Notices
Walt Disney World and Florida Trip Reports Trip Reports and Videos

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 6 May 17, 07:45 AM  
Link to this Post
#1
Redrach1903
Disney Dreaming :)
 
Redrach1903's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 09

Redrach1903's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
Talking More Splitsville than Nashville - April 2017 - Day 1 - Exploring St Augustine & Ghosts & Gravestones

Quick recap; I am Rachael (32) and my husband is Chris (31). We went to St Augustine to visit our friend Hanne for 3 nights and then spent 13 nights in a villa in Orlando (Sunset Lakes).

Travel Day is here

Thursday 13th April

The day started at 3am initially as per usual on my first day in Florida, but I was too tired to get up properly. I then heard Chris stirring. He shot up, stood in front of the window and (imagine a very concerned tone here) said "babe, where ARE we?" So funny! I giggled and reminded him we were at Hanne's in St Augustine. He soon remembered and went for a pee and then came back to bed.

I managed to get back to sleep, but was up for real at 6am. I sat and played with my Fitbit to get it onto the right time zone. I had to do it manually for some reason and took a fair bit of fiddling! I got there in the end though. Speaking of activity trackers, I forgot to mention on the travel day report that Chris bought himself a Garmin at the airport. Apparently that suited him better than a Fitbit as it can calculate yardage on golf courses.

I jumped in the shower and Chris got up not long after that. We both got ready for the day and sat outside waiting for Ingrid to appear. It was a lovely Florida morning. A bit cooler than we are used to (we normally go in May), but you could tell it was going to warm up soon Besides, St Augustine is always a few degrees cooler than Orlando. Ingrid came through soon enough and was getting ready to leave for the hospital to see Hanne, so we chatted to her for a bit and we left at around the same time. She said she would call as soon as she knew what time Hanne would be getting released from hospital so that we could be back to see her. We did offer to go with Ingrid to the hospital, but she insisted we enjoy our day in St Augustine.

So we left the house at 8. It was a bit cloudy now, but a pleasant 22 degrees. We drove to Oasis for breakfast. Ingrid had recommended it as a nice local place.



The place is like one big advert. Literally any space was filled with ads for lawyers, accountants, doctors, handymen etc. Even the table tops and mugs! Haha!





We were seated straight away, but it did take a minute for our server to tend to us, although he did apologise for the wait. Chris ordered a coffee and I ordered a hot tea (always careful to say hot as I don’t want an iced tea thank you very much). For food I ordered the short stack with bacon and Chris had the 2 egg special. It came with biscuits, but he didn’t want them, so he asked for a fruit bowl instead.





All very tasty and a nice start to the day Total was $16.99 and we left $20. No over tipping today as the service wasn’t that great to be honest.

We left at 8.50 and headed for the city centre. It was a longer drive than we remembered and we were held up at the bridge as there were a few boats needing to pass!





We spotted these guys demonstrating how NOT to be safe at work! Yes, that's a ladder he is balancing on….



It felt nice and familiar once we eventually got over the bridge!



We followed signs for parking and ended up in a garage which charged $12 for the whole day. Not ridiculous, but we later realised we could have got parked cheaper elsewhere. Ah well.

Have you ever seen a prettier parking garage?! Ha!



As we walked out of the garage we saw some familiar sites from our 2013 visit.





The first thing I wanted to do was book the ghost tour for tonight. It soon became apparent that St Augustine is exactly like Edinburgh in that there are about 25 million different ghost tours to choose from! Luckily, I had done my research and I knew the one I was looking for (Ghosts and Gravestones). We found the booth soon enough and went to get our tickets. They only had a couple of time slots available, so we chose the later one (8.45pm) so that we could go out for tea first. The cost was $25.99 each before tax. I used my debit card to pay for the tickets. I am not really sure why to be honest. I don’t think I was ready to dive into my dollar stash yet. Haha! Anyway, Chris noticed on the receipt that the lady had charged us for 3 tickets! Lucky he was paying attention cos I certainly wasn’t! She sorted out the refund and we were on our way.

We crossed the road over to the fort. Its official name is Castillo de San Marcos and it is oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Yes I totally googled that. We didn’t pay to go in properly, we just had a look around the outskirts.











We then walked the entire city. I didn’t really take much notes of this part as we just walked and walked and walked. It was lovely and it really is a beautiful and interesting city.

Loved that the pavements had sea shells in them



Here's Chris working out our bearings!



