St. Augustine, Flying Alone, And All The Shrimp!

July 3, 2019lifewithcattitude

I’m so happy to finally be getting this blog post out! It was a hectic return to normal life, but I loved writing this recap! My vacation was so very well-needed after the weird time I’ve been having this year. I loved pretty much every minute of it!

My first night of vacay was a little chaotic! I flew all by myself for the first time in my adult life, and I was low-key panicking about it from the moment I had my ticket bought. I’m naturally a nervous flier because I do it so infrequently and I jump at the slightest turbulence. However, statistics always show that you’re a lot safer in a plane than in a car, so I had to keep reminding myself of that.

I rode the MARTA all the way down to the airport. I just stuck in some headphones and chilled the entire 40-minute ride. After successfully navigating through the airport – which just so happens to be the world’s busiest, bee-tee-dubz – I decided to get some grub and a beer to calm my nerves.

Once I posted this post here, it was time for me to head to my gate. Everything had said that the flight was on time. The app said it, the signs said it, and the gate agents said it. However, ten minutes before we were going to start boarding, the agent came on the PA and said there would be a delay due to maintenance on board. There was an “issue with one of the lavatories.” I’ll leave you to figure out what that meant because I sure as hell didn’t know.

All I did know was that we got delayed twice to equal a full hour’s worth, and then we had to wait for clearance to take off. Takeoff was a full hour and a half past the scheduled time. But at least I got to capture a cool looking sunset!

The flight itself wasn’t too bad, only being about 40 minutes long. Because Jacksonville is only about five or six hours from where I live, we didn’t fly super high. It took as long to go up as it did to begin descending. We finally landed and made it into the airport around 9:45. My mom and my sister picked me up from the airport and we headed off to the house! It took about an hour to get there, but I slept most of the car ride because I was just so exhausted. When we finally got to the house, I immediately went to bed and slept amazingly!

I woke up at a reasonably hour to my mom asking if I wanted to go walk on the beach. I declined, promising that I would go tomorrow. I decided to have a productive work morning instead! My sister let me open and use her stovetop espresso maker for my morning cup of coffee. So I decided to sit out on the covered porch and have a nice work session!

Florida is humid as hell. It’s borderline vile. My Cheerios were stale after five minutes. But I powered through and just sipped my coffee and remembered that I’m on vacation and probably won’t get one again until the holidays!

So my mom and my sister came back from their walk, had a short nap, and then we had lunch! I just had some cheese and crackers, which I didn’t feel warranted a picture, but rest assured it was delicious!

After lunch, we packed up and headed to the pool! We decided to ride out the hottest hours of the day in full shade and then head to the beach once it started cooling off. So, we get out of the car, head into the pool, start setting our stuff up and… it starts thundering. Whomp whomp. However, the storm just missed us, and we decided to stay and enjoy the clouds!

My mom gave me “The Total Money Makeover” to read while we’re here and I’m already enjoying it so much! I’ve had big dreams for a while now, but of course, being stuck on a limited budget has made it hard to see them through. I’m speaking them into existence, and lack of budget be damned! My car will be paid off before Thanksgiving, my student loans will be paid off before I turn 30, I will have a five-figure savings account by next year, and I will NEVER go into credit card debt! I’ll keep you guys posted on all those as they happen!

After we sat at the pool for a few hours, we decided to hit the grocery store so I could cook dinner. I knew even before coming down here that I wanted to cook shrimp a few times because I’m just SO SICK of chicken and beef. I mean, we’re at the beach, for Christ’s sake, why wouldn’t we eat seafood?? For dinner, I cooked a delicious batch of cilantro lime shrimp and a simple broccoli-cauliflower stirfry.

I’m just gonna go ahead and toot my own horn here – this was such a delicious dinner! Check out Keto Rebel on Instagram and find the recipe there!

After dinner, we cleaned up and sat down to watch a movie on Netflix. We decided on the new Adam Sandler movie, “Murder Mystery.”

I was a bit skeptical about this because as we all know, Adam Sandler movies haven’t been good since the 90s (don’t @ me, I know what I’m about). But this movie blew me away! I was legitimately laughing through the whole thing, not just chuckling or exhaling sharply through my nose. If you need a new summer movie, please give this a try! After the movie ended, we all turned in a little before 10.

The next morning, I woke up for another work session, but this time I decided to stay inside so my breakfast didn’t get stale!

After breakfast, we packed up and headed to the beach! We had seen on the forecast that it was going to start raining in three hours, so we tried to get in as much time as we could. At any point on the beach, there were three or four different storms surrounding us.

About an hour and a half later, the storm behind us was looming even closer so we booked it to the car. It started pouring on the drive home, so we made it in the nick of time! We decided to sit out on the porch and listen to the rain while doing some work separately.

Once I got enough work done, I decided to stretch out on the big chair for a nice nap. When I woke up, I worked a little more on the recap, and then I did a little shopping at Dollar General. I needed a small notebook so I can start jotting ideas and notes for my future freelance business (more to come on that!) and I ended up finding a kettlebell for $5! I’m going to start using this for arm workouts because let’s face it, pushups are B O R I N G.

After our collective nap times, we all piled into the living room with our dinners (mine was just some box mac and cheese), and decided to watch Julie & Julia. I had seen this movie soooo long ago in the theater and literally forgot everything about the plot, but I didn’t forget enjoying it, and I still enjoyed it as an adult! We all headed to bed after the movie ended, and the next day was our first day of actual tourist-y events!

The next morning, we headed to downtown St. Augustine for a day of tours and food. We started out at the Lightner Museum, which was really cool! I didn’t actually get any pictures inside because we were having too much fun looking at everything, but rest assured, this is a super cool museum!

