Flagship Harbor Park
Flagler Beach, FL
St Augustine Beach Dunes
acrylic on canvas
Notes From My Residency Project
I got an early start today, skipping breakfast and heading south on A1A, first to Bings Landing, south of Washington Oaks State Park. I will have some photos later to share. My smart phone has terrible reception over on the coast so the images don't come through very easily.
Bings Landing is a small park on the intercoastal waterway. It has a large parking lot for boats and such and some covered picnic tables. There are several barrier islands viewable from the sea wall. There are a few benches scattered around the seawall for sitting.
From there I continued south to Flagler Beach and turned off on US 1. Just before the bridge, I turned right and then left to go along the edge of the bridge and then under it to the Flagship Harbor Park. This is a wonderful park. It has a high wooden boardwalk which winds through the woods and the Mangrove hammocks. There is a large dock out into the water with lovely views. I met two fishermen who hadn't caught anything yet. I saw two cute as pie turtles along the side of the boardwalk. At a low point in the boardwalk there are nature trails that go through the woods. They have tall palms, old Red Cedar trees and are wide and smooth for easy walking. There are benches along the paths. This is a really nice nature park and I recommend it for those who want to enjoy nature without intimidation from wild creatures. In the parking lot is a nice covered pavilion with restrooms and picnic facilities.
I have found that small local county parks are often excellent facilities with upgrades one would not expect from a local park.
I am often asked how I find these out of the way places? I spend a lot of time researching the area I'm going to travel to for my residencies. I use key words in search engine queries like,Florida nature,wild places, eco-tourism, etc. to find the parks. The State Park web site has lots of information on the more obscure state parks. The Chamber of Commerce for an area can be helpful. One of the main goals of this project for me is to give quality reviews and information about the best of natural Florida.
When I arrived back in St Augustine I was ready to eat, so I tried a new restaurant for me called the Groove Cafe it is a very nice, sleek atmosphere with large abstract paintings on the walls. Having art on the walls is always a + for me. Of course I would love it if my paintings were hanging in the restaurant but we can't have everything ;-> The menu was interesting and unique. The waiter, named Brian was an outstanding and attentive server. They had a large flat screened TV featuring a silent film about surfing, very appropriate for a beach town. They played Reggae music but it wasn't loud. They have very charming outdoor seating which I'm sure is very popular in the cool weather months. I opted for the Cuban sandwich, one of my favorites. It was delicious and huge. It had pulled pork in it with the other more traditional ingredients. It was of course pressed, the only way to eat one properly. It came with French fries which were plentiful and very crisp and hot. Brian told me that their specialty is shrimp which is brought in fresh each day from Mayport. I may have to go back and try that if time permits. My large sandwich,fries and iced tea were about 12.00. The Groove Cafe is located at 134 Seagrove Town Center in St Augustine Beach.
I will be painting from the patio of my condo again today. The scenery is grand. More to come....