St. Augustine: A City of Love and Romance ARTICLE & PHOTOS BY Isabel Albuerne “The Event Lady”
f you dream of love, and who doesn’t ... let me take you to a place where you will fall in love every day while you spend a pleasant time, enjoying subtle touches of an era gone by. If you want to disconnect and immerse yourself in a place where there are no crowds of people, or long waiting lines, then I recommend the “City of Romance” as it is called by the residents, the picturesque city of St. Augustine. This rich treasure of our State of Florida exudes Spanish culture and the ambiance instills the desire to forget the present and just enjoy passionate love; simultaneously it has the peculiarity of being able to revive those re-
lationships that occasionally need to add a bit of fuel to the fire. You slowly regain your senses and feel alive again, being delighted by nostalgia and memories of a time, where life was much simpler and certainly kept a greater spiritual mystery and a healthy desire to live to the fullest. Once you arrive at this little piece of heaven, forget big hotels and buildings ten stories high, since they do not exist. My advice is to experience the wonderful American concept called “The Bed and Breakfast.” This method of accommodation is not for everyone, but if you are the type of person who likes cozy places, historical landmarks, quaint spots, sunny mornings with sumptuous breakfasts, beautifully decorated abodes with antique period furniture, hot tubs and fireplaces inside your very own boudoir, opulent and inviting beds with
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fluffy pillows, and let’s not forget… before retiring to bed, the immense joy of a small dose of port wine, served with a delicious, sinful chocolate morsel from the city’s reknown Claude’s Chocolatier; furthermore I dare to say, that if any of these items has called your attention, you are a good candidate for this love trip indeed. Saint Augustine is famous for being the oldest city in this country, and is one of those places in the United States that keeps this style of vacation stay so rich in tradition, the popular “Inn” as they are also called. It is here, with all the great atmosphere described in the paragraph above , that you will find the distinguished “Collection of the Inns of Elegance, “ five elegantly appointed vacation accommodations, each memorable in its own style. You can view these Inns on the Internet before you make your reservation at: www. InnsofElegance. com where they are all described in full detail. The names of these B & B are : the St. Francis Inn, offering beautiful rooms and culinary delights throughout the day, the Bayfront Marin, with spacious accommodation and ample front porches with a garden gazebo, the Casablanca Inn with its famous Tini Martini Bar, responsible for its delicious libation, the Purple Martini and… let’s not forget the charm of their Secret Garden area for weddings, the Bayfront Westcott House, offering hospitality and elegant suites with comfortable balconies overlooking the bay, and finally the Inn on Charlotte, with its well-deserved reputation for gourmet breakfasts, attention to detail, and impeccable decor in every single room. Each of the Inns offer several suites and rooms, usually under 15 in number; guests share the common areas like the dining room, living room, garden and porch. The ambiance created here, transports you to
another period in time. If you are spending only one weekend or a complete week; I am sure you will not want to depart, once you have arrived at these unique locations. Most of these “Bed and Breakfast” are of an architecture stemming from the period of the 1400’s, and have been transformed and restored for use in the present, following a strict code of the city, in which they share a commitment to maintain the originality and integrity of the history that sets them apart. All these magnificent residences have their own essence, each “Innkeeper” gives their “Inn” a very personal touch; for example, in one of the Inns, you will encounter lavender-scented sheets, believe me when I tell you that you will fall asleep flat face on your pillow, and definitely dream with the sweetest of angels. The lemonade and fresh baked cookies will always await you upon your return from long walks through the ancient city, which can be explored on foot, or on the new “Old Town White Wedding Trolley. You can visit museums, art galleries, incredible restaurants that will amaze you, such as the small but incomparable Bistro de Leon with award winning Chef Stephane Poinard, who is always creating exciting new French dishes for you to “savour” every time. After dinner, late in the evening… do not be surprised if you hear ghost tales, war stories and pirates murmur softly in your ears, as you walk the cobbled alleys and hear the bells of churches softly toll. Indeed, this “City of Romance” is a very special destination wedding spot, where you can hold intimate and romantic ceremonies and receptions within the beautiful walls and gardens of some of these homes, and in their cozy public parks like the famous Fountain of Youth. This city warmly opens its doors to lovers of all ages, inviting you to celebrate all your special occasions, and reminding you to send your guests home after the bridal event and enjoy an unforgettable honeymoon experience. Already married no problem; just celebrate another wedding anniversary! But, remember one thing, when spending time together in St. Augustine, you will regain what once made you sigh with joy in life all over again!