Issue 3 - Loving Our Town St Augustine

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issue three / 2021


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issue three / 2021

Publisher’s Note

What a year this has been! As we end 2021, my wish for you all is to focus on the things that we sometimes take for granted. Family, good friends, our beautiful city, and our ability to bounce back and come together. I do love this time of year. The holiday decorations are all over and it brings me joy to see them. This beautiful Florida weather is perfect for getting out and seeing it all.. Supporting local is extremely important. Giving back to others is never restricted. Set goals, look ahead, plan a future getaway, focus on your business. Whatever it may be, do it with conviction. I am anticipating the wonderful moments the new year will bring for us all. Thank you for your positive feedback and for your support. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season and looking forward to enjoying this time with family and friends. Live your best life. Lenny Gillette, Publisher


Drawn to St. Augustine? All That Glitters Contributors The Women Behind the Kitchen The Vibrant & Enchanting Art of … Linda Sperruzzi Light the Way Home Dog Friendly St. Augustine The Village Garden That Could An Island Gem High Tide Gallery The Pirate of St. Augustine My Premium Did What?! In The Weeds Dili Datil Embodies St. Augustine Tired of Buying PLastic Toys for Your Kids? November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month Christmas Margarita Recipe The Local Scene

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Drawn to St. Augustine? The Real Estate Scene By Amy Alloways


s the nation’s “oldest city”, St Augustine real estate is mixed with the culture of the past and the “new” world we live in. People come to STA to visit our white quartz sandy beaches (Anastasia Island), see its historic sites, and then make a plan to return forever. Many are drawn to St Augustine as we seem to have the “best of both worlds’” with our beaches, climate, land, cultural and a growing economy. For the first time in 15 years sellers are back in the driver’s seat. St Augustine homes & property across all price points continue to sell faster and for more money than a year ago. The inventory is low and demand is high, we are in a seller’s market. Prices rise, bidding wars are still erupting, and sellers have the upper hand in negotiations AND buyers are buying it. Real it going to bust or not? As an agent I hear this almost daily and with various opinions attached. Fortunately for all, most experts don’t think we’re nearing crisis. There are differences in today’s housing market versus those of markets in the past. Interest rates have been a huge driving force in the real estate boom. Also, many people may be on the hunt for space conducive to the “new normal.” Requests such as... • Young professionals may be looking for a space with a home gym, home office, and green space for activities.

• Families looking for all-inclusive homes that can accommodate children who attend school virtually and also offer a private office while the parents work remotely. • Older adults may be in the market for a multigenerational home. One of St Augustine’s most popular communities sits on Anastasia Island, Marsh Creek, has a close proximity to the beach. Just minutes from downtown St Augustine and located off of A1A. Popular for golfing, Marsh Creek as has many of the amenities that locals living in St Augustine are looking for. Breathtaking views of the marsh, wildlife, and creek in a highly desired gated community. Davis Shores, is another popular neighborhood in high demand. Located across the Bridge of Lions, you will find classic 1950’s homes, all the way up to present-day new construction, and with no Home-Owner’s Association. This location is coveted for being walkable to the Bridge of Lions and downtown, as well as fun places such as the Alligator Farm, the Lighthouse, Anastasia State Park, the Amphitheatre and of course the beaches! St Augustine has so many redeeming qualities, and you may find your new real estate investment in the middle of STA or in the outskirts of old city in the many charming neighborhoods. Whatever the personal or business need, the demand for business and housing has hit St Augustine and seems here to stay.


All That Glitters:

Nights of Lights Illuminates Our Spirits This Holiday

Enjoy the Annual Celebration in a New Light This Year

6 / DECEMBER 2021

Photography courtesy


By Lauren Eastman t is no surprise why tens of thousands of visitors descend upon St. Augustine each holiday season as the Nation’s Oldest City becomes illuminated by millions of twinkling, white lights. For 28 years, this magical spectacle, listed among the top 10 holiday displays throughout the world by National Geographic, sets our ancient city’s Spanish Colonial architecture aglow and kindles holiday magic all season long.

Nights of Lights’ annual celebration kicks off at 4 p.m. on November 20, with an incredible performance by Showtime USA in front of St. Augustine’s City Hall, the Lightner Museum. At 5:30 p.m., the All Star Orchestra takes the stage on the historic The Plaza de la Constitución Gazebo to perform swing and big band favorites that add to the festive mood.

• Zip through town in a luxurious 8-seat golf cart with St. Augustine Land & Sea Tours. • Sail down the Matanzas River on Schooner Freedom during the Sunset Sail. Smaller groups may enjoy a 6 or 12 passenger boat with St. Augustine Eco Tours. • Pedal on top of the water with Old Town Cycle Cruises’ 35-ft pedal-powered, party pontoons during a 90-minute BYOB cruise. • Meet Santa’s Red Express Tour at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum and whiz through the streets of lights. • F ly over and avoid the crowds from the clouds with Old City Helicopters.

At 6:30 p.m., the flip of the city’s most anticipated switch brings Nights of Lights alive once more as more than three million twinkling lights illuminate The Plaza de la Constitución from above like garlands of pearls aglow, reflecting from past the Avenida Menendez seawall, in a mix of public and private displays. From the Bridge of Lions to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, there are fantastic views of this display from all vantage points. Here are some of our favorite ideas for taking full advantage of this event. • Stroll through Plaza de la Constitución and enjoy the centerpiece Christmas tree or join Ancient City Tours for a guided 90-minute walking tour. • Roll along in a romantic private sleigh carriage ride with Country Carriages. • Board a special holiday tour on Old Town Trolley, departing each night at 6 p.m. from the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center.

However you choose to enjoy this incredible, free-to-all annual event, be sure to take some time to rest your feet by visiting the many local restaurants dotting the perimeter of the Plaza and throughout town, or look out from the Tini Martini Bar, one of the oldest participating businesses in Nights of Lights, and see how many lights you can count from here, twinkling across the water and into the sky beyond.



Mare Martelli – Editor / Contributor Mare Martelli, the newly named Editor of Loving Our Town St. Augustine is originally from the NJ/Philadelphia area, where she had a long career in web, marketing as well as specialty publications for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She fell in love with St. Augustine on her first visit in ’07 & finally made it her home in ’18, where she now lives with her husband, 2 rescue Aussies & 2 foundling cats. Mom to 2 grown sons, she’s a lover of animals, good vegetarian food & exploring all of the history, nature & magic that the St. Augustine area has to offer. Cathlene Milner Cathlene was born and raised in the Sunshine State of Florida and loves her life as a mentor, entrepreneur, best selling author of The 30 Day Self Perception Makeover Method. Founder, and CEO of Hopefull Handbags Global Nonprofit, homeschool mom, wife, mother of four, and grandmother (Sea), and a love of anything that brings a smile and joy as a self-professed glass overfloweth kinda girl. Chris Cottrell Chris Cottrell is a Jacksonville, Florida based professional portrait photographer. He obtained a Graphic Arts Degree from Brunel Technical College in the United Kingdom and he has been practicing the art of photography professionally for over 20 years. His experience ensures you receive the beautiful images you are seeking. He has been published in various magazines including WNC magazine and Jacksonville Magazine and has won awards for his work. He is a Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Certified photographer. He specializes in Professional Headshots, Business Portraits and Lifestyle/Branding photography. David Steele David was raised in Florida and graduated from The Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach. He worked for more than decade in New York City as a freelance editorial and advertising photographer. Clients include: ABC, CBS, Martha Stewart Living, As If Magazine, Harrell and Harrell, Connect Agency and the Jacksonville Symphony.

