Once we were done taking care of DMV business, it was time to explore St. Augustine – again. As mentioned previously, we’ve been to St. A before, once by ourselves in 2005, once with Rob’s parents on a trip to Disney in 2006 and once with Rob’s aunt and uncle who also have an RV.
On a previous trip (before we were blogging) we took the tram tour around old town St. Augustine which was very informative and something you need to do at least once when you visit here. This Thanksgiving day was nice, although chilly, and we decided we should just walk around and go at our own pace. We though perhaps everyone would be at home with family and/or cooking so it might not be all that busy (WRONG). Even the tour trams were full!
Since we had been out to dinner the night before, we planned on having Thanksgiving dinner on board. This year has been a year of major changes for us and it was the first time ever that both of us have not been with at least part of our family during the holidays. It seemed strange to be by ourselves, but a few phone calls and emails with family members made us feel less lonely being away.
Neither one of us is totally crazy about turkey plus I didn’t want a lot of leftovers, so before we left Brunswick and Blythe, we picked up a mini-ham (about 3 pounds) at Honey Baked Ham. Easy peasy! All I would have to do was to make something to go with it – potatoes au gratin and Brussels sprouts were quickly added to the menu. Before we left to go exploring, I had everything ready so when we got back it would just be a matter of throwing it in the oven.
Anyway, we headed to the downtown area where we found to our surprise that quite a few of the restaurants and shops were open. It was a little chilly so after a couple hours we had our fill and headed back to the ranch where we had our lovely dinner and watched the Ravens beat the Steelers (the Pats weren’t playing that day).
On Friday, November 29th, since we needed to go to Petco for more kitty litter, we decided to have breakfast at Mary’s Harborview Restaurant near old town – we had eaten there before on our last trip and remembered that the food was decent and the prices not too bad.
We parked in the Castillo de San Marcos parking lot and walked to the restaurant. Oh, oh, there was a crowd outside. It’s a very small place, maybe 20 tables at best and when I asked how long a wait there would be I was told they had a party of 11 and a party of 9 already waiting. Time for a different plan. After checking Google Maps, we decided to walk about .7 of a mile to Georgie’s Diner. Nice day for a walk, warmer than it had been for the past few days. Also nice walking through some of the residential streets, away from all the touristy areas. Finally we arrived at Georgie’s which turned out to be excellent.
Along the way we passed a $5 All Day Self Service parking lot at the corner of Seville and Valencia. This appears to be a private lot and is a great deal if your visit will be more than 3 hours – the public parking scattered around town is currently $1.50/hour. This lot is about a 10 minute walk west of the waterfront and is just on the edge of the primary old town attractions. Cash only.
After breakfast we hiked back to town and walked some more. With all of the shops open, it was quite busy. We debated going inside the Castillo but it was crowded and we had been there several times before so we left, heading for Petco – on Black Friday no less! Going near any type of mall or shopping plaza the day after Thanksgiving was probably not the brightest plan of action. We’re not into Black Friday mania unless its online and involves no crowds.
Petco was located in a plaza but in a less crowded section and to our amazement we easily found a parking space. The St. Augustine Outlet stores are located close to the campground so we did run into a little congestion on our way back to the ranch. The remainder of the day was quiet.
The weather was lousy on Saturday so we spent another quiet day on board, getting ready to depart on Sunday.
More photos (note these were taken on different days)