Chris stopped for the loo and I nipped out the back of the toilet building to take a photo of the marina. Lovely.



Ingrid called us now to let us know that Hanne would be getting home around 2/3pm. Great news!

We walked all along the shore and saw lots of funky looking houses and the Headquarters for the Florida National Guard!







We then went down some back streets where we stumbled on the oldest house.







We also spotted some Easter decorations including this monstrosity. Thanks for the nightmares St Augustine!



We eventually found ourselves in familiar territory as Hanne had taken us down this street in 2013!



We found a wee arcade type place with lots more shops, so we had a look around. I immediately spotted the first Disney merch of the coming weeks





I think it was in this shop that I bought myself some new earrings. I just needed wee studs, nothing exciting. Chris got himself a new chain as he broke his at work!



What you doing out of Hogwarts?!



From here we walked down the Spanish Street and onto St. George Street and had a mosey around.















We stopped at a place called Stogies for a juice. We both chose cans of Diet Dr Pepper, but as soon as we tasted them we knew they weren’t right and sure enough they were massively out of date! Chris went back in with them and got me a diet coke and himself dome sparkly fruity water which he hated and threw away. Successful pit stop then! Haha!



[continued in next post]
__________________
A link to all my Trip Reports


Edited at 09:07 AM.
Redrach1903 is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 07:54 AM  
Link to this Post
#2
Redrach1903
Thread Starter
Disney Dreaming :)
 
Redrach1903's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 09

Redrach1903's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
[continued from previous post]

We then walked through the old city walls and round to the other part of the city where Flagler College, a cathedral, the Lightner Museum and some other pretty buildings are.





y

First of many squirrel photos to come



Flagler College is HUGE!











The clouds from this morning were now clearing to reveal beautiful blue skies!





It was now 11.15. We decided to head back to the car. On the way we saw these guys scooting around. How cool? Turns out you can hire them for exploring the city. Chris's eyes lit up (remember the golf buggy in AMI? Déjà vu), but we wouldn't be in the city enough to justify it.



I had heard good things about Anastasia State Park, so we headed for there. We stopped on the way for a little snack. I got my very favourite American sweetie. A 3 musketeers bar! NOM! Chris got…..a Snickers. LOL.

Untitled

Anastasia State Park isn’t far from St Augustine city, about 6 miles. Here's a rather spectacular photo of the entrance….



We paid the $8 to enter/park and headed on in! It was a loooooong road. We eventually reached the car park and headed straight for the beach. It was lovely. The temperature had definitely picked up now, but there was a nice breeze.









We saw loads of these wee birds. They were similar to the ones we saw at AMI, but not exactly the same I don’t think. They didn't quite do the same frantic running back and forth haha!





We had a nice stroll along the shore for quite a bit and on the way back we stopped for some windswept selfies!









We knew there was a nature trail somewhere and Chris declared he knew exactly which direction we should head. Hmmmm. So off we went…..



It soon became clear that we were on a bit of wild goose chase, but Chris was adamant that it was in this direction. So we continued walking and it transpired we were in some kind of RV holiday park. There were lots of really cool RVs. I couldn’t take any photos of the really cool ones cos the owners were hanging about (rude). So this photo will have to do. One day we want to hire a big RV and go touring the states



Still no nature trail, but we did find a play park



Chris eventually admitted defeat and we headed back towards the car park.



We were feeling peckish now. There was a café place here, so we ordered a burger and chips (as in tortilla chips, not fries) to share. Despite it looking a bit dry it was actually really tasty and we immediately regretted getting one to share! We got bottle of water too and the total was $12.





After lunch we got back in the car to head out, but we passed a ranger dude on the way so we stopped to ask him where the nature trail was. Turns out that Chris did have us in the right direction, but we just needed to go a little further! They definitely need better signage!



We parked up outside the trail and wondered in. We didn’t expect it to be so hilly, but this sign explained why!



It was a nice walk, but we didn’t see much in the way of wildlife other than lizards, a red cardinal (which I couldn’t get a good photo of) and some horrible looking spiders . I didn’t photograph them either as I didn’t want to get too close!







Spot the lizard…



This one is easier to see



At 1.35 we were back in the car again. The temperature was now up at 29 degrees. Lovely! We found a country music radio station and we were most amused to hear a song about fried chicken! This song features a lot more as the holiday goes on

Now, for Chris's birthday I bought him a voucher for a round of golf at Royal St Augustine which he was going to be playing the next day, so we went off to find out where it was and for him to book a tee time. We got stuck at a rail crossing on our way back from here and you would not believe the length of that train. I've never seen anything like it. It must have literally been a couple of miles long and that is no exaggeration. We watched it roll by for about five minutes!