Deborah Mileham Born and raised in South Africa, she & her husband immigrated to America in 2001 and have lived in Maryland, Minnesota, Denver, Dallas and St. Augustine for the past 6 years. Owner of St. Augustine City Tours, she is also an experienced international travel tour guide and absolutely loves the town and its history. Stepmother to 2 kids in their thirties. 2012 graduate from The Denver School of Photography and a certified sailor from The Dallas Sailing Club. Loves to travel, sail, take long walks on the beach & experiment in the kitchen. Deborah will be launching “Loving Our Vacation” in January 2022, a sister publication to Loving Our Town. Jennifer Jordan Jennifer Jordan is the author of Veggin In St. Augustine, a vegetarian cookbook featuring recipes from St. Augustine’s restaurants, food trucks, and bed and breakfasts. You can find her book on Amazon and at local establishments such as the St. Augustine Visitors Center, the Lightner Museum Store, and Diane’s Natural Food Market. The second edition of Veggin In St. Augustine will be in stores this holiday season and feature all new recipes including some historical St. Augustine recipes.

Lauren Eastman Lauren Eastman is a boy mom who chases waves, practices yoga and writes every chance she gets. For the past 20 years, she has told stories for entrepreneurs, chefs, yoga instructors, and Fortune 500 companies through her PR firm, Issima Communications. She launched Issima Publications in 2020 to begin telling her own stories, co-written with her son, and is currently working on her third book. The concept behind her Sound of Sharing Series is informed by her Yoga practice that began during International Studies at American University, then onto the mat from San Francisco to the jungles of Ubud, through the ancient temples of Trithalamalu and beyond. Amy Alloways A native of Maryland. Amy Alloways is a REALTOR with Berkshire Hathaway, she considers herself “Commdential” able to assist customers in residential but specializes in Commercial Real Estate. Amy is the newest member of the Board of Directors for St Francis House and Port In The Storm. She has one daughter Tabitha and an adorable little Italian Greyhound named Mia.

Michelle Trainor Michelle has served our community as a registered nurse for the past 5 years since moving to St. Augustine from the Northeast with her husband and dogs. Their pack includes 2 Siberian huskies and a corgi. After completing her Bachelors in Nursing, Michelle completed a graduate program in Health and Wellness Coaching. Her greatest joy is owning and operating the Adventure Pets shop in downtown St. Augustine with her husband. Adventure Pets specializes in adventure gear for dogs, but also has a large selection of healthy treats and interactive toys. Visit Adventure Pets on Cordova St. or online Cordova St. or online Bill McRea St. Augustine native and Veteran of the United States Air Force, Bill has over a 45 year history in the entertainment world. Known as William “The Pirate Magician of St. Augustine” Mayhem, he is the voice and face of the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. Mayhem and his crew, The St. Augustine Swashbucklers, can be found at numerous festivals and charity events throughout Florida and Georgia.

Kelley Fitzsimonds Special needs dad and loving husband first. Kelley is a 20 plus year bar professional, heading up the spirits department at Amici Italian Restaurant. Kelley loves to mentor and support others in the bar community and has been bartending in St. Augustine for sixteen years since moving here from the Atlanta area.

Monika Bernthal A huge proponent of the Go-Local movement, Monika Bernthal takes special interest in promoting our local businesses, organizations and events through STA Marketplace, a full service PR and marketing agency. With a background in journalism, Monika is a seasoned writer who regularly shares local stories in Loving Our Town’s STA Marketplace Spotlight. A 15 year resident of St. Augustine, Monika’s 3 children, husband of 20 years, and 2 furkids keep her deeply engaged in and committed to our community.

Please remember to dine, shop and support local business. Let our advertisers know that you discovered them while Loving Our Town!

LOVING OUR TOWN Lenny Gillette Publisher 904-540-8672 Ann Gillette Publishing Operations Mare Martelli Editor John Dickie IV Production and Design Loving Our Town St Augustine 24 Cathedral Place Suite 202 St Augustine FL 32084 Next Publication Deadline: Jan. 12 2022 Loving Our Town is a publication centered on community. If you have ideas, an event or other content of interest, please email:

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the Associate Publisher. All material is compiled from sources believed to be reliable, published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™ and the Publishers assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™. Text copyright ©2021 Photography © 2021 Digital © 2021 Introduction ©


The Women Behind the Kitchen

A look behind the scenes of a luncheon at The WEx at the Peña-Peck House

10 / DECEMBER 2021

Photography by Jennifer Jordan

By Jennifer W. Jordan


t’s an unassuming structure for passersby as they walk down bustling St. George Street. Another facade to quickly take in and add to the experience of St. Augustine’s collection of historic homes and buildings. Many residents and visitors walk right past with no notice, tucked in between the pizza places and ice cream shops. However, as soon as you step off the busy street, and into the serene courtyard of The WEx at the Peña-Peck House, it is easy to feel the historic stillness of the space. The air has changed, settled down a bit, and there is a feeling of different time periods collapsing together in the zen-like garden courtyard of this historic house, which is now a museum. The House has so much history, too much to include here. So, I chose to take a deeper dive into an area visitors do not get to see the kitchen and highlight the ladies who run it. Woman’s Exchange (WEx) members host elaborate fundraising luncheons, meticulously executed from the historic home’s dreamy courtyard setting. The luncheons evolved over time, starting as “drop in teas” in the 1930’s. When the luncheons began in the 1940’s, they became very popular. So popular in fact, that local hoteliers complained the luncheons were taking business away from their restaurants. By the 1950’s WEx members were even catering large events such as weddings. Currently, the WEx has stepped out of its role as head chefs and have hired local restaurants. This gesture has set the tone for the community in assisting local businesses during the pandemic. The dessert however, chocolate pound cake, is made “in house.”

Historically, each course would be chosen, prepared, plated, and served by the members. Food preparations started days in advance. The recipes would all be their own and thoughtfully chosen. Some have been handed down through generations. There is a real sense of pride that goes into the role of working in the kitchen at one of these events. It is not taken lightly. One must earn such a coveted position. Attending a WEx luncheon is diving deeper into the roots of where we live and work. It helps these very special women continue to take pride in and care of the House, enhance sales for artisans, and provide scholarships for women over 30 preparing for new careers. The WEx offers museum tours, boasts a lovely gift shop, and offers event-rental space. To learn more about the Peña-Peck House’s deeply layered history, visit or stop in at 143 St. George Street. Don’t forget to check out the events schedule. You won’t regret it. A few coveted WEx recipes will be featured in my upcoming book, the second volume of Veggin In St. Augustine, due in stores this holiday season. You can pick up a copy at The WEx.

To bystanders, this fundraising event goes off seamlessly. Men and women show up in their sun hats and bowties. The tables are thoughtfully set and dressed with fresh flowers. The WEx (the custodians of the House owned by the City of St. Augustine) serves the courses and keeps everyone’s glasses filled with sweet tea. What guests don’t know is the action taking place in the “back of the house” (restaurant lingo for the kitchen). This is where the magic happens. Cue the fireworks. It is a little like pulling back the green velvet curtain in the Wizard of Oz. This kitchen is impressive. It is restaurant-grade and gets a health and safety inspection just like any other restaurant would. The difference is this kitchen is run on a passion for supporting the community and the history of our little town. This is no hobby, this is a professional business operated by exceptionally hardworking women who learned from the women before them, and the women before them.

LOT STA / 11

12 / DECEMBER 2021

The Vibrant & Enchanting Art of…

Linda Sperruzzi


have been an artist for as long as I can remember, and God has blessed me with a deep love for creating. I spend many hours a day, sometimes night as well, painting and working on my craft. For me, art and the creative process has brought me peace and joy my whole life. My style is modern impressionism and my current medium is acrylic. I enjoy combining bright colors with more muted tones to create fun, yet calming, pieces. When I design my paintings, I try to think of current interior design trends when choosing colors to help clients find the right match for their decor. Moving to St Augustine from Long Island, NY was a choice my family and I made after losing my art studio of many years due to the consequences of the pandemic. It was the best decision for me because the city has truly been an inspiration for my work. The history, the people and its waterways are a joy to render and bring to life in impressionistic style. My hope is to honor God while bringing peace and happiness to people with my art.

