Archive for ‘Americas’

August 23, 2019

Soccer/Football/Balompie!!!

Ok so let me go into something more personal , that is my playing career in soccer/football/balompie covering my time in New Jersey and Florida. I skip my time in Madrid as been a poor boy have no photos or news clips from that time while learning the sport in the Real Madrid organisation.

pluvigner

Hala Madrid!!!!

I am sure this will bring some memories to those that play or played the game, as to me it is just a way to keep my history in my blog for future generations. Hope you enjoy as much as I to write about it now.

I have posted in my blog my earlier history but let me shorten here for the sport’s sake. I came from Madrid Spain to Perth Amboy New Jersey USA in May 1972. I then, became an American ,learned English, got my driving license and graduated from high school.

While at Perth Amboy High School, i hook up with the latin american community there as well as the Portuguese. I played varsity soccer for Perth Amboy with ranking as high as No 1 in Middlesex County as per the News Tribune newspaper of New Brunswick, and No 6 in New Jersey as per the newspaper Star-Ledger of Newark. My position was central or libero defender at the varsity level, having been put there by the coach after playing mid midfielder in the Junior Varsity team for one year.

Perth Amboy

That was our Perth Amboy high school stadium main entrance

Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy

The Perth Amboy soccer program has been on a downhill ever since and today they lose more than win. The current team is feature here: Perth Amboy Public Schools on the soccer team

Perth Amboy

Yearbook picture soccer Varsity team I am in there ::)

I did read up that the amateur team of Perth Amboy Portuguese club of which I played way back has re started the team as mention in the local Portuguese American newspaper El Lusoamericano. More in Portuguese here: Perth Amboy Portuguese soccer

I , then, went on to college/university in Daytona Beach, Florida with ERAU=Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (founder in 1934 of American Airlines and in WWII train American and British pilots becoming a leading aviation university in the world). My dream at those tender ages was to go into aviation and from a friend heard about ERAU= Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. One application form and I was accepted right away ,this was back in Augusut 1977 ::)

While hanging around a field that look like a soccer field, kicking my soccer ball around, a grey older men approached me and ask me if I had previous experience playing soccer/football. I told him learned with a team call Real Madrid in Spain lower kids divisions (alevin) , played with ethnic leagues in New Jersey semipro and with the high school, so he immediately sign me up for the team, he was the purchasing manager, named John C Butler, from Leicester ,England and a former player of that city’s team. From then on we had an interesting relationship, one of which ,was getting together at the end of each year to schedule my classes for the next year so my free time was available for the soccer team.

Daytona beach

The school soccer/football team was composed of many international students like England, Holland, Trinidad and Tobago,Iran,Portugal, Venezuela, Spain,etc all playing for the love of the game, no scholarships. We played NCAA div 1 and 2 teams on an open schedule, by the end its was club level as the school ERAU refuse to sponsor a team for lack or simply not wanting to offer funds. We organise the games ourselves with the other schools.  The soccer/football continues at the club level in 1981  playing by mutual agreement with other Universities in FLorida under our new coach who had played for the Seattle Sounders of the old NASL and was from Liberia, but unfortunately forgot his name; this was our last year as a school team.

I participated in the NCAA Div 2 soccer program already in 1978-1980 playing against much bigger schools like FIU, Univ of Florida, Univ Central Florida, South Florida ;Univ of Tampa, etc with good results, winning records. However, the school decided to leave sports in 1981 and even with petitions by students the decision remained until starting again in 1988. The unfortunate thingy here is that those who participated before are not been recognized in school records!!!

Playing with the Daytona Beach Eagles team in the amateur league in Central Florida as well. I became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed  (unisex men and women) indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986. I had girls playing for the University of Central Florida which in those years went to be rank no 10 in the NCAA division 1.

Daytona Beach

The current soccer program at ERAU has excellent modern facilities and great support.  The intercollegiate soccer stadium, located behind the ICI Center, is a meticulously maintained soccer facility that has hosted nationally televised playing events. The official webpage is here: ERAU Eagles on soccer

Hope it brings back memories to some, it does enormously for me and now feel good about leaving the legacy here in my blog for my sons and onwards. The football season has started in Europe and I will be soon in Madrid to get first hand news of my Real Madrid!

Remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

August 22, 2019

Going south to Chetumal in Mexico!

