Life With A Realtor® Part 2

As you know I live here in St. Augustine, Florida with my Realtor® and we couldn’t have picked a better place to call home. St. Augustine is the oldest continued occupied European settlement in the United States. Yes that’s right it’s the oldest city in America and there’s always something going on downtown. Right now we’re celebrating the 2013 Romanza Festival till May 19th. There are concerts in the plaza and on the beach, jazz and art festivals all free of charge. Of course I get a lot of attention when we hang out in the plaza, mostly from little children who want to pet the cute little dog with the wagging tail. I must admit I am a hit and the best conversation piece my Realtor® ever had. 

Walking around downtown is always exciting; people from all over the world come here to enjoy our city. The cannons at the Castillo de San Marco are shot often by re-enactors, and the first time I heard that loud noise I’ll admit I was a little frightened but I’m used to it now. Music plays from various eateries filling the air with delight when we walk around. Of course I’m always fashionable in my matching harness and leash ever aware of just how cute I look. 

One of my favorite places to visit is the Tini Martini Bar located right on the bay front. We always get a bistro table for two by the sidewalk so we can people watch and the people can watch us. I sit up in my chair alert and always ready to wag my tail for a kind word or a pat on the head. I’m always welcome at the Tini Martini Bar, in fact there are many places in town where I’m welcome and my Realtor® and I patronize these places frequently, maybe later when I have more time I’ll tell you about a few more of my favorite places. lizmartini


It’s beautiful here during the day looking out upon the waterfront seeing the boats, the horse and buggies in the street and all the happy people waving from the sightseeing trains and trollies. In the evening the atmosphere here is positively dreamy with the lights of the tike torches. There’s nothing better than a beautiful day or evening sipping a martini, listening to live music and meeting new friends at the Tini Martini Bar here in my home town of St. Augustine, Florida. Say hello to me when you walk by or sit across from us, you can easily recognize me since I’ll be the cutest one there! See you down town.

 Elizabeth pawprintxsm

Moving Day Tips #2

In my last blog I gave you some tips on moving and packing, today I would like to explain about having your larger items professionally moved.

Beds: The mover will disassemble your beds and reassemble them in your new home.

China Cabinets and Entertainment Centers: Empty the cabinet but leave the glass shelves in place, the mover will dissemble the unit and then reassemble it in your new home.

Large Hanging Mirrors: Leave them hanging on the wall, the movers will take it down and move it but they will not rehang it in your new home unless the proper hanging hardware is already in place.

Swing Set: You should have your set dissembled before the movers arrive. Older sets will have rusty screws that may break and your re-assembly on the other end may need new hardware. Your mover will usually not put together anything that they did not take apart.

Washing Machine: The moving company will disconnect your washing machine hoses but now is also a good time to replace those old worn hoses. Before the move purchase new hoses and put them inside the washing machine tub, tape a note on the washer to the driver: “Driver, please use the new hoses when reconnecting the washer in my new home, you will find them inside the tub. Thank You”

Dryer: if you have a gas dryer to move you will have to call your gas company ahead of time and have the gas shut off and removed, your mover cannot do this because of insurance liability issues.

Gas Grills: the moving company can move your grill but because of insurance liability issues they cannot take the propane tank, you will have to move the tank yourself.

Refrigerator and Freezers: Empty and unplug your refrigerator preferable the day before the move, but most definitely the morning of the move, if you have food to keep cold use coolers and blue ice.

House Plants: These are tricky since they will vary in size and container weight; ask your mover what his policy is towards the plants in your home during your estimate. Some movers will not move plants because they are easily broken or damaged.

Pool Tables: Ask you mover what their policy is on moving pool tables, most companies will not move or insure the table because the slate and rails are easily broken. You may want to call a pool table mechanic, and yet they are out there!

Good luck in your new home and feel free to contact me with any of your moving or real estate related questions.

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A Day Trip Tubing Down the Ichetucknee River


St Augustine, Florida is a wonderful place full of interesting things to do, lounge on our beautiful beaches, enjoy a day of boating, fishing or jet skiing. The old city is chock full of historical sites, music, art, shopping and nightlife.  But, if you’re in the mood to take a drive through the Florida countryside to enjoy a family fun day tubing down a natural spring river, then Ichetucknee Springs State Park is the perfect get away.

 That’s exactly what I did with a few friends and we had a great time. Ichetucknee Spring is one of the few places left where you can enjoy the specular beauty of Florida’s unspoiled natural landscape. We set up our GPS so we could travel the scenic roads to the park, the countryside was beautiful, we passed farms, cow pastures, wide open spaces and drove along winding country roads. We spied deer on the side of the road and a fox standing in a freshly plowed field.

We left early in the morning and the easy carefree drive took just about an hour and a half. Right before you reach the park you’ll see the first tube vendor, we opted for the second vendor, the Ichetucknee Tube Center since they were the only ones who answered the phone when we called ahead for tubing information. Linda the owner who’s been in business over 41 years was pleasant and accommodating. We rented three big tubes for $6.00 a piece and Linda’s grandson tied them on our car. The Park was a short ride down the street where we were charged $5.00 a person to enter, if you’re just going to enjoy the park for a day without tubing on the river the entrance cost would be $6.00 per car. You can’t bring food or drink on the river but there are concession stands before and after the river ride.