Currently showing at Aviles Gallery in downtown St Augustine as well as other fine galleries. Website for contact and purchase is LOT STA / 13

Art is an outlet for me to express my feelings and emotions about various subject matter through colors. The focus that it takes to create a cohesive composition while enabling interesting color balance and shape has been challenging yet very rewarding with each painting. — Linda Sperruzzi

14 / DECEMBER 2021

Light the Way Home – Festival of Trees to Benefit St. Francis House and Port in the Storm By Cathlene Miner


njoy an amazing display of theme decorated trees and wreaths for auction, holiday music, photos with Santa, and Letters to Santa’s Mailbox. All this while supporting local unhoused families, individuals, and youth. Join them as they celebrate their Inaugural Festival of Trees Monday, Nov. 29th – Thursday, Dec. 2nd ADMISSION TO FESTIVAL OF TREES IS FREE! Karen Hensel Assistant Director said that The inspiration for Light the Way Home Festival of Trees came primarily from members of the Development/Marketing Committee and board member, Amy Alloways. Several people on the committee had been involved with similar events in other areas and were aware there had been a Festival of Trees previously in our community. They were excited about recreating an event that would draw support to our efforts to assist the homeless in St. Johns County through the beauty of the season.

St. Francis House Mission - To engage vulnerable families and single adults without housing in compassion, shelter, and opportunity-driven programming to ensure their homelessness is rare, brief, and one time. Port in the Storm Homeless Youth Center Mission - To provide services that nurture potential, promote self-esteem, and support youth in moving beyond the streets. If you would like to know how you can help contact Karen Hensel, Assistant Director karen.hensel@stfrancisshelter or Robert Harris, Marketing/Volunteer Coordinator, *Lightner Museum admission fees will only be charged if you want to enter the main exhibit areas.

St. Francis House and Port in the Storm are programs of St. Augustine Society, Inc. an agency founded in 1984 by concerned citizens and the faith-based community to address the needs of the homeless and those in need. St. Francis House and Port in the Storm programs are housing-focused. While we provide shelter, food and basic needs, our focus and goal is to give people the resources and support they need to return to housing and self-sufficiency. They are a trampoline, not a landing strip. Get involved by advocating and providing support to these organizations and others serving those experiencing homelessness in our commnity. Reach out and find out how you can help. Together we can make a difference. LOT STA / 15

WE FEED ST. AUGUSTINE We feed St. Augustine is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization that connects the greater Saint Augustine food service, restaurant, distribution and farming network to our neighbors.

Phone: 386-682-0245 Email:

Give the gift of a K9 Sport Sack this holiday season. No Dog Left Behind. Adventure gear for pets and their people, quality toys and healthy treats.

51-A Cordova St.

St. Augustine, FL 32084

Ice Cream Made Fresh! 52 Tuscan Way, Ste 207 • St. Augustine, FL 32092 • (904) 547-2540 16.775 © 2021 Kahala Franchising, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Dog Friendly St. Augustine


By Michelle Trainor

miss my dog”. This is what visitors say as they scratch Gracie behind the ears while she sprawls out on the checkout counter. Gracie, a one-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi, takes her job as shop dog very seriously. She greets the many visitors to her downtown shop each day and gives them the dose of love that only a sweet pup can. The visitors then say, “I’ve seen dogs everywhere since I’ve been here. I wish I brought my dog.” I always encourage them to bring their dog along on the next visit and boast about the many dog-friendly places and activities St. Augustine has to offer. Each time I have this conversation, it reminds me how grateful I am to live in St. Augustine, which is by all accounts one of the most dog friendly cities. Being from the Northeast, I can attest that there are many places in the country that are not dog-friendly. In fact, there was only one restaurant in my hometown that allowed dogs to sit on the outdoor patio in the summer. I am a firm believer that life is better with a dog. I always try to create experiences that will improve my dog’s quality of life. I convinced my husband to move the twelve hundred miles to St. Augustine without ever visiting here before. Simply because I had heard it was one of the most dog friendly cities in the country. Let’s just say, St. Augustine has lived up to this expectation. Each day, as I walk my dogs around this beautiful city, I see other dog owners out and about with their dogs. They’re strolling the old streets, picnicking on blankets at the Castillo, and sipping coffee on quiet patios, all with their loyal four-legged best friends at their side. Each year, as the weather turns cooler and the fall breeze blows their fur, I see dogs really come alive. There’s an indescribable sparkle in their eye. It’s no longer too hot for them to take a leisurely stroll. It’s the perfect time of year to go on a downtown adventure with your dog.

2. Enjoy a Meal: No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, there are venues who will gladly welcome your dog to the outdoor patio. Most will provide a water dish for your four-legged friend. If you really want to give your dog a special treat, ask to order for them from the appetizer or kid’s menu. Just remember to ask them to hold the onions and spices! 3. Shop till you Drop: Many of the shops have signs in the windows that say Dogs Welcome. Don’t forget to check out the downtown pet boutiques that offer special treats for your pup! 4. Take a Tour: Many of the walking tours downtown are dogfriendly. Be sure to call ahead and let your tour guide know a pup will be joining the party. 5. Take a Night Walk: During Nights of Lights you can take your dog on a walk around downtown and marvel at the more than 3 million Christmas lights. Don’t miss seeing one of the best Christmas light displays with your furry friend.

As a proud St. Augustine local, I’ve had the opportunity to have many great adventures here with my dogs. My suggestions for having a great time downtown with your dog include: 1. Get a Pup Cup: Pups need a pick-me-up too! When you stop for a hot or iced beverage for yourself, ask the barista for a pup cup for your dog to enjoy. Many of the downtown coffee shops love whipping up a little cup for your dog. Photography by Chris Cottrell

LOT STA / 19

Photography by David Steele

The Village Garden That Could By Kelley Fitzsimonds


years ago the only other food truck around was Nalu’s located at the Surf Station. The city and county code at that time for mobile food vending was from the 1950’s, this code was written to cover hotdog carts and was not even nearly relevant to an actual mobile kitchen like modern food trucks are today. It was an incredible challenge to get this code changed.

Food trucks are a big part of the food culture in our small town these days, however that wasn’t always the case. Kelly tells us that when she and her husband bought Big Island Fruit Bowls they were not exactly welcomed with open arms. Their humble beginnings were a tiny little patch of dirt by Mojo’s Tacos that they transformed into the tiniest oasis. At that time, almost nine IG: @thevillagegardenftp

oving Our Town recently had the opportunity to connect with local business owner Kelly Schneck. Kelley and her husband Brendan own the Village Garden Food Truck Park at 1480 S Old A1A Saint Augustine Fl. 32080. The Village Garden is a cute little outdoor food court specifically designed to be able to host what is all the recent rage, food trucks! They have a variety of food trucks with everything from tacos, bar-b-que to fruit bowls and even one that specializes in dessert. The grounds there have been beautifully furbished with ample outdoor seating, a covered gazebo, a sand play area with cornhole set up and other activities, that takes you away to a tropical beach feeling. It’s the perfect setting for the many special events they hold throughout the year.

Food trucks are a great way for restaurant entrepreneurs to get started with minimal investment and food trucks in this city have it a lot easier thanks to Kelly and Brendan Schneck. They’re ‘not going to take no for an answer’ drive to change city and county policies have paved the way for mobile food vendors today. Their philosophy that all of their guests be seen, valued and heard is a way of making sure everyone that comes through the village feel special and will want to make a return trip. It seems like today you can find food trucks all over our fair city, and these trucks have this amazing couple to thank for paving the way for them.

