May have not been the best idea, escaping corona infested state to one that is supposedly in a worse shape than Georgia – but we had to get out of our own house for a while. St. Augustine it was then – a few days before Thanksgiving to replicate our homebody activities by the beach. You knew we were together too much when we hardly exchanged word in the first 2 hours of car ride as everyone was staring at their electronics of choice, movies weren’t interesting and both drivers were ready to snooze – ooo – not good ! Note to yourself, do not start a 7 hour drive at 1 pm on Friday after full week, with 3 kids and 2 dogs who were competing in whining, who is hungry more, who needs to pee, whose music is crap, who brought better snack, etc. – it was brutal. I seriously thought we ditch everyone in the middle of Georgia and hope for someone to pick them up because they all look cute from a distance.

Our Airbnb was great, no carpets so beach friendly, modern which the kids always think is so cool – 5 mins from beach walking. Surrounded by water swampy stuff that raised my alertness to gators but very friendly neighbors assured me there weren’t any. How does one know if a creature is under water? Keeping the always curious long eared bassets inside.

Had two planned things only – first fishing trip – our tradition at any beach vacay. I was shocked how the kids improved with the fishing rods and pulling the fish in – all 3 were completely independent, hooking the bait, watching it move, pulling, rolling, rehooking; including the peanut. We had 6 rods out there and they were just moving along, each of them getting at least 6-8 fish – B and I with feet up, soaking the sun. That’s what I call a trip – not tripping over them, worried who will either step on a hook, or hook one of us, or fall overboard. I guess them getting older has its advantages. We had the fish for dinner and somehow it tasted better 🙂 Stingrays, sharks, whitings, plus some other fish that looked the same to me.

Second event – Scavenger hunt at night through the historic St. Augustine. This had element of ghosts and history so it had potential. Here is how it went:

  • Mom, do we have to do all of this? – Yes, there is a flow, we need to collect all 13 keys.
  • Are we supposed to actually take a picture of ghosts? Are you serious? Mia “that is going to scare them.” Max – “like seriously?” Lucas – “this is stupid, Mia you are dumb.” OK, you get the flow.
  • We kept walking thru the town with instructions, looking for clues for next historical monument. Family adventure continues – “Mum, I really need to use a bathroom”, “can we get some candy here”, “look shop with sneakers, can we stop here?” “do we need to finish it all”, “I am cold” – the temperature did drop 20 degrees so that one was justified.
  • Me in the midst of it with poor attempts to read some historical passages of potential ghost sightings was not going well. They weren’t buying it and honestly neither was I. But we did a quick walk through a town that is gorgeous, unfortunately, full of partygoers with no masks. So, it also went like this – Mia – don’t touch it, Max – mask over your nose, Lucas – where is your mask – I can’t hear you reading the stuff – what does it say – come take a picture here. Brian – this building looks interesting, what’s the story. Me – don’t know, not on the list, damn is it raining?

Third entertainment was spontaneous visit to the Alligator farm which was actually rather good. Of course I saw about 1/10th of it because Max/Mia decided to do 2 hours long zipline which meant I waited for them watching Mia climb trees alone as the only kid under 12 alone without a parent (parent of the year award right here). Honestly I had no idea adults should go and she was fine. The farm itself is a mini zoo, pretty impressive with hundreds of alligators of various sizes, colors and latin names.

The beach was not phenomenal, let’s just say that. The FEMA is actually digging sand from the ocean and pumping it to the beach to fight erosion so there were giant bulldozers and pipes working it – oh well – the harbor and just being close to water was good enough for us. It smelled like ocean and we were healthy so hallelujah!