setups that could potentially lead to illicit fantasies involving unknown spanish phrases being uttered in candlelight and i'm thinking maybe silk sheets and perhaps some really expensive chocolates and....

so as i was saying, perhaps i became a little sidetracked and lost all of my map reading abilities because i was preoccupied with working out whether those silk sheets should be a deep shade of green....or purple.....or sort of a wine color, because even though i'm not a huge fan of the maroon color family, that color seems to appear a lot in those cliched latin-lover scenarios.....

anyway, we're back, not yet unpacked, and if you'll excuse me, there's a cold shower i've been meaning to take.

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