One Particular Harbour

Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea;
Like oils applied to canvas,
They permeate through me.

And there's that one particular harbour
Sheltered from the wind
Where the children play on the shore each day
And all are safe within.

~ Jimmy Buffett, "One Particular Harbour"
One week ago at this exact time, I was listening to the charismatic eastern waves and the rough St. Augustine shores playfully argue back-and-forth, chugging sipping a Corona (while its twin hung out on the arm of my sun bleached deck chair, patiently awaiting its turn and sweating its [gl]ass off), and trying to successfully read a complete page of Vogue without slipping into a haze of mmmmmm, bluuuuue, preeety, ahhhhhhhhhh. The wonderful ing of it all... Lila and AJ were napping, Ang was relaxing, and I was taking it all in. I was Zen Biasi and I was loving every minute of it.

Alas, these solitary moments spent soaking in the sun and counting my umpteen blessings were few and far between. As the week beautifully rolled on, I ate up these quiet interludes just as I do Chili's Southwestern egg rolls: Recklessly. With gusto, verve, wild abandon, and a Corona. Yum.

The other 99% of Biasi Family Vacation's minutes were just as delicious, if a bit less... relaxing, as they were spent with the likes of these very active little people:

Add one overworked husband desperately in need of a week off, and one large dog desperately in need of antipsychotics...
...shake it all up, stir, dance, swim, ride the carousel, explore, play, laugh, fall asleep sunburnt and exhausted only to do it all over again the next morning, and voila! You've got yourself a family vacation...

 s t . a u g u s t i n e  

St. Augustine is beautiful. The fact that it's the oldest city in America, having been civilized by the Spanish long before the Puritans even settled New England, never escaped me last week. Its 450-year history screams out from Castillo de san Marcos, a Spanish fort that rests atop a hill overlooking the water - no longer protecting its garrison, this old broad chooses, rather, to simply sun herself like the rest of St. Auggie tourists do. The loggia-and-balcony homes nestled on cobblestone streets sang out to me, "We have history and character, and all you got was a St. Augustine t-shirt!" Cocky, maybe, but they were right... It's a beautiful city.

[Regarding above images: I could go with the ol' "I think blurry photos show the energy and heat of a city". Or, I could just go with the standby, "John the Driver and Gary the Horse were taking us on a bumpy tour of said city at dusk and I have zero photog skills to compete with cobblestone streets, quick stops, and a basic camera package." Hm. Going with the former. Yes, lots and lots of energy and heat going on in St. Augustine.]

*   *   *   *   *
Some pics for you, in no particular order, along with sporadic commentary. Say goodbye to rhyme and reason as you take a peek:

t h e   s c e n e
I'll admit it. We found toys in the closet of our rental and helped ourselves. Naughty, naughty renters. Bad us. Terribly happy, terribly bad us...
Ang and AJ gathered the shells; Lila and I placed them on the sand to make this pretty beach flower; lovely, loveliness, as if Norman Rockwell, himself, had sprinkled his essence upon us, like sand upon the shore... Until all hell broke loose due to our forgetting we were an hour past lunchtime, only 4 minutes pre-nap, and sans food/clean sheets/game plan in the rental. Nifty.

n o t h i n g   b e a t s   t h i s .   n o t h i n g . . .

s t .   a u g u s t i n e   b e a c h

Wednesday nite concert on St. Augustine Beach

l i l a   g e t s   h e r   g r o o v e   o n . . .

w h i l e   a j   d o e s   ' t h e   e l a i n e '

m u s i c   l o v e r

t h e   c a r o u s e l   p a r k

h a p p y

s t e l l a

p r e - b e d t i m e   n a k e d   s p r i n t s
[Once again, the blurry factor is only due to the energy of the scene. Has nothing at all to do with the photographer's ineptitude. Carry on...]

m o r n i n g . . . (BTW, we dig bedhead)

m o r e   h a p p y . . .

s u n t a n   l o t i o n

l i t t l e   m o m e n t s
We were supposed to leave on Saturday, which would have made it a full week. But during all of these incredible moments... while we were living it up and soaking in all of the beachy-beachness this spit of sand had to offer, we had no idea there was another family lurking among us. Well, many families, along with horrible luck and a side of ewww. Apparently, the lovely dad of the family who owns our rental had constructed a seawall over a time span of two years. He did a phenomenal job. The beautiful home is secure from any and all hurricanes. So secure, in fact, that the seawall has become the perfect refuge, habitat, hotel, and cabana for spiders the size of my hand.

