Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lighthouses and Tigers and Gamecocks...Oh My!

We left on New Year's Day {morning} to head down to Mom's beach condo. Her condo was actually being used by the joint owner, so we stayed in a friend's condo which was beautiful and not child-friendly. LOL! It definitely encouraged us to find things to do OUTSIDE of the condo. I walked in, took pictures of everything, and moved the breakables.

After we arrived we walked to the beach and then to the intercoastal and then changed clothes to eat supper {at JT's Seafood Shack} and go to Publix for groceries. James loves fried shrimp so he always chooses JT's first thing.

On Friday morning we got up and went into St. Augustine. We had lunch at The Conch House and James requested we sit in a "bird's nest." If you've never been before, they have these booths or picnic tables or tiki huts...something...set up around the outside deck. They're at varying heights and they're right on the water. James requested one on Labor Day weekend but it was HOT so we sat inside instead. This time it was COOL and breezy, but we survived. The food was terrific! 

After lunch we continued on and stopped at the Carousel. If you have small children and vacation in St. Augustine, you need to know about the carousel that's just past the old downtown area. It's $1 per ride and the ride is fairly long. We're hoping to get a frequent rider card next time we go. We let the boys play on the playground for a long while after the carousel ride. 

James had asked earlier in the morning if we could go to the lighthouse. That was something we'd never done, so we stopped on our way back to the condo. Turns out, Will couldn't climb because you have to be 44 inches {and James BARELY made the cut}. He was NOT a happy camper. Fortunately, they DID have a pirate ship playground and some other things on the ground for him to do. It was a great place to spend some time. James, Eddie, and I climbed all 219 stairs {14 stories!} to check out the top. I got a little squeezy looking down from the top! I was surprised! James PANICKED on the way back down and we moved at the speed of turtle. We met Mom and Will at the bottom and Mom climbed to the top by herself {because her partner, James, chickened out}. 

Friday night we stopped for supper at a little hole-in-the-wall pizza place called Tony's. As we were sitting there Eddie looked at me and said, "Steve Spurrier just walked in." I didn't believe him and then I heard the man yell to the back to the owner and it was CLEARLY Steve Spurrier's voice. As much as we love to hate him, he seemed very nice and friendly. He picked up several pizzas to go and headed out. He lives just a few miles from Mom's condo so we know he's a local resident for part of the year, but it still surprised us. For the 10 minutes he waited we Googled him. LOL! If James tells you that he talked to him and told him, "Go CLEMSON!" that is a LIE. He told Grandmama that yesterday. Stinker.

On Saturday morning we got up and headed to meet Anna and Memo {Lance} at the Jacksonville Zoo. The last time I went I was James' age so I had no idea what to expect, but everyone had told me it was a great zoo! I am a big fan of a zoo so I was looking forward to it. We had a GREAT time! It feels HUGE. According to various internet sources, it's almost three times as large as Zoo Atlanta and it felt like it! We thoroughly enjoyed it, but cannot IMAGINE going in the summertime. If you're in the area, though, we recommend you stop! It took us five or six hours to go through the whole thing and we could have easily spent more time there. My ultimate take on it is that it's a zoo with a TON of animals to see, but I wish the habits were more realistic {see the lions below for an example} and I wish they had more curators around for questions. I will pick a curator's brain until my family drags me off and there were only a handful out there to talk to!

The boys got new wireless headphones for Christmas but they weren't compatible with our new dual DVD players. We saw $5 headphones at Target on Friday night and they were the best purchase! Will had never worn headphones and it was HYSTERICAL to watch him. He'd listen, then take them off and listen, and of course he YELLED when he spoke.

On to the zoo! Unfortunately, I forgot my big camera so these are all iPhone pictures. HOW do people take such great iPhone pictures?!











The tigers were my favorite part. You could get SO STINKIN' CLOSE to them. Close enough that someone in front of Anna got sprayed. Blech!!! They had a tunnel over the path so we could walk under them {I waited until he laid down!} and then there was a building to look through glass on both sides. By far, the best exhibit there! When I walked into the building everyone was on one side and there was a whole empty glass wall. I saw a door open so I just stood and waited and got PLENTY of pictures of this beauty as soon as he walked out.

Right at the very end Will started misbehaving. He took off his shoes and socks and threw them down. I made him leave them off and wouldn't let him get out of his stroller. He was MAD about that. I was exhausted, too, so I know he was just worn out. Sweet boy conked out before we left the zoo parking lot and slept through our snack at Chick-fil-A...and then was wide awake at 9:30!

Poor Anna fell on her shoulder while she was walking the dogs on Saturday morning, but she threw on a sling and came on to the zoo. She asked Chick-fil-A for a bag of ice and a bag of ice they gave her! She was a trooper even though she was hurt and I'm SURE that wasn't comfortable.

We packed our bags and headed home Sunday afternoon after a stop to eat at South Beach Grill and a run through the outlet mall. The boys were WIPED and Will slept the whole way home, save a few times where he was so tired and worn out that he just cried. :( The weather was rainy, but not bad like it was in our area Sunday morning. Thankfully most of the severe weather moved out before we arrived.

Until next time! We can't wait to go back in April!

1 comment:

Simply LKJ said...

What a fabulous time, minus Anna's fall. Hope she is on the mend.