A Week In and Around St. Augustine

Hiya!

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, you’ll know that this blog post has been a LOOOOOOONG time coming. That’s just the way it goes for me in the summertime, I’m afraid. I know Fall is supposed to be busy season, but seriously, so is Summer!

ANYway, as a bit of background, HBW Hubby’s family lives in the Jacksonville/St. Augustine Florida area and we originally had planned to go down there for Spring Break of 2020, but I think we all know how that went. We finally got around to using our plane tickets and hopped a jet back in June, and here’s a quick look at our trip! We had so much fun! We alternated our “go out and do stuff” days with chilling time to spend with family we rarely get to see and it was a perfect vacay.

This was Mr J’s first time on a plane, and while Mr A had been on one when he was about 18 months, this might as well have been his first time too. I armed them with snacks, chewing gum, and their busy books, and away we went!

St. Augustine Alligator Farm

My sister-in-law had the St. Augustine Alligator Farm as the first “go out and do stuff” day, and it did NOT disappoint! The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is the only place you can see specimens of all 24 species of crocodilians in the world! This zoological park is also home to hundreds of wild ibis, egrets, and herons.

One thing you may not know about me is that I love taking pictures of some of the signs I see from places that I travel to. I can’t help it, they are just so quirky and tickle my funnybone. Check out this one, courtesy of the pandemic. A cute way of encouraging social distance.

Below, you can see the white albino alligator that my hubby found super cool, as well as a female alligator guarding her mound/nest of eggs. Don’t mess with THIS mama!

Watch the highlights of our time here, including a mass alligator feeding that will leave you with chills!

Sea Serpent Air Boat Tour

My father-in-law booked this really unique excursion for us all, an airboat tour of the inland waterways of St. Augustine, FL, the oldest city in the U.S.! Ripe with alligators, turtles, fish, and ghost stories of this Ancient City’s swamps, this is where the story of Lucias Clay from the Charlie Daniels Band’s The Legend of Woolley Swamp comes from.

This whole tour was like an IRL I Spy game. This gallery below has a tree trunk with the biggest grasshoppers I’ve ever seen (they were seriously about the size of my hand!) and the other two pictures have an alligator in each of them. Can you find them?

The boys really loved this tour, especially since they got front-row seats. It was a lot of fun spotting turtles and gators as we went along. The tour includes the use of headphones to provide an immersive experience while touring, complete with music inspired by the area (including The Legend of Woolley Swamp), recorded commentary, as well as input (both fun AND informative) from the captains.

Come along with us as Captain Becca takes us out to tour St. Augustine’s inland waterways! Ripe with alligators, turtles, fish, and ghost stories of this Ancient City’s swamps!

Mickler’s Landing at Ponte Vedra Beach

Who doesn’t love a little sun and sand? My oldest had no memory of his one previous trip to the beach and my youngest hadn’t ever been, so this was their first real introduction to it. Boogie boarding, sandcastle building, and shark tooth hunting abounded! According to my SIL, this is THE place to find shark teeth, and she wasn’t wrong! I wish I’d taken pics of some of the ones we found, but I was too nervous to carry my phone around while looking for fear of dropping it into the water? BUT I did get some fun footage of my favorite little dudes boogie boarding into shore.

Kennedy Space Center

A yellow curved wall under a wood plank ceiling with can lights has a quote from Carl Sagan: "The sky calls to us."

My youngest has been OBSESSED with all things Space since he was 4 (almost 3 years now). I mean, I read the Children’s Sky Atlas to him at bedtime on repeat for MONTHS, so it was a given that a trip to see Kennedy Space Center was in order.

The kids absolutely LOVED it. The museum was very cool, for both kids and adults, with plenty of interesting exhibits and information as well as interactive exhibits and play areas, like the landing slide. Mr. J’s eyes were bugging out of his head just about the entire time! He was a little freaked out by the Shuttle Launch Experience simulator, so if you have small kids, this might be something to think about. It’s extremely loud and you get bounced around and moved a lot.

Oh, and did I mention that we happened to be there on a day that they launched a rocket!?! That was so neat to watch! I just wish the big screens would have been on so we could see better since the launch took place quite a distance away for safety purposes. But I got a quick video of it and added it to the highlights video below!

This quick video shares some of the highlights of our visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, FL, including the launch of a SpaceX rocket. To see SpaceX footage of the rocket launching in this video, click here. The whole mission was streamed live, from launch through to bringing it back down and landing on target. Phenomenal!

On our way back from NASA, we stopped at what has got to be the biggest truck stop I’ve ever seen. Seriously, they could compete with Walmart. Apparently, Buc-ee’s is a whole thing down there, so we stopped there for a bit of a grab and go dinner that night, and a quick pick with the man…er, beaver, himself!

Until We Meet Again

We really enjoyed our time visiting St. Augustine and the surrounding area. It had been too long since we’d seen our family there and I know the kids enjoyed their cousin time too. The ride home from the airport was pretty quiet, the sign of a good time in my opinion!

We are looking forward to going back, and I already have my eye on some fun things to do next time around. Have you been to St. Augustine and/or Jacksonville? What have you done there that you love? Tell me below, I want to know!

Until next time, happy traveling!

xx

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