The next stop was Wynn Dixie as we wanted to get some flowers for Hanne. We also picked up some beer for Chris and a bottle of Rosé for me. Look at this cute wee welly boot arrangement we got for Hanne! She loved it!



When we got back Hanne was home She was very happy to see us and we were so happy to see her home and doing ok. Don't get me wrong, she was exhausted and a bit sore from the op, but it really could have been a lot worse. Thank goodness the people that helped her at Publix acted so quickly. A couple of neighbours were there to visit so we sat and had a nice chat with everyone for a while.

I then watered Hanne's flower pots for her in her beautiful lenai. How gorgeous is that? Hanne's house and the location is just stunning.







Hanne needed a lie down, so Chris & I took the opportunity to have a wee nap ourselves! When we got back up we could hear Shatzi (Hanne's wee dog) who had been returned home. One of her neighbours had been looking after her while Hanne was in hospital. She is so cute.



Hanne was still in bed, so Chris & I got ready for the evening. There was really no sense in us staying in as Hanne just needed to rest and she had Ingrid there.

[continued in next post]

Edited at 08:25 AM.
Redrach1903 is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 08:04 AM  
Link to this Post
#3
Redrach1903
Thread Starter
Disney Dreaming :)
 
Redrach1903's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 09

Redrach1903's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
[continued from previous post]

We left at 6.30pm and got stuck going over that bloody bridge again. That must be a total pain in the chops for the locals. We parked where the ghost tour was due to meet and walked across to Mojo Old City BBQ.




There were a lot of people waiting outside which didn’t give us much hope of getting a table, but we actually got seated straight away. It pays to be a wee party of two



The service in here was not that great. This was something that Hanne had pre warned us about and she was right! It wasn’t BAD service, just really SLOW. There didn’t seem to be any organisation between the servers. Anyway, once we finally were seen to we ordered our drinks (Diet Dr Pepper and a beer for Chris which was flat!) and our food. Chris went for the BBQ ribs and I went for the Smokehouse Chicken Sandwich. Chris got to choose 2 sides with his and went for BBQ beans and fries. His also came with a side of Texas toast! I got one side and decided on mac and cheese which is always a gamble, but it was nice and creamy and not too cheesy!

Once our food arrived all grumbles of the slow service were forgotten because the food was absolutely lovely! We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The only slight criticism is that the fries were quite salty, but I find that to generally be the case in the US.







We paid the bill ($37.59) + tip and headed back across the road to check in for the tour



We were a bitty early so we had to wait for the previous tour to scoot off before we could check in. I noticed on the board that ALL of today's tours were sold out. The tours go every 20 minutes from 7pm until 10pm. I'd say capacity on the bus is 30. You do the math on how much coin they are raking in….

Anyway, in the ticket office there was a photo op with a zombie bride thing. There was another veiled figure stood to the side and I noticed it move, so could immediately see what was about to happen Sure enough the next group who went to get their photo taken had the life frightened out of them! Haha! We waited until the jumper outer had left before getting our photos!





We checked in at 8.30 and waited for the trolley bus to arrive. Isn't it cool?





We took a selfie once we sat down and waited for the fun to start!



Our driver was dressed in prison rags and then our guide came along. I totally forgot to write down her name, but she was very good and knew a lot of ghost stories! I didn’t get her photo till a bit later.



The first stop was the Tolomoto Cemetery where we were told about the spirit of a five year old boy called James who has been spotted playing in the trees and about the ghost of a bride. We didn’t actually get inside the gates so neither of us found is particularly scary, but the stories were interesting.





Is that an orb in the tree or just a stray bounce of light? Oooooooh.



From there we walked to the Old Drug Store which has now been converted into a Wax Museum. The actual drug store part is still intact and we were told some stories in there about strange goings on (lights blowing up, things moving on their own, shadows seen etc). The drug store first opened in 1887, so it does have an eerie kind of feel to it.





That’s our guide.



We were then led through to the actual wax museum where we passed lots of figures hidden by white sheets. I was so sure one of these was going to spring to life, but thankfully they didn’t. I think they just didn’t want us seeing an attraction we hadn’t paid for! Haha! Look who we did see though……





Chris was stood right in front of this guy. *shivers*



We then were told the story of a pirate's execution and some poor sod was pulled up as a volunteer to help re-enact it! Suddenly what we thought was a mannequin sprang to life and it was the executioner. He was so good, very in character.





