Tuesday, April 20, 2010
There's something special about a Magpie
...................And about St. Augustine, Florida. There's a certain Southern couple, " Mr. & Mrs. Magpie" that I need to talk to y'all about.
The moment we arrived in thier seaside town of St. Augustine, We fell in love. It's an artsy town (which I always love) and boasts being the oldest city in the United States I'm told. Along with that honor comes a ton of charm and ambience that makes it a place to put on your bucket list of places to visit for sure.
Huge old trees wrap themselves around vintage architecture on "walkabout" streets that have cobblestones and bricks to show you the way. The homes wear lovely colors of blue, yellow, green and pinks and thier porches are full of family collectibles. Gardens wow the creative heart with flowers and fountains, statues and signs with amusing sentiments.
Church buildings, famous hotels turned into museums and colleges make the city brag of its history. The eateries have discreet little entrances that always turned out to have great meals on the menu and often have live jazz or solo artists making you feel like it's the best afternoon you've had in days.
These blogging friends who are lovingly known as Mr. & Mrs. Magpie were so gracious. They treated us to stay a short distance from their home in a bed and breakfast which was over the top generosity for a complete stranger I figure. It had a baby grand piano in the living room and a lovely sun-porch where you could have morning coffee and catch the weather predictions on the tube. There was a sparkley pool in the yard and even a charming old pooch who sat on the front step with a smile on his face. You can hear his toenails clipping around the house and if you felt like it you could leave a message for the next travellers on a large chalkboard in one of the hallways. They even planned an incredible gathering of bloggers to celebrate my friend Claudie's birthday complete with adult goodie bags and incredible party decorations.
Mrs. Magpie is the most interesting woman and it was obvious to me that Mr. Magpie adored her. She is "a history book with legs" and a fantastic decorator and party planner. Her attention to detail spoke to me as I had a chance to tour thier home and shoot some pictures. In the upstairs bathroom she has a little wooden chair with a cross in the back rest. She has so cleverly placed it against the sunshade in front of the window which illuminates the cross. Many would miss the beauty of it. She has a far-side book tossed on the footrest which speaks of her sense of humor and a picture of the mona lisa in the upper room that is a story in itself. You see, Mrs. Magpie picked up this painting at a thrift shop. It was actually a paint by numbers that was left unfinished. She took care of that, finished the piece of art and then added some white glasses of her own to the piece to make it a total original. I loved the quirkyness of it right away. I wished I had asked if it was for sale! Her enthusiasm enveloped us. Where would we like to go, what would we like to eat, what should we do next? It was all great. Every bit of it. The walk along the waterfront in the evening to see the lights and the boats, the trip to the beach to find shells and dig our feet in the sand, our movie nite to see Alice in Wonderland where we all sat in a row with our 3-D glasses on and enjoyed Johnny Depp in his glory! The vintage hat shoppe in towne where we tried on fun dresses, hats, and old earrings. The carousel ride where we laughed like we were little kids, and the dinner evening of many appetizers and good wine was only surpassed by the live music coming out of the bar and onto the patio where we sat under the stars and shared stories. We even talked the otherwise reserved Mrs. Magpie into posing for photo's with the very colorful "Tony" who was a member of the band who had entertained us over the evening.
Days are never long enough when there is a wonderful world and endearing people to be with. Thank you and thank you again to both of you for making our visit in your town and in your company such a great experience. May your generosity return to you many times over.
Aren't memories great........