That took about an hour and a half so we decided to get lunch after that at the A1A Grill, where I got myself a little lunch special of half a turkey Muenster sandwich, a bowl of beer cheese soup, and some French fries, with a local pale ale for my drink.

It was so delicious, that I actually almost legitimately choked. I inhaled some sourdough crumbs into my throat while I was going to take another bite, and I immediately started choking. My sister almost called for the waitress to come do the Heimlich, but luckily I took a sip of water and everything was fine. We ended up laughing about it almost immediately afterwards!

In the 40 minutes we were at the restaurant, it went from completely sunny to storming for a few hours. We holed up at the restaurant for a few minutes while I finished my beer and to see if the rain would stop. Spoiler alert, it didn’t. So we decided to pop over to an adorable boutique named Mad Mari next door to the restaurant, and let me tell you what happened in there.

It started with a wallet. I asked one of the girls for her opinion, and she told me to buy a cute new blush-y mauve wallet that can hold my phone. Then she talked me into some earrings. Then the OWNER (I THINK her name was Mariama, I will definitely have to go back to find out), pushed me into a dressing room with about five different dresses or blouses. I found an adorable sundress that ACTUALLY FIT ME. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I have actively avoided shopping for clothes ever since I started gaining weight when I worked in the call center. But this particular sundress just GOT ME. All the employees were just making me feel so good and empowered. So I topped my stack off with some cute sunglasses and called it a day! If you’re EVER in St. Augustine, please go to Mad Mari and meet the really sweet people! This is my true motivation to go home and eat nothing but meat and veggies!

Once we left the store, we did a little driving around until we headed home for a nap and some Netflix. Nothing super picture worthy.

The next day we got a much earlier start so we could have some more beach time before the rain started. The wind was pretty crazy so we were each taking turns holding our umbrella so it didn’t fly away, but it wasn’t until I heard distant thunder that I look behind us to see a storm LESS THAN TWO MINUTES from opening up on us. I told everyone to get up and go and we just barely made it back to the car! We tried to go to the pool when it cleared up but another round of storms blew through. Seriously, I could never live here unless I had a very well-paying job, there is nothing else in the world that would make me want to live here with all this rain and humidity.

Everyone kinda separated in the house and just did their own thing while we waited for the storm to clear. I kept working on the recap and had myself a lunch of really good meat and awful gluten-free tortillas. I mean, you breath the wrong way on those suckers and they fall apart. Once the rain FINALLY cleared, we headed to the pool for some late afternoon swimming and card playing.

Once it got time for dinner, we headed to the store so I could get the rest of the supplies for my SURF AND TURF NIGHT. I had been waiting a whole week to make this recipe, and I delivered. I cooked two bone-in ribeyes my normal way (post coming soon), and then I used this recipe to saute a pound of shrimp and add a parmesan cream sauce with parsley. We added some steamed broccoli to make the whole meal nice and hearty but LOW CARB. Seriously, try that sauce, it’s soooo good.

After dinner, we decided to go for a walk and play some cards while listening to music. I grew up playing cards at family gatherings, so every once in a while it’s nice to unplug from social media and Netflix and just play cards with your family. We particularly like rummy! I tried to go to bed early so I could get up to watch the sunrise on the beach, but we ended up going too late, so I opted for Saturday morning.

The next day we went and sat on the beach and I got my first sunburn of the vacay. Whomp whomp. Shoulders, chest, and face! And a patch on the side of my leg where I had missed with the sunscreen spray. Seriously, I’m cursed. Or just super fair. One or the other.

After the beach, we decided to go hang out at the house again. Mom and I went to hang out at the pool, but I gave up and went back to the house after about an hour because my sunburn hurt too badly. I caught a quick nap before going back to get her. For dinner, we just did our own things and turned in early for what would be the most *~AMAZING~* sunrise I have *~EVER~* witnessed in my whole life.

Did you pick up on my sarcasm?

It was so not worth waking up for at 5:30. On the last full day of vacation. Below is the real timeline of how the sunrise went and in the last picture, I think my disappointment is pretty palpable.

We ended up going for a short walk and then we went to get some breakfast at one of the best breakfast joints, Red Frog and McToads. 10/10, highly recommend their big breakfast plates!

After breakfast, we headed back to the beach to soak up as much of our last moments on the beach as we could because we knew that the rest of the day would be spent cleaning, getting ready, going out, and coming back to clean. I actually made it a few hours on the beach, all nice and covered up. I finished the Total Money Makeover, and I decided to head back to the house for a nap.

Once Caroline and Mom were done, I went back to pick them up, and we started cleaning and getting ready for our last night dinner. We got dressed up real fancy, and I decided to wear everything I had bought at the boutique!

Best $100 I’ve spent on myself in a long time, and soooo worth it!

We ate a restaurant called “Saltwater Cowboys,” and it was pretty good! I’d rate the ambiance a little higher than the food and drink, though. My drink, which cost $9, was done in about five sips.

However, the food was pretty good! I got coconut shrimp and some hushpuppies.

Of course, as a proper Florida send-off, a nasty storm blew right in. So we had to wait about 30 minutes to leave, but the sunset afterward was magnificent.

We basically went back to the house and cleaned until it was time to go to bed. We woke up at the butt-crack of dawn to leave as early as possible, but with multiple pit stops, we didn’t end up all getting home until close to dinner. I got a wonderful nap in before going to get Travis from work.

Overall, this was an amazing vacation and I’m so glad I got to go!

Sorry the recap took so long! We’ve been having WiFi issues at our current place, but Travis and I are moving in two weeks and we will have a much better setup so I can dive right back in to pumping out content for you guys! You guys are so patient with me and I promise I will eventually quit abandoning you! I hope you guys have a great Fourth of July, and I’ll see you for the next post!

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