LOT STA / 21

Anastasia Island State Park:

An Island Gem

Much to Discover Within This Natural Wonder 22 / DECEMBER 2021

Photography by David Steele


By Lauren Eastman

ou may think you already know a lot about Anastasia Island State Park, but there is more than meets the eye within this beautiful natural refuge. Flanked by the Matanzas Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, within its 1,600 acre border is a vibrant history and a current day spectacle of hundreds of species of wildlife, birds, plant life find their perfect home amid its beaches, dunes and tidal salt marsh. Add to that six unique natural communities, a historic archeological treasure, kayaks and paddleboards for rent, guided hikes, camping and even….wi-fi? Since 1949, the park has been operated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection But, the area harkens back to far before St. Augustine was established as the oldest city in the United States. The coquina stones that built Castillo de San Marcos were hauled out of the Old Spanish Coquina Quarries more than 300 years ago. There are so many ways to explore this multi-faceted natural beauty, we wanted to share a few of our favorites. Pitch a Tent. A whopping 139 campsites grace the maritime hammock of the park with sounds of the ocean waves lapping the beach. Overnight accommodations are $28/night plus tax and fees. To make a camping reservation, visit: reserve. Catch a Fish. Flounder, Sea Trout, Mullets and Reds, oh boy! Salt Run is chalk full of beauties and lined with oyster beds. The park’s north end is known for prime fishing. Amenities include a monofilament disposal and fish cleaning station. Hop over to the Island Beach Shop for frozen bait ranging from clams and squid to shrimp. Paddle or Kayak in Salt Run. Enjoy views of the St. Augustine Lighthouse between 30 foot high sand dunes while encountering birds, fish, and potentially even a manatee or a dolphin with a rented canoe, paddleboard or kayak from Anastasia Water Sports.

Walk the Dog. You and your pup will enjoy some of the most pristine natural beauty in the country through the many networks of trails intersecting the park. From wooded areas to four miles of incredible coastline, a new perspective is just within walking distance. Chase the Waves. Running on the pristine sands along four miles of Anastasia Island barefoot is a runner’s dream, especially if you can do it in cooler months or jump into the refreshing ocean. Bike Surf. What did you say? The packed sands of St. Augustine beach easily accommodate bicycling along the shoreline, although bike lanes and park roads also allow for some nice peddling. Bikes can be rented from the concession stand at Island Beach Shop. Pack a Picnic. If you want to hop over to the Anastasia concessions area, you can buy most of what you may need to dine, But, you can also grill out while checking email…not that you want to work while you are here, but there is wi-fi access for visitors at the grill. The part is open between 8 a.m. and sunset daily. There is an $4 single passenger and $8 multiple passengers (under 8 people) admission fee per vehicle and a $2 fee for pedestrians and bicyclists. The entrance is located at 300 Anastasia Park Road St. Augustine FL 32080. Learn more at: If you love it as much as we do, Join “Friends of Anastasia State Park” to support the programs and services that enhance this enchanting experience for all who visit.

Take a Hike. You can find shade along the Ancient Dunes Nature Trail on this mostly flat terrain or join a ranger for an Anastasia Marsh Discovery Walk. Guided tours of the quarries, planned beach walks, guided bird walks, photo scavenger hunts, and even turtle talks take place during various times of the year. Dive In. Whether surfing or swimming in the clear waters of St. Augustine safety is key. A lifeguard is on duty at the beach access ramp behind the Island Beach Shop and Grill from Memorial through Labor Day.

LOT STA / 23

High Tide Gallery Provides All the Feels By Monika Bernthal


ike artwork that speaks to you, is the quaint art gallery on Anastasia Island whose composition is a masterpiece. High Tide Gallery blends the unique, eclectic, down-to-earth and fun creating an environment to which everyone can relate.

“I fell in love with the Gallery and the whole vibe the first time we walked in,” explained Wayne McNees, owner of High Tide Gallery. “It’s coastal, local and creative – an exact reflection of our community.”

Which is why he feels the most rewarding part of running the gallery is paying the artists at the end of every month for their sales. Wayne explained, “Artists work hard and create wonderful things to enhance our lives by making them more beautiful.” He continued, “An artist exposes themselves every time they create a piece. I equate it to laying your soul bare for all to see.” On the flipside, Wayne loves experiencing a connection between a customer and the art. He says that “boom” moment is like watching love bloom.

Photography by Aimée Wiles Banion

Although Wayne and his wife, Sherry, assumed ownership only two years ago, the gallery has been a mainstay of St. Augustine and home to dozens of artists since its inception in 2006. Today, High Tide Gallery represents nearly 50 local artists and artisans, featuring all types of mediums including painting, pottery, canvas, stained glass, woodcraft, photography, stone and ceramic. The gallery even has a “Man Cave” geared toward the guys while the ladies shop the extensive line of handcrafted jewelry. In a world that would be bleak without art, Wayne is thrilled to provide a platform for artists to showcase their work. “The gallery is a way of helping give back to the art community,” he said.

24 / DECEMBER 2021

High Tide Gallery’s relaxed and fun atmosphere fuels these interactions with art. The gallery’s group of talented artists enjoy showcasing their work without pretense. Customers embrace an environment in which they can truly enjoy and appreciate the art – knowing they can even afford to take home the piece that touched them. Located in Lighthouse Plaza at 850 Anastasia Boulevard, High Tide Gallery is open Tuesdays through Sundays with extended hours during Art Galleries of St. Augustine’s First Friday Artwalk. Learn more and shop their online store at

Immerse yourself in an interactive, emotional high sea adventure you’ll never forget at St. Augustine’s most popular attractions. Explore the GOLDEN AGE OF PIRACY with one of the world’s largest collections of authentic pirate artifacts dating back to the16th century—including the world’s only authentic pirate treasure chest, its oldest wanted poster, and one of three original JollyRoger flags in existence.

12 S. Castillo Drive St. Augustine FL 32084 For more adventure, call

877-GO-PLUNDER (877-467-5863)

Directly across from the Castillo de San Marcos Fort and a short walk from the Historic Downtown Parking Facility.

“What a display! My husband were blown away. This turned and myself out expected. Sir Francis Drake, Bla better than ckbeard and more, books, bowls, pottery, forks tools, compasses, a treasure chest and much history here and you will more. So definitely be pleasantly surprised.” “Well done and not corny as some of these museums can be. Would reco mmend for any one interested in the pirate hist St. Augustine as well as other ory for areas. have made it fun for kids as wel They l.” “Best experience we had in St. Augustine! We’ll definitely be back, so much to see and do!”

