I know I am so late in getting this post out, and I’m not even going to give you excuses as to why I haven’t been writing. Just bare with me as it is a very busy season of life we’re in right now.
A few weeks ago on a typical Thursday morning Kevin came up to me at work and said, “We need to pack our bags tonight.” Come to find out, he had sneakily made plans to take the two of us on a delightful trip to St. Augustine. What a refreshing surprise!
We left eagerly on a Friday right after work. We were so excited! You’ll have to excuse this next sentence as it more than likely will make you jealous. 😉 St. Augustine is less than a two hour drive from Orlando. How lucky are we! We stopped at a Village Inn for some breakfast for dinner which happened to be just a few minutes away from our hotel.
The Hampton Inn was perfect as it rested just a two minute walk from the beach! And as a little added bonus, our fridge didn’t work so we were upgraded to a room with a balcony only because they had an extra 52 rooms open. Score! The woman at the front desk explained if we would have come a week before, it would have been packed since school was out. We had forgotten how good it felt to be on vacation as we both slept like babies, not a care in the world.
This trip was literally a gift from God. Everything on this mini vaca was absolutely perfect. It just happened to be August 25th-28th which is the National Park Service Birthday. This year it turned 100 and everybody got free entrance the whole weekend!
This was the birthday card everybody could sign within the fort. If you look closely, you can see our signature on the bottom right!
Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. The Saturday morning of our three day stay, we got an early start and headed off to celebrate the very special birthday! Although Castillo de San Marcos is filled with rich history, I’m not going to go too deep into it as you can learn about it all over the web. Instead I’ll leave you with a few pictures and some hints, tips, and tricks for getting around St. Augustine.
Castillo de San Marcos. Beware, during this time of the year they’ll do random showings of setting off fake cannonballs, which nearly gave Kevin and I heart attacks EVERYTIME.
You do have to pay for parking. Not just at the fort but everywhere. During this time it was $1.50 per hour. There is an uncovered parking lot right in front of the fort. Across the street was the Old Town which was a carless street filled with countless of adorable little shops and restaurants.
If I were you, I would park in front of the fort and talk a walk around the fort and be sure to pay for enough parking so that you can walk around Old Town and find a lovely, quaint place to eat for lunch. You can park on the streets next to Old Town but just as a little warning; it’s real pain to find a place to park your car. We got to the fort around 10:00 AM and by the time we left, which was around noon, it was beginning to pack out with groups of schools. Another perfect timing scenario.
Once we left the fort we wandered around Old Town a little bit until we decided it was time for some grub. There are plenty of cute places to eat in Old Town but most of them are outside and Kevin wanted to find a place that was strictly indoors. Needless to say, it was hot!
We came across this place called Cantina Louie and oh my goodness, was it delicious. Excellent food and fresh, boy, was that food fresh. They use a spring lettuce mix instead of iceberg for crying out loud. Another thing that ended up being absolutely perfect, by the way: We walked in and got a table right away and just as we were about to leave there was a line out the door to get a table. CRAZY how good our timing had been that day.
The rest of the day was spent at the beach. Because of the hurricanes that were floating out in the Atlantic Ocean, the waves were massive! The only people in the water that day were surfers. It was fun to watch, but only from a distance as Kevin and I were not about to get close to being sucked into that undertow. Just to give you a picture of how big the waves were, there was red flags all along the shore, I swear every life guard was made to work that day and there were police officers walking up and down the shore to make sure everybody was okay.
To be continued…