From there it was back on to the trolley and we were driven to the Old Jail. This was the part I was looking forward to most. I love stuff like this, I find it very interesting.







This prison is claimed to be the most haunted building in the city and has been featured on one of those "Most Haunted" type TV shows.









Once we got deeper inside our guide "forgot to lock the door" so rushed back to the entrance. We were then introduced to Charlie Powell. An inmate on death row for murdering a man who was insulting his wife. I think that's quite romantic myself That is a true story by the way!





Charlie continued to lead us around the prison. He was brilliant, such a good actor and was so in character the entire time! At times he would lose his temper and would shout and rattle the cell doors. It was hilarious. There was a girl near us who was absolutely pooping her pants!



Sheriff Joseph Perry. A tough man apparently!







Charlie then took us outside to the gallows and recounted his hanging story.





I took a short video of this which is below. Enjoy!



After that we went back on the bus and were dropped back at the ticket office. We popped a $5 bill in the tips jar as we both really enjoyed this, it was really fun I really do recommend it.

We jumped in the car and headed back to Hanne's. We got there at about 10.30pm. Hanne & Ingrid were still awake so we had a catch up with them. Hanne was feeling ok, but very tired and quite weak. We left Hanne to rest and went outside with a beer and a glass of wine We polished those off and then went to bed at 11.30pm

We really enjoyed today. It was nice to see so much of St Augustine and for the holiday to get off to a nice relaxed start.

Steps today – 20,637 (9.01 miles).

Thanks for reading

Day 2 is here
__________________
A link to all my Trip Reports


Edited at 07:52 AM.
Redrach1903 is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 08:21 AM  
Link to this Post
#4
Loopylooloo
VIP Dibber
 
Loopylooloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 13
A fab first day Rachael, lovely photos of St Augustine it's definitely on my bucket list now my kids would love the ghost tour! Hannes house is so sweet, and what a lovely lanai, so different from the usual rental villa photos you see, love her plants etc. The welly boot flowers are really pretty too!
Looking forward to reading more, thanks for such a detailed post.
__________________

Our trip reports -
1st trip to Florida - April 2014 - 'Are we nearly Bankrupt yet?!'
The Kuna Mahuna Croatia Holiday 2016
Bankrupt again 2017 trip report
New England & Canada cruise + NYC
https://dibb.in/13476718
And now it’s time for Wine Wine Wine! Rome + Cruise
https://dibb.in/15427816
Loopylooloo is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 08:26 AM  
Link to this Post
#5
disneytrio
Imagineer
 
disneytrio's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 12

disneytrio's Reviews
Restaurant Reviews: 13
Wonderful first day, BRings back so many memories looking at your photos of St Augustine of when we went years ago for a day visit. The ghost tour looks fantastic, we toured the jail in the day which gave me the willies, it must have been eerie at night.
I have fallen in love with Hannes lanai and view, stunning.
Wonderful first day read!
disneytrio is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 08:51 AM  
Link to this Post
#6
HelenJNT
Imagineer
 
HelenJNT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 15
Mobile

St Augustine is so beautiful. It just looks like something from Pirates of the Caribbean. It would be amazing to live there (apart from the pesky railway bridge).

Antique Dr Pepper? Nooooo!

Love the lizard pic. I am very happy you didn't bother to take photos of the spiders - no thanks, nature.

Dinner looked nice...and now I have to look up what Texan Toast is.

The ghost tour looks fun! Love stuff like that. Chris' "Home Alone" pose made me laugh. I don't like audience participation though so I'm usually hiding at the back with stuff like that. It didn't work at the London Dungeon where they tried to burn me as a witch, mind...
HelenJNT is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 09:25 AM  
Link to this Post
#7
Col&Ali
Imagineer
 
Col&Ali's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 08
Mobile

You packed in quite a bit for a first day! Surprised you weren't shattered by the end.

Fab report of St Augustine and it is now on the list!
Col&Ali is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 09:45 AM  
Link to this Post
#8
slow.jo
slightly serious Dibber
 
Join Date: Nov 10
Mobile

Great first day! St Augustine looks beautiful. Shame about the poor service during your meals today.

What a fun tour!