THE Pirate of St. Augustine By Will McRea


apt. William Mayhem, a.k.a. Bill McRea has a 47 year history in the entertainment world, performing as a actor, comedian, magician, corporate entertainer and public speaker in performances and presentations worldwide. His talents have been utilized in motivational speaking programs, television commercials, theater productions, corporate training videos, anti-gang/drug seminars and safety programs. Comedy clubs, theater stages, classroom environments, corporate board rooms and the convention center floor, he has graced them all with his magic, wit and charm. He has been the opening act for Jazz Great Dave Koz, and Comedian/TV personality D. L. Hughley and has also shared the limelight with celebrities such as Trini Lopez, Lyle Waggoner, Rick Springfield, Beau Bridges, Tommy Smothers, James Hampton, David Carradine, Obba Babatunde, Richard Kind, John Byner, Arte Johnson, John O’Hurley and The Great Desmond Llewelyn, just to name a select few. 1977-91 a 15 yr veteran of the USA. From 1986 thru 2006, he made many appearances at such notable Las Vegas venues as The Dunes, Caesars Palace, The Aladdin, The Gold Coast, Stations Casions, Funny Bones, The Improv and Laffs. In 2006 he was honored to be one of the only magicians asked to perform at the World Famous Stardust Hotel for its final weekend party before the closing of its doors forever. 26 / DECEMBER 2021

Relocating to his hometown of St Augustine Fl, in January 2007, he has taken his passion of magic and love of pirate lore and history and blended them together into Capt. William Mayhem. He has worked with the community organizing and performing for charitable events to benefit the homeless, food banks, the Cancer Society, Make A Wish, Give Kids the World and Dreams Come True, INK and SAYS as well as various FL based Hospitals and Christmas Toy Drives just to name a select few. Mayhem was one of the original key organizers in the first St Augustine Pirate Gathering of 2008 and in 2009, he was one of the original crew/performers on the Black Raven Pirate Ship. In 2010 he became the voice and face of the St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, playing a key role in educational tours for the thousands of school children visiting St Augustine yearly. He has now been with the museum for over ten and a half years and given well over an estimated 9000 tours for both schools and tourists alike. The Pirate Character William Mayhem, representing the Museum, has made appearances on TV channels such as the History Channel, the Travel Channel, Telemundo and Univision as well as many local and state channels. In 2011 he was featured on a TV show called “Drinking Made Easy” with comedian Zane Lamprey. In 2012, William Mayhem earned the honor to be chosen from across the United States, into the Order of Leviathan, a prestigious honor given every two years to pirates of note for various community and civic activities in the pirate world. Also, in 2012 Mayhem had a very short few seconds of Fame on Americas Got Talent. He is the currently Captain of the St Augustine Swashbucklers, started in 2001 by the late great Joe Osteen. The reigns of leadership were handed from Osteen to Mayhem in 2009, where he has been leading the crew

Captain’s Corner by Will McRea


ven as the walls of the Castello de San Marcos were being constructed from 1672 thru 1695, this did not seem to be a deterrent against pirates still.

French Privateer Michel de Grammont, a.k.a. Nicolas de Grammond or Chevalier de Grammont would set his sights set on St Augustine, but this would be the end of his career as a privateer.

Photography courtesy Chris Cottrell

in many community and charity events. In 2013, William Mayhem and the St Augustine Swashbucklers were the half time show for the Jacksonville Sharks Arena Football Game. Social Media posts stated that it was one of the most fun and exciting half time shows of the season and was broadcast on ESPN. Capt Mayhem and crew have been regulars at both the St Augustine Seafood and Celtic festivals for over 9 years. The Crew, with Mayhem at the helm is now entering its 11th year of their Annual Holiday toy drive known as Toys for P.I.T.s (pirates in training). Mayhem received the honor or toursim employee of the year in 2016. With the support and help of the Crew of the ST Augustine Swashbucklers, 2017 saw the start of the Old City Pirate Fest, which is about ti enter its 5th run in 2022, having lost 2021 due to the covid issues of the world. And the summer of 2021, the crew revealed a brand-new event called a Mid-Summer Nights Gala a non-pirate Shakespearean evening. The success of the Gala has now insured a 2nd Gala event in the summer of 2022. The Newest Adventure for Mayhem and Crew is the Captains Quarters Podcast, a weekly podcast show airing every Monday evening at 8pm. Theme of each show vary from local to national history, with guests from across the country. This YouTube adventure has already picked up fans and followers from across the entire United States. There is much more on the horizon for Capt William Mayhem and the St Augustine Swashbucklers so keep your eye on the horizon for many more adventures with Mayhem and all of his good crew mates of the St. Augustine Swashbucklers as they continue to entertain where ever pirates are needed.

In 1670 his very first adventure was the capture of a Dutch convoy, valued at about 400,000 livres (US$4 million). His second adventure would prove to be not so successful in that he ran his ship upon a reef and sank. Around 1675 while in Tortuga he acquired and provisioned a new ship which he used to attack Spanish shipping. When the Franco-Dutch war broke out between France and the Dutch Republic in 1678, he joined a fleet under the command of Comte d’Estrees for an abortive raid on the Dutch island of Curacao; however, the entire fleet of 17 vessels was wrecked on the Las Aves Archipelago. Later in that same year he was made commander of six ships and 700 men that had been salvaged from the Las Aves Disaster. De Grammont landed his men in Spanish-held Venezuela and captured Marcaibo. as well as several smaller towns including Gibraltar, penetrating far inland all the way to Trujillo. For the next six months he and his pirates plundered the entire region. This was followed by another successful raid on the Venezuelan port of La Guairá, captured in a daring night attack, He and his men barely escaped with much difficulty, when they were attacked by a larger Spanish force. 1679, he attacks the settlement of Puerto Principe, now Camaguey city, in Cuba. As they approached the city, they were spotted and the alarms rang out from the church bells warning the inhabitants of the impending pirate attack. This warning gave time for all the valuables of the city to be hidden, so Grammont and his men were not able to get much plunder. To make matters worse, on the way back to their ships he and his men were ambushed, fighting all the way and suffering heavy casualties. He managed to get away with the rest of his men and sailed away from a failed mission. De Grammont would have several successes from 1680 thru 1685 attacking Spanish settlements thru out the region. Including a raid on st Augustine which proved to be unsuccessful as the Spanish military had been strengthen now with the construction of the Castello de San Marcos. In April of 1686 de Grammont would once again head northeast to St. Augustine, Florida, planning a raid alongside French buccaneer Nicolas Brigaut. However, Spanish soldiers captured and executed Brigaut when his ship was grounded near Mantanzas inlet just south of St. Augustine, as Brigaut waited for Grammont to rescue him and his sailors. The rescue never came: Grammont’s ship was caught in the same storm that wrecked Brigaut’s vessel and was lost with all hands. Thus ends the rocky career of a Privateering Pirate named Michel de Grammont, a.k.a. Nicolas de Grammond or Chevalier de Grammon. LOT STA / 27

My Premium Did What?! By David Beck


hy has my homeowners insurance gone up? I have not had a claim.” I can’t tell you how many times I have answered this question over the past year. Florida has always been a unique state when it comes to property insurance, but the current rate increases, and nonrenewals are unprecedented. Most insurance carriers would rather juggle chainsaws than jump into this mosh pit of a market; and that is on a good day. What has happened to cause such a disruption? It is a culmination of multiple influences, many of which we will not have the space to cover, but there is a major disruption in the market that we cannot look past as a primary culprit. From 2011 to 2019 we saw four major areas of legislative change. They were regarding assignment agreements (widely known as Assignment of Benefits), mandatory replacement cost on residential roofs, multi-year statute of limitations on claim filing, and how attorney fees are awarded to plaintiffs in cases against insurance companies. These reforms taken individually can be to the benefit of the policyholder, which is good. However, taken in their entirety it has led to a gateway for some “bad players” to take advantage of the legislative rules and legal climate. There have been about 2500 lawyers and contractors that have been recognized to use the current regulations to participate in predatory practices regarding claim filings against Florida insurers. In 2019 alone Florida Insurers paid almost $3 billion in lawsuit costs. The way the process works is that a roofer would approach a homeowner stating that they could get a roof for free, “just sign this form”. That form is an Assignment of Benefit which allows the roofer to take full control of the claim filing process. They would then submit an inflated estimate for the roof repair to the

insurer. The claim adjuster would deny or question the estimate since it was out of the typical cost to replace the roof. This would trigger the roofer to refer it to a partnering lawyer. The lawyer would then file suit against the insurance company. In many cases this was done without the knowledge of the policyholder; they had already signed away their rights to the claim. To give you an idea of the scope of this practice, over 221,000 lawsuits were filed against Florida insurance carriers from 2014 to 2020 and over $12 billion in attorney fees have been paid out. How does this impact you? In 2020 the average family could attribute $680 of their property insurance premium directly to this process. However, we can help in both the short and long term. The Florida Legislature has already passed some regulations regarding predatory Assignment of Benefits practices. That is a good start, but we need to keep letting our political representatives know that reforms are needed. If you have an old roof that you know is bad, please don’t allow a roofer to tie it back to a “hailstorm” that occurred two and a half years ago. That is not a free roof, the cost is distributed to your fellow Floridians. If you have a legitimate roof claim, please contact your agent and make the claim through them. This will allow your agent to know what is going on and let them help advocate for you. Develop a relationship with your agent; allow them to be a guide and be a resource for you. If your premium goes up, have your agent shop the policy. Be the pretty Belle at the ball; a well maintained and updated home is always easier and less expensive to place with an insurance carrier. Finally, get a wind mitigation inspection; it could save you hundreds if not more on your premium. We will get through this like we always do. Together.

