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Anastasia State Park - camping in St. Augustine, Fl. vacation

Anastasia State Park - camping in St. Augustine, Fl. vacation

St. Augustine, Florida vacation – having as much fun as you possibly can with as small a budget is possible. Well, no – that is not going to happen.

It’s been a long time coming and my wife finally gets her 'St. Augustine' vacation.

st augustine fl anastasia state park
Sure I live about four hours away and I somehow had an extra body (the daughter of a friend of the family) who unbeknownst to me, was invited to come along with us, of which I had not factored into my already ballooned budget, but all is good. I have to say I was very excited as well; it’s been awhile since I have been camping with my family and I wanted to see how the kids reacted, especially Wanda our friend’s daughter (she has never been camping before).

st augustine florida
St. Augustine – Anastasia State Park, the campground site my wife finally decided on is a wonderful camp site indeed. Not like my favorite place "Kelly Park in Apopka Florida", but it is nice, clean and has a beach which is what my wife loves about the place. Personally I am no fan of the sun or its deadly rays that seem to cook my skin with such ease, but it is a nice place to camp. If having the ocean just 2 minutes away, private and secluded - this is the place for you.

florida light house
As luck would have it the bathroom was right behind our camp site (#115 if you are wondering) and I love the showers, hot water and it gives you and enclosed space with, yes a door to lock. The last campground site we went to only had a shower curtain to separate you and any onlookers, not my thing. I like camping but there are a few things I will just not live without and a bathroom with showers that have hot running water is a must for me. On the other hand, having washer and dryers available is a plus to my wife, I guess to each is own.

To be honest I personally think the camp site is geared more towards older folks, there was one small swing set for babies and a larger park farther down in the open visitors area. The big plus is that you have the beach, for those who love the ocean and that cruel sun. There is an area set up for windsurfing, fishing, a nature trail and you can rent a kayak or a canoe. You had lots of room to bike ride and the park set up was very easy to follow, except for the first day there, where my wife mysteriously got us lost, all in all getting around is pretty easy.

cheap vacation st augustine florida
I did learn something very scary about the campground site or should I say about its animal habitat – it seems the raccoons have learned how to open tents, that is, according to the park ranger who checked us in, he says they can open the zipper with ease and suggested we keep all foods locked in our car. Great, you know me a raccoons don’t get along and of course on the last night there a friendly but noisy raccoon came to visit. I didn’t sleep a wink, I was so concerned that the raccoon would decide to make himself home and come right into our tent.

Personally I love campsites that have everything you need in or on the premises – but this is St. Augustine we are talking about and my wife was here to see the sites not the camp ground. So I admit we spent more time in town enjoying all the cool things in town than actually doing the camp fire, camping activities that we usually do.

Next: More on St. Augustine, Fl.

St. Augustine must be the ghost capital of the world, there were more ghostly haunted sites than you could shake a stick at, again something my wife loves. With so many ghoulish haunts to choose from my wife settled on ‘Ripley’s Haunted Castle Adventure’. It took some coaxing but my scared little boy said that he would do it – for me and only if I held his hand as I walked with him.

Anastasia State Park
1340A A1A South St. Augustine, Fl. 32080

St. Augustine, Florida Vacation fun activities - not a cheap place to vacation at

St. Augustine, Florida Vacation fun activities.

St. Augustine, Florida vacation – having as much fun as you possibly can!

St. Augustine, Florida must be the ghost capital of the world; there were more ghostly haunted sites than you could shake a stick at, again something my wife loves. With so many ghoulish haunts to choose from my wife settled on ‘Ripley’s Haunted Castle Adventure’. It took some coaxing but my scared little boy said that he would do it – for me and only if I held his hand as I walked with him.

vacation activities st augustine
The tour was at night, which made it fun for me. Who doesn’t want to go into places like these at night – that alone was worth the price of admission but that is just me?

The tour takes you through the whole building; you watch a 3D movie about a ghost hunting company’s documentary: I will let you be the judge, if you ever see it. The story is about the troubled history of Ripley’s castle and finding Mr. X.

Mr. X murdered two women in the castle when it was run as a high end hotel in 1941. The murders were documented as part of a tragic fire that occurred in the hotel – but there is proof, not to mention the appearance of spirits, believed to be Ruth Pickering and Bette Richeson. Mr. X is only known by Mr. X seeing as he hid his identity by signing the hotel register as ‘X’.
colonial quarter free shops st augustine

At the beginning of the tour we are given EMF monitors and a light that is ‘suppose’ to help us see shadows of apparitions that may be near. The tour was not my kind of thing, but I did enjoy watching my children react to all the spooky tales of restless spirits walking about. Sadly enough, most of the pictures I took were terrible; the flash made the picture look like if it was day and without the flash, all you got was darkness.