Jo xx
__________________
IG: joannesear

Stewboy's Trip Reports
slow.jo is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 10:07 AM  
Link to this Post
#9
fa$$a
Trying for More Ears
 
fa$$a's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 13
Location: Lincoln
Fantastic full day 👍🏻 St Augustine is a massive favourite of mine but never seen it by night, it's now going on the future bucket list xx
fa$$a is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 6 May 17, 10:21 AM  
Link to this Post
#10
Redrach1903
Thread Starter
Disney Dreaming :)
 
Redrach1903's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 09

Redrach1903's Reviews
DIBB Villa Reviews: 2
Originally Posted by Loopylooloo View Post
A fab first day Rachael, lovely photos of St Augustine it's definitely on my bucket list now my kids would love the ghost tour! Hannes house is so sweet, and what a lovely lanai, so different from the usual rental villa photos you see, love her plants etc. The welly boot flowers are really pretty too!
Looking forward to reading more, thanks for such a detailed post.
Thank you! St Aug is so pretty!

Hanne's house is just perfect!

xx

Originally Posted by disneytrio View Post
Wonderful first day, BRings back so many memories looking at your photos of St Augustine of when we went years ago for a day visit. The ghost tour looks fantastic, we toured the jail in the day which gave me the willies, it must have been eerie at night.
I have fallen in love with Hannes lanai and view, stunning.
Wonderful first day read!
Thank you The tour was so fun!

Hanne's house is just lovely isn't it? xx

Originally Posted by HelenJNT View Post
St Augustine is so beautiful. It just looks like something from Pirates of the Caribbean. It would be amazing to live there (apart from the pesky railway bridge).

Antique Dr Pepper? Nooooo!

Love the lizard pic. I am very happy you didn't bother to take photos of the spiders - no thanks, nature.

Dinner looked nice...and now I have to look up what Texan Toast is.

The ghost tour looks fun! Love stuff like that. Chris' "Home Alone" pose made me laugh. I don't like audience participation though so I'm usually hiding at the back with stuff like that. It didn't work at the London Dungeon where they tried to burn me as a witch, mind...
Haha it totally is like POTC

Oh you should have seen some of those spider webs! So freaky!

I think it was just really thick toast hahaha!

Oh me too! I get so nervous when they are looking for a volunteer! Ha, that's funny! I've been picked on at the dungeons too and so has Chris

Thanks for reading lovely xxx

Originally Posted by Col&Ali View Post
You packed in quite a bit for a first day! Surprised you weren't shattered by the end.

Fab report of St Augustine and it is now on the list!
Thanks v much It really is worth a visit! xx

Originally Posted by slow.jo View Post
Great first day! St Augustine looks beautiful. Shame about the poor service during your meals today.

What a fun tour!

Jo xx
Thanks Jo It really was a great day! xx

Originally Posted by fa$$a View Post
Fantastic full day 👍🏻 St Augustine is a massive favourite of mine but never seen it by night, it's now going on the future bucket list xx
Oh definitely go at night and do one of the tours!

Thanks for reading xx
__________________
A link to all my Trip Reports

Redrach1903 is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin - Copyright © 2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Latest News
Posted in MVMCP
On 24th June 2:42pm
Holiday joy will unfold at Magic Kingdom as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns this... Read More »
Posted in Seaworld
On 4th June 9:51am
SeaWorld say there is a high surf advisory on the horizon in 2023 as a... Read More »
Posted in MNSSHP
On 28th April 4:17pm
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is returning to Magic Kingdom Park this fall during the resort’s 50th Anniversary... Read More »


theDIBB Menu


Exchange Rates
US Dollar Rates
ASDA  $1.1898
CaxtonFX  $1.1862
Covent Garden FX  $1.1994
FAIRFX  $1.1896
John Lewis  $1.1911
M&S  $1.1732
Post Office  $1.1718
Sainsburys  $1.1876
TESCO  $1.1914
Travelex  $1.1846
Updated: 00:00 01/07/2022
Euro Rates
ASDA  €1.1368
CaxtonFX  €1.1322
Covent Garden FX  €1.1459
FAIRFX  €1.1381
John Lewis  €1.1384
M&S  €1.1214
Post Office  €1.1198
Sainsburys  €1.1345
TESCO  €1.1383
Travelex  €1.1316
Updated: 00:00 01/07/2022

DIBB Premium Membership
Did you know you can help support theDIBB with Premium Membership?

Check out this link for more information and benefits, such as...

"No adverts on theDIBB Forums"

Upgrade Now



X