Sunshine State: Historic St. Augustine
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
St. Augustine, the oldest city in the US. It was discovered by a Spanish admiral and explorer named Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. This is way before Jamestown and Plymouth Rock were discovered which a lot of people don't know. Crazy, right? Not only is St. Augustine known for its beaches, but it still holds history in its downtown area which has the oldest masonry fort called Castillo de San Marcos. I love nerding out on stuff like this so when we decided to go here, I was super excited and mapped out all the historic monuments. I was also excited to know that a place like this where there's serene beaches mixed with history actually existed! However, the trip took a turn....
Have you ever heard of a cellular sunburn?!? Probably not, a lot of people haven't. It's the worst thing ever! I couldn't walk you guys, not because of the burn itself but from the pain. It rushed down my legs whenever I swung them over the side of the bed and when I walked. It felt like heavy sandbags rushing down them which was then accompanied by pins and needles. I also couldn't sit with my legs bent, they HAD to be stretched out. Now if you're thinking, "Why didn't you put sunscreen on?" I did! I used the spray-on kind which I will never use again, I'm using sunblock lotion moving forward. Because I'm half Puerto Rican, I don't burn and if I do, I don't know until a few hours later. Even then it's hard to tell because I turn a dark red that looks like a tan - I think I get it from being part Taino Indian (Puerto Ricans are made up of Taino Indian (aka the Arawak tribe), African American and Spanish). Anywho, jumping ahead; I was laid up for about 2 days in St. Augustine and then had to trek through Disney World for a few days where I eventually developed edema and neuropathy. Overall, it was awful, but I put a smile on my face and kept going 😄 It was my husband's birthday week, too, so I couldn't ruin it for him even more by being a negative Nancy.
Going back to St. Augustine - Obviously after that day at the beach, we didn't go back and instead just walked around (well, I tried. I had to take a million breaks 🤣). We, of course, did a brewery crawl which we found this cute little place called Old Coast Ales that was on the beach side of St. Augustine. I loved it!! Highly recommend going there. We also went to Ancient City Brewing which was pretty good as well, A1A Ale Works which is kind of like a Gordon Biersch if you have ever been there - it's okay, nothing exciting. Then we went to The Chatsworth Pub which was super cute! They also have a tea room, but unfortunately they were booked - I've been looking for a good tea room so if you know of one, email me.
We also went and did a wine tasting at San Sebastian Winery which was good. They have a rooftop which we heard was awesome, but when we went there it was April so it was closed due to Covid. We then walked over to St. Augustine Distillery - Fantastic! Next door, well it's actually in the same building, is a place called Ice Plant. OMG!!! You guys have to go. Such a cool atmosphere with its historic industrial charm and its cocktails. It's yummy! We had the housemade pimento cheese - Holy crap! Probably one of the best things I've ever had. It's pictured below, but it's guava-datil jelly served with garlic toast. You MUST get this! For drinks we had the 'lover's lane', the 'blue velvet' and the 'aku aku lapu'. All delicious!
**This is a slideshow so make sure to click the " > " that's on the photo to see them all!
Now onto one of my favorite parts, and the last part before I start talking about all my thrift store finds 😉 - the sightseeing!! I do love me some touristy type of sites, but I also love finding those places that you don't really think about seeing as well, because why not?? It's those types of places that you remember the most and makes your trip and the story even better! As I mentioned, we saw:
-Castillo de San Marcos: It's a monument so you can just walk around it and in it and it's free!
-The oldest wooden school house: You just walk by it so it's also free. It's located in the little strip where all the shops and restaurants are.
-Old City Gates: It's a pretty photo opp so make sure to take a pic of you under them!
-Flagler College: BEAUTIFUL!! If you're an architecture nerd like me, you'll love it!
-Great Cross: Walk in by the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum and go towards the back. You'll see it above the treeline.