There is simply so much to do and see in St. Augustine, you have:
Paranormal investigation in the old jail
Ghost and Gravestones
A Pirate Ghost tour
A Ghostly Experience walking tour
The Black Raven – Live Pirate Show
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum
Colonial Quarter (area full of shops and specialty shops)
Ponce de Leon Fountain of youth
Several Horse carriage rides
And so much more...

vacation trip fun activities
Personally I enjoyed the ‘Castillo de San Marcos’, a bit of history, nostalgia and it was so much fun to see the expressions on my kids faces when they saw how people lived in those days. The biggest surprise was the bathrooms, or should I say, the holes they pooped in (so funny) no modern amenities there, they sat right by each other. Like my son said: how gross!

The last time I was there it was $2 per person but now, it cost $7 dollars per person and free for kids ten and under.

Of course the kids had a blast considering that it was not an amusement park and I you really have to be careful – I did not enjoy the bruised I got from smashing my leg into one of the canons (ouch!).

I enjoyed the food, even if everything was a bit pricey.

We ate at place highly recommended by a friend of mine, ‘Pizzalley’ which is sort of a high-end Pizza restaurant that specializes in Italian food; the pizza was great even if I like NY pizza better. The atmosphere was cozy even if the place was completely full and the kids made fun of the bare butt angles – my son had a blast.

st augustine ripley's log home
Another place we ate was ‘Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille’. That place was awesome, the food was delicious and the service was great. They had a large area where you can dine outside in a courtyard but because of the cool weather I opted for indoors and we asked for a window. The place is large and spacey but only has one person bathroom; the extra bathrooms are upstairs (strange)?

The best part of our dining experience was that my ten year old boy was in love with one of the waitresses, a tall full figured probably twenty something woman. He whispers to me (loud enough for everyone at the table to hear) – "hey Dad, did you see the waitress, I love her". Everyone at the table started laughing. I asked him “I thought you didn’t like girls that were taller than you?” and he responded by saying "I changed my mind".

Next time I visit St. Augustine, Fl. I think I am going to stay in town in one of the small Bed and Breakfast Inns or a hotel. The place is simply full of places to enjoy but the traffic is horrific and parking, oh my God! There is no free parking, not in the tourist area any way. I had to pay ten dollars for an indoor parking garage next to the visitors welcome center.

All in all, the vacation was a hit and the kids enjoyed themselves. St. Augustine, Florida is a wonderful place to visit and vacation in – but bring lots of cash.

The reluctant Super Star

My reluctant Super Star baby

spring break promotion sillySo its spring break and I happen to have some free time on my hands – great! But with free time comes great responsibility – I mean, I’m bored and I currently had nothing better to do. So what did I decide to do? Well, I decided to make my little girl the main character, the face, the ‘Super Star’ of my promotional efforts.

I am always looking for ways to promote my blog, my book and my Facebook page and so – I created a marketing plan for my FB book page using some interesting pictures of my daughter. Of course, I did not ask for her permission (why should I – am I not Dad?) Besides, the pictures are in public places making it copy right free - Just joking.

Please remember friends:
I need FB likes. I need G+, I need your comments below and I desperately need you to share this blog with your friends and family. After all, that is what friends do for each other, right?

funny silly spring break

But like I was saying, I had a bit of free time and I decided to set up a marketing (small as it is) blitz to try to attract attention to those who will be on spring break. To be honest, I do not live on Fb, I simply created all the funny pictures I needed and then I set up some scheduled fb status post. Scheduled post (only possible on fan pages) gives you the option of creating a post on FB and then you can pick a day and a time for the status post to go live. It truly is an interesting option, I wish they had this for the regular accounts – it would make life so much easier.

springbreak funny school pictureThe pictures were fun to make and I used some of the tricks I’ve learned – check out ‘How to create Amazing tantalizing book covers’ to learn how. Creating some of my funny pictures consumed much of my time, but now with a bit of knowledge and a great idea – my time has been cut in half. Which is great for me because then my wife doesn’t complain so much about spending so much time on the computer – now she only complains half as much (LOL).

Of course my daughter was excited; she thought it was cool, which is great because my wife had me a bit worried. When I showed my wife the picture to promote my fan page which was already live on FB, my wife’s exact words were “that is great but she is gonna kill you for using her picture”. Lucky for me, my not so little munchkin didn’t come after me with a knife or anything like that so all is good in the world.

So I ask you – what do you think?

And please share with your friends.

Follow the money – you must be joking

Follow the money – you must be joking, teen makes how much!

Sometimes it never ceases to amaze me. What is that old saying: get good grades, go to college and get a great job – you’ve got a wonderful future ahead of you. Sometimes I think the universe has a sick sense of humor. It just has to be joke, what else can it be?

cartoon comic joke

I guess this is why I work hard at trying to teach my children how to think out of the box.
Not that learning, school and all the traditional methods don’t work. But you have to admit – children today have more opportunities than ever before. All they have to do is open their eyes, focus their thoughts and shoot for the moon.

Have Grit - in order to have SUCCESS!

Have Grit: if you want to have success?

Intelligence and creativity are great but you can’t quit when the going gets tough if you really want to accomplish anything big.

Published on May 9, 2013
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.

That’s grit. Perseverance. And it’s one of the best predictors of success there is. Via Dan Pink’s excellent book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
The best predictor of success, the researchers found, was the prospective cadets’ ratings on a noncognitive, nonphysical trait known as “grit”—defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

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