Coffee Chat - Vacation Is Fun!
Our vacation really started a few weeks ago when we returned to the air museum to complete our tour there. We'd gone several months ago and due to an unexpectedly long delay for a car service we barely saw one hangar of planes and displays. So a couple of weekends ago we went back, walked through all the hangars and had a very nice picnic lunch. I posted a picture of our picnic meal on the blog for a Thrifty Thursday/Frugal Friday post. Here are a few other photos from that day:
There was one other couple about our age that shared the empty pavilion while we ate our food. Isn't it funny? When the kids were young we used to picnic a lot. It was just so much easier and cheaper to pack food at home and take it with us. We were so broke back then that John jokes now we couldn't afford to be poor, we were just po', lol. He's not far wrong! Anyway, I got so I liked picnics very well indeed and now I look for excuses to have one. I'd rather have a picnic on the road than stop off to eat at a restaurant. And you know how I love to picnic in the graveyards. The very best picnic ever was the one in St. Augustine in a graveyard at Nombre De Dios church overlooking the Mantanzas Bay.
Last Wednesday John started his regular week off with a few extra days vacation tacked on. With ten days off we planned to have fun and I can say quite honestly on the 7th day that we have done just as we planned.
We meant to make a trip to our most loved city and beach. To that end I didn't plan any real grocery shopping into the week. I bought extra bread and milk and eggs over the weekend before, thinking I'd need nothing else. John was a little disappointed not to go shopping. As it happened though we did have to go to the dollar store to restock our vitamins and he had an errand to do. He took me out to breakfast at IHOP. I had a coupon from way back in September that hadn't expired. Our waitress suggested, as she handed us our bill, that we buy a $25 gift card, use it to pay for our meal that day and we'd get a $5 coupon back. Between what was left on the card after paying, the cash John was given for the coupon and the $5 coupon we figure we have another meal coming to us free. Pretty good isn't it? We call that blessing at our house.
Thursday we packed up the car and took off to St. Augustine. I confess that along about Monday of last week I'd figured out I had a virus and not just a migraine. I was not feeling perky but I wasn't about to confess it and risk spoiling this trip!
This whole trip had been such a blessing, truly it had been. First of all, we won a gift card at an EMS dinner that was substantial. I'd gotten an email from the place where we normally stay offering us a deal: book three nights and get a fourth night free. I had managed some small savings since the first of the year simply by stashing away $1bills. Well with all that, we had to come up with just $34 to pay for our stay. I'm telling you, I thought that was just wonderful and I guess anyone would. I saved grocery money to buy food for the stay once we arrived and packed a few of those necessities that are pricey (foil, olive oil, butter, steaks).
And you know we had a nice picnic lunch packed for the trip down. We stopped at the Florida Welcome Center and had our lunch.
It took us quite a while on the road to finally reach our destination. But we got there at last:
The next day John surprised me. I thought we were going into town for coffee. Nope. He bypassed the parking lot we stop at when we're walking over to St. George Street for coffee...I was very surprised to find that we were going to do this:
All of this is just day one in St. Augustine. I don't think I can share many more photos tonight without overwhelming you all. We had a lovely lunch downtown in a garden off St. George street this day. It was a lovely day, truly it was and I couldn't have asked for a nicer one.
Saturday we took another favorite drive down the coast from our hotel along old A1A. Thank you to whoever decided to preserve the beaches as state parks down that way! It is the most beautiful ride. Along the way there are glimpses of 'old Florida' not as old as St. Augustine, but of the motor court days.
Sunday we stayed at our condo and did nothing but gaze at the ocean, nap on the balcony, people watch and regret that we had to leave Monday.
It was a wonderful get away with lots of time to talk over things we've discovered in the past month, time to set the seal on a brand new set of dreams, and study. I think we both came away refreshed. Now I'm ready to start my savings campaign so we can return in the autumn!