-St. Augustine Oak Canopy: It's just a bunch of oak trees over a residential neighborhood, it's gorgeous! You can either Google Map it or you can go to the crossroads Magnolia and Dufferin which is near the Fountain of Youth.
Some significant places I wish we would have seen but we couldn't because we weren't there long enough (plus I was suffering from my cellular sunburn) was the Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth and the Old Jail. I also wish we would have went to see the National Shrine of Our Lady La Leche which is located near the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum. Fountain of Youth doesn't look like you need tickets to enter but you actually do. National Shrine of Our Lady and the Old Jail, not sure. However, if we would have had more time and I wasn't in pain, I think we would have just bought tickets for the Trolley Tours. You get more bang for your buck. Now, onto the food 🤩
There are A TON of good restaurants there, it's insane! We ate at Prohibition Kitchen in which I had the braised beef and the husband had the short rib grilled cheese - Delicioso! We also ate at Columbia - OMG! It was out of this world! I wish, 1) I was feeling better and could actually sit and enjoy my meal, but at this point of the trip I had to lay in bed all day. And, 2) I wish we weren't in the peak of the pandemic because it was packed inside. You should look at their interior, it's gorgeous!! Then of course we ate at Ice Plant which was delicioso as well! Some places we heard that were good that we didn't get to was the Maple Street Biscuit Company and The Floridian. Supposedly, too, St. Augustine has one of the largest holiday light displays during Christmas time?!? Who would have thought! I would like to go back to see this before I kick the bucket. For more info about it, click here.
We actually chose to go to St. Augustine because we thought with the beaches and the historic part of the town that we would maybe want to get our vacation home there (yes, we're planning on getting a vacation home in Florida at some point). Although it was awesome and so many places to visit, it was a bit touristy for us to own a vacation home in. Plus, the cell service is spotty. If you're visiting while the pandemic is still going on (I'm writing this in July 2021, but our trip was in April 2021), the Lyft / Uber situation is scarce; a lot of people decided not to return to work due to unemployment so there were only 1-2 people driving in that area. They're also all from Jacksonville which is not that close to St. Augustine. So, again, if you're visiting during the pandemic, make sure you're within walking distance of everything (we did the beach one part of the trip and then went towards the historic downtown the second half of the trip) or get a rental car. Which I should talk about the rental car situation....
We flew into Orlando, which most likely you'll be doing the same. Please note that,
1) The return times in St. Augustine are only until noon so most likely you'll have to keep the car overnight unless you're flying in super early to Orlando and getting to St. Augustine by 12pm.
2) The car rental place is inside the Walmart. Weird, I know but it is. We heard from a local that all the car rental companies sold their fleets once Covid hit because they couldn't take on the expense.
3) Take note of the Uber / Lyft situation as you'll probably need it to get back and forth from the car rental to your hotel.
Alright, so are we ready to talk about thrifting? 🥳 I love finding thrift stores that are nonprofits that help a cause that I truly believe in. This is why I chose the thrift store Ayla's Acres Thriftique which is part of their No-Kill Animal Rescue. I love me some animals 🐾 As you know I have a black cat named Schnookums who is a rescue from the Humane Society of Greater Miami North so I really follow and support adoption and no-kill sanctuaries. Anywho, I'll be honest and say that because of my burn (we went thrifting the next day after the incident, or maybe it was the second day?) I didn't get to take photos like I normally do in significant places in the spot we were visiting. Trying to take a photo when I'm in severe pain and to try to put anything on my body, I felt like I was on fire!!! So I took photos when I got home and this is also why I included so many more photos of our actual trip in here. Sorry, not sorry! Haha! This also may be TMI, but I couldn't' even wear a bra, that's how much pain I was in. I just had to wear my tank top that had a built-in bra - Shout out to Express because they make a really good one (find them on my Storefront - linked here)! Anyways, here is what I found:
Banana Republic Cardigan: $4 --> with Ayla's 50% off moving sale = only $2!!
