Hey everyone! Just got back from the west coast of Florida to visit Gina, Tony and my nieces. It was a much needed weekend away! My niece Sophia has her permit now and is driving really well (we didn’t die) and Ava is doing great with her YouTube channel. Follow her at Ava Kathryn.
Hey hey HEY! Sorry I’ve been hiding for a while but I’M BACK!
I hope that everyone is having a good new year so far (I know, it’s May already!). I rang in the new year snoring in my bed with dreams of what 2018 will have in store for me. So far, so good!
Ron and I went to our favorite horse track on Martin Luther King weekend and had an awesome time! We arrived on Saturday morning and went straight to the track, grabbed a beer and got to betting! We had some wins here and there and then this happened….
…The same horse that I won on last year on New Year’s Eve WAS AT THE TRACK AGAIN THIS TIME! Yes, Ultra Brat was running again! The only difference was that last year I bet on her at the huge price of 35-1 and won $188.50, this time, she was 6-1 (well, actually 5-1 at the gate) and I won $36. I can’t complain that’s for sure and I was so excited to see the horse again!
We had a fun day of cool weather, picked up Steak and Shake (seems to have become a tradition on our first night, not sure why) and went back to the hotel. We usually stay at the Hampton Inn in Hallandale/Aventura 2 nights but our friends Jim, Karen and Jimmy were kind enough to invite us to their house to stay on Sunday night AND they were going to be meet us at the track the next day! We were so excited as we hadn’t seen them since Amy and John’s wedding last March.
On Sunday, Ron and I arrived at the track early and got a good seat right at the finish line. When Jim, Karen and Jimmy arrived, we started eating, drinking, laughing and betting! We didn’t hit too big but we had a great time enjoying each other’s company and fresh air! When the racing day was over, we stopped to have dinner and then went back to their house and enjoyed the night laughing and drinking 🙂
The next morning we got up early and headed back home.
Looking forward to going back soon!
Till next time…
Don’t know how to bet on horses? I recommend the book below!
My long time friend/sister Gina who I’ve known since we were 4 years old came to see me this passed weekend with my two nieces. We had planned a trip to St. Augustine to see the Tour of Lights that they have from November – January every year. They arrived at our house around 7:00pm and we had pizza and garlic knots from our favorite pizza place, Alberto’s. After dinner we spent time relaxing, catching up and maybe a little drinking…maybe…..
When we woke up in the morning, we packed my car and left for St. Augustine. We arrived at the hotel around 11:30am and were able to check in early which worked out great. We unloaded the car, freshened up and went out exploring the famous St. George Street in the historic district of St. Augustine.
After we walked around for a few minutes we started to get hungry and decided to go to Pizza Time (I try to ALWAYS stop there for pizza when I’m in town because they have the BEST PIZZA in the state of Florida) In fact, they were named Second Best Pizza Place IN THE COUNTRY by TripAdvisor. I’m not sure who is in first place (They HAVE to be from NJ or NY. Maybe V&J’s in Pompton Plains, NJ cause their pizza is like crack!) but Pizza Time has got to be one of my all time favorites. I never thought I would say that about Florida pizza because, let’s face it, trying to find decent pizza in Florida is like trying to find a needle in a haystack but Pizza Time is the BEST! It helps that the owners are from Brooklyn too…sooooo there’s that…..
I bought the tickets in advance for the Tour of Lights so we wouldn’t have to wait in a line to get tickets when we arrived. After we parked and got on the trolley to get to where we needed to be to hop on the OTHER trolley to see the lights, we were welcomed by a line that seemed to be never ending! Recommendation: If you are planning to go on the trolley ride to see the lights, get there at least 2 hours ahead of time to wait on the LONG ASS line! It was a little disappointing but the most important part thing is that we were able to get together and they were able to see St. Augustine for the first time. We walked around for a little while then went to dinner at Gypsy Cab Company
Did you know that there are ways to make money through apps and websites for everyday things that you already buy for your household? No? Well there is! I’m going to talk about 3 of them that I use all the time.
Ibotta – When you sign up for Ibotta you get cash back for purchasing everyday things such as groceries, pharmacy, clothing, alcohol, restaurants, online shopping and convenience stores. All you have to do is download the app on to your smartphone and you’re off to saving! You can earn MORE money when you add your friends and THEY spend money. With the teamwork you can earn bonus money and you can also earn money from referrals. If you haven’t signed up for Ibotta yet and you sign up through me you will receive $10 when you sign up and redeem your first rebate. I will also receive $5 for you signing up through me and $5 more when you redeem your first rebate.