Let me bring you across the ocean to a place very familiar to me not only for the many trips over the years there, and good friends ,but with locals coming into my family hailing from DF and Merida to boot.

I have gone down Mexico way to the beautiful Quintana Roo State and the wonderful city of Chetumal near the border with Belize.  Let me tell you a bit on Chetumal ok. Chetumal is the state capital of Quintana Roo and is located at the extreme south of the Yucatán Peninsula, this city is bathed by the Caribbean Sea at Chetumal Bay.

A bit of history i like

In the pre-Columbian period, it was the port of an ancient Mayan state that stretched north of Belize. The revolt of the Maya peoples against Mexican rule, known as the Yucatan Caste War in the 1840s, drove all Hispanic people from that region; many settled in the city of Corozal, today Belize. The modern city was founded in 1898 under the name of Payo Obispo. The city was populated by settlers from Belize ,including refugees from the Caste War and English nationals.

The city is on the border with Belize. Every weekend, residents of neighboring Belize come massively to the Chetumal markets, because in Belize life is much more expensive than in Mexico so they tell me. Chetumal is especially the point of arrival of many buses or planes coming from other regions. It is also from Chetumal that one can go to northern Guatemala and Belize.

chetumal

Some things to see here are

Cultural Center of the Fine Arts (Centro Cultural de las Bellas Artes), located in the center of the city. The building is housed in what was the school Belisario Domínguez, which was the first school of Quintana Roo.

Museum of the Mayan Culture (Museo de la Cultura Maya), considered the largest and most comprehensive museum in the state dedicated to the Mayan culture. It has an important collection of authentic and reproductions of classical works, and tells the development of Mayan culture, its origins, as well as various aspects of their daily life. The museum is very well designed to understand the traditions, beliefs and way of life of the Mayans. More from the Cultural ministry here: Mexico Culture Ministry on the Museum

chetumal

Museum of the City. Tied to the Cultural Center of the Fine Arts, dedicated to the exhibition of photographs, tools and documents that tell the story of the founding of the city.

There are various monuments around the city such as the monument to Renacimiento or rebirth of the city (after the hurricanes) , and the lighthouse monument by the beachside.

chetumal

chetumal

While at it we ate and enjoy it at the great shopping mall ,Centro Comercial Las Americas,located at the area of El Encanto on Avenida Constituyentes and avenida Maxuxac with 48 stores including a big hypermarket Chedraui, Liverpool dept store ,and outside a McDonalds , Burger King, Applebee”s, and Inside a great VIPS Insurgentes Km. 5-025  which we use for our lunch. Go bottom Restaurantes to find them hit Quintana Roo here:   VIPS Quintana Roo Chetumal

The Centro Comercial Las Americas shopping center more info here: Facebook page of Plaza Las Americas Chetumal

chetumal

chetumal

Oh yes important how I got here lol! I took a flight on Interjet Airlines ( a nice low cost in Mexico) from Mexico city to Chetumal airport, about 2 km from the city and a small country strip with two flights per day. Here we rented a car and drove around to  Chetumal. More info here: Chetumal Airport

chetumal

And I stayed here! City Express a nice down to earth chain of hotels already in various countries in Latin America. Once the night arrive we stayed  at the City Express hotel in Chutemal city center or downtown. Nice clean rooms ,AC ,breakfast resto, lobby with TV, and free parking, view of the city.  More info here: City Express Quintana Roo Chetumal

Some webpages to help you plan further your trip here are

Grand Mayan coast Mexican Caribbean on Chetumal

Zona Turistica site on sights to see in Chetumal

Mayan Beach Garden site on things to see in Chetumal

Belize ‘s take on Chetumal

There you go a wonderful paradise still not so much touch by the hordes of tourists and extreme sublime beauty all around. Hope you enjoy the post on Chetumal, me looking forward to a repeat!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

July 29, 2019

The Bretons of America from Gourin!

Ok this as said in previous post is only one hour from my house but this is our first time in town! So much to see in our beautiful Morbihan, lovely Brittany and belle France! We are working on it! This was something that I have heard about a fund raising to repair and build new a statue of Liberty to honor the Bretons from this time who had emigrated to North America. Well we finally came!

