Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wow! What a vacation!

Hello everyone! My posting has been sort of erratic as we've been on holiday. I did an initial post here about our vacation. It was really more of a fun little photo dump but here is a bit more info about our actual trip. There are some things I am excluding just because I think they deserve their own posts!

The first place we visited is the place I grew up: Jacksonville, FL.

My parents and my in-laws live just a few miles from one another. While here the first week we didn't actually do a whole heck of a lot honestly. We mostly hung out a home. We did go shopping, trying to find the husband a Jacksonville Jaguars Jersey. Since they've just come out with new ones we sadly had no luck, but that's how it rolls sometimes. Some things we did get to do that we were looking forward to included mostly eating at restaurants we don't have up in Canada. So, here's the low down.

Bono's Real Pit BBQ. I grew up eating this stuff, my brother worked there for quite a while when I was younger so this place is near and dear to my heart. They honestly have the best sweet sauce known to man. I picked up quite a few bottles and am shipping them back to our place in Canada!!!

Next we checked out Chick-Fil-A and got a chicken sandwhich. Let me tell you no matter where we have traveled there is no chicken sandwich like that of chick-fil-a. We won't have it again for a very, very long time, so I really savoured it!

Next was Chili's. Hubby really loves those chicken fingers! Get them done extra crispy with an El Presidente Margarita. Yum, yum!

We got some really great quality time in with the family too. I think it's really important to state here that good quality family time doesn't have to mean you spend a ton of money to be together. We had a fantastic time watching wrestling with my mother in law and father in law. As well as going to the beach and playing in the waves with all of my nieces and nephews and my brother in law and sister in law. We also spent a lot of time at my in law's pool as well as playing board games.

Beach we grew up going to! Pier used to be awesome and have a cool restaurant (it was probably really crappy lol but as a kid it was fun to go to). 

My new fave game! The Mr. is going to be sorry he let his family introduce me to this! ;)

The second place we visited: St. Augustine, FL

Ok, so this was supposed to be just a one week endeavour. But, due to my ever increasing fascination with sea turtles in turned into a two week ordeal. 

The first day there we actually surprised my nephew. My brother & sister in law knew we were coming but my nephew, who sees my daughter every year almost, didn't know. So when we walked in it was a huge surprise. He was so cute & so bashful when we walked out of the room after he got here! But, the next morning we saw this at the end of our boardwalk: 

A fresh turtle nest and tracks! It was so amazing that same day after doing quite a bit of running (6 miles) we had a bbq with some family friends. I don't want to violate anyone's privacy by posting pictures so I'll stick to showing off my plate of food: 

And here is my watermelon cake:

I will post a tutorial on how to do this soon! 

The next morning we did a really long run and decided to eat out at our favourite restaurant in town (just 3/4 of a mile from our place) Southbeach Grill. This place is so delicious and so dependable. Only once or twice can I ever remember waiting for a table. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all equally delicious. I will be doing a whole other review on this later as it is a family favourite and I want to make sure I give it the glory it deserves. ;)

On our way home we had this weather on the horizon: 

So, we headed into town to go to the carousel when it decided to start raining. Instead of letting it dampen our day we headed way into town to the outlet mall. I will have pictures to come of what goodies we got, but I will say we got some amazing deals!!! It could just be I am used to Canadian prices, but we got almost all of the kiddo's shopping done for back to school and I managed to get a few fun things ;)

The next few days were full of swimming, surfing, and just generally enjoying the beach. My brother and I went on a late night walk on the beach and got to see the most amazing site I've ever witnessed: a sea turtle laying eggs!!! I couldn't believe our luck! Even if I'd have had my camera I wouldn't have take a picture as it would have been too dark and I wouldn't have disturbed her with a flash. We watched her for a few moments but were so nervous about disrupting her that we turned and walked away when we came back she was already gone. She layed her nest a little to close to the water so the turtle patrol did move her nest to closer up by the dunes. 

This was the turtle nest my brother & I saw laid late in the night. You can see where the turtle patrol had already dug it up. An interesting thing my brother & I noticed was that they make one set of tracks coming up and a second set going back out!

This is the next all moved. They have it nice and snug up in the dune away from the drivers and away from the pedestrians. There were 136 eggs!!

In all the research we have done my dad came across a video of a loggerhead that a couple took on our beach back at the end of may! Here is the video, it's well worth a watch! They are an amazing creature. So giant and strong!

We then had more fun swimming and just enjoying the sun! Then, at some point (days are sort of running together on me here) we went to a fantastic restaurant for dinner called The Floridian. This place was so delicious I decided I will do a whole separate review on it later. I really want to be able to highlight it.

After we did lots more working out, the men went fishing and made us fresh fish! My Aunt and cousin came to visit us so that was nice! We then went out kayaking one day. I will be doing a completely separate post on that as the company we rented from was great and the whole process was very easy. We were able to see a ton of wildlife and just really enjoy the time with my brother, sister-in-law, and daughter. I was so glad to be able to bring my kiddo along on that. It was an incredible experience. Plus, it really helped us reach a new level in our relationship having to work together to row that kayak (which previous experience told us could be disasterous ;))!

We've also been to the farmer's market, made s'more's, and saw this adorable little turtle!

S'mores with GIANT marshmallows!

Strawberry lemonade slush at the farmer's market at the St. Augustine Pier!

View of the market.

Cute turtle we saw crossing the road in Anastasia State Park.

But, this wasn't all we did! We also did a couple of hikes, had BBQ at a cute little shack, and got to see the remains of a really old plantation. I will do reviews on all those later as I want to include tons of pictures and really encourage anyone in the area to go check it all out! ;)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little photo dump and the little bit of info I was willing to provide!

Tell me, where did you vacation this year?


  1. The pictures are lovely Kate! It looks to be so much fun.

    I'm stopping by as a co-host from Linkin' with my Ladies. I am following you via google+, twitter, facebook, pinteest and bloglovin.

    Have a great week!

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by!!!

  2. Hello, there!

    I really enjoyed reading about your trip! My grandparents live in Jacksonville, so I have been there and to St. Augustine many times over the years. It's so much fun! One of my favorite things I have done there is touring Flagler College. It used to be a turn of the century resort, and even though it's now a liberal arts college, all the art and furniture is still in use. It's amazing, and I'd definitely recommend it!

    Your sea turtles experience sounds amazing!! I'm very jealous!!

    Found you through the Weekend Blog Block Party and following through Bloglovin!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Mandi!!! I grew up in Jacksonville and as many times as I've been to St. Auggie I have never visited Flagler! I didn't realize it was a resort, I just thought it was Mr. Flagler's personal grounds!!! So interesting, will give me something to do next time we visit.