Postcards from: St. Augustine

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Dannie walks down the steps of an old church in St. Augustine, Florida

When Jake and I first got married, one of the first questions people often asked us was where we went for our honeymoon. We always told them we hadn't gotten around to it yet. That's still what we say, and I suspect that will never change. We talked about a honeymoon, and something about it made me feel uneasy. A honeymoon is supposed to be the best, most romantic trip that you ever go on together, the most passionate adventure of your marriage. I didn't like the idea that we might go on a trip together, a great vacation, then get home and think to ourselves that the best was behind us. We've gone on several wonderful trips together, but we haven't called any of them our honeymoon. If we put off our honeymoon forever, the best is always yet to come.

Even though my mother was with us on our recent vacation to St. Augustine to celebrate her birthday, it still felt pretty romantic at times. We decided on the city when we passed through it by accident on our way home from Georgia last month. Well, not quite by accident. When one of our other plans fell through we scrambled to google looking for a quick solution and we did a scouting drive by. We could tell right away that we were going to come back and take loads of great travel photos.

This time we arrived an hour before check in and decided to do a little more scouting to pass the time. We drove past the beautiful Flagler College and several amazing churches and cathedrals, then went up and down the waterfronts, planning where we should be when the sun got low.

It would have been awkward for the three of us to share a room, so we decided to rent a cottage through Airbnb. It was cozy and cute, but everyone had their space. Perfect. Our host didn't live on the premises but they cleaned it up nicely before we got there. The linens were fresh and the decor was creative, tasteful, and homey (it's no wonder as there were several books on style and architecture sitting by the tv). There was even a basket of fruit holding down a hand written note on the kitchen table. The kitchen was well equipped and we later used it to cook Chili and eat cupcakes.

The bed we slept in on our trip to St. Augustine, Florida
The bedroom Karen slept in when we went to St. Augustine Florida to celebrate her birthday
Some of the cute decor in our St. Augustine Cottage from Airbnb

When it cooled off outside we took our cameras for a walk through some of the cobblestone streets of the historic district, down to the waterfront and across the famous Bridge of Lions. In the river we could see tourists riding on pirate ships that were sailing through the orange light of the approaching sunset. St. Augustine is the perfect size for a short vacation - you can see most of it in a few days, but it's just big enough that you are always seeing something new.

Beautiful architecture fountains and artwork in St. Augustine
A historic building in St. Augustine, Florida
The drawbridge on the bridge of lions opens up to let a pirate ship pass through before sunset
A restaurant on the water in St. Augustine, Florida
The masts of the tourist pirate ships with a beautiful cloud in the background at sunset
Statue of a lion by the bridge of lions, photo taken just before sunset
The bell tower at Flagler College poking up past the palm trees of St. Augustine, Florida

The second day was hot. Really hot. They had a heat advisory on the news and everything. We got up early and decided to take one of the trolly tours. If Jake and I had been there on our own we probably would have opted to walk around town on our own, but boy were we glad Karen was there to convince us to take the trolly. First of all, like I said it was hot and we probably would have collapsed after a few hours on foot out there. Second it turns out the tour was pretty fun - we learned a lot about the history that we wouldn't have discovered just by walking around and taking pictures.

There are lots of tourist attractions in St Augustine
The street of the tourism center of St Augustine Florida has lots of shops and boutiques
Some decorative wall lizards in a gift shop

Of course the problem with taking the tours instead of walking around taking pictures is that you don't get to take quite so many pictures. We just took a few snapshots and geotagged the locations with my phone so we could come back later when it wasn't so hot to take some more careful photos. At noon we hopped off of the trolly and did a little window shopping. My favorite store was a boutique called the Red Pineapple. I love little boutiques, and I've always secretly wanted to own one. I could spend hours looking at cute little objects and locally made jewelry. I probably would have done so this time, but we were getting hungry so we decided to duck into nice little restaurant called Casa Maya that I tracked down using Yelp. Karen got a burrito and Jake got a quesadilla, but my tempeh tacos were the big hit, mostly because Jake and I had tried unsuccessfully to cook tempeh so many times in the past and we were excited to see what it was supposed to taste like (yummy)!

The meal we ordered at Casa Maya mexican restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida
The Tempeh tacos I ordered at Casa Maya
The burrito Karen had for lunch on our second day in St. Augustine
Jake's quesadillas from Casa Maya in St. Augustine
Some of the items we saw in gift shops on our trip to St. Augustine
The beautiful architecture with pillars and cobblestone streets
A street lined with live oaks in St. Augustine Florida
Some of the amazing architecture at Flagler College in St. Augustine Florida

After lunch we went home to cool off a bit then headed back out to take some serious photos of all those beautiful buildings we'd seen. Sometimes our family vacations can feel a little bit like work when we have our cameras with us, but we just have to remind ourselves to stop and enjoy ourselves along the way. We didn't decide to become photographers because we thought it was the best way to get rich. We did it because we love it, and when we remind ourselves of that it stops feeling like work and it starts to feel fun again. If we ever do go on our perfect honeymoon vacation to end all vacations, I know we'll both have a camera in our hands anyway, and we'll both be smiling.

A fountain in the courtyard of St. Augustines Flagler College
Another shot of the courtyard fountain at Flagler College
The dome ceiling of a building at Flagler College
Some artwork from St. Augustine, Florida
Two photos of a beautiful cathedral in historic St. Augustine, Florida
The stairs of a beautiful church we saw on our trip to St. Augustine