Wednesday, July 30, 2008

~ Vacation in Southern Cities, Holiday Day One, St. Augustine

In the middle of the heat of the summer, who would want to go touring a city in the deep south? Well, actually a lot of people. We chose three of different places. And we weren't the only ones who went north to get there. A few people from Florida there as well. Heading north didn't cool things off temperature wise, but it did cool down the stress levels. St. Augustine, Charleston and Savannah are all amazing cities for walking and discovering art, beauty, architecture and food. We did our best to find as much of each of these as we could in such a short time.

This was a return to some of the same destinations from last year in August, but we wanted to go back because we loved it so much. Fortunately we spent more time in Charleston this year and became much better acquainted with it's alluring charms.

There is quite a bit to see in St. Augustine, but we were only spending one night so this time we didn't do too much tourist stuff. Last year we stayed at the St. Francis Inn, which was really nice and the breakfast were great. Our favorite breakfast at B&B's so far. This time we chose At Journey's End Inn, another bed and breakfast, after seeing it on Tripadvisor. For one night, the smaller room they offered was just right and a good price for St. Augustine. The innkeeper Ellen told us about two places that we had not seen before, the St. Photios Greek Orthodox Shrine on St. George St. and the Villa Zorayda house, which has only recently been restored and opened to the public. The shrine has the most beautiful icon murals! And you know how I love iconic art. I need to resize those pictures yet.

The Villa Zorayda was fascinating. Like all of these old historical houses, it is hard to image that families lived like this, huge houses and so much money to spend when most the nation lived so modestly. That is an old postcard above. Built in 1883 by Franklin Smith who loved the Alhambra Palace in Spain so much he patterned his house after it to 1/10 scale. It is strangely beautiful. Although it is from his trip to Spain, it is highly influenced by the Moorish architecture found there.

I haven't had time to do anything but download the pictures, so come by in the next few days to see more pictures.

I'm in the middle of painting an old, vintagey French Provincial dresser for my new studio. Nothing has been done in this room since the last you saw it except the messes or in organized stacks and the closet is almost empty. I have been wanting to do a fun paint combination of Tiffany blue and lime green on something, and this dresser was it. That blue has been calling to me for a couple of years and I thought about doing a room in it. The dresser we bought almost a year ago and the little blue bag has been waiting to show its true colors somewhere. Wow is that blue bright! A whole room would a bit much for me, but I'm loving the dresser painted with such whimsical abandon. It will hold lots of papers and art supplies. Just what I need, organization!

Holidays are good, but it's good to be home.
You know, no place like it and all that jazz!


  1. Welcome back from vacation, Donna! Can't wait to see your newly painted piece. We haven't had any Donna fun projects in awhile. I know it will be wonderful!


  2. HI Donna, Glad to hear you enjoyed your vacation.

    I know the dresser project will be beautiful, can't wait to see it. I'm in the middle of a painting project too & I'm painting it blue.

  3. I was so happy to see a new post...I've missed you. Can't wait to see the dresser. I love seeing all your projects! Connie

  4. Missed you! We love Charleston and visit at least once a year (October this year). We went once in the summer, and never again! LOL I like the old part of St. Augustine but we discovered Amelia Island and love going there and day-tripping over to St. Aug. It's too hot here to think about traveling anywhere else hot!

    Love Savannah also, have you eaten at Paula Deen's? The tour is fun and you don't have to wait in line for the restaurant that way.

    Can't wait to see your project!


  5. Welcome back's always good to get back home. Can't wait to see the dresser project. I did a little furniture paintine myself ...hubby went away! I always redo something when he's gone. Anyway, glad you are home safe!

  6. Hi Donna,

    I has been years since we have visited St. Augustine. The Villa Zorayda is amazing and it makes me want to revisit soon. Thank you for sharing your travels.


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