Two weeks ago, I didn’t know that I was headed to Florida. Flying by the seat of my pants, I tell ya.
Casey had a work conference come up, so I did the dutiful wifely thing and went with him. You may have noticed that this is the theme of my travel this year (please see: Chicago, Colorado Springs/Denver, New York City). This trip took us to Orlando.
After we were both finished with our jobs for the day, we headed out to the tough streets of Orlando. Now, let me go ahead and tell you one thing you absolutely need to know – we are NOT theme park people. Standing in line (in the hot, Florida sun) (with thousands of screaming children) is something we’re reserving for the day when we have a screaming child of our very own. Until then, no thanks. So, for a city that has so many tourist attractions for people who actually are theme park people, I took to The Twitter to help me out. Several people recommended Winter Park, so to Winter Park we went.
After checking out The Ravenous Pig (delicious), we started walking toward Stardust Video & Coffee (trippy), and Redlight Redlight (great bar). During the walk, Casey made a comment about how much the scenery on a particular street reminded him of St. Augustine. WE SHOULD GO TO ST. AUGUSTINE!!! 10 minutes later, we had rented a car. And that’s how things work in our life, folks.
As we drove into the city, it really just looked like the standard suburb of a large city (Jacksonville, in this case), but the deeper we got into the old town, the more historic things started to become. Giant retaining walls that protected the Spanish from intruders lined the coast, a large fortress had become City Hall, and cobble-stoned streets marked our route as we made it to Casa Monica to eat lunch with Casey’s (and now my!) great aunt and cousin.
Now, here’s another thing you should know about us – we have developed tourist-y ways of doing things. We used to travel by heading to a street here or a district there and just checking it out. Sometimes we found things, sometimes we didn’t. But on our honeymoon, that all changed. We started taking guided tours through the city and then going back to the areas of town that we really wanted to check out. We’re tourists, and that’s okay.
So, in St. Augustine, that’s exactly what we did. We took a tram throughout 24 different hot spots throughout the city that ranged from incredible (Aviles Street – the oldest street in America) to bizarre (the first Ripley’s Believe It or Not). After the route was complete, we headed out to check out the things we wanted to see – the Oldest House, Anastasia Island, San Sebastian Winery (which you should ask me about at a later date because ohmygod21yearoldsaredumb), old downtown and A1A Ale Works. If you just yelled, “Beachfront Avenue!” we can continue to be friends.
We finally wrapped up our trip with a nice dish of paella. This classic Spanish dish is Casey’s favorite meal, and it just seemed right to order it in a Spanish city. I knew it was full of seafood which I haven’t really tried much of, admittedly. We split the dish, and here’s what my portion looked like:
Do you know how to eat a crawfish? It’s really just absurd. And definitely not worth it. However, the rest of the seafood wasn’t bad at all! I’ll no longer turn my nose up at someone who offers me lobster. Because that happens ALL of the time.
So this trip got me closer and closer to completing those 30 Before 30 goals. I ate shrimp, and I traveled to 2 more states – I actually get to count Missouri this time since we left the airport on our 4 1/2 hour layover and went into Kansas City!