We were introduced to the first one on the deck on Wednesday. A tennis ball-sized tarantula. Lord help me, if it wasn't an actual tarantula, then it was a tiny Satanic bear with eight arms. Reaching out to me and inspired by evil. We then witnessed a spider the very actual size of, ummm, a huge f*%#ing spider. It reminded me of one of those white spindly creatures one sees crawling along the ocean floor in "The Making of 'Titanic' " footage on Discovery. Except this one was more colorful, creepier, and had a pulse. And it bled when Ang smacked the sh*t out of it with a red plastic broom. (Sorry Buddha, I love all living beings, but we were scared.)
In addition to our beach house roomies from freaking Hell, we had a bit of an issue with the plumbing, in that it stopped working. The floors were flooded, the toilets stopped up, and the tubs were a hot mess. Sweet. Upon calling our lovely seawall construction artist and arachnid habitat building extraordinaire, he informed us that oh, you folks have toddlers? You may want to watch out on the rocks for rattlesnakes.

Friday morning Ang was walking Stella and spoke with a surfcaster directly in front of our rental who informed him that he had just caught a hammerhead shark. At 7am. About 10 feet offshore.

Listen, we're not Bear Grylls, people. We're not looking to survive vacation - we're looking to enjoy it. Just hoping for a sunburn, some tacky souvenirs, and a story or two to tell - preferably not one starring arachnids, sharks or sewer systems.

Eh, so we left on Friday after lunch and went to Disney.

 d i s n e y  

Anyone out there who's been to Disney with one, two, twelve kids, knows that it ain't easy to get good photos of your spawn while juggling crowds, hunger, toilet issues, and basic sanity. We, in fact, are those people who brought two potty-training-not-quite-yet-complete twin toddlers to the Magic Kingdom. Read: Minimum of three potty stops per attraction. I'm in the hopes this will explain my sad lack of photos. I've got four:
b e f o r e . . .
t i n k e r b e l l   a w a i t s . . .
t o d d l e r s   a n d   r a c e c a r s
. . . a n d   a f t e r
So. Vacation's over. We reveled in the sand and the surf, battled strange nemeses, and managed to sneak in an extra-special magical day... Through it all, we savored the ing moments: sharing homemade popsicles at The Hyppo, taking a walk to find purple shells, riding Linda and Stumpy on the carousel, watching the sights from an outside table at Crucial Coffee, napping together in one big bed while listening to the waves, finally meeting Tinkerbell and Buzz...We found a place where time stood still. That one particular harbour within our family vacation, sheltered from the wind, where AJ and Lila went to play, and we were all safe within... ( for those evil spider bastards and the damn sharks.)

So I saddled up my seahorse
with a fly-rod in my hand;
I was not looking for salvation,
Just a salty piece of land.
~ Jimmy Buffett, "Salty Piece of Land"

h e r e ' s   t o   f i n d i n g   t h a t   o n e   p a r t i c u l a r   h a r b o u r . . .
h a p p y   w e d n e s d a y !


Anonymous said…
Absolutely love this beautiful wonderful family adventure. The pictures are so amazing, they speak !They are able to say past & present, history & future, but best of all.. family. I wanted more:)you are putting this in your book right? xoxo
Grammij said…
Gorgeous family,gorgeous photos!
Would love to have seen a photo of your bracelets. You should list on it's outrageous and very inexpensive a great community and resource for selling safely via paypal.
Best of Luck to you!
Kelly said…
These pictures are incredible! Love AJ's spiked hair and Lila's smile! xo
Heidi said…
aw, jenn! this is my fave post yet. i love how you write, so entertaining. i hang on your every word. st. auggie sounds divine. i want to go, but you stopped me at the spiders. yes, that did it for me;)

i LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos you got of the kids and the dog. they are beautiful. lovely, didn't want them to end.

ilove you;)

open house is thursday night for vme i have heard. not confirmed yet, but we may have do dinner on fri free? xoxoxo
grafik dezine said…
Beautiful photos! I was just dying over how awesome that house was - and then you mentioned all the - ahem - issues. Now I'm not so filled with angst and longing for such an amazing home. lol! I'll have to share my own experience with a segmented spider, giant killer millipede and the giant wasp. I shudder to even think about it, as the wasp was in my own home.

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