Have we found the town where we’d like to settle down?
Did you ever dream of a perfect town where you’d like to live? The main crossroads near the place we’d called home for over 30 years had grown from 2 lanes to 6 lanes. Big box stores and subdivisions were popping up all around us. We felt it was time to move on. In April 2017 we embarked on a search for the perfect new hometown for us.
Over the past year and a half, we’ve found quite a few towns we liked a lot. But we couldn’t pinpoint just one favorite. However, that has changed. It’s definitely the oldest city in America, magical, mystical Saint Augustine.
On December 2, 2018, Floating Home floated down the Matanzas river and tied up at a small marina.
The pleasures of staying at Marker 8 Hotel & Marina
Marker 8 Hotel & Marina is at the foot of the Bridge of Lions with the most beautiful view of historic Saint Augustine. William, the very knowledgeable desk clerk, and bartender calls it the million dollar view without the price tag! Almost daily we’d walk across the bridge into town.
I especially enjoyed the luxuries in which we could partake while staying at Marker 8 hotel & marina. I’d start my day by exercising in the small fitness room. I then enjoyed a long, hot shower in a beautiful private bathroom stocked with fluffy white bath towels.
In the morning a light continental breakfast was available for guests. Better yet, in the early evenings, a happy hour was a place for hotel guests and boaters to gather, chat and snack while taking in a view of this spectacular city.
The address of the hotel & marina is 1 Dolphin drive. And how appropriate. Dolphins swim and splash in the water around the boat on a daily basis. Dolphin sightings bring me such joy! They just seem so happy and playful as they swim around. They would come as close to 8 feet from the edge of the dock and fish, play or perform for us as we watched. But if I get my camera out – they’d vanish!
An Unexpected Friendship
Jim built a friendship with George, a kind and gentle man who spends his days on a bench where he enjoys the views of the water and this beautiful city. At night he has an abstruse resting place under some bushes for protection. Here he lays down a tarp and has a few thin blankets for warmth. Jim and George enjoyed long conversations and shared meals together. Here is a link to a video about this special friendship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z19bh0oogw&t=561s
A great place for visitors
Saint Augustine is rich with European inspired architecture. Terra Cotta topped roofs can be spotted from afar. The Castillo De San Marcos fort stands near the harbor’s entrance. The city is glistening up with thousands of tiny white Christmas lights for the holiday season. Open tour trolleys are filled with tourists singing Christmas carols as they take in the sights. Crowds of visitors walk the streets eating ice cream cones and peaking in the many shops.
We were thankful for the visit with our son Steve for Christmas. Being away from our family up north is the hardest part of this lifestyle. Together, the 3 of us spent the holiday with Jim’s parents who live just 2 hours away in the quaint town of Mount Dora, Florida.
In mid-January, our daughter Jessica and our granddaughter Lucy flew from the cold of New England to thaw out in the warm Florida weather and spend time with us! We had fun walking the town and going in and out of the many gift shops and eating Superman ice cream! A trip to the famous Alligator farm was a fun experience!
Time to Pull in the Lines
On January 18 we untied the lines and continued our search for the perfect hometown. We floated for another 6 hours south on the intra-coastal waterway to our next stop. It just might be New Smyrna Beach, FL where we are currently enjoying sunshine and spring-like weather as we hear about the cold, ice and snow in Pennsylvania!