Wednesday, July 5, 2017

St Augustine Adventures: Day 1 (GA BBQ, Ocean Gallery, and Creekside Dinery)

The Hartley's are back from another adventure. We packed it full of laughter, memories, ocean waves, and friend/family time. We have had SO many requests from friends and family on how we travel so much, on a budget and what we do.... so here it is! I'll share a day at a time of what our travels are like in Hartley world!

First off, St. Augustine has become "our place." Our place that we go to to regroup and to just sink our toes in the sand. We have truly fallen in love with it. I can't picture a more perfect spot.

Let the St. Augustine adventures begin.

We took off from our house at about 5:30am. We had planned on 5, but well... life happens. We had to make 3 stops in the first 5 hours. Word to the wise, no protein shakes and coffee when you travel. I was the reason for the pee breaks!

We made it to our first stop, St. Simons Island, GA. This area has a special place in my heart without ever setting foot there. My grandma used to go there every year on vacation and she had always raved about it. I was so excited to finally see what she saw, even if it was only for a couple hours. For lunch, we chose Southern Soul Barbecue. I had heard about it on Food Network and it was one of the highest rated restaurants in that area on Yelp. We also knew that we would be eating seafood all week, so we decided to try something different. It definitely didn't disappoint. It was voted "Best BBQ In the South!"

As we were arriving we passed it the first time. It's in an unassuming spot that used to be gas station, but once you drive up and see the line out the door and the people sitting outsize, it's hard to miss.

Needless to say, it's been on a lot of shows, and we understood why. The lines were long so we ended up getting our food to go. We tried to go eat at that beach, but since it was nearing 100 degrees, we decided to pull into the parking lot of our next stop and picnic. 

The brisket was my absolute favorite. Incredible smoke ring, just the right amount of fat and oh... that Sweet Georgia Soul Barbecue Sauce people rave about? It's legit. I could have drank the stuff and literally was licking the drippings off my arm. Buy it. Drink it. Savor it.

We ended up getting a pork and brisket and splitting it. The pork was definitely delish, but anyone that knows me know I'm a brisket girl!

The mac n cheese was good, but the brisket definitely outshined it by far.

Slathered with the Sweet Georgia Sauce,,, mmmmm good. 

Our next stop was the St. Simons Seafood. Prior to leaving, it crossed my mind that nothing was going to be open on Sunday for seafood (and Lord knows... when we go to the beach, we eat seafood EVERY SINGLE NIGHT) so we decided to stop here and put it in our cooler. The owner BJ was so sweet to us and Landree and helped us make a great decision on some ultra fresh Georgia shrimp that I forgot to take a picture of. They were HUGE!!! So glad we stopped there.

On the road again we go... the last two hours of our trip down 95 to St. Augustine were a breeze. Landree fell asleep and it was a peaceful trip.  When we pulled in, Erick told me to take her to the beach and let her roam for a little bit while he unpacked. How could I pass that up? 
 I walked over the dunes and there it was. The beautiful powdery sand in all it's glory. I sighed and took in the salty air. 

I captured Landree staring at the ocean and simply saying... thank you Jesus!

We made it back up to the room and of course, I cracked one of these bad boys.  Vacation had finally begun. 

We have an amazing unit at The Ocean Gallery. The owner is absolutely fabulous and does everything she can to make it an amazing experience. Her condo is simple and cozy. We are actually going back again next year. Here are a couple shots from our condo... 

 You can tell that I snapped after Erick started bringing stuff in!!!

We went for a quick dip in the pool and knew we had to wrap it up to go to dinner. We ended up at an amazing spot called Creekside Dinery. I found it on Yelp and it was known to be a place where the locals go. We made a great pick! Our server was absolutely incredible and I'm pretty sure Landree was flirting...

It has the most laid back, wonderful atmosphere. They even do call ahead.

Over the edge of the patio are these little friends. They are so crazy and stand up waiting for food. Landree said the baby was her friend. 

We did find out they don't care for garlic bread or lemons...

The most beautiful, peaceful view. 

So, I completely forgot to get a picture of Erick's dinner. Landree was getting a little busy. She split food with Erick and I. These were incredible rock shrimp, potatoes and beans. Erick had a seafood platter (all grilled) of crabcake, mahi, shrimp, and something I just can't remember. Even the beans were delish!

We ended the night out on the patio. It had just rained and the band was playing again. Landree met a new friend (the lady in the black) and she had a great time listened to the music. Overall, a successful dinner!

Day 2 coming soon!

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