It was fantastic and recommended to all especially North Americans , that is USA and Canada. The history is interwined with those of these countries and Brittany, and I just even learned more of this fascinating friendship that has its roots and the immigration between these countries. Gourin is it!!

gourin

All is base at the Château de Tronjoly that I have mentioned in my previous post. From city center next to the mayor’s office take the D1E road and right at the cemetery turn right into the chemin du roz to end. Here you arrive at another world.

gourin

Here you will see the history of immigration between Gourin, Morbihan, Brittany and Canada and especially the USA! All richly shown and arrange really beautiful a must to visit and we will be back!

gourin

There is a special show going on now. Ces Bretons d’Amérique or those Bretons of America.

Château Tronjoly will also open its doors to painters Lena Le Caignec, Alix Naudot-Guillerm and Bryan Mitchell Theriot; photographers Frédéric Bourrigaud and Jean-Marc Arthot; the engraver Aurélien Besson; to the sculptor Christian Georget.

gourin

The exhibitions will be punctuated by lectures on Aboriginal art and a musical painting on the evening, August 11, 2019 during which the artist Alix Naudot-Guillerm will paint, accompanied by the music of the duo Fragance of love. As every year, the Brittany TransAmerica association will open the exhibition Ces Bretons d’Amérique .More info here: https://bretagnetransamerica.com/

gourin

You will be able to see and read about lointime stories seldom heard nowdays such as one not yet known to me! On  February 14 1778 the cruiser Ranger led by Commodore John Paul Jones arrived in the Bay of Quiberon , it showcase the pride of the USA . The French squadron of admiral de la Motte Picquet (like a street in Paris…) born at Rennes (Ile et Vilaine dept 35) is at wharf in the protected harbor. All of a sudden all the guns from the French ship started firing its canons giving surprises to all those around the bay. This was the first salutation of a foreign country (France) to the birth from the 13 colonies to a new Nation (USA) .Yes very nice anecdote from the Castle of Tronjoly!

gourin

And known to me but seldom shown for obvious reasons here but love to see it here,such as our  Armand Tuffin , marquis de la Rouërie better know as Coronel Armand one of the most oustanding volunteers Bretons that fought in the American Independence war. Born at Fougéres, (Ile et Vilaine dept 35 now) ; he sailed from Nantes (loire-atlantique dept 44 now) when help and support was asked by Benjamin Franklin . His boat is sunk by three English naval vessels and he reaches American land swimming!   A few days later he was given a meeting with General George T Washington , head of the American army. Washington is impressed by this young Breton who spoked fluent English and gives him the rank of Coronel in charge of raising a force of adventurers, cavalry and food soldiers that became the legion of Armand or the 3rd Cavarly regiment ! He is considered as the founder of the US cavalry!   What the expo at the Castle of Tronjoly cannot tell you as politically incorrect is that he came back to France in 1791 created the Association Bretonne a group seeking independence from France (the base of the Chouans)  into the old duchy of Bretagne and conspired to toppled Napoléon Ier. He was caught found guilty and beheaded without trial, his body still has not been found. There is a statue of him in Fougéres at the Place des 12 Fusillées. Until now at Gourin!!!

gourin

yeah!!! my Sunshine State!

This is the castle of Tronjoly from the city of Gourin: City of Gourin on the castle

Local tourist office of pays du roi morvan on the castle

More on the current activities of the Castle of Tronjoly.  A lodging or Gîte d’Etapes   on the road of Santiago de Compostela, and rural lodgings ;arranged in an old farm of the castle are also available. More info here: http://www.gourin.fr/node/134

Activities hall at Tronjoly , more info here: http://www.gourin.fr/node/160

In all a wonderful property, very friendly folks and of course English spoken! Beautifully decorated and display for the enjoyment of all. Do dare to come to the west you will be surprise of the bounties of my belle France! Truly enjoy the château de Tronjoly at Gourin , and its expositions.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

July 28, 2019

Gourin and America!!!

So in my road warrior trip I have come into many towns all over the world and especially my belle France. Some have been passing by chance others well known in advance but this one well;;; it is so close yet was so far. Only an hour from my house but this is my first time there! And there, because I have heard the story of the important link between Gourin and the immigration to the USA and Canada.  I like to tell you a bit of this story and many others in subsequents posts in my blog on Gourin an amazing little town. The amazing thing as well was that while walking the city center got to see one of my collegues from work near Vannes, he had moved nearby but a native of  Gourin and was visiting relatives!  So I got good tips lol!!!

