Willy Dunne Wooters took a week of his vacation time from work not long ago. For the most part, we piddled around and watched movies and talked and smooched, and then we smooched some more.
One day, WDW said, How about if we drive up A1A to St. Augustine tomorrow? I want to take you to a restaurant I like.
How can I say no to this man?
I've visited St. Augustine before and found it to be a tourist trap. It turned out WDW wasn't taking me to the touristy part. He knows where cool St. Augustine is. He turned off the road before we reached the creepy looking and expensive Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. I thought he was lost and needed to turn around or wanted to look at the view, because the building in front of us didn't look like much. It turned out to be our destination: Matanzas Innlet Restaurant, owned by Jerry and Joni Galasso, at 8805 A1A South, Summer Haven, Florida. Technically, I guess we weren't in St. Augustine.
When I realized we had gotten where we were going, I said, Let's look at the water.
It was a beautiful, sunny day:
This is the view from the side of the restaurant that faces the water. Out on that strip of sand in the distance, some people were playing with dogs.
As we enjoyed the breeze, a server who was outside said, Here comes a manatee!
Within a few seconds, a manatee popped up to greet us. He didn't hang around long enough for me to take his photo, so I have to steal a manatee photo from the internet.
|Is he cool, or what?|
Matanzas has tables outside, close to the water. WDW is like a lizard who enjoys soaking up the sun, but I'm Ms. Hot Flashes so we ate inside. Matanzas is very pleasant and comfortable, and oh my goodness, the food! Delicious!
This is a shrimp dish that WDW ordered:
I started with calimari, and then had the best mahi-mahi sandwich ever. WDW refused to try the calimari. I don't know why so many people won't eat calimari.
We also enjoyed the Matanzas sense of humor:
The next sign is kind of hard to read. It says KIDS throwing rocks in water will be made to retrieve them:
Kids throwing rocks will be fed to resident bullsharks:
My guess is that the owners are disciplinarians when it comes to kids throwing things in the water. They even urge their guests to forget about telephone and social media for a while. The bottom of the menu says, sit back, relax, we do not have wiFi, TALK TO EACH OTHER. your food will be out soon. put your cell phone away. catch up on gossip whether it's true or not. no yelling. be nice to your server. elbows off the table. sip your sweet tea. if you enjoyed your meal go to TRIPADVISOR and share it with the world. If not remember what thumper's mother said: "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say nothin' at all!"
And look, Juli (of Surviving Boys)! GLUTEN FREE MENU AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
I had such a good time. If you come to visit me, and I like you, I just might drive you up A1A to Matanzas.
Maybe Mr. Manatee will greet you.
Or you'll spend a little time with a lover man:
That's right: Steve Buscemi is yours. Willy Dunne Wooters is mine, all mine.
Infinities of love,
I just realized that some of you might now know that calimari is squid:
When it's deep fried, which I suppose is very unhealthy but I only eat it about once a year, it looks like this:
I really like the message at the bottom of the menu. St. Augustine is my favorite place I have visited. I have tried calamari and knew it was squid. I won't ever eat it again. Once was enough. If WDW whisks you off to a favorite place of his, a nice place, it seems he may be a keeper! But, I already knew that.ReplyDelete
At least you tried the calimari.Delete
Hi Janie .. looks absolutely delicious .. and how wonderful to see a Manatee up so close and beautiful ... lucky you and Mr WDW ... great idea ... lovely looking place for a visit and to relax in ... cheers HilaryReplyDelete
It was our little vacation.Delete
So what do you mean.... he's not romantic?ReplyDelete
Who isn't romantic?Delete
While I can't speak for everyone else, I can say why I won't eat calamari. Cephalopods, particularly squids are staggeringly smart animals and I won't eat something that is potentially as smart or smarter than me. It just seems vindictive. By comparison, cows and chickens are unspeakably stupid. There's a story where a scientist had a squid in his office next to his desk. One day he came in to find the squid had crawled out of the tank, over to the desk and was sitting on the desk flipping through a book as it had watched the scientist do. I can't eat something that cool.ReplyDelete
Glad you had fun on your mini-vacation.
I've heard of Pickleopes who escape and become the CEOs of successful companies--the kind of companies that help consumers and are good to their employees.Delete
So now the big question is... why do I have pickleopes for breakfast? :pDelete
It's the only food in the house?Delete
OOOOOH! I love t when someone knows of a non touristy place in the midst ! Yum and fun!!ReplyDelete
It was the most pleasant day I had all summer.Delete
Hi, Janie Junebug!ReplyDelete
<< we piddled around >>
Is that what you young'uns are calling it now?
The one and only time I visited St. Augustine was at age 12. I remember exploring the fort, standing on the narrowest street in America (where you can hold your arms out to your sides and touch the buildings on both sides of the street) and visiting the tourist trap, Ripley's.