Once we entered the park we unloaded the tubes and the driver had to continue a short distance to the parking area, she came back a short time later on the free shuttle. Once the driver came back we walked a few hundred feet and put our tubes in the crisp clean cold water. There weren’t many people there on this particular Sunday morning since it was early, just before 9, some people had tubes like us, and others had rafts or kayaks. As we continued down our adventure the river became swifter, I liked that better because the tube stayed more in the middle of the river. It’s hard to control a tube and at first mine kept going over to the side and I was afraid of what would come out of the high grass! We saw lots of mullet jumping out of the water, turtles resting on fallen logs and birds in the trees. We were hoping to see a manatee or two but weren’t lucky enough on that that sunny day. The gigantic cypress trees were a magnificent sight to see with their protruding knees all along the river bank, and the Spanish moss hanging down was truly a delight.

After about an hour and a half is the mid-point where you could disembark, but we elected to continue on for the entire 3 plus hour ride. Once done we were thirsty, hungry and exhilarated, we left the tubes at the river’s edge for the tube vendor pick-up and headed to the concession stand. We ordered cheeseburgers all the way, large fries and a large drink for $11.00 apiece. I must say that was a darn good lunch, and one of the best cheeseburgers found anywhere, fresh, homemade and delicious, our adventure ended with a free shuttle ride back to the car.

The very best of Florida is here in and around St. Augustine. Enjoy yourself and live everyday like it was your last.

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Restaurants On The Water

I would like to do a some restaurant reviews, the more I think about this subject the more overwhelmed I get since this is a Restaurant town. St. Augustine has eateries to satisfy any taste or budget. I suppose this topic of mine might have to be continued over several blogs and today I would like to start with a few Restaurants “On The Water” that I personally enjoy. If I leave out one of your favorite places I may cover it in another blog, but in the meantime please leave me a comment and tell me all about your favorite on the water place and tell me why I should go there.

These three places are located on or just off A1A north in St. Augustine, Florida.

Let’s start with The Reef,, this is the place for ocean front dining. Not only do I go there myself but I really like taking out of town guests here because of the great food and wonderful ocean views. Inside is tastefully decorated with linen table cloths and wrap around windows for an unobstructed view of the sand and sea! Here you can enjoy lunch for around $15 and dinner can average about $50 per person if you include appetizer and a cocktail. Like most places around town summer casual is accepted but dressing up fits nicely for the weekend evenings. I suggest making reservations for this is a popular place. You can’t go wrong starting with the saffron mussels or fried green tomatoes, two of my favorite appetizers. Daily specials are always available, I had swordfish the last time I was there and it was very good, I was pleased. I have been going to The Reef for many years and have never been disappointed. Here you’ll find a full bar with a nice wine list and a formal attentive staff.

Caps on the Water,, is a local favorite, and someone told the tourists about this place because it’s always busy. Located on the intercostal water way this is what you expect a restaurant in Florida to look like. A great place for couples and families complete with a beach for your children to play on while you enjoy the meal. Appetizers run around $10 and dinner averages $22, there is a full bar inside and one outside on the deck with water views and a big selection of oysters. The last time I was there I saw plenty of boats and even dolphins playing in the water. You can get here by boat or by car and the views are fantastic, this place is really a piece of old Florida and your out of town guests will love it. I like to start with the fried Alligator Tail or the Oysters Rockefeller, and sometimes I have both and just make that my meal. The seafood dinners are always good from fish, shrimp and crab legs, getting hungry: I know I am.  My sister ordered a steak and it was cooked to her liking and whenever she visits me she wants to go back to Caps. It opens at 4:30 during the week, get there early so you don’t have to wait for a table. On the weekend, that includes Friday, the doors open at 11:30. This place gets pretty busy as the day goes on, so be patient order a drink and take a walk out on the pier I promise it’s worth the wait. They have inside and outside dining but I always sit outside, after all, that’s why I go there. It’s a fun relaxed place and the staff are attentive and seem truly happy all the time.

Aunt Kate’s,, this is smaller than Caps but also on the water and very casual. The average price of lunch or dinner is about $13; they serve seafood, steak, burgers, pasta and salads. I like the Coconut Shrimp and the fish tacos, if you’ve never had fish tacos you should give them a try, order the fish anyway you like, grilled, blackened or fried. I go for the blackened myself. When you sit down they will give you a nice cake like bread basket full of surprises, and I’m sure you’ll be asking for more. The food is always fresh, the staff friendly and always happy to make suggestions. They have seating inside and outside on the deck.

Well if you’re out and about looking for a place to eat while enjoying the St Augustine sunshine you can’t go wrong with any of these places. I’ll blog about more On the Water restaurants in the near future.

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