Gourin is a town in the department 56 of Morbihan, in the region of Bretagne (Brittany), it belongs to Cornouaille (Cornwall) Morbihannaise. It has the particularity of being 83 km from Vannes, its departamental capital city , and only 40 km from Quimper, the departamental capital of the Finistere, dept 29 . Gourin is also located 15 km from Carhaix-Plouguer, 47 km from Lorient, 71 km from Brest, 74 km from   Saint-Brieuc and 143 km from Rennes. As well as been 71 km from my house! The routes we take are the D102 into the D769 (Lorient-Roscoff road) and the Quimper-Rostrenen-Saint-Brieuc road D1 which takes us right into city center Gourin.

gourin

A bit of history I like

In the 11-12C; Gourin was the seat of a viscount that extended over the parishes of Gourin, Guiscriff, Langonnet, Le Faouet and Leuhan and the Trier of Roudouallec, Le Saint, Lanvénégen and La Trinité. Among the viscounts of Gourin are the names of Cadoret who rose up in 1075 against Duke Hoel et Tanguy I who participated in the First Crusade with his Duke Alain Fergent. The Viscount was attached to the ducal domain from 1265. Gourin then became the seat of a ducal bar which after the act of union of Brittany to France in 1532 will become the seat of a royal seneschal until its removal during the French revolution.

The first lords of Tronjoly were the Kergoet, who lived in the old manor house from 1426 to 1660. The present castle was built in 1768, replacing the old manor. At the beginning of the French revolution, the lords of Tronjoly sheltered refractory priests and chouans (rebels against the revolution) . Under the supervision of the republican authorities, the L’Ollivier were forced in March 1793 to settle at Le Faouët and some members of the family emigrated; among them François Urbain L’Ollivier de Tronjoly, wounded during the landing of Quiberon (Breton immigrants from England coming back to fight the French revolution) on July 16, 1795, was tried and executed in Vannes on August 1, 1795 (as about 795 others) . More of the castle in a separate post and immigration exhibit as well.

An interesting part of the town of Gourin which is fascinating to me even if heard before , it is now the time I decided to visit the town only one hour from my house!!!

In the late 19C and early 20C, especially between 1902 and WWI, Gourin and its region experienced a strong emigration, mainly of young men, to North America, although it began in the 18C. There was a second wave of emigration from the cantons of Gourin and Roudouallec in the 1950s following the visit of the Canadian consul., several y oung Gourinois went to Canada between 1948 and 1953. Many of the Bretons currently living in the United States are from the Gourin region (it is estimated that the Montagne Noire region around Gourin has lost about 4,000 emigrants to the United States between 1945 and 1958). But emigration to this country began around 1885, not all emigrants are young men, but sometimes older people, small farmers, small traders or craftsmen, not having land able to feed them; At the end of the 19C and at the beginning of the 20C, a large group of emigrants from Montagne Noirs ( Black Mountains) settles in the resort area of Lenox, Massachusetts , with women becoming housekeepers, and men as gardeners. By 1928, there were approximately 3,000 inhabitants of Gourin in New York, 400 of whom were directly employed by Michelin (founded in 1901 in New York), the factory of Miltown, in New Jersey, and who recruited Bretons in a privileged manner. Between; only the years 1946 and 1955 emigrants, mainly young, leave the region of Gourin (13.4% of the population), a large part of it to the United States, the Bretons emigrants tend to regroup in colonies, a real “Breton district” being created for example in New York, on the border of Brooklyn and the Bronx, between 49th and 52nd Street; others went south to Louisiana and Florida or west to California. Three agencies of the “Compagnie Générale Transatlantique” also had their headquarters in Gourin and Roudouallec at the time to organize travel to the United States. The return to the country of some of these émigrés, nicknamed “Americans”, sometimes enriched, was a powerful vector of modernization of agriculture and housing as well as changing mentalities; but most remained settled permanently in North America. These emigrants were also sometimes nicknamed “ar lostou ru” (“red tails”) in local Breton, referring to the color of their license plates.