I love seafood and would gladly let you take me to that restaurant (if you decided you like me). I have been living in West Central Florida for 30 years but to my dismay have never seen a manatee. The sea cow is my favorite animal and I remember writing an essay about them in elementary school.
Ha! What a coincidence! It just so happens that Steve Buscemi and I are lovers. He and I play kinky games with a wood chipper. Caution: do NOT forget the safe word!
Happy Monday to you, dear Janie!
BAZINGA! If I like you . . . HA! Get in your car and let's hit Matanzas.Delete
I like Calimari.
That shrimp dish would be my pick.
Glad you had fun.
I'm glad you're a calimari eater, too.Delete
What a nice afternoon! I feel a tinge of longing...ReplyDelete
Hubzam, who already had more brownie points that the average Gosling, has been racking them up at an unbelievable pace lately. Sounds like Willy Dunne Wooters is on a roll, too.
Calamari and I are best friends, and I had to force Hubzam to try it; once he did, he was hooked, too. Same story with Oysters Rockefeller...wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pool and now he loves it.
All our favorite vacations include water and sea food. I'll bet it is lovely living near the ocean, and dang it - I hope I get to find out exactly what it's like some day!
Love ya, Cherdo
I think it would be heavenly to actually live in one of the houses on the beach. They have such beautiful views. Sadly, I don't have the million dollars or so that would allow me to own such a house. Maybe you and Shady and I could buy a beach house together.Delete
The signs are great. Wish I could remember some of the many I've read. About feeding them sugar and sending them home, for instance.ReplyDelete
Love a good restaurant.
It was such a relaxing spot, between the view and the delicious food.Delete
I love the out-of-the-way eateries you can find in some of the coastal towns. Many times, if I do not know anyone living in the area, I'll ask people for the best paces that no one knows about. Had some mighty fine meals that way.ReplyDelete
If I travel, then I don't want to go to a chain restaurant.Delete
I looove calamari but only in the rings. When they deep fry a whole squid, I can't eat it. Seeing the shape makes me feel guilty and the texture feels weird to me.ReplyDelete
I would love to visit that restaurant. Hell, I would love to work there. That sounds too amazing.
I've never seen it in anything but rings.Delete
I suppose a lot of people don't like calamari because it's so rubbery. If I'm going to eat something with tentacles, I prefer octopus.ReplyDelete
I've never had octopus. Calimari is a little chewy, but I don't think it's rubbery. I think they don't like it, as in won't try it, because it's squid.Delete
Janie, you make me laugh. WDW knew you would go crazy over all the things you could see there at the restaurant and also enjoy the food. Thanks for sharing. And BTW, my hubby and I love calamari. The best is in California along the ocean.ReplyDelete
You calimari lover, you. WDW knows how to make me happy. He also knows how to irritate the heck out of me.Delete
This sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time on the week-end! I've never been to St. Augustine, and it has actually been many, many years since I've even been to Florida! Guess I should start traveling. xoReplyDelete
I'd like to travel more, but I can't afford it.Delete
I coming to visit so you can take me there! Granted, I'd love to visit you anyway, but that restaurant sounds like it's right up my alley.ReplyDelete
I love calamari and never understand people's aversion to it. If it came out looking like squid, I would pass, pass, pass, but it's little round rings of fried deliciousness...what's not to love?
That WDW is an awesome guy!
Get your butt to Jacksonville so we can have some fun. We'll get Rachel here, too.Delete
If I liked sea food, I'd totally have to go check out that restaurant. I love learning new little secrets about our beloved Flordia. =) (And my goodness...kids throw rocks. That's what they do. Come on, people! ;)ReplyDelete
IF you liked seafood? I'm so sad that you aren't a fan of gifts from the sea. The rocks are pretty big. Kids who walk on them would probably be in danger of falling and hurting themselves.Delete
Ahhh someday I'll go to St.Autustine . . . and maybe I'll go just outside of it to try Matanzas. Love their 'instructions' to the customers! Stay off the darn phone, elbows off the table, and only say something nice as review. (I should put a similar note in my books lol . . . err, no.) Glad you had a great time :)ReplyDelete
I like the concept of book instructions. Tell people the best time of day for them to read, the pace at which they should read, and not to write a review unless they have nice things to say.Delete
What a great place! I love those signs. Very funny! Just for the record, I do eat calamari. I like it, especially when the dipping sauce is exceptional.ReplyDelete
Their sauce was excellent.Delete
I LOVE calamari!! I stole your sign pictures for a possible future post. If I use them you'll get credit.ReplyDelete
Why, thank you, Madam.Delete
That WDW is someone to hold on too with both hands.ReplyDelete
Wonderful place and the no gadgets rule makes it even better.
