Savannah to Titusville
This is the first day of our self-imposed forced relaxation vacation. So far, our universe has conspired against relaxation, with a day that included (1) Dick making an early morning run to the tile store before we left to pick up the tile that will be installed in our bathroom as soon as we return home, (2) Gayl actually attempting to use the vacuum cleaner and a dust rag with vigor while he was gone, (3) conducting way too many cell phone conversations while driving to keep all our home purchase, repair, renovation and sale projects moving forward while we are gone, and (4)navigating through misty rain for most of the afternoon.
We did have a moment of comic relief on I-95 when passing a truck towing an oversize load trailer with this cargo aboard.
We gave ourselves the gift of a few hours of life in the slow lane cruising the coast along Route A1A, and our rewards included some noteworthy roadside attractions, along with a few stops to enjoy views of nearly deserted chilly beaches shrouded in mist.
Just north of St. Augustine we stopped to look at Castle Otttis (not a typo). Rusty Ickes and Ottis Sadler were inspired by ancient Irish castles when they built this edifice on a heavily vegetated plot of land along A1A. When its turrets rose above the tree tops, neighbors noticed, and the lack of a building permit became a problem. With a little finagling, Rusty and Ottis got a permit for a garage. Does this look like a garage to you?
A sign above their mailbox proclaims “Castle Otttis was created as an original landscape sculpture in remembrance of Jesus Christ.” The castle has its own website (castleotttis.com), where we learned that Rusty and Ottis built the castle themselves, “without the aid of laborers, helpers, elevation drawings, or models.” Did Jesus have a hand in it? "The building seemed to exert its own insistent will" during construction, they claim.
We passed right through St. Augustine without a stop for the Fountain of Youth or the World’s Largest Cross (been there, done that), and were soon at our next stop, the Bluebird of Happiness at Vilano Beach. He’s a 1940s statue originally painted orange and used to promote oranges, now repainted and reincarnated as a community mascot. We will take him as a good omen for the happiness that awaits us during our week of mandatory relaxation.