Proof enough of this exchange of the Bretons with America is the fact that they have a replica of the Statue of Liberty, in the central square, (place de la Victoire) testifying to the exodus of the population of Gourin to the American continent.  Air France donated in 1996 to thanks the travellers who went the route from their office in Roudouallec until 1985 ;the initial statue of Liberty! The new  Statue of Liberty of Gourin will be identical to that of the Luxembourg Garden in Paris (in partnership with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux) There is a fund raiser going on to do this .

gourin

gourin

There are other wonderful things to see here but I will tell you I separate posts in my blog soon.

gourin

As to been after lunch, we still got a bit hungry so we stop by at the local bakery pastry and salon de thé shop Le Clec’h at Rue Jacques Rodalle just before the steep street leading to the Statue of Liberty. Nice abricot pastries indeed to keep us at bay until back home! And a nice mayor’s office across too. And do not forget the usual wonderful Saturday morning market at Place Stenfort!

gourin

gourin

gourin

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you should lots of history here and America at Gourin.

City of Gourin and its heritage things to see

Local tourist office of pays du roi morvan on Gourin

And there you go now me and you have seen  Gourin! A nice find and certaintly been so close a return trip is in order. I had a good impression of the town, lively, clean , good ambiance and wonderful things to see. What can I say, my beautiful Morbihan dept 56!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2019

Restaurant: Perth Amboy, NJ!

So let met take you way back in time to a period of renew hopes and challenges facing a new family arriving from Madrid in English speaking New Jersey USA!  Adaptation period, language, customs and then enjoyment! All positive experiences that enrich my intetelect and keep fond memories of the place.

I like to go back way back in time and take you to a place rich in US history as still keeps a copy of Liberty Bell and the bust of Gen George T Washington as well as the oldest in activity city hall in the USA! Yes many more monuments I have spoken before in my blog. However, today let me bring back my souvenirs of this entry city into the United States for me and my parents. Of course, the food is mistakingly think that is bad but America is a world melting pot and we have the very best from everywhere, this is the case of my beloved Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey USA!

Let me tell you about my fav restaurants of my parents who took me there first and then me, of course so far back pictures are so much missed. Bear with me.

One old reliable that I even went after football./soccer matches was the Portuguese Manor,. This at the time was an almost daily routine; and keep coming back as late as 2007.  You will be in Portugal or Europe here ,great food. Lately the reviews have not been that great so check it out it is at 310 Elm St, halfway between Fayette st and Smith st, and walking distance from the train station direct to NYC.

Open since 1989, the Portuguese Manor  has a pleasantly old-fashioned atmosphere. The menu at this family-owned restaurant has changed little since it opened. Fortunately, the same goes for the budget-friendly prices. The menu offers a fine select of traditional Portuguese meat and seafood dishes, along with appetizers. Live bands and DJs are often featured on weekends. The webpage was not working lately so here is the Yelp reviews page.

Yelp reviews on the Portuguese Manor

The Armory is another jewel of historic significance as class reunions and graduation parties are held here, as well as a restaurant. We had held the 30th Class reunion in 2007 here but last minute cancellation took me elsewhere when I visit from France.

Official Armory restaurant

Located on Perth Amboy’s historic waterfront, at 200 Front St, the Seabra’s Armory specializes in Portuguese cuisine, as well as seafood and steaks. The restaurant is set in a renovated naval ammunition building dating back to WWI. Its elegant interior offers lovely views of Raritan Bay and Staten Island, NYC.

Yelp reviews on the Armory restaurant

Another old favorite is the The Barge, by the waterfront, just wonderful seafood while overlooking the Arthur Kill bay to New York City, its an institution in the city where my father took his business partners and us and eventually I came alone to meet his ours friends.  THE meeting point in the town.

Official The Barge restaurant

perth amboy

The Barge has been family-owned and operated since 1925. The restaurant overlooks the city’s historic waterfront, offering an intimate bar and dining area, as well as an upper floor dining room that can be rented for private parties. Live music performances often take place on the scenic outdoor patio during the warmer months. The restaurant offers a wide selection of meat and seafood entrées for dinner. There is also lighter fare such as sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Try one of the charcoal-grilled steaks or the broiled lobster, which is delivered fresh daily from Maine. The ultimate dining experience in Perth Amboy.

Yelp reviews on The Barge restaurant

One of our favorite things to do in Perth Amboy that has caught up with us wherever we are now, good and drinks is all part of a great visit anywhere. Hope you enjoy it and do come over when visiting the area, easy transport from New York City. 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 26, 2019

Restaurant: Florida USA!

So back to my newest regular posts on restaurants of memories past in my world trotter travels. This time will take you a cherish place of mine where I lived for 18 years, that is Florida USA! Hope you enjoy the memorable moments and can come and visit them one day. Thanks for reading.