Navigating Your Insurance Needs Home ~ Auto ~ Commercial ~ Life Motorcycle ~ RV ~ Boat ~ and More

661 A1A Beach Blvd Saint Augustine, FL 32080 ~ 904-417-7717 ~

LOT STA / 29

A Huge Thank You from Hopefull Handbags Global Non-Profit! Together We Are Stronger Hopefull Handbags Global (HH) was started right here in St. Johns County in 2017. Since then, we have spread to 10 different countries. But Hopefull Handbags is always a community-based organization and operates within each community to raise hope to our neighbors and their children who are getting back on their feet from Domestic Abuse. We also open up the conversation so that survivors feel safe and confident to reach out for help. HH is able to continue raising hope because of our dedicated volunteers, community donations, drop-off locations, safe places, and sponsors. The faith that you all have in us and your generosity remind our survivors and their children that they are limitless and We Are Stronger Together. Thank you to our community who came out for our Hopefull Holiday with The Spice & Tea Exchange of St. Augustine. We even had snow in Florida for Santa’s visit!

Be on the lookout for our Hopeful Holiday Giving Trees around town! The tree has double giving! Purchase an ornament that will give a gift to a survivor and their children and then the trees will be donated to a survivor and family that would otherwise not have a tree for the holiday! Check our website for tree locations!

I would love to thank our regular sponsors and drop-off locations for all that you do year-round for HH and our community! Fairwind Sailbag Co., The White Lotus Studio, Seaside Furniture, Now & Zen Yoga Studio, Tabby’s Pure Romance, Liv Alternative, Gibson’s Heating and Air, FiFi’s Fine Resale Apparel, High Tide Gallery, Beauty by the Beach Lash Bar, The Lash Spot-Lash Studio and Academy, Old City Occasions, Mums/Moms In Business International, Wildheart Boutique, Beauty and the beach Hair Design, FiFi’s Fine Resale Apparel, The Vault & Co., The Spice & Tea Exchange, BT Nutrition, Central Bank, Leonards Photography, The 30 Day Self Perception Makeover Method “Never UnderEstimate the Power of Hope”

In the Weeds

32 / DECEMBER 2021


By Kelley Fitzsimonds ast month’s ‘’In the Weeds’ article was focused on a fellow located in the belly of the beast that is the Ice Plant building. This month we take a trip upstairs to the world class bar that is The Ice Plant Bar. We got the chance to sit down with my good friend John Moore and go through our In the Weeds interview questions.

LOT: So how did you get started in hospitality? John: I worked for a caterer in college. A few of my fraternity brothers had worked for this caterer and they needed an extra hand, so I was like ‘cool, extra beer money’ and I fell in love with it. The guy that was my boss then, I’m still close with now, he is a high-end wedding planner in Jacksonville. It just suited my personality. I had a whole other career in the entertainment industry as a creative executive and writer and then came the writers’ strike twelve years ago in Los Angeles. So, I moved back to Florida, where I am from and fell right back into bartending and realized that I should never have bothered with that venture. While I would never give it back, certainly at this point in my life, hospitality absolutely suites me. You get to meet folks from all walks of life and make these little relationships and if you keep your ears open and stop talking long enough you can get exposed to this book or that culinary style or podcast that you might never experience without working and talking with the public.

LOT: Your “Only in Saint Augustine” experience. John: The trolley tour, its a great sampler platter of St. Augustine hop on hop off and only park once. Someplace on the water to dine, Beaches or Caps. I am an island boy at heart, and I love the drive from Vilano towards Ponte Vedra. LOT: What ingredients are you excited about? We did just have a coffee made from mushrooms. John: I’m excited about infusions and fat washes with oils. My bar manager just introduced the Sister Of the Moon cocktail that has a tarragon oil as the garnish. The infusion of oils and infusions in cocktails fat washes, everything from vegan to carnivorous done well can be a total game changer. LOT: Who do you look up to in the industry? John: Distillers, particularly craft distillers. I feel that they have a tough row to hoe being that people think to order a craft beer but not necessarily a craft spirit. People stick close to what they know and not ‘what can I only get in this area’. Most bars will carry a regional spirit that is very hard to compete with against the juggernauts that are Bacardi or Tito’s. As for as people, Dale Degroff and Jeffery Morganthaler who pretty much created the barrel aged cocktail. The folks that were decades ahead of what we know as the cocktail revolution. The other part of my answer is hospitality workers in general, this country was founded in the bars and taverns of New England in a time when there was a lot of respect given to the tavern owners.

LOT: What is your go to drink order? John: It is largely dependent on the weather and what I am eating, I like to create pairings whenever possible. My most favorite stirred cocktail is a Viex Carre or if I am not into a drink that is quite so stiff, I will invite the bartender to make me something original and fun with gin.

LOT: Any advice for someone trying to break into this industry? John: Show up on time and choose a bar that takes service and hospitality seriously and listen to every piece of advice the industry veterans give you.

LOT: Ok deserted island, you get three bottles, we are imagining any number of citrus trees and sugar cane, these three are the only spirits that you get. John: Don Julio 1942, with zero hesitation, Black Corral Black rum and Fords gin

LOT: What makes the juice worth the squeeze? What do you do for fun? John: I patronize other hospitality venues and travel for food and beverage and try to taste my way through the world. When I only have a day off or two here and there I gather with my friends and we eat and drink what even our bars and restaurants don’t offer.

LOT: Your hangover cure? John: I’m a little blessed that i don’t get hangovers. I just get a little draggy from lack of sleep, so I guess my answer would be more sleep. LOT: Coffee or tea? John: Both. Mainly coffee but I have a lot of tea in my house as well LOT: What are few of your favorite spots in town? I know that you are still trying to get to know this town. John: We are sitting at one of them. Tacos my Blessing is amazing and I love a good craft beer from Bog Brewing. If I want wings I like Candlelight South. Obviously, I love Amici’s - if I am having anything from the boot it will be from there. For cocktails i stick to the top 4, Ice plant, Boat Drinks, Prohibition Kitchen and Odd Birds.

Make a point to go and visit John at The Ice Plant bar and be sure to ask him to create you something fun with gin the next time you are out and about. I promise you won’t be disappointed! Until the next issue, Cheers!

THE BRIDGE OF LIONS • 1 1/2 oz St. Augustine Distillery Gin • 3/4 ozlime • 3/4 simple syrup • 1/4 oz green chartreuse • 1/4 oz Maraschino Prosecco float

LOT STA / 33

Elegant Service and Unforgettable Sights Discover what so many before you have experienced, and let the St. George Inn be your gateway to one of the oldest cities in the United States. Located on the picturesque, pedestrian-only St. George Street, our boutique hotel in St. Augustine encompasses both the east and west side, with two magnificent courtyards overlooking the imposing Castillo de San Marcos and City Gate. Our accommodations range from intimate rooms to elegant suites; all rooms and suites have captivating views of the city’s many landmarks, many with balconies, as well as thoughtful features to add luxury to your stay. The St. George Inn has proudly blended timeless surroundings with legendary hospitality for nearly two decades, and we look forward to welcoming you to St. Augustine to celebrate this tradition.

