Tuesday, December 2, 2014
FLORIDA: St. Augustine in 20 hours | Part 1
It seems awfully fitting to begin this blog with the nation's oldest city - St. Augustine. Our trip to this old city was an impulsive one, fueled by a little extra money and a weekend off. We utilized our phones to create a rough guideline of destinations we wanted to see on the way to the city. Despite the lack of planning, St. Augustine is easily one of our favorite Florida destinations.
Built in 1888 as a luxury hotel, Flagler college was built for Henry Morrison Flagler who was an industrialist and railroad pioneer. Although the hotel was restored and transformed, the luxury element is still in tact; walking into the courtyard of Ponce De Leon Hall, you can feel the scope that the hotel once had catering to the rich socialites of its day. Beautiful architecture of the courtyard leads you into the main lobby of the school which almost looks like a modern day Hogwarts (of Harry Potter fame, of course). The surrounding area of the schools campus plays host to various tourist attractions and locales which we unfortunately did not have time to see. Regardless, the architecture was impressive and it was a worthwhile stop.
Bridge at Lions during Sunset
As we walked along the streets, away from Flagler College we come across various locale and many tourists walking along a hot summer sidewalk in search of their next adventure (or drink). The Bridge of Lions connects downtown St. Augustine with Anastasia Island, spanning the Intracoastal. It's an enjoyable walk with the right weather, giving you a clear view of the Intracoastal and the small city's landscape. Florida has beautiful sunsets, and this is a great location to view one.
We chose the Floridian for dinner, based on the fact that it had great reviews on Yelp and vegetarian options. We were not disappointed. As soon as we entered we were greeted unfortunately with a long wait for a table. However, because we love our adult beverages we ventured into the back for a cocktail. After only a short wait we were shown our seats at the front of the house. We ordered a cheap bottle of wine (we love cheap wine) and placed our orders. Kaili had The Tom Kha with tofu - a rich, curry style dish, with notes of thai basil and lemongrass - full of vegetables, soaked in a coconut broth and served over jasmine rice. Josh had the Cornbread Stack, a Cheddar and veggie-stuffed cornbread, topped with blackened fish and pickled veggies complimented with a chili-cumin ailoli sauce. We would highly recommend this place.
After dinner, we walked through the small, but beautiful, city. Much of the historical architecture is in place - old homes converted into cute new restaurants or bed & breakfasts. The stringed lights along the buildings glow against the Spanish moss that hangs from the trees; the city sounds blend with the sound of cicadas, and the city seems almost magical, a truly timeless place.
You can see Part Two here.
You can read our other entries about Florida here