Miami’s original Cuban kitchen , La Carreta (the wagon) was born out of the growing demand for an authentic cultural Cuban hub.  A Cuban family-owned establishment, it continues to be a staple of  old Cuba’s family dining traditions of “grandmother style” food and famous Cuban espresso. To characterize Cuban food in terms of other cuisines, it’s basically a fusion of Spanish, French, African and Caribbean cuisines, drawing many distinctive flavors from each of these, with heavy influences of garlic, citrus, and sugar cane.

As a restaurant, you don’t stick around for more than 40 years and expand into a local chain if you’re not doing something right. And for La Carreta, that something is food. Lots of it. Though you’ll find some Spanish-inspired dishes, you can’t go wrong by sticking to Cuban classics like ropa vieja (shredded beef cooked with onions and Cuban mojo sauce (coming from Tenerife) , served with rice and sweet plantains) and boliche (pot roast stuffed with chorizo). Even when the restaurant is packed, the waiters are great at making you feel like you have all the time in the world to figure out what it is you want to eat. They’ll help you figure that out, too, if you want, they’re full of suggestions, and recommendations. But mainly they’re super-friendly and fast.

Each day, the restaurant offers a selection of three or four specials, and weekday lunch deals include breaded pork chop, shrimp creole, and fried grouper for less than $10. Expect large portions on the plates and a backroom café for strong Cuban coffee, sweet pastries and sugarcane juice. Though most of the ordering happens at the walk-up coffee window, serving up flaky pastelitos and espressos until the wee hours.

Official la Carreta restaurant on locations

miami

We came to them many times and our favorites family location were at the International Mall parking lot outside the mall right next to the Dolphin Expressway (State road 836) coming from Miami Beach at NW 107 ave. you see it from the Expressway. One of my favorite restaurant is here La Carreta, Cuban Cuisine at its best.

Offiical International Mall for orientation

Another location we went is the original restaurant at SW 8th street Miami, this is some reviews: Yelp reviews on original restaurant of La Carreta

Another dandy is TGI Fridays reputation as the best corner bar in town started in Manhattan in 1965 and my fav location was near Sawgrass Mill Mall in Sunrise, Broward County, Florida just north of my old home.  Located near W Sunrise Blvd & Yellow Toucan Rd, proudly bringing you the best local mix of food, fun, and handcrafted cocktails. Many times here with the family!

sunrise

Sunrise

Sawgrass Mills shopping center is huge, I mean huge  ,one of the biggest if not the biggest mall in the USA, and Florida’s largest. https://www.simon.com/mall/sawgrass-mills

Also, tried them while visiting the USA at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport near Gate B19.  http://apps.atl.com/Passenger/ShopDineExplore/ViewStores.aspx?comp_id=130

Atlanta

They were in Paris, France at 8, Rue Du Faubourg Montmartre 9éme,  but departed by 2013 and not back yet. However, they are in Spain and have tried their Madrid branch as well as Prague, Czech Republic.

Official TGIF Sunrise location

Yelp reviews on Sunrise location

Another twist on the above is Applebees!  They are  your go-to restaurant for burgers, chicken, steaks, and the infamous riblets all served in a relaxed family-friendly environment. And don’t forget to checkout  their Neighborhood Drink of the Month special. Applebee was Established in 1980 originally base at Kansas City Missouri, later in 2015 relocated to Glendale, California. The first restaurant opened in November 1980 in Decatur, Georgia.

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar offers a lively casual dining experience combining simple, craveable American fare, classic drinks and local drafts. Now that’s Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood. a chain where the the ambiance is more towards sports decorated walls, location been to Sunrise and Doral– Miami. I have gone for the trios and seafood platters with plenty of beers. The webpage of Applebee is not available from France due to the owners refusing to adhere to the European rights of information laws (RGPD).

Offiical Applebees

Yelp reviews of Applebee at NW 41 st Doral

Miami

Another family souvenir is the  Latin American Bayside Cuban Café at 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, in the Bayside Marketplace right at the entrance to the Port of Miami.  Awesome food and the Cuban sandwich & coffee are to die for. Great service n friendly staff. Made us go back again everyday while we were there.  For the big eaters this cantine type restaurant is a go and the possibility of choosing from a large selection of salads, meat grills all you can eat. There is a wine cellar and drinks but small selection. However, the location is superb in downtown/city center Miami.

