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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

St. Augustine - Day 1

We had a great trip to St. Augustine and now the kids are staring down a month of classes and a week of exams and then it's on to summer break!

We left last Wednesday morning a little before 8:00.  The drive to our hotel was 7 hours and 20 minutes with no stops.  But of course we had to stop for lunch and as usual, we picked an Arby's with a line of 20 law enforcement officers in it and a staff of workers who had  "oh crap" looks on their faces.  After waiting a few minutes in a line that clearly was not moving, we headed to Zaxby's.  And of course got gas at a place with the world's slowest gas pumps.  That said, we made it to our hotel with no other issues.  It was unlike all our drives to Massachusetts where we always face horrible traffic somewhere.  (I'm looking at you Connecticut!)

We got into our hotel room and hit the beach immediately.

This vacation was a little different than our trip to Charleston and our trip to Savannah.  We chose all of these places because there are lots of historical things to see.  Dan loves history, Peter too.  Sarah and I appreciate it but we are happy just to sit on the beach.

So when booking the accommodations for this trip, I decided to get a place on the beach so that would insure we had plenty of time to spend relaxing in addition to plenty of time to look at all the historical things. 

Our hotel was a ten minute drive to St. Augustine and was so cute.  It was not fancy by any means but we got a room with this view:

and there was a private path to the beach just feet from our door.  And this hotel brought a continental breakfast to your room each morning.  Again, not a fancy hotel (it was built in 1960 and was one of the first inns on St. Augustine Beach) but they were right on the beach, extremely affordable compared to other big name hotels I looked at, brought breakfast to your door, had a very large tv in the room,  free wifi, and a heated pool which we never used because - beach.

On Thursday we headed to the Alligator Farm. This place did not disappoint.  We were there almost 3 hours.  They have every species of the Crocodylia family.  This family includes all crocodiles, alligators and caymen.  If you wanted to see something they had it!

Albino alligators!!  Who knew!?

And then they had a wading bird rookery with egrets, storks and herons just to name a few.

This tree is covered in birds!

It was hard to get good pictures of all the birds in the rookery with my phone.  There were tons of professional wildlife photographers there with the biggest lenses I've ever seen.  I'm sure they got some amazing shots.  The entire time we were walking around the rookery I just knew we were going to get pooped on because there were large amounts of birds flying over the entire time.  But we were spared!

They also had all kinds of exhibits with snakes, lemurs, marmosets, pythons, and even a komodo dragon!  It was a great place to visit.  We enjoyed it way more than I thought we would even though everything I read said that this place was a must see while in St. Augustine!  Here are a few other random pictures:

After spending the morning at the Alligator Farm, we headed to lunch at MoJo Tacos.  So yummy!

Dan got the Arepas

I got a burrito bowl!  So good!

Needless to say that Dan and I hopped off the low carb diet for our trip and we enjoyed every single carbohydrate we came into contact with!

After lunch we headed to St. Augustine Light.  We love a good lighthouse in this family and knew we had to climb up to the top of this one!

Top of the lighthouse from behind the light keepers house.

The top of the lighthouse wasn't crowded at all.  Typically when we go up one there are a ton of people vying for the views.  We were able to stay at the top for a long time and got to enjoy all the  views without trying to dodge other people.

While we were up on top of the lighthouse we noticed a receipt on the floor of the tower that got caught in the wind and we watched it fly off the top of the lighthouse and then drift downwards to the trees.  We eventually lost sight of it.

Later as we were leaving, we just so happened to be walking through the woods to get back to our car and we spotted the receipt that had blown off the top of the lighthouse laying in the middle of the path.  I know it sounds weird but I thought it was cool that we were the only people to see it fly off and then we were the ones that found it.  (I would like to note that we are not the ones that dropped it!)

After the lighthouse we went back to the hotel and enjoyed  the beach.

Sadly, while Sarah was jumping waves in the ocean, she twisted her knee somehow and was in a lot of pain.  We helped her out of the water and by this time it was time to go in and get ready for dinner.

We iced her knee, got her a brace from CVS, and she hobbled along like a trooper the rest of the vacation.  It hurt her and was hard for her to sleep that first night but there was no swelling so we believed it was just a twist.

On Monday, I took her to the orthopedic urgent care and they did an x-ray.  Nothing was broken which we figured.  They offered to do an MRI but the doctor said that it was probably just pinched or perhaps a small tear in the meniscus and if that was the case the course of treatment would be to just let it heal over time.  We have an appointment in two weeks in case it hasn't improved.  I'm hoping and praying that it has otherwise, he said it would probably take an additonal 4 weeks to heal.  Sarah is very excited about summer swim league and practice starts at the end of this month.

After dinner, we came back to the hotel room because Peter wanted to watch the NFL draft and so he watched that while we sat on the balcony and listened to the waves crash in the ocean. 
Decked out in his Panthers gear with his football and laptop so he could keep up with everything!

Other than Sarah hurting her knee, it was the perfect first day of vacation!


Pam said...

Sounds like a great getaway. I know we are all loving warmer weather and the beginning of summertime activities. I hope Sarah's knee heals up quickly too. Little damper on the fun, I am sure.

Gigi said...

Looks like y'all had an amazing time! You are my kind of people - I have no problem sitting on the beach all day. The view from your room makes it perfect. When we went to Wrightsville last year, we stayed in a little, not fancy 1960's type place right on the beach - I loved it. Not fancy but perfect. I'm crossing my fingers that they reopen after repairing the damage from the hurricane last year.

Madeline said...

I hope Sarah's knee is feeling better already. What a great first part of your trip. I've never heard of a hotel bringing the continental breakfast to the room but what a sweet perk. I would absolutely have joined you and Sarah on the beach. And all those alligators were probably really cool.

Ernie said...

That is where Tank went with his freind for spring break. Looks lovely! I am a historic-only vacation survivor and I am glad that you incorporated the beach. Also thrilled that you didn't get pooped on. Mini and I went for a walk tonight and a woman was randomly walking with a cockatoo on her arm. For real?! And we were not in a bird sanctuary or anything. Sorry about Sarah's knee. I think Coach the PT would say to rest it and hope it heals. Hope they do well on exams and don't fret much about the preparations. Coming home from vacation - boo!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love the town of St. Augustine, but I don't know that I've ever been to the beach there.
SO sorry about Sarah; I hope she's feeling better by now.

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