BTW: are you allowed to throw kids into the water? Or is that a no-no too?
I think it would be okay to throw kids in the water if it weren't for the rocks. They might hit their heads and then they'd whine and complain and need stitches for the gashes in their heads. Kids are so selfish.Delete
Thanks for this 'field trip' Janie! I LOVE calimari and would shared yours in a flash!ReplyDelete
Looks to be a love part of Florida. And that Manatee!
It was the prettiest spot I've seen during the five years since I arrived.Delete
That looks fantastic! When Mrs. Penwasser and I lived in Orange Park (by the dog track), we went to St. Augustine. Yeah, Ripleys. A creepy tourist trap. Also had a fake alligator bite me on the behind as I tied my shoe. Maybe I'll post the picture.ReplyDelete
Wished we had gone to that restaurant, instead.
And thrown a few rocks.
How long has it been since you lived in Orange Park? The traffic over there is horrible. If an alligator of any kind bit me on the butt, I'd scream bloody murder.Delete
We left OP in 1987 (yeah, huh?) when the Navy sent us to Maine. In fact, because of my stay at NAS Jax, I became a Florida resident, a distinction I held until I retired from the navy in 2005 (why no, it had nothing to do with the fact that Florida had no state income tax). I've been to Jax/OP several times since. I have to admit....yowza, it looks quite crowded there.Delete
I haven't had much experience eating calamari. i should try it out again.ReplyDelete
I don't eat it often, but when I do, I relish it.Delete
As for kids throwing rocks. Most little kids who throw rocks manage to get a few to fly backwards. That's a insurance problem for the restaurant and a tooth breaker or head breaker. So, it is a safety issue for others. Besides, if parents had to pay for each rock that had to be bought to replace it, parents would make sure kids did not throw rocks.ReplyDelete
I had a really bad experience with a woman who was going to mow my yard. Her daughter came over to "visit" her mother and brought a two- and three-year-old or somewhere around that age. They proceeded to throw all my gravel in my driveway into the grass. When I told the children not to throw rocks and then told the mother to stop them, the mother said, "But, they are little kids." AND??? I really want rocks in the grass and none on the dirt driveway.
The calamari I ate was from someone's plate who offered a bite to me since I had never had calamari before. It was crunchy, like fried pork skins, not at all tasty. It was in little rings. I was having chicken...lol.
That must not have been good calimari.Delete
It takes a man to bring out the girl in youReplyDelete
You better believe it, baby.Delete
and also I got a new blog, deleted that one and made new, I followed you, and it is also on my profileReplyDelete
I signed up to follow you. I don't know if it worked.Delete
it worked and thank you, but I think I've made two new Tumblr blogs since then, and I'm still not done, oh wellDelete
You had me at A1A. When will I get to live in Florida, Janie? When?ReplyDelete
Love the post, and the fact that you got to go. Willy Dunne Wooters makes you so happy - I can tell!
You can live in Florida right now. Just pack up and get on a plane. That's what I did. Personally, I wouldn't live in the part with alligators. I like Northern Florida because we have a lovely autumn along about January.Delete
Dear Janie, and the next time you go to that restaurant with its yummy calamari, you can wear your new shoes!!! Peace.ReplyDelete
Glad you had a great time. Sounds like a perfect day to me, except I'd have eaten outside. That's one of my favorite things to do!ReplyDelete
It was 90+ degrees outside, and humid. That's too warm for me.Delete
That restaurant sounds fantastic. Seafood, the water, a manatee, and an overall sense of humor in the area... who could ask for anything more? Oh. and I love calamari, too.ReplyDelete
I knew you would be a fellow calimari lover.Delete
WDW is a keeper. Glad you had a lovely getaway. Mr. Manatee is awfully endearing looking. I'm wondering if he's single.ReplyDelete
I should investigate the mating habits of manatees just in case WDW gets lost and can't find his way back to my house.Delete
How awesome is that!!! I loved all my off the beaten path places. I had some favorites in the keys. I went every third weekend for over a year and figured out how to avoid all the tourist places. I even found one that made it's key lime pie from the key limes on the property. *sigh* You know, there are a few things I really miss... :) I used to watch the manatees often as well. There was a canal they would frequently use near Dania Beach and I loved to see them. They were so peaceful and calm. Except when they pooped... that was gross. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for letting me know you tagged me. I'm really trying hard to keep up with everyone, but lately it seems like I'm swimming against the tide... without the company of manatees.
I know you have a lot going on, sweetie. I love your posts about your vacation.Delete
That place looks great. But I'd have to choose the shrimp over the calamari...I've never been a fan. More for you!ReplyDelete
Other than the squid (awk!), what a great time! I love all the various signs and notices--hysterical! :)ReplyDelete