Our 2017 Trip

I truly can say that I totally enjoyed our time in Poland this year. Our first few days were spent in Wroclaw with my husband’s Aunt Czeslwawa, where his dad had already taken the bus there. We went to Wroclaw’s town center to do the tourist thing, his cousin Tomaz and wife, Magdalena cooked for us at their home (I’m in love with their house and especially the size of their shower) and his other cousin (Tomaz’s brother) Arthur and wife took us out to dinner the next night. Arthur and Kiki were getting ready to go to Malta, so I’m glad we were able to see them before they left.

We then went to Rszesow. The train station is right in between where Ziggy’s dad lives and our hotel, Best Western Plus Ferdynand Hotel, so we left our rental there for most of the time to save on parking. From now on, that will be our hotel when we visit.

Ziggy wanted to go to Morskie Oko, which is in the Tatra Mountains. It was a three-hour drive to get there, but worth it. Once we arrived, it turned out to be a 12.4 hike one way. The lake with the mountains in the background was beautiful. We took the horse and cart back instead of walking. Even though we were exhausted, I noticed we were a few feet from the Slovakia border. As a result, we crossed over to get my son a bottle of Absinthe.

It was then time to go to Starachowice, where Uncle Adam (who came by bus while we were in Morskie Oko) lives. His wife, Janina, was really intent on fattening me up. When she found out that my favorite food was fries, she cooked some up for me. When I say cook, I mean that I ate so many fries, I didn’t want to see any potato product whatsoever.

Ziggy has another Aunt (Jadwiga) who also lives in Starachowice. I really wished we could have stayed longer with her. She is 83 years young. Such a wonderful woman.

Even with everything, including not understanding 75% of what was being said, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am amped to go again. Now. My husband is gamed to start planning for next year. I’m on it. Of course, we need to wrangle the time off. Fingers crossed.


Free Activities to Do In St Augustine, Florida

Of course living in St Johns County, I know that there are local attractions that St. Johns County residents are always admitted FREE of charge with a valid ID. Never fear though! Even if you don’t live here, you will find free admission to many of other sights that you can enjoy when you visit St Augustine.

Music by the Sea is Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the pavilion at the St. Augustine Beach Pier; which features a wide variety of music including jazz, blues, classic rock, pop, reggae, disco and country. More information at:

Concerts in the Plaza takes place Thursdays at 7 p.m.  in the gazebo of the Plaza de la Constitucion in downtown St. Augustine. More information at:

Free Summer Movies are abounding! Every Wednesday June to August at Movies by the Bay in downtown St. Augustine More information at: My wonderful husband works at Ripley’s so I’m happy for the perks.

The Art Galleries of St. Augustine located in St Augustine, is an association of the many diverse and eclectic art galleries. Every month, Art Galleries of St. Augustine brings the art community together for the First Friday Art Walk. During this time, gallery owners open their doors and invite you in to meet the artists, view their work, enjoy a little food, drink, and conversation. The walk winds around the historic downtown area, highlighting the Art Galleries of St. Augustine Member Galleries. More information at:

Fort Matanzas National Monument guarded St. Augustine’s southern river approach. The story of Fort Matanzas has been closely interwoven with that of the city of St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos. Built as an outpost fort in 1740-1742, it was to defend the Matanzas Inlet and to alert St. Augustine of British or other enemies coming up from the south. Fort Matanzas is now a reminder of the early Spanish empire in the New World. 

All areas of the park are free of charge including the ferry to the fort. However, you must stop in the Fort Matanzas Visitor Center (not the St. Augustine city Visitor Center) to get your free boarding pass for the ferry. Family members of all ages must have a pass to board the ferry.

On August 21, 2017, the United States will see a rare occurrence – a total solar eclipse. While we are just outside the “path of totality,” St. Augustine residents and visitors will be able to see about 90% of sun being covered by the moon’s shadow. Rangers and volunteers at Fort Matanzas National Monument have several activities planned to commemorate this exciting astronomical event. We will be there! More information at:

St. Augustine Distillery tours are first-come, first-serve at the distillery and tours are every 30 minutes. Housed in a renovated ice manufacturing plant from the 1900’s,you will observe as they mix, mash, cook and distill small batch vodka, rum, gin and whiskey and then taste their small batch spirits for yourself in their tasting room. Despite the fact that their tours are geared towards adults, children are definitely welcome. They just won’t be able to taste the dis spirits up until they turn 21. More information at:

San Sebastian Winery is just a few blocks from downtown historic St. Augustine. Its Wine Shop presents an array of distinctive wine accessories and gift items. Children are welcome, yet tasting wine is offered to adults of 21 years and over with a valid I.D. More information at:

The Beaches are my favorite. Admission is free to all St. Augustine and St. Johns County beaches. You will find free parking and a short walk to the beach. There is a fee to drive and park on some beaches. Our favorite is Vilano Beach. We always see a friendly group of porpoises that hang around the inlet side. More information at:

If you haven’t enjoyed St. Augustine yet, you don’t know what you are missing!