St Augustine Climb

Last Saturday we visited St Augustine in Florida. St Augustine is the oldest continually inhabited city in the U.S. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it is also known as the nation’s oldest city.

With only 2 hours to investigate this sea side town, we elected to explore the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1874. The St Augustine Maritime Museum ensures that a light is kept burning as an aid-to-navigation. There is an admission cost if you decide to climb the lighthouse or explore the surrounding grounds.

We paid our admission and entered the grounds. There are nature trails you can explore, but with so little time, we headed directly to the lighthouse.

En route to the top, there were interesting tidbits about the history of the lighthouse. The 219 steps, if you don’t mind heights, lead to a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

After the lighthouse, we explored the keeper’s house. It was interesting to see that since 1997, maritime archaeology has been funded by the St Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum.

After the lighthouse, we parked by Flagler College on King St. This area immediately caught our notice while passing through town. It is extremely picturesque populated with shops and restaurants. We also visited the lovely Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine. I noticed there were quite a few museums as well. The beautiful weather ensured that we passed a quick, but delightful two hours.

Advertisements

Bourbon Street & Beignets

Bourbon Street is located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans, the French Quarter. It is known for its bars and strip clubs. Some people go to Bourbon Street to party. I go for the steaming hot beignets. Delicious. Yum. Happy Fall Off The Wagon Day!

Strasbourg, France

The first time I remember visiting Strasbourg, I was 14 years old. Since that first visit, every time I visit my family in France, I visit this beautiful city. Strasbourg is located in the historic region of Alsace. Besides being the seat of the European Parliament, it is located on the eastern border of France by Germany.

The city is known primarily for its sandstone Gothic cathedral and its famous astronomical clock. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of late gothic architecture. There has been a clock in the cathedral since approximately 1352. This is the third clock and dates from 1843. Every day at solar noon, there is a procession of eighteen inch figures of Christ and the Apostles. The life size cock crows three times.

My favorite place to visit in Strasbourg is La Petite Franc. It is in the historic area of the city. The pictures above are of the exterior of the cathedral and la petite France. In La Petite France, you can find restaurants and shops. The best way to explore this area, and my favorite mode of exploration, is by walking. Wear comfortable shoes because of the cobblestone streets. If walking is not your forte, you can also take a boat tour. Enjoy!

stasbourg3

 

 

Things to do in St Lucia

Besides the gorgeous views, St Lucia has a lot to offer for everyone. Whether your goal is to lay on the beach, snorkel or scuba dive in the Caribbean waters or explore the rainforest, you will find plenty to do.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if you stay at an all-inclusive, the resort will have many options available for exploring the island. If you decide to venture out on your own, you will enjoy the sites far more if you hire a taxi, via your hotel.

While we were on the island, we stayed on the northwest side of the island in Rodney Bay. We visited the volcano by taking a cruise along the coast. I highly recommend the cruise because you develop a better appreciation of the beauty of the island. If you travel via the extremely winding road, even if you don’t drive, it is difficult to relax. We cruised to Soufriere and from there took a small bus to the volcano. Some members of the party chose to relax in the mud baths while the rest of us enjoyed a short, though interesting history of the volcano.

Another activity I would recommend is a visit to the rainforest. I booked the aerial tram tour which takes you through the rain forest. I read reviews about the tram tour before booking it and some people were disappointed by the lack of colorful vegetation and birds. I found it very calm and relaxing. Often on trips, we are so busy trying to do everything that we tend to forget this is a vacation and that it’s okay to relax. On the way back through the rain forest, my son and I decided to zip line down the mountain.

I mentioned in a previous post that if you visit the island of St. Lucia, try to dine at the Pink Plantation House. It has phenomenal views and delicious food. It is difficult to find on your own. We stopped at least three times to get directions from the locals. It was well worth it, once we arrived.

 

 

St Lucia

St Lucia is a sovereign island country in the east Caribbean Sea. It is a volcanic island, so you can see the pitons (shown in the picture above) and enjoy a lush tropical rain forest. St Lucia is also known as a honeymoon destination.

Before we headed to the island, I read that St Lucia is one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands. It also has a drive-in volcano. I wasn’t sure what to make out from the last description. As we saw, you can drive up and through the crater of the volcano. The last picture is of steam flowing from the crater.

If you go to St Lucia, I do not recommend driving. My husband, who loves to drive and has driven all over the world, was not comfortable driving because the roads are extremely narrow with extreme drop offs and many sharp turns. I recommend that you book a shuttle service or taxi through your hotel.

Many people who visit St Lucia stay at all-inclusives. We love to explore on our own. If you eschew a tour and explore on your own, be sure to book a driver through your hotel.

Tahoe Inspiration

IMG_7903

When my husband and I were at Lake Tahoe a couple of weeks ago, we decided to drive around the lake one day. The drive itself, without stops and clear road conditions, takes approximately 3 hours. It took us slightly over 6 hours because we made numerous photo stops and had lunch in South Lake Tahoe. South Lake Tahoe is where the majority of shops, restaurants, hotels and of course, Heavenly Valley Ski Resort can be found – oh, and beaches.

The Christmas season can be so hectic and anxiety filled. These pictures (I’m working on my photographic skills which are poor) instantly soothe my psyche. Enjoy these photos and take a moment to breathe.