Ebates – When you sign up for Ebates you also earn cash back just as you do for Ibotta. With Ebates though they use a percentage system that can range from 1% to 10% OR MORE of your online order. For example, my IPad battery died on me a few weeks back so I decided to purchase an iPad Pro from Walmart. I went through the Ebates app, I clicked on Walmart, activated the 4% back, ordered the iPad, got free shipping to store and picked up in 3 hours! It’s really a no brainer! You get paid quarterly and they automatically deposit it into your PayPal account. If you sign up through me and spend $25 you will get $10 and I will get $25 ! Refer YOUR friends and earn MORE money!
Swagbucks – When you sign up for Swagbucks there are all different types of ways to earn gift cards. You can watch movie trailers, do surveys, answer polls and enter in codes that they post on their FB page or they send notifications to you with codes or special offers. It’s fun but I have yet to earn a gift card because I really don’t spend as much time as I should to earn them! I’d rather scroll through things that DONT make me money like drama filled Facebook or other social media platforms! Hahaha! Time to reevaluate my priorities!
If you haven’t joined any of the apps above, I suggest you do so. Why not save some more money on top of department sales and on things you already purchase!
Ron and I had been looking forward to seeing Sammy Hagar for months and then Hurricane Irma came through our area and the original date of September 20th changed to November 11th. In the long run, it worked out better because we didn’t have to take time off from work since the rescheduled concert landed on a Saturday. We were so happy that they postponed the date and did not cancel it!
Since St. Augustine is about an hour and a half from our house, we decided to get a hotel at the Hampton Inn (We are Hampton Inn freaks) on A1A and make a weekend out of it. We’ve never been to this particular hotel or seen beach side in St. Augustine. Every time we visit, we stay in the Historic District (I’ll be there in a few weeks for their tour of lights..stay tuned for that blog in about a month or so).
We arrived at the hotel around 1pm and I walked in to see if we could check in early. They said they would take our phone number and call us if the room opens up before check in time and gave us a parking pass. We were able to park at our hotel and walk across the street to a place called Sunset Grille. Ron and I both had the mahi tacos that were absolutely delicious. Along with the tacos, they serve beans and rice on the side that were very tasty. We ordered a few beers and sat outside since the weather was not humid or buggy. When we were finished eating we hadn’t gotten a call to check into the hotel so decided to go to the bar area of the restaurant to watch the UCF game and have a few more beers. We made small talk with people at the bar and the staff were professional and kind. I would definitely recommend a trip to Sunset Grille if you are in the area.
After lunch we walked over to the hotel since it was getting close to check in time. When we went up to our room we noticed we had a balcony view (it wasn’t of the ocean, but we had a balcony!). When we checked out on Sunday the woman behind the counter asked how our stay was. I said, “It was great! Didn’t realize that I booked a balcony room”. She said, “You didn’t, we upgraded you.” SCORE!!! Thank you Hampton Inn!
On to the concert…..
This was the first time either one of us had been to the St. Augustine Amphitheater. I knew that it was a smaller venue and that it was outside with an awning that covered most of the seats and I LOVE these kind of places! They are not as crowded. They are big but not TOO big where you can get lost. AND it’s a much more intimate setting. Sometimes arenas can be so overwhelming and annoying.
When I book tickets for concerts I ALWAYS book the premiere parking. ALWAYS! They run between $20-$40 and worth every penny! When we got there we were about 8 cars away from the main entrance. Again, WORTH….EVERY….PENNY!
Collective Soul opened up for Sammy Hagar & The Circle and I really enjoyed them. I remembered some of their songs from back in the day and other songs I forgot they sang like “Better Now”. That was a sweet surprise. I haven’t heard that song in ages! They are a good solid band and they mentioned that they were in the process of recording a new album.
Sammy Hagar & The Circle consists of Sammy Hagar (of course), Michael Anthony (bass player from Van Halen), Jason Bonham (his father was none other than the late John Bonham from a little ole band called LED ZEPPELIN) and Vic Johnson (he played with The BusBoys and Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas). Their set list consisted of Van Halen tunes, Sammy’s solo career songs and Montrose songs. One of my favorite songs is “Poundcake” and whoa….was it AMAZING live! Chills! Some of the other tunes they played were “Right Now”, “Dreams”, “I Can’t Drive 55”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “When Its Love”, “Heavy Metal” and a few Montrose songs that were before my time. Ron knew them though! Ha! They ended the night with a cover of “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin that rocked the place!
It was definitely a great concert and to think that Sammy just turned 70 is CRAZY to me! He has more energy than a 30 year old!