There are a few loyalty programs that Jim and I really like and use. One of those is the Marriott rewards program. We try to stay at Marriott Hotels whenever we travel for business and we have a Marriott Rewards credit card so we can get points on our purchases. We had three free-night coupons at any mid range Marriott property, but had to use them by the end of August when they expired. The problem we faced was where would we want to spend three days in August? Not our favorite month to travel anywhere!
We decided to brave the tropical heat of Florida, hoping that being near the Atlantic Ocean would provide some relief with the occasional trade winds and sea breezes. The Marriott we picked was a Courtyard located about 6 miles from the old town of St. Augustine. When we arrived, the check in desk was manned by friendly helpful staff and we were soon unexpectedly upgraded to a suite! Another reason that loyalty programs can really be a benefit to a traveler!
St. Augustine is a very old city. In fact it is the oldest European established city in the United States, founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles. The area has a rich history of explorers, pirates, colonists and soldiers, but we weren’t ready to plunge into all that history yet. After an eight hour drive, that first afternoon, we just wanted to wander, find a cool drink and a snack before napping until dinner, so we hopped back in our car and drove to the old town of St. Augustine to do just that.
We lingered in the lovely bar cooling off with another beverage until we finally were ready to push off and out to further exploration. We headed toward St. George Street which is a pedestrian only street lined with historic buildings, shops and restaurants. The sun quickly roasted away all the coolness we had collected at the Casa Monica.
The Tapas we ordered were superb. Jim ordered the Cervice and I had ordered a combination of dips with chunks of French bread. And yes…… we found the cool breezes we been looking for! Best of all, we were serenaded by some terrific music provided by the talented performer Colton Mckenna. I’m not sure how often he plays there, but it’s worth checking Sangria’s Facebook page or his website coltonmckenna.com for his schedule.
After recharging with Tapas at Sangria’s, we were ready for a quick swim and finally a nap at the hotel until dinner. I couldn’t wait to float around on my back in that cool blue water watching the clouds drift across the sky!