Thursday, March 16, 2006

the fish in florida

arrrrr! avast! a weekend with pirates.

aye, the sunshine state...
the travel gods gave us beautiful weather, the perfect start to spring: to escape the last-ditch efforts of winter. i hope. so it seems, anyway, although there are rumors of one more winter weekend.

the more-or-less official reason for the visit to St. Augustine was to participate in Searles' Raid, when English pirates sacked the Spanish town in 1668. Arrrr!
as a result the Spanish alotted funds to the colony to built a massive stone fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, & the city was never taken again.

a dear old friend of ours moved down south a couple years ago & took up more or less permanent residence in the Pirate Haus Inn, painting murals, griddling pirate pancakes, & generally having a grand old time in much warmer temperatures that New Jersey allows. come now, let's all envy her together.

steps up to the Pirate Haus.

oldben & i decided to be tourists rather than pirates, because it was an all-day thing & there was so much to see & walk to & drink. ales! wines! ostriches! stone & seashell forts on the bay! the Mission of Nombre de Dios with its giant cross! the antique shops & overgrown Victorians! the street musicians! all those re-enactors wandering the streets! peg-leg pirates & the sea cook! peacocks & children! palm trees & musket smoke & mannequins! the Fountain of Youth (which, er, we didn't actually pay to see, unless it was the same fountain the ostrich was hanging out at.)

& in a quiet moment on Saturday night in the Backstreets Cafe, i met the Pacmaster.
i sat down at the arcade table to play a little Ms. Pacman, & i'm no novice (i had the hiscore in a laundromat once in the bright year of 1998.) the gentleman already there, a quiet scruffy sort, graciously invited me to play with him...& about 20 minutes later, it was finally my turn.
this guy was good. turns out the hiscore on that machine was his, & he was a master of the joystick. but he wasn't at all arrogant or snide, just very zen-like in his ability to control that wee yellow dot with a bow, & keeping up a conversational running commentary on the nature of Patterns & Attention & Enthusiasm. really. i swear.
he was the Pacmaster.

i love the whole idea of a glimpse into the past, costumes & accents & historic weaponry. the opportunity to see skinned squirrels & a flayed gator. the realization that little children's clothes have only really changed in the past century. the pirate raid itself was EXTREMELY LOUD. have you ever really stood close to a man firing a musket? an experience unto itself. follow the gunshots & there be pirates. i was taken captive twice, which perhaps explains why i failed to photographically capture my friends running down the crowded pedestrian mall tossing smoke bombs for cover. ah well, i already knew my journalistic skills need some serious honing.
i was even asked once for "mercy!" I've never been mistaken for a pirate before. arrrrr!

& in the spirit of things, & because we were (obviously) in the mood for it again, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean this week. really bad eggs!
pirate photos are going to continue going up on the tourist until i have none left.
this could be the spring of the pirate much as the summer of 2003 was the summer of the pirate...& maybe the summer too, what with Dead Man's Chest showing up in July...

& if nothing else, i have my pirate cereal to keep me in the spirit of the thing.

it comes with marshmallow hats.

7 little fish:

Blogger anne swam up to say...

So in effect, you're breakfasting with Johnny Depp? Hmmm...

3:09 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

So.....are those pirate droppings in that cereal or....?????

Looks and sounds like you had a piratically good time. Nice touch to finish up with Pirates of the Caribbean, I commend you.

Summer of the Pirates sounds wonderful to me. If you haven't read it you need to get ahold of the trade edition of the comic Scurvy Dogs. It is pirate fun of the very best kind, well worth a read and full of some of the best pirate humor I've ever walked the plank for.

3:54 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

in effect, anne, yes.
though the cereal's all gone now.

those are black pearls, carl, obviously.

my favorite pirate humor at the moment is One Piece...

12:37 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

So THAT'S what they're called....

12:50 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

well, that's what the box says anyway :)

1:07 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

I have read about but haven't seen One Piece. Looks interesting...and piratey. I really think you'd love Scurvy Dogs.

5:40 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

oooh that does look fun.

2:22 PM  

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