4 St. George Street #101, St. Augustine, Florida 32084 Local: 888-827-5740 | Toll-Free: 888-827-5740

Dili Datil Embodies St. Augustine’s Culture, Heritage and History

By Monika Bernthal


uisine has the ability to transcend barriers among people everywhere. Meals take culinary intimacy to the next level bringing friends and family together in shared experiences.

But it is the individual dishes and accompaniments who are the humdingers of the food world. They alone have the ability to tell a story using flavors that embody culture, heritage and history. The story of the First Coast is the one that St. Augustine’s Robert Hile shares with Dili Datil Pepper Sauces as his medium. A career professional executive chef and saucier, Robert was immediately in awe of the lengthy and storied history of the Datil pepper. Grown only in and around the First Coast, the Datil pepper has been part of St. Augustine cuisine since the 17th century. This little pepper is not just a fruit, it’s an icon. It has lineage.

For the last few hundred years, Datil sauce was used as an everyday table sauce, sitting on the kitchen counter or dining table all the time. Robert makes his sauces with the intention of creating the same type of everyday sauce that will continued to be enjoyed during every meal by everyone for generations to come. In addition to his Signature Datil sauce, Dili Datil’s product line also features a Caribe Datil sauce as well as a Datil mustard. With plans to expand his collection, Robert said, “Each new addition will be an affirmation of history and appreciation for the cultural heritage of the St. Augustine area and Florida.” Sample Dili Datil’s sauces at area markets and select retailers. Learn more and shop online at

Beyond the unique history of the Datil pepper, the flavor is like no other. The latent fruitiness has a slow burn that comes in and builds on the palate as you eat more. But then, the flavor also disappears quite quickly after a meal is over. In order to tell the complete story of the Datil pepper, Robert combines the distinct sweet and spicy flavor with other local cultural influences to create Dili Datil sauces. He incorporates the Holy Trinity of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions, common in Spanish and Portuguese dishes. Robert then adds the colonial influences of apple cider vinegar and brown sugar and/or molasses. “This is what I saw in the history and what makes these sauces so unique,” explained Robert. “Dili Datil sauces are an affirmation of what I picture in my mind when I think of the earliest immigrants and indentured people that came to Florida. These people were creating something that reminded them of home, and at the same time creating something unique for our American quilt of multicultural expression.” LOT STA / 35

Tired of Buying Plastic Gifts for Your Kids? Invest in a Library of Stories, Instead

Photography by Lauren Eastman By Lauren Eastman


eading to children is a gift that keeps on giving. The act of storytelling is intimate and engaging as well as a shared experience that supports kids’ brains, helps them understand emotions, and leads to questions and giggles. This holiday season, give the gift of reading to your children with books by local authors - and moms - that ignite the conversations with your kids that strengthen your bond. The Sound of Sharing Series by Lauren Eastman offers two titles: Santosha Saves Bedtime ($19.99 on Amazon) and Ahimsa Saves the Playground ($21.00 on Amazon) that give children tools to find contentment, experience peacefulness and exhibit non-violence. Based on the Yamas and Niyamas lessons of yoga, the books share relatable remedies to everyday challenges. With easy to understand meanings of Sanskrit words and teachings, children and parents are also equipped with varied dialogue for conversations about ways to live. My Ready for Bed Routine ($12.99 on by Heather Vreeland provides kids and parents a step-by-step format for their nightly bedtime schedule. The colorful illustrations make a lasting impression on memory while demonstrating each task. The book is an impactful tool for giving kids a feeling of control and independence, while avoiding meltdowns. Heading on a trip? Download Dixie’s St. Augustine Adventure ($6.99 on by Victoria Long. This adorable story written about her family’s pup provides a first-hand account of a dog’s tale in finding the best sights smells and snacks in downtown Saint Augustine before catching some waves and soaking up rays at the beach.

36 / DECEMBER 2021

There are so many fun stories to share with your kiddos, the possibilities are endless to get lost in a story while expanding vocabulary, attention span and bonding. There are plenty of children’s books available at your local library, secondhand shops like Second Read Books on Cordova Street and Buy the Book on Rt. 1. The Little Free Library has locations throughout the St. Augustine area for an extra adventure. You can also borrow and lend with friends, or write your own! Whatever you do, enjoy the connection that reading together provides.

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November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month!

November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month!

Let's talk about Long-Term Care Hybrid Plans By: Jeff Sedlitz LUTCF | President Family Tree Financial Group

Let’s talk about Long-Term Care Hybrid Plans The Need: Let's say you have evaluated the possible reality that you might need long-term care at some point in the future and concluded that purchasing long-term care insurance to cover at least a portion of long-term By: Jeff Sedlitz | President care costs mightLUTCF make sense in your situation. You are, however, concerned about paying premiums for insurance coverage that you may never need. Alternatively, you may have several insurance needs competing for the limited dollars you have available to pay for insurance.

The Need:


According to 70% of people turning age 65 can expect et’s to need some form of long-term care during their lives. say you have evaluated the possible reality that you To get familiar with the high the annual costs of this type of care might need long-term care at some point in the future in Florida as well as the costs for Jacksonville and the and concluded that purchasing long-term care insurance surrounding area. See the charts below. to cover at least a portion of long-term care costs might Planning ahead has very real benefits for you and your family. make sense in your situation. You are,expensive, however, concerned about Long-term care services can be very with associated paying premiums for insurance coverage that you may never need. costs constantly rising. These expenses may endanger your Alternatively,and yousavings. may haveThe several insurance needsacompeting for retirement wealth you took lifetime to accumulate can beyou gone a few short without proper the limited dollars haveinavailable to payyears for insurance. planning. Further, lacking a plan could be a burden on your loved ones due totothe time and finances required to turning look after According 70% of people ageyou 65 should long term care become necessary. can expect to need some form of long-term care during their lives. Long-Term Care Insurance helps to protect you against some of To get familiar with the high the annual costs of this type of care these expenses. With an array of progressive solutions, we can in Florida as well ascare the costs for Jacksonville the surrounding find the long-term insurance policy thatand meets your goals area. See the charts below. and gives the protection and peace of mind that you need.

A Possible Solution:

A Possible Solution: You may may be be interested in aa newer You interested in newer generation generation of of long-term long-term care care insurance that blends several types of insurance coverage together insurance that blends several types of insurance coverage together in a in a single These “Hybrid LTC”also policies, known as single policy. policy. These "Hybrid LTC" policies, known also as asset-based asset-based plans, theabenefits of a lifepolicy insurance or plans, combine the combine benefits of life insurance or anpolicy annuity with the availability long-term care benefits should you needshould them an annuity with theofavailability of long-term care benefits in theneed future. These plans can These often be structured to pay an increased you them in the future. plans can often be structured to benefit account for inflation. They can payThey a benefit 3-6 pay antoincreased benefit to account forusually inflation. can for usually years in for some a rider can cases, be added to can offerbelifetime pay a and benefit 3-6cases, years and in some a rider added benefits! The problem with "Traditional" LTC policies were 1) LTC they to offer lifetime benefits! The problem with “Traditional” were expensive, b) they would go up in price periodically, c) they were policies were 1) they were expensive, b) they would go up in price usually "if you don't use it, you lose it!" contracts. Meaning, if you periodically, c) they were usually “if you don’t use it, you lose it!” never had a Long-Term Care need, you paid to have the coverage, but contracts. Meaning, if you never had a Long-Term Care need, you wouldn't receive anything back, much like auto insurance - if you paid to have coverage, but wouldn’t receive anything back, much don't have an the accident or some other claim, you don't benefit from the like auto insurance if you don’t have an accident or some other policy. Well these new "Hybrid" policies don't work that way! They'll claim, you don’t pay at some point. benefit from the policy. Well these new “Hybrid” policies don’t work that way! They’ll pay at some point. The topic of Long-Term Care should come up and the "what if's" should be discussed. Let a Family Tree Financial Group Financial The topic ofwork Long-Term should the “whatdeath if ’s” Professional with you toCare design a plancome with up theand life insurance should be discussed. Let a Family Tree Financial Group Financial benefit and long-term care benefit amount, elimination period and any Professional work withtoyou tomeet design a plan with life and insurance optional benefits needed help your needs, boththe today in the death benefit and long-term care benefit amount, elimination future.

