Hola! Sketchers go Mexican at Pepe’s Hacienda Restaurant

On Valentine’s Day, sketchers met up at Pepe’s Hacienda Restaurant just off  St. Augustine Road and University Boulevard. What an explosion of color met us! Mexican decorations were everywhere – as well as a huge bouquet of Valentine balloons. We had a big group and lots of fun as everyone got to work doing their own interpretation of the place. That’s one thing that makes this group so enjoyable. We learn so much from each other.

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We were grateful for our very lovely server, Matilde, who kept up with all our wants and needs. Thank you, Matilde!

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IMG_4778.jpgAnd before we knew it, it was time for lunch. A caveat: portions are gigantic! But very tasty – more authentic than most Mexican places, I was told. (The sign says “original flavor of Mexico.”)

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Then we shared our very colorful sketches:

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Next week we’ll be at another new place, the Florida Cracker Kitchen. Watch for us.

 

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Sketchers Visit IKEA

Our first meet-up of the year was at Jacksonville’s new IKEA store and restaurant. The food was good – Swedish waffles or crepes anyone? and very reasonable. Some had breakfast, some waited for lunch, but everyone was busy sketching. Most were drawn to the huge hanging lamps, but there were interesting things to see everywhere. A fun trip, and, of course, shopping afterwards.

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Next week we’ll be at Pepe’s Hacienda Restaurant. Mexican food and colorful  decorations.

Basketique (before Christmas)

I know it’s February, and I have gotten behind in posting our sketches. In December we all celebrated the holiday season by going to “high tea” at Basketique in Orange Park. Jackie dressed for it, and Pat instructed us in the fine art of high tea. We drank the same brand the Queen drinks, P.G. Tipps, and the food was so beautiful and delicious, many had to take their sketches home to finish.IMG_4284.jpg

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Happy New Year! We’ll be back in 2018.

Sketchers at Singleton’s in Mayport

On a beautiful warm day in sunny northeast Florida, Sketchers visited Singleton’s Seafood Shack, an iconic institution in the historic village of Mayport. Though it’s been “gussied up” in the last few years, it still retains the flavor of the original old fishing shack. The current restaurant opened for business in 1969, but if you include the family’s prior sea shanties, Singleton’s has served fresh fish and shrimp here for 71 years, since 1945.

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The staff welcomed us warmly, but because of the previous night’s rain, we were unable to use the deck until it dried. However, we settled down on the screen porch to watch (and paint) the pelicans which occupied every piling in the water.

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Lunch – shrimp, scallops and oysters – was fresh from the water and delicious….

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Then we shared our paintings and said good-bye until next time.

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And last but not least… Dale’s Fishercat.  For our last Meetup of the year, we’ll be at a Sip n’ Sketch having tea at Basketique in Orange Park. Watch for us.

Home Plate Diner, Mayport

Its been two weeks since the Sketchers went to the Home Plate Diner in Mayport.  (I’m a little behind in posting….)  It was a fun day with the original Col. Mustard (Jimmy) keeping us entertained and his gracious wife, Dana, keeping us supplied with food and drink.

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Our sympathies and prayers are now with Jimmy as he mourns the death of his wife since our visit. We were so sorry to hear of it.

Changes at the Secret Garden at the Beach

Sketchers met last week at the Secret Garden at Jax Beach. We commented that we wished there was more “decor” to draw and were told all that was changing. By now there is a “Grand Opening” sign up for their new name – “Bacon in the Sun.” The image is a strip of bacon “baking” in the sun in a beach chair…..

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Frances and Jane came early for breakfast. Frances drew hers while Jane drew sketchers as they arrived. Very nice, Ladies.

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I hope they will still have the fried green tomatoes with onion marmalade as that’s my favorite! Also the lobster bisque was delicious.

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See you next time at the Home Plate Diner in Mayport. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

 

Dressing Downton at the Lightner

Last week the Cafe Sketchers visited the Lightner Museum in St Augustine, formerly the Alcazar Hotel built in 1888 by Henry Flagler (photo from their website).

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The occasion was to see and sketch the “Dressing Downton” exhibition of 36 costumes and accessories from the popular British TV series, Downton Abbey. This selection from the series’ wardrobe reflects on the changing times through fashion from 1912 to the mid-1920s and was great fun to sketch. This is the final stop of this exhibition, the only stop in Florida and the Southeastern United States and continues through January 7, 2018. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Jackie dressed for the occasion and fit in beautifully. She could have been in one of the tableaus. We are all glad she became a permanent transplant from Vermont.

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After a very quick two hours it was time for tea. High Tea was served (for a price!) in the Cafe Alcazar, what was once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. Finger sandwiches, scones, tarts and other sweets were served as well as your choice of tea.

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There was lots of laughter and good conversation, but Sandi is the only one who actually did a sketch of it.

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And then it was time to say good-bye. Cheerio until next time.

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Mimi’s – An Old Favorite

It’s been nearly 3 years since we sketched at Mimi’s, and, as always, the food and service were exceptional. Shaniqua was back with her bottomless coffee pot and her warm and friendly disposition. Our only problem was that she moved so fast we couldn’t sketch her. But it’s always good to see her.

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Being October, Pumpkin Spice was the flavor of the day. Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Muffins were just the beginning. Dale, of course, had to draw before tasting which gave the rest of us plenty of time to get them in our pictures.

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I was so sad the tiny strawberry waffles with cream cheese and marmalade were no longer on the menu (sketch from 2015). However, the crepes were very similar and delicious – but with potatoes????

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We had a new sketcher with us this week, Hye-Joo, and her friend Nancy from Maryland.  Their first efforts were very good, don’t you think?

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Frances painted a charming duck from a photograph. (Mimi’s didn’t have this on the table!) Any and all sketches are welcome.

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Next week some of us will be going to the Downton Abbey costume exhibit in St. Augustine followed by High Tea at the Cafe Alcazar. We will try to do some sketching.

Cafe Veneto – Great Fun!

Sketchers met at a new place this week, and we all agreed it was one of the best times so far. Cafe Veneto is in Lantern Square near the Walmart in the Regency area.

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Nermina, our lovely hostess, makes all her own pastries, and, believe me, they are out of this world. It’s worth a trip there just to take one home.

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But… we were here to sketch, and so we did. From the red umbrellas outside to the brightly colored chairs and mosaic tables inside, the place was made for our group of artists.

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And when we had finished painting and eaten a delicious lunch, Dale and Nermina showed off their moves to the Greek music playing. A really fun day. Look for us next week at Mimi’s in the Town Center.

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Sketching at Angie’s Grom

After many trips around the block, I was unable to find the Brick Coffee House on Hogan Street so sketchers gathered this week at Angie’s Grom in Jax Beach (“Grom” means “an inexperienced surfer” for those of you who, like us, didn’t know.) What a fun place with so much stuff to draw – from surfboards, skateboards, even a Cypress Gardens ski on the wall to colorful chairs and tables as well as delicious food (including mimosas!). Try the Mary Jane Wrap – yum, yum.

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A great time was had by all. Next week we’ll be at a new place near Regency Square, Veneto Cafe with decadent homemade desserts.