Thanksgiving was FUN for change, instead of a ton of work. I made my favorite thing ever: Reservations. O.C. White’s, a charming and laid back restaurant in one of my favorite places on earth, St. Augustine, was doing a Thanksgiving menu. So we (me, my daughter, and The Kid) drove north to dine, hang out, explore. We were joined by my daughter’s new boyfriend, who is such a trouper he drove up from Orlando separately to lunch with us, then drove back to do an obligatory big family thing with his extended family. I like him.
So, anyway, we had a lovely afternoon introducing The Kid to St. Augustine for the first time again. She hadn’t been there since she was a preschooler. It’s a totally different experience exploring with a really smart tween – she was into the old cemeteries and the history and of course the fort. The Castillo de San Marcos interior was closed, as it’s a federal park and it was a federal holiday, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people from exploring the exterior, including the ancient coquina walls.
Kid: “Can I climb up there?”
Me and her mom, in unison: “NO!”
Kid: “But other people are doing it!”
Us: “Only because the park rangers have the day off.”
“NO!!! Just because idiots are risking their necks doesn’t make it okay!”
It was like that. She needs to go back so park rangers can yell at her too. Then maybe she’ll believe us.
We spent a couple of hours just walking off our meal. After the fort we visited the Huguenot cemetery , which was also closed, but we did the history tour thing reading all the signs, and it was fascinating. We saw a tiny headstone for a child who died at 5.
We walked the streets of Old St. Augustine, and to our delight, the old schoolhouse was open! This is one of those hidden gem history experiences, admission is less than $7 per person, and there’s an animatronic story, tons of artifacts, it’s really fascinating. The Kid got to ring the old school bell, and read all of the history. It’s the ORIGINAL BUILDING, people! It’s old AF!
Then it stared to “mist,” and the mist became light rain, and we decided not to stick around for the holiday lights, because yeah, it was not just a mist. But all in all it was a lovely day, and I wish St. Aug was an hour away instead of two. It is one of those places I’d love to live, if I had the money. I do not.