We cleaned up after ourselves and left our little Savannah apartment by 9:15.
I wanted to us to glimpse some of Bonaventure cemetery before leaving. Bonaventure features in the film Midnight in the Garden of Hood and Evil. I particularly wanted to see the statue of the Bird Girl but after we couldn’t find her, Google told me that she is no longer there! She was purchased and taken out of Bonaventure altogether.
The cemetery is massive and lined with Spanish moss-draped oak trees. We drove up and down a couple of it’s avenues but once we saw there was an actual funeral about to take place it didn’t feel right to linger.
The drive to St Augustine was relatively short and we stopped past Walmart to grab food for Christmas Day. Well actually, I made the other grab some lunch so I could shop in peace. It was packed in Walmart but everyone seemed in jolly spirits. One employee had commandeered a microphone and sang Christmas earnestly at us, swaying to her own song. I am pretty sure she was not inebriated but she gave that impression.
I decided on small steak each and a variety of microwaveable vegetables for our Christmas dinner, as well as snacks and breakfast options.
We drive right into the Colonial Quarter to get to our accommodation for the next two nights: Pirate Haus Inn. It is such an awesome hostel- the pirate theme pervades the whole place!
The shared kitchen:
Details in our room, called Captain’s Quarters.
A treasure hunt for kids through the hostel comes with all the check-in information. And it puts us smack dab in the heart of St Augustine.
No one actually checked us in when we arrived just after 2; not surprising, it being Christmas Eve and all, but an envelope with our name on it had our key and the all-important WiFi code. Have I already said that the WiFi here is so much faster than at home?
I noticed as we unpacked our car that our hostel is strategically situated above a store devoted to key limes. How thrilling to get in before it shut for Christmas and buy a slice of my favorite pie in the whole world.
Mid -afternoon we joined the throng burgeoning throughout Colonial Quarter rendering it less photogenic. Tourists, pffft! 🤣
The crowds were nuts. Everything we wanted to look at is so close, within a km walk: the fort Castillo de San Marcos, the Bridge of Lions, Flagler College, the Lightner Museum .
Walking through Colonial Quarter:
Walking around Castillo de San Marcos
One place that REALLY caught my eye was Pizza Time (yes a food place-surprise surprise) which sells Italian pizza by the slice. It is the #2 pizza place in the COUNTRY! I promised everyone that we would get a slice if it was still opened after church.
We dropped back to Captain’s Quarters, yes that is the name of our room, to collect Kara and get ourselves organized before going to our Christmas Eve service.
Another extremely welcoming group, the service was reflective and ended communion and then with us lighting candles from each other.
On the way home, the line to get pizza was still out the door bit the smell was amazing and we joined it. The servers were harried and brusque, barking out at us ‘ what type of pizza slice you want? We only take cash! This is all we have left!’
But that pizza is the best thing to cross my tastebuds this trip, actually the best taste sensation since I can last remember. Every piece was yummy ( I tasted a teensy bit off everyone’s ) but Zac’s choice of the Grandma square pizza was my absolute favorite. Just a couple ingredients, but a crunchy ( tasty with the oil) base and the flavor combination perfect. Oh my giddy aunt, was it good!
We ate out on our hostel’s balcony. We turned the lights out early but took a while to get to sleep.