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Monday, December 8, 2014

Lighten Up...It's Nights of Lights in St. Augustine!

On Avenida Menendez looking towards the Plaza

Twinkle, Twinkle!  There has been a lot written about St. Augustine's Nights Of Lights, from local press to National Geographic.  I attended the "Light Up Night" in the Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 22, and I ooh'd and aah'd with everyone else. Beautiful Christmas Tree, along with thousands (three million, I've heard) of white lights throughout the trees and shrubs. The local businesses are also all decked out and sparkle.  Truly a spectacle. Of course, I love Holiday lights, and my house is a little megawatt in its own right (wish I had a bucket truck).  Yeah, I wandered around downtown St. Augustine again last Friday night and took some photos -- in between hitting some of the pub establishments and merry-making with the passengers riding by on the Holiday Trolleys.

At the plaza.  And, those
presents aren't going anywhere.
If you haven't witnessed the bright twinkling splendor yet, get yourself to downtown St. Augustine and walk around and take it all in,and do it more than once.  You'll be glad you did!

Walk around the lights, but make sure to take a few breaks (you need hydration) at some of the local places for a cold craft beer.  Not an exhaustive list here (and I don't mean to leave anyone out, and I'm happy to supplement), but check out some of these guys:  J.P. Henley's, just around the corner from the Plaza (70 taps - yeah - 70!, plus bottles and pub menu; seems I'm here every so often, go figure).  A1A Ale Works, just across from the Plaza (beer brewed on site; bar, table and balcony seating; full menu). Barley Republic Public House and Irish Pub, a few streets over on Spanish Street (70 beers, give or take a few, including 10 on draft; hey, some really good burgers and fish and chips, too). Take a walk over to Cordova Street, and head to Mojo Old City BBQ (but ya better be hungry; nice craft beer tap list, too, with Florida brews).  And, of course, also on that end of downtown, on Orange St. close to the parking garage (you probably have to go there anyway), is Ann O'Malley's Deli & Pub ("St. Augustine's Oldest Irish Pub," where you can always find some friendly types, sandwiches (including beef-on-weck), music, lots of soccer, Buffalo Bills games [yup, you read that right], and beer specials including craft beer features on draft and bottle). And, make sure you stop by Tini Martini Bar at Casablanca Inn, right there on the Bayfront, for a dazzling light display and drinks on the heated outside patio (it's always one of the focal points; just look at those stunning lights!  Say "photo op").

Tini Martini Bar at Casablanca Inn Dazzles
And, one of my favorite things is getting a little jolly with the passengers on the Holiday Trolleys.  They really are a spirited bunch (or maybe they've had a bunch of spirits by then).  Just put on your Santa hat and chime in!

And, take the short walk down Avenida Menendez across from the Marina, to check out the display at Bayfront Marin House ....


...and Westcott House.


So, lighten up, everyone, and enjoy the Holiday Season in downtown St. Augustine!  See you downtown .... and ..... in the pubs!

Ponce has to like what he sees...

I think he likes it, too!

So does he....
Til the next time!  And, if you see a pedestrian in a Santa hat gettin' jingly with the Trolley riders as they pass by..... Say Merry Christmas!