Girls Weekend in St. Augustine 12.9.17 – 12.10.17

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…..

Best pizza I’ve ever tasted in my life so far:

 V&J’s – Pompton Plains, New Jersey

Pizza Time – St. Augustine, Florida

 Alberto’s – Edgewater, Florida

In that order

After we ate we walked around some more and checked out some chocolate shops, gift shops, The Oldest Wood School House in the USA and made our way to the Fountain of Youth.  We took a shot of “youth water” and feel younger already!

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

Below are some pictures and videos from our trip.

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The marshmellow rice krispy treat was amazing!
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Loved these Walking Dead bobbleheads

Till next time….

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Sammy Hagar & The Circle in St. Augustine

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!

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It was nice to have a view of the American flag on Veteran’s Day.

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.

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Collective Soul

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!

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Sammy Hagar & The Circle

 

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!

Till next time….

Stac

Beautiful Savannah

 

Ron and I recently had the privilege of attending our dear friends’ wedding in Savannah, Georgia.  We had never been to Savannah but have had numerous conversations about how we would like to visit there one of these days.  Well, one of “these days” occurred when our friends asked us if we wanted to go with them and be a part of their special day!  Not only were we honored to be asked to attend but we would finally be able to visit Savannah!

 

We stayed in a beautiful, 5 bedroom home in the Historic District of Savannah with our friends Amy and John (we will just call them the newlyweds from “this day forward”…see what I did there?).  We also bunked with Debbie, Karen, Jim and Jimmy.  I had met Karen, Jim and Jimmy a few months back for the first time when we had gone to the Stevie Nicks concert.  They welcomed me with open arms to their house to stay for the weekend with Amy and John and I feel after that weekend we were instant friends.  Amy’s sister Debbie I’ve known as long as I’ve known Amy (since we were 14 years old, you do the math!) and she has such a great sense of humor.  With the combo we had, I knew that this trip to Savannah was going to be a riot!  I honestly think I laughed from the day I got there until the day I left!  We told stories, we drank, we ate, we played games and we bonded on the balcony!  It was so refreshing to be around people who were so easy going and hilarious!  I shall name them my “Balcony Buddies”.  Lots of stories told on that balcony and I’ll never forget it!  We definitely have to plan to go back.

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Whitfield Park Gazebo

The newlyweds chose a stunning gazebo in the middle of beautiful Whitfield Park to exchange their vows which was conveniently located a block away from the house (Thank you Amy and John for booking a house so close to the ceremony).  Karen, Debbie and I decorated the gazebo about an hour and a half BEFORE the wedding and we were STILL able to get back to the house and get ready for the wedding.

During the time that we were there, we went on a tour and learned so much about the city that if I wrote everything I learned in this post, I would be writing for days!  My suggestion is to visit Savannah and go on Old Savannah Tours !  We had so much fun and they let you get off the trolley if you want  (in case you need an adult beverage or two OR three), then you can meet the trolley again at one of the designated stops.

 

One of my favorite places that I visited has got to be the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. When I entered, it literally took my breath away.  I’ve always been in awe of the architecture of churches and cathedrals for as long as I can remember and when I walked in and looked around all I could say was “Oh, wow!” probably a thousand times.  I mean, it was one of the most amazing cathedrals I’ve ever been in!  I’ve posted a few pictures below but believe me, these pictures do not do this cathedral justice.  It’s amazing and you should go see it!

 

We spent a lot of time on Bay Street where there are restaurants, bars, hotels and shops.  It was so odd to be in a city with an open container law!  You can walk down the street with any kind of alcoholic beverage you chose AND if you buy a drink from one bar and walk to another bar…THEY LET YOU IN!  We were meeting friends down at Lizzy’s Tequila Bar & Grill and Ron and I had just bought a beer at The Warehouse Bar & Grille and when we got there I asked the lady at the door, “Can we come in here with these?”.  She said  “SURE!”. If you went into a bar where we live with a beer from someone else’s bar they would have a fit!  And I always wondered why they say people from Savannah are the nicest people in the world.  OPEN CONTAINER LAW, my friends!

 

On a serious note, the 5 days that we spent in Savannah will forever be imprinted in my brain as one of the best times of my life.  Not only did the wedding go off without a hitch, but the people that I shared the house with feel like family to me now.  I love you all and truly enjoyed your company and look forward to many more vacations together!

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Congratulations Amy & John

~Stacy