When Tim and I were first figuring out our move to Florida, we weren't certain where we wanted to live. So we spent some time wandering up and down the West coast checking out little Beach Towns. We referred to it as the beach tour. There were a lot of cute ones of course and some that were not so cute, but the only one that immediately said "home" to us was Venice which is, of course, ultimately where we landed.
But there was another town that we liked. I mean the first time, which was 4 years ago now, we only just sort of drove through the town aimlessly, trying to get a feel for it. We didn't actually visit the town or spend any great amount of time there. But it made enough of an impression on us that over the weekend, we went back to see it again. And this time we actually parked the car, got out and walked around.
The town is called, Dunedin. It was settled in the 1800's by some folks from Scotland, J.O. Douglas and James Summerville. There are still roads that hint at the origin of the town - I mean other than the obvious Scottishness of the name of the town itself, Dunedin (which by the way is Gaelic for Edinburgh). There were roads named, Douglas, James , Scotland, Aberdeen and Locklie just to name a few.
We honestly weren't certain why this town stuck in our memories until we went back for this visit. It is absolutely charming. From the brick sidewalks to the funky museums to the wildly varied and unique restaurants and shops to the adorable homes that lined the streets.
We loved that the town is very clearly big on art as there were unique art pieces everywhere we looked. Some of the art was a little more interactive than other pieces of art.
Of course we really adore that it was on the water. That was key. It's the only reason we found the town in the first place. We specifically wanted to live by the water. And Dunedin is absolutely on the water
It was market day when we arrived and that is obviously a very popular event. The park in the "center" of town was packed with tents and live music and goods of all sorts and people and dogs. Dunedin is, apparently, a very dog friendly town. How can I not love a town that loves dogs?
There is a walking/bicycle path that runs right through the middle of town, parrellel to the shoreline that I was itching to tackle.
I mentioned that they had some funky museums. Here are two that we found immediately without even trying. Who knows how many others there are? We drove up to Dunedin without doing any research at all, y'see. Just a spontanesous itch to go on an explore :)
There were fountains and monuments and a lovely gazebo that looked tricked out for a wedding. There was no wedding taking place while we were there but it was still being perfectly utilized. Hey, weddings are celebrations and so is eating ice cream. It counts
One of my favourite discoveries personally was this place:
Skip's Bar. Why? Well a long time ago I wrote a short story that took place in a watering hole called, 'Skip's Bar' only the sign was neon and the lights behind the apostrophe and 's' had blinked out and were never replaced. So the sign in the night read "Skip Bar" and the jaded regulars at the bar considered that to be a recommendation. In the story I mean. Not here. This place seemed to be very popular and well attended. I was just tickled to find a place with the same name as the one in a story I wrote. Too funny.
So there you have it. We spent the better part of the day in Dunedin and enjoyed every minute of it. It still did not have that feeling of "You are Home" that Venice always had for us, but what a lovely place to visit. I'm certain that we will return.
Oh! Forgot to mention that on the way to Dunedin we stopped for a bit to watch this:
What an unexpected treat! We had no idea that this was happening but as soon as Tim saw it, we pulled off to watch and enjoy. Nobody seemed to mind that we were there. We stayed out of the way, but it was great fun to see.
Anyway, so that was our big weekend adventure! Bye for now Dunedin. We shall return!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.