One of my best friends came to visit Caryn and I for the weekend. We had a fantastic time, which she shared more about in her blog, It's Beautiful Here. It's always the best time when a visit involves Melanie, but this particular visit meant we had a chance to take her to the Riverside Arts Market, RAM for short. It's a market held in Jacksonville, beneath a bridge, and is home to vendors of all types, as well as various kinds of performers.
It was our first time visiting the market ourselves, so to have Melanie here for our first trip was a real treat. We met up with a friend of hers, who turned out to be charming and lovely, and were welcomed into RAM with some amazing chalk art. It was one of only two times I managed to snap a couple of snapshots, and even then it was only with my phone.
Though RAM was smaller than I expected, it was refreshing to get out into the cooler weather and walk amongst others, enjoy the smells of the food stalls, and squee over the many puppies that were everywhere.
After RAM we visited the San Marco neighborhood and popped in and out of a few stores in the area. The lions above sit in the center of the neighborhood, all elegance and poise.
The plan was to hit up Pulp, a small shop that offers some of the best frozen yogurt I've had the pleasure to taste. We managed to gorge ourselves on a brunch of belgian waffles and fruit at BB's just before then, however. There was very little room for anything else at that point. Very sad. I regret not having left room for dessert.
After browsing through a few shops, we made our way to a bakery and, though I was sadly disappointed, the others enjoyed their sweet treats. Still not sure how a peanut butter cookie or cheese danish could go so wrong, but it doesn't much matter anymore. Not when we were able to end our day on a high note, which involved DISCOVERING CASTLE OTTTIS!
Both Melanie and I snapped shots of the castle, which involved my climbing up a bank of sandspurs and ferns with her camera in hand. The castle itself was built as a landscape sculpture in the 1980s. Oddly, it's nestled within a neighborhood across A1A's edging the Atlantic ocean.
How many people could say that, on a leisurely drive down a coastal highway in Florida, they discovered a castle?
That entire day was full of so much more than what my everyday life consists of in the small town where I live. It sincerely felt like we spent an entire weekend in that single day. I was left both exhausted and elated.