Monday, April 27, 2009

St. Augustine

Since living in FL we have always gone east or north when going to visit places. But since we only have about a year and a half left in FL we've been wanting to visit more of FL while we still live here and it's more easily accessible. So, for my birthday/Mother's Day we decided to visit St. Augustine. It's about 45 minutes south of Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast. We went with another couple, JD and Michelle Buchholtz, who we know from Navs. 
We left Friday with Jacksonville Naval Air Station as our destination for the night. We made reservations to stay there since it's so cheap! $64 for both couples. We get there about 11:30 pm. As we pull up to the gate, we're informed we have to get a pass for my car since we don't have a sticker on it. So we pull into the parking lot and I get into my glove compartment to get my insurance and registration. Joe goes in and comes back a few minutes later informing us that both are expired. They aren't actually expired, I just didn't have the updated paperwork in my car!!! So, they wouldn't give us a pass to get on the base. We'd already paid for the room, so we didn't just want to go find somewhere else to stay. After discussing for a few minutes someone suggests we could just walk. So we take the bare essentials and walk up to the gate. Joe tells me to 'look really pregnant' in the hopes they will have pity on us and let us drive on. No such luck. We end up walking a good 45 minutes to the lodging area. Once we get there the lady gives us a number for the 'Duty Driver'. Thank for not telling us about it before we walked all that way!!! We did give them a call in the morning and were able to get a ride back to my car. They place we stayed in was nice and it was a bonding experience to start the trip off. :) 
We got to St. Augustine without any more adventures. There we stayed in a Bed and Breakfast, 44 Spanish Street Inn. It is right in the heart of the downtown historic district, which was great because we were able to walk everywhere. 

JD, Michelle, me, Joe
Joe's parents had given us a gift certificate for our last anniversary to use at a bed and breakfast and so we used it this weekend. This is the room we stayed in, the Orchid room. Thanks for the gift! 
San Sebastian Winery is there in St. Augustine, so we took a tour and the three of them tasted the wine. 
There is a lot of historic things to visit in St. Augustine. One of the places we toured was the 'Spanish Quarter.'  It was an area set up in the 1700s depicting life then. We ended up talking with the man who was their carpenter for about 30 minutes. He told us all about how everything was made and the tools worked. It was interesting and made us appreciate the dinning room furniture we have that was hand made by the amish. Quality stuff! There was also a blacksmith, depicted below. 

We ate delicious food and walked all around the city. It was really neat because the streets were all cobblestone. We had great weather too. It was warm and sunny, but not too hot yet. I did learn however, being 6 1/2 months pregnant I should've worn tennis shoes instead of flip flops, because by the end of the weekend of walking everywhere my feet and calves were killing me. 
The last place we visited was the Alligator Farm. This stop was at the request of Joe. He kept mentioning all weekend he wanted to go here. It did end up being pretty interesting. They have all 23 kinds of alligators in the world there, birds, turtles, crocodiles and other reptiles. One of the most interesting alligators we saw was the albino alligator, which is the picture below. They can actually get sunburned because of the lack of pigmentation in their skin. 

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