Saturday, December 22, 2012

St. Augustine Staycation Day 1

The kids and I played tourist this week in St. Augustine. My parents live there so we used their house as home base and went out during the day to explore. I let the kids choose 2 activities and a restaurant each day. First up, Preston decided to we needed to start out verifying if French Fry Heaven truly has the best fries earth...this was our lunch...we were on vacation, don't judge :)
 We each got to pick one (although they veto'd my choice to get sweet potato fries so all of our choices were with original fries). Preston picked the Baked Tater Angels and Bella picked the Saint Smooth. The guy behind the counter told me he would make me a special one so I let him surprise me. It ended up being a s'mores fry...nutella, marshmallow with bonfire sea salt.
 Their courtyard had great tables with holes for your fries so sharing was easy.
 So the unanimous decision was this...baked tater was best followed by the campfire s'mores...the smooth would have been fantastic if we had gotten the sweet potato fries but it was kind of weird on regular fries. We all agreed that fries are still better with just ketchup and that no one touches the fries served at The Speckled Hen (on Phillips Hwy by Regal Cinemas).

OK, the first activity they chose was an unusual one because of a past bad experience. My sister took my daughter to Ripley's Believe it or Not a few months ago and the trip got cut short because my daughter was so scared inside she didn't want to continue. So when she piped up and said she wanted to give it another try I figured it was to save face in front of her brother who had never been there before. I have been there lots of times as a kid and I was never scared so I didn't really think twice about taking them.
Part of the ticket package we bought at Ripley's (before we went inside the house of death, which Bella now likes to call it) included mini golf and a train ride ghost tour. I must have asked them 1,000 times are they sure they wanted to do a ghost tour instead of the Christmas lights tour. YES, of course they would rather do the ghost tour. It was their stay-cation so I obliged. We decided to do the ghost tour tomorrow...which worked out good because I'm not sure Bella could handle a ghost tour after what she was about to go through...

 It started off innocent enough. Bella was walking a little closer to me than normal but nothing to scary to start off. They are standing in front of the world's largest erector set. I tried to point of the funniest exhibits and walk faster by the more morbid ones but of course, those are the ones my son was most interested in.
 Finally someone who makes my daughter feel short! Notice the forced smile of her pic...by this room she was starting to lose it. You can see in the mirror the reflection of some of the other wax figures that were freaking her out. It took me about 5 min of coaxing her to get next to this guy for the picture.
 Yep, when we got to this guy, tears were starting to fall down her face. Preston loved it. She bear hugged/dragged beside me the remainder of this exhibit.
 He has seen the movie Big so he knew right away who this guy was :)
 Even he was a little scary to look at.  I couldn't take any picture from this point until the very end because I was trying to console Bella who was begging to leave. I was trying to do my best of calming her down and letting Preston look around.
Luckily, the last two exhibits were a ton of fun and allowed Bella to dry her tears and release her death grip on me.
Little did they know that this was a two-way mirror and on the other side, some tourist was getting a good laugh.
The tunnel to get out was everyone's favorite. No one could go down the walkway in a straight line even though the floor wasn't moving at all. Even I walked on it at least 3 times because it was so much fun.
So once we left Ripley's I promised Bella that we would never go back there even if she told me she was ready. We had a good laugh about how scary it was (even Preston said that some of the torture exhibits were a little scary) but decided that we needed to do something that would take our minds off of it!
We walked down past the famous fort on our way to the mini golf. We never go inside because running around on the outside is just as much fun to my kids and it's free!

 There was a beautiful sunset so we rested a minute to take it in. Nothing beats a beautiful sunset :)
I beat them on the front 9, Bella beat us on the back 9 and Preston was the overall low score (no surprise there). Mini golf on the water, next to the Bridge of Lions was a great way to end the day.

We headed back to the house excited to plan our adventures for the next day...and we had 24 hours before I was to win the title of world's worst mother...stay tuned.






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