If you go onto my IG and click the highlight "Thrifting" you'll see that when I was trying this on I was wearing a black maxi skirt and a white tank. I have also worn this just as a shirt tucked in and tucked out. The v-neck looks like it's super deep, but it's actually not. Some people may think it is, but when I lived in Miami this was normal 😂
Whenever I'm working with someone that says that their wardrobe is basic I know I'll be walking into a closet full of cardigans. It's our go-to, especially here in the Midwest. So don't feel like you always have to wear something underneath or that it's just for layering; you can wear it as a top too! If you're busty, this might be a problem due to the gapping in the chest area. However, moving forward when you buy new cardigans go up a size or 2. This allows you to ensure you can button them up and wear them like a top. Another tip: Changing out your bra can help too!
Earrings: $4 --> after the 50% sale = only $2, again!!
I always love me some statement earrings, whether they're a dangle earring or something like this. Not everyone can wear earrings like this though. Make sure to hold up the earring to your ear to ensure that it's not too big. Do this with your hair up AND down because you want to make sure you can wear them with both hairstyles - And yes, the look of the earring can change between having your hair up and down. Also, don't forget to disinfect them with rubbing alcohol when you get home. This goes for earrings that you thrift AND that you buy from the store!
I.N.C Pants: $10 --> after the sale = $5!
OMG! These pants 😍 Some people may think these are crazy, and that's quite alright. But if you're still curious on how you would style these (most common question when it comes to bold patterns like this when I'm working with clients is, "What do I wear with this?). A lot of people think that you HAVE TO wear a top that is a color in the pant. False. I've worn these pants with a bright red-orange tee made by Madewell (thrifted of course - found it for only a few bucks at Arc's Value Village here in the Twin Cities). See here:
Side note: I should mention the scarf on my head - For the most part, I'll wear this as a headband. It was only a few bucks or maybe it was only 50 cents, who knows! Anywho....
I've also worn these pants with a bright yellow graphic tee from Target that says, "Tacos. Lime. Sunshine". I bought it during my road trip to Maine...which that blog is coming soon 😉 I also just wore these pants with my oversized white button-up tunic. My tunic is a bit more flowy so I felt a little more large than I am with it left out. Fortunately, I can wear it tied at the bottom. You can do this by unbuttoning the bottom 2 buttons and tie a knot. Tip: If you can't tie it together due to the positioning of the buttons + the cut of the shirt, then do a front tuck.
Lastly, I haven't done this yet with these pants, but you can also mix pattern with pattern. I know, I know, this might be a bit much for you. However, for those of you that like this look here is the golden rule that I always tell my clients: Look at the overall shape of the main piece you're wearing. For example, these pants; yes, they're floral but the overall shape is really a circle. For the other pattern that you'd be wearing, wear the opposite. Example: I would wear a striped shirt with this. Does that make sense? I hope so! Derailing a bit - I may or may not be hosting virtual events again this fall and one of them might be what basic patterns go with what. If you like this idea, message me so I know!
Well guys, that's a thrifting wrap! After St. Augustine we went to Orlando and stayed at the Orange Lake Resort which is AWESOME!! We're actually timeshare owners now. I know, we sound like we're old, but I swear that we're only in our mid-30's 😂 I was recuperating by the time we got there and just had to rest the whole time - outside of going to Disney. That sucked btw; I couldn't go on many rides because my legs hurt if I moved around. So annoying 🙄 And obviously I didn't want to go thrifting sooooo there's that.
Stay tuned for my next blog post which will be about the cross-country road trip that we took from Minneapolis all the way to Portland, Maine --> Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park --> York, Maine --> Jamestown, NY --> an unexpected stop in Pittsburgh which then led us to
--> Chicago! And if you ever want to have an appointment with me while I'm in your area, you can find out where I'm going to be next via my Tour Dates! And as always, if you want to be the first to read this blog + know what's going on here at MH such as tour dates, special events, VIP events, etc. subscribe to my newsletter on my site!
Until next time,