Sunday, May 17, 2009
St. Augustine Girl's Weekend
Charlotte and I spent this past weekend in St. Augustine having a “Girl's Weekend”. I was actually there to do as site visit of the Hilton (located right next to Charlotte Street) for future work meetings. The hotel was very nice and Charlotte particularly enjoyed the spa tub in our room – especially when I turned the jets on – she was determined to out splash them = lots of towels. Charlotte really liked to watch the boats in the harbor and the horses pulling their carriages from our window. I’d moved the ottoman to the side of the bed so that she could get on and off by herself but she moved it over to the window from time to time to see what was going on outside. We also took a couple of dips in the pool – it’s the first time Charlotte has been in a pool since she was about five months old. I was so surprised by how much she wanted to be on her own in the pool. She barely tolerated me holding onto her and would have swum away if she only knew how. Again she made friends with some of the other guests and an older couple kept commenting on how much she was enjoying the water.
While we were there for work Charlotte and I decided to spend some of our down time exploring the city. I had great fun showing her many of the sites I have visited so often over the years. We spent quite a lot of our time on St. George Street checking out the shops and taking in the scenery. One afternoon we took a break by the courtyard water fountain with some of Tedi's Olde Tyme Ice Cream – St. Augustine flavor (vanilla with a caramel swirl and chocolate shavings) – yummy. I had fun watching Charlotte enjoy her ice cream and the fountain. It was a doubly good thing that we stopped because apparently a mother and her daughters had been following us trying to return one of the Crocs Charlotte had (once again) thrown overboard. That same day we walked over to The Spanish Bakery for some of their delicious empanadas. Charlotte did not have as much interest in the empanadas and I had hoped she would – then again I was able to finish off her portion when she focused on her fruit. So, it all worked out in the end – for me! On our last morning in St. Augustine we walked over to the Bunnery Café for another delicious meal. Charlotte even got her own Apple-Strawberry-Banana smoothie. Since it was all made with fruit – she was in heaven. I pick up some bakery goodies with the intention of sharing with Wayne, ONE even managed to make it all the way home. :)
We also ventured over the bridge to The Pier to visit a splash pad and play area there. It was quite busy and Charlotte was not as interested in the splash area as I would have hopped. However, she had the BEST time chasing ducks and pigeons around the park and thought they were just fascinating. We did walk over to the seawall to enjoy the breeze and watch the ocean. I declined a visit to the beach because Wayne and I are planning to take a family trip in a few weeks to include Charlotte’s first official visit to the beach. We both want to be there to enjoy her first taste of real Florida living.
With all the adventures St. Augustine had to offer one we stumbled upon turned out to be the most fun. At the end of our second day we were heading back to the hotel and since I knew I would need to do a u-turn to get into the hotel parking lot I decided to just keep driving for a bit to see what had changed over the years. I just happened to take my u-turn at SWING Park. After one quick look at what the park had to offer I immediately found a place to park and we were ready for a new adventure. Charlotte had so much fun climbing on and over the equipment. I was really surprised at how much she could do – and wanted to do – by herself. She spent the most time on one of the slides. After she realized that climbing up the slide itself was not much fun, and I showed her the stairs, she crawled right up them all by herself and only need my help to guide her down the slide. Mostly I just let her run around and explore at her own (fast) pace, lending a steadying hand or encouragement when she needed it. Charlotte had a BLAST! Although we spent our time in the (huge) toddler area there is another whole area for older kids that is just amazing. If you are ever in St. Augustine I highly recommend this park– literally a dream playground.
You can tell we had great fun together this weekend. Only hitch was that Charlotte very vocally boycotted her crib each night. When I brought her into bed with me she slept well but I was so concerned that she would fall off the high bed or wake up and get into God knows what … I slept very lightly.