Holiday Excursions and Diversions: Finding My Inner Grantham

The Grantham family and its one ne’er-do-well

What with two out-patient surgeries, plus the discomfort of having to walk around for eight days with a urologic stent implanted in me, your humble blogger and the missus took in some of the holiday festivities of our newly adopted home city.

What’s a little pain when you can stimulate the local economy and get into the holiday spirit, right? Pass the pain meds and let’s boogie.

It’s been 15 years since I last lived in a tourist town. I find it comforting to know that there are all kinds of fun and interesting things just a five or ten minute ride from my home. St. Augustine was settled by the Spanish in 1565, and is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.

Look Ma, proper English! No contractions!

We live close enough to the Historic District to get there easily for meals or late afternoon strolling, but far enough away to not ever be too terribly impacted by tourist traffic. In spite of my moving a bit slow for a few days earlier this month, we took in the sights and got into the spirit of the season.


The “Nights of Lights” runs from November 18 to January 31, 2018. There are a myriad of ways to see it including trolley and boat. But “Mr. Stent” stubbornly insisted on seeing it all on foot. I suggested to Gorgeous that next year we should ride the trolley because it looks like fun. I’m not certain for sure, but I thought I caught her rolling her eyes at that very moment. It’s hard to be certain in the dark, though.

Nevertheless, the sights were beautiful!


The Lightner Museum is featuring the “Dressing Downton” exhibit till January 7, 2018. A wonderful smattering of outfits representing the show’s upstairs and downstairs characters are displayed. A speaker system overhead quietly plays the very recognizable theme music heard on each episode, which to no one’s surprise is also available at the exhibit gift shop. Of course, it seemed only right that we bought the CD.


And speaking of that gift shop… we didn’t buy these items, but I did get a grin out of seeing them…


What would December be without a holiday concert? During the early part of the month, we attended a concert put on by the St. Augustine Symphony.

It’s really kind of gauche to take a picture at the symphony, but have you noticed how there’s always that one person who nonetheless does? Dude, you’re not at a Bon Jovi concert.

Finally, we were blessed this past week with really beautiful, warm weather. With the students away on break, I took the opportunity to take a short walk around the Flagler College campus. The campus is right in the heart of the Historic District of St. Augustine. If you close one eye and ignore the palm trees, it almost feels like you’re at Hogwarts…


We were very fortunate to be able to get out and enjoy so much during a typically slow time of the year here. We knew something was amiss when parking spots were available on the street right in front of nearly every place we visited. If only I had gotten that tin of Mrs. Patmore’s pudding tea.

Until next time…


19 thoughts on “Holiday Excursions and Diversions: Finding My Inner Grantham

  1. Hope you’re more comfortable now Marty and doing well. Loved the photos and always well written. Thank you for the insight to ‘downtown’ near where you live. It looks like one of those places you could roam for hours and still find something more to see. Happy holidays and take care. Linda 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! Loser took me there for my 50th but I sure didn’t get to see any of this cool stuff!
    We did see the old fort.
    Man! What I wouldn’t give to have one of those pillows! Probably the one “don’t be defeatist dear. It’s very middle class.”
    Or…”vulgarity is no substitute for humor.”
    Hey!!! Works for me! LOL
    Glad you had a good time.
    Hold onto to your stint and reach for the stars!! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ironically the only thing we haven’t seen since we’ve moved here *is* the fort! I saw it many years ago. We have two sets of friends and family coming early next year, so I’m sure I’ll see it one of those times. That’s the other thing about living in a tourist city– you get visitors. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, if you have any height at all, you’ll be hard pressed to be able to stand upright in several parts.
        I could just hear the “scuttlebutt” in the rooms. It was eerie, a bit sad and fascinating all at the same time. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my! I hate when they stick foreign parts in my body! Glad you are better and walking may be better than bouncing on a boat or trolley. I was in St. Augustine a long time ago. I’m sure it’s much different but you painted a wonderful picture of it. Have a great holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kate. Yes, all is better now. They removed a fairly large kidney stone from me that I really didn’t even know was there (thankfully). The stent was way worse than the stone this time. 🙂 St. Augustine has so much to do, and I think we’ve really only covered about a quarter of it since we’ve moved here. You have a wonderful holiday too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Marty – I’m glad to hear that you are feeling better. I LOVED the tour, the pics….and the pillows! Wishing you and Gorgeous a happy and healthy holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much better thanks, Leslie. Yes, so much to see and explore here. We were talking last night about whether indeed we’ll stay here “forever.” I doubt we will, but I suspect we’re here for at least 10 years until the hurricanes eventually chase us away. 🙂 So much to see before then, though!

      Liked by 1 person

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