Today is a big deal. I am finally caught up on my road trip blog posts! Only a month and a half later.... oops! After this one I will finally get back to Spain postin'. Our final day of the trip was extremely busy. We started off the day by exploring St. Augustine, and then took to the road again to go see my favorite singer in concert in Orlando. We didn't feel like paying for any more hotels, so after the concert we drove back to Tampa. 207 miles plus lots of activities in one day? We were exhausted.
I have mixed feelings about St. Augustine. I used to love going as a kid because the old fort was exciting to explore, and it is on the water. It is certainly a beautiful and charming little town, and it used to feel like a step back in time in Spain. However, after living in Madrid for an entire year, "historical St. Augustine" just feels like a fraud! Although I will say that I have never been outside of the tourist quarter because I never have enough time to explore further. Is St. Augustine outside of the tourist quarter cool? Anyone?
Fun fact for the day: St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European established city in America. It was originally discovered in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, and founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles. The city actually still has ties with the Spanish government. We found out that the king and queen of Spain are set to come visit and give a speech from a balcony of the oldest hotel in the city in 2015.
Hanging out in a place where sangria is $7 a glass, tapas go for $8-$12 a plate, paella comes in a can, tortilla española doesn't exist, and olives don't come with every drink? Well... it made me realize how much I'm going to miss my adopted country when I finally move home. I"m going to continue to fill up on €1 tinto de veranos (the more commonly ordered vino + soda combination), €2-€6 tapas and raciones, paella and tortilla española shared in a Spaniard's flat, & alllll the olives I could ever want with each drink. Love ya Madrid!
Don't let me discourage you though. St. Augustine is still a beautiful city because... duh... it's in Florida. ;)
Most popular things to do in St. Augustine: tour the old fort, go on a ghost tour, tour Flager College, walk around and check out one of the top 10 Christmas lights displays in the world, and walk up the lighthouse and take in the view of St. Augustine.
View from the Castillo de San Marcos - sisterhood retreat 2012.
We didn't really have a chance to do many of those things this time around, which was fine because both Alex and I have grown up going to St. Augustine for various reason. I mean... we had a concert to get to.
Cue excited Jen.
Alex bought us tickets to go see my favoriiiiite singer, Corey Smith, for Christmas and hid them in one of my other presents, a book about Zelda Fitzgerald. (Definitely going to have to do a book review soon because I loved it!) So after a semi-exciting day in St. Augustine, we called it quits and got back into the car for the final destination of our trip. Orlandoooo, see you soon!
Yeah... except we got lost. Because Disney is confusing and I clearly don't understand how to read Google Maps on an iPhone very well. Oops. After a quick stop at Hess for gas station sandwiches and chips to eat for dinner, we finally made it to House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Womp womp wompppp.
The opening act for Corey Smith was a band I had never heard of, but we both liked their performance and music a lot! They have that folksy, country, rock sound I love so much. Check out The Railers on YouTube.
And then it was finally time for my main man Corey to hit the stage! I saw him three times during my four years at FSU, so he obviously reminds me of all things college. My favorite song of his is 21. Listen, think of college, and fall in love.
It was the perfect ending to a wonderful trip. Thanks for reading along!
Lowcountry Road Trip: