Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Break 2014: St. Augustine, FL

Since I have already blogged about how difficult the traveling aspect of our trip was, no on to the great stuff: the actual vacation part of our trip! 

St. Augustine, Florida was a perfect spring break destination.  It had beauty, history, absolutely perfect weather, and plenty of ways for us to spend as much time outside as possible.  Here is a little play-by-play of our time there...

Thursday April 10th:
Our first real day in St. Augustine started with a morning walk to the ocean.  At 8am, as we walked down the fishing pier, we quickly noticed the that beach was basically deserted, which was awesome!  St. Augustine has beautiful white sand beaches. 

After that, we unpacked and got our condo to be more baby friendly.  We moved a big chair into a bedroom so we could have our story time before naps and bed, hid fake trees and books, put glass items and safety hazards up high and completely out of reach, and put plug protectors on all the outlets (okay, it was tape... the grocery store didn't have any plug protectors).  While the boys took their naps, Josh and me laid out in the grass by the pond with monitors in tow.  That evening, we went out to dinner at the Sunset Grille, an airy two-story restaurant within walking distance from our condo.  We went to bed that night feeling amazing and a bit burned ;) 

Friday April 11th:
The first thing we did was go out to the ocean to see the sunrise, which was gorgeous and peaceful.  I've seen may sunrises, but seeing it through Nolan and Judah's eyes was special. 

For our morning outing, we decided to pack up Nolan and Judah and drive to downtown St. Augustine to take our walk.  As soon as we started driving on the Bridge of Lions, I knew I would love LOVE this place.  Their downtown is absolutely gorgeous and the fact that some building date back to the 1500s ain't too shabby either.  One of the first places we visited was Flagler College.  All the research I did on St. Augustine kept saying to stop by there but I was skeptical. Why would I want to see a college?  But, as we got there, I quickly knew how wrong I was.  This small college was charming!  The main building had been renovated from a very old hotel, there were fountains and cobblestone streets, and student housing in dorms, apartments, and houses that looked like old plantation mansions.  After falling in love with that, we walked up and down St. George street, a pedestrian walkway with shops and restaurants.  This area was also amazing and historic, but in addition to that, it was clear how clean and well taken care of it all was.  I felt a little like we were in Disney World, that's how fake looking and spotless everything was.  We ended our walk by Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in North America.

The boys fell asleep on our drive back to the condo, which wasn't the plan, but turned out to be a great opportunity for us.  We were able to drive around and see tons of stuff in St. Augustine. In fact, Josh dropped me off at places I wanted to see so I could walk around a bit and take pictures.  I saw the Mission of Nombre de Dios, St. Augustine Lighthouse, Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, and Magnolia Street. 

In the afternoon, we got the boys dressed up in their swimming trunks and took them to the pool to swim. This was the first time they've been in a pool.  Nolan loved it immediately; Judah hated it immediately.  Actually, I'll take that back, Judah was scared of it immediately.

Saturday April 12th
After the boys woke up, we went down to the pier and I ran in a 5K.  I needed to exercise anyway so why not run in a beautiful city in beautiful weather?  It was great and it was great having my family there to cheer me on. 

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful.  We got pizza from Pizza Time downtown, spent lots of time outside and took our evening walk, which had become something we did every night.  

Sunday April 13th
Sunday started with an interesting trip to church.  As you all know, Florida is known for having a lot of senior citizens.  I've noticed that they either LOVE or don't necessarily love kids too much.  The church was mostly senior citizens and it was huge and packed on Palm Sunday.  As mass started, the boys were great, but they weren't bad either; just making playing noises and I felt like there were a lot of dirty looks pointed in our direction.  Maybe I was being paranoid, but, this congregation didn't seem to accepting of two little boys.  We went to the back of church where they had a family room.  In that area, Judah was in heaven; there were other young children he could laugh at, which is exactly what he did: loudly and constantly.  It was extremely cute and all, which is why I could not keep from laughing myself, but it was inappropriate church behavior.  We decided that Judah couldn't handle being in there either so I took him out of that room and into the foyer area of the church.  This space had high ceilings and tile everywhere so it was echoey.  Judah discovered this and started yelling as loud as he could to hear his echo.  Again, not appropriate church behaviors.  Suffice it to say, we kicked ourselves out of church. 

The rest of the day was pleasant; lots of outside time, walks, and good eats. 
Monday April 14th
Our last day in St. Augustine brought us back to downtown.  After walking around, we got breakfast.  Later in the afternoon, we went to the splash pad at the pier and spent some time by the ocean.  In the evening, we went back downtown to see the sights when people were actually awake :)  
Tuesday April 15th
Day to go home :(  You can read my travel blog to find out about how that went. 
This trip was amazing, relaxing, and a great opportunity to try new things.  It was great to have Josh and I be around all the time for a whole week.  St. Augustine is certainly a city we would go back to! :) 


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