period and any optional benefits needed to help meet your needs,

If you have a solid plan, your basic lifestyle won’t be as vulnerable if a both today future. chronic event and werein to the occur.

you haven’t have a solid plan, your lifestyle won’t as vulnerable IfIf you already, talk to basic an adviser - like us,bewho specializes if retirement a chronic (and eventmake werenow to mistake, occur. Long-Term Care is a part of proper in retirement planning) — and understands how to put together a retirement income plan. talk Don’t tryadviser to go -itlike alone. A professional If you haven’t already, to an us, who specializes will have access to (and solutions might Long-Term not have even thought about. in retirement makethat nowyou mistake, Care is a part of proper retirement planning) — and understands how to put together

Planning ahead has very real benefits for you and your family. Long-term care services can be very expensive, with associated costs constantly rising. These expenses may endanger your retirement and savings. The wealth you took a lifetime to accumulate can be gone in a few short years without proper planning. Further, lacking a plan could be a burden on your loved ones due to the time and finances required to look after you should long term care become necessary.

Author: Jeff Sedlitz, LUTCF a retirement income plan. Don’t try to go it alone. A professional will President | Family Tree Financial Group have access to solutions that you might not have even thought about. (904) 657-0896

Author: Jeff Sedlitz, LUTCF President | Family Tree Financial Group (904) 657-0896

Long-Term Care Insurance helps to protect you against some of these expenses. With an array of progressive solutions, we can find the long-term care insurance policy that meets your goals and gives the protection and peace of mind that you need. LOT STA /39

Satisfaction WILL get you EVERYWHERE. You may be thinking, of Course Cath, of course, satisfaction is great, I could have told you that... But, how often do you bask in Satisfaction?? Real Satisfaction. Satisfaction will bring YOU more Satisfaction. Satisfaction: fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs. Fulfillment is a great feeling! What may be satisfying to me may not be the same to you or anyone else. And that is the way it should be... It’s YOUR Perception and feeling of something that matters and the only thing that matters. So, how do you bring in more satisfaction, happiness, and wealth?? Acknowledge when you are satisfied. When you are running errands and your favorite song comes on the radio. Bask in the satisfaction. When you have lunch and it tastes amazing. Bask in the satisfaction. More Satisfaction brings more amazing things to be satisfied with into your life. And Satisfaction will lead to exceeding your expectations. ❤️❤ Cathlene

State-of-the-art service steeped in experience Our team has over 30+ years in all aspects of real estate. A decade ago, we came to beautiful St. Augustine from Nantucket, Mass., so we know the importance of high quality services, homes, tenants, screenings and communication. From beach houses, vacation rentals, multi-family units, commercial units or communities, our state of the art systems and protocols will allow you, the investor, the peace of mind that comes from having the best serve you and your properties.

Kristina Tejada, Licensed Sales Agent & CAM • License SL3448913 • 904-204-0302


Photograph by Lenny Foster

ReCHIC Unique Boutique is a shopping experience. From the time you open our front door to the unique packaging of your purchases you will get the feeling of being special. Lisa and Tom are very knowledgeable about our one-of-a-kind items. Weather it is a vintage hat from our collection of over 600 hats to our repurposed antique sterling silver jewelry pieces. ReCHIC Unique Boutique takes you back in time. Come by and say hello. Our store is your destination to the UNIQUE items that are as “UNIQUE” and “SOPHISTICATED” as YOU!

(408) 637-8575

The Fish Tank Recordings specializes in producing, songwriting, melodic vocal and instrument coaching, symphonic arrangement, hi quality recording,

We Define the


mixing, mastering independent musicians, original scoring, and post-production sound design. ADDRESS

24 Althea Street Saint Augustine, FL 32084 PHONE

(904) 377-7611 WEBSITE

CHRISTMAS MARGARITA We don’t know about you, but The Perfect Pour loves a good margarita no matter what time of year it is. You can enjoy them poolside in the summer or celebrate Cinco de Mayo sipping on one in the Spring. But what about for the winter? Just replace some of the ingredients of a classic margarita and you have a festive creation to serve at your next holiday get together. You can batch it in a dispenser or serve it to order. It is always a big hit with our clients and guests. Try it at home and let us know what you think! CHEERS! Ingredients 3 oz Cranberry Juice 1 oz Pomegranate Juice 1/2 oz Lime Juice 1/2 oz triple sec or orange liqueur 2 oz silver tequila Sugar or salt for the rim of glass (optional) Top with frozen cranberries, ice and a sprig of rosemary Steps Add all ingredients into a martini shaker with ice and shake it like your momma gave ya! Use a lime or lime juice to coat the rim of the glass and add the sugar or salt (optional) Strain over a glass with or without ice (preferably a rocks or martini glass) but wine glasses and mason jars work just as well too :) Top with frozen cranberries, lime and rosemary sprig (904) 599-3092



1670 U.S. 1 South Next to RE/MAX 100 Realty



The Vault & Co., located on US1 in the old Clark’s Appliance by the Whitty Whisker Cat Cafe, is the area’s TOP CASH BUYER OF ALL LUXURY GOODS. We buy Louis Vuitton. Gucci, Chanel, and have over 50 purses in stock. We buy all US coins and currency. Bryan the owner is Vice President of the local coin club. The Vault & Co. will buy your unwanted jewelry in any condition, even broken or costume jewelry. We also buy foreign coins and currency.

WE do PRIVATE CASH LOANS in as little as 5 minutes on ANY luxury item.

WE WILL COME TO YOU. We encourage you to look out our 60+ five reviews on Google.

112 N Ponce De Leon Blvd Suite B St. Augustine, FL 32084

904-500-COIN (2646)

The Local Scene

St Francis House / Port in the Storm Light Up the Night Balloon Glow Gala Fundraiser at Tringali Barn – Oct 23rd Photos by: Alise Sheppard

Recent events raise awareness for local charities

Lightner Museum’s Garden Party The grand opening of the newly restored back terrace and courtyard – Oct 15 Photos by: Jennifer Jordan

Caribe Groove and Friends at Música Bajo La Luna Music & Moonlight – Oct 30 Photos from: Caribe Groove

Hopefull Handbags Hopefull Holiday with The Spice & Tea Exchange 2021 – Nov 7 Photos by Cathlene Miner 46 / DECEMBER 2021

Naughty or Nice We have you covered with any toy on your wish list.

Olde Towne Toys is the largest independent, specialty toy store in St. Augustine, Florida. We carry Playmobil, Breyer Horses, Melissa & Doug, Hape, Jellycat, HearthSong and much more! We have items from science kits, programmable robots, pogo sticks, glide bikes, wooden train sets to arts and crafts, infant soothers, games, role play, warmies...the list just goes on and on...

300 S. Ponce De Leon Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32084 • (904) 342-8008