The Latin American Bayside Cuban Café  has a nice location, with a small indoor seating area and bar, and a much larger outdoor patio, so you can overlooki Bayside’s harbor a wonderful tropical escape with boating cruises on Miami harbor by the port of Miami and passing by the home of the famous. Souvenirs stores and great Latin American Cafe,  while enjoying a nice mojito and watching several plates of Cuban food being brought forth from the kitchen. Sure, there are a lot of places to eat Cuban in Miami, but Bayside is quite the restaurant given it’s location and price.

Facebook page of Latin American Cafe Bayside

Yelp reviews on the Latin America Bayside Café

Official Bayside marketplace open air mall at port of Miami

miami

Another hugely favorite of ours is the Columbia Restaurant; we have been to the original in Tampa and also, St Augustine.  Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant, and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. It began in Tampa’s Ybor City, (from city area founder Vicente Ybor) as a small 60-seat corner cafe known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers. To this day, more than 114 years since it first opened, the Columbia remains in the same family.

tampa

Over the years, Columbia Restaurant has attracted some of the most well known athletes and entertainers from yesteryear to today. From Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, Lou Piniella, Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin, from Liberace to Bruce Springsteen, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Brian Johnson of ACDC, from Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano to Evander Holyfield, from Marilyn Monroe and Liza Minelli to Bo Derek, everyone enjoys the Columbia.  Other recent visitors include George Clooney, Stephen King, Bryant Gumbel, Brooke Shields, and Lauren Hutton.

The restaurant’s wine list contains more than 1,056 wines with an inventory exceeding 50,000 bottles, and Columbia has won several awards for their Spanish wines. The restaurant features performances of flamenco, one of Spain’s traditional dances. another wonderful Florida combination of shopping, food, and games for the whole family!

Official Columbia Restaurant

tampa

tampa

Ybor City is a 10 square block National Landmark Historic District comprised of cobblestone streets and brick buildings that are an architectural fusion with strong Latin influences. The area reeks with history, for example President Teddy Roosevelt stayed there during the Spanish American War as did Sr. Winston Churchill who was reporting on the war for the London Daily Graphic.

Tourist office of Tampa on the Columbia at Ybor City

Ybor City official webpage on the Columbia Restaurant

The exquisite Columbia Restaurant sits in the heart of St. Augustine in the historic district of the nation’s oldest city, which was founded in 1565. St. Augustine is  also home to the Columbia Restaurant , located in the heart of the historic district at the corner of Hypolita and St. George Streets. We used to lived 45 min from it and visited often!!

Tourist office of St Augustine on the Columbia Restaurant

St Augustine

St Augustine

And now two of my favorite French hangouts while living in Florida USA.

The Royal French Bakery, was run by Christian from Lyon, so it was heavens, no longer there but post for the memories.  We had our Büche de Nôel always done here as was not sold to the public for lack of knowledge of it;  ordered by my dear late wife Martine. The Royal French Bakery was South Miami’s go-to boulangerie/patisserie, with all that you’d expect from a French bakery (tarts, macarons, croissants galore), plus salads, sammies and cafe au laits. You can score the flaky, buttery treats in flavors like guava, ham & cheese and almond, to name a few of the goodies we got here over the years. The location was at  7370 SW 57th Ave, South Miami, FL 33143.Just off Sunset Ave or NW 72 St. Now Closed in its place there is La Crêpe Bistro no relation do not know them.  It’s reviews are here on YELP: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-crepe-bistro-miami

Miami

Pleasant to verify the Croissan’Time Bakery at 1201 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL is still there! This bistro, bakery, and grocery store opened in 1986 by Bernard Casse, from  Port-Sainte-Marie in the region of Lot & Garonne France and very nice guy!! We came here for everything French even paying more for import taxes. He had started as a bakery in the southwest of France in the 1960’s and arrived in the USA in 1978. He began working in several establishments such as the prestigious La Grenouille, New York, before starting his own business.  In his team there was also Matthieu Cartron, that had worked in France, Saint-Martin, and New York, that came to lent a hand as well as the baker Garry Petigny. All the breads of Croissan’Time  are done on site from scratch. More info at official webpage here:  http://www.croissantime.com/

Yelp reviews on the Croissan’Time

Ft Lauderdale

And to show how the French community of Florida mingles and get to know each other as we had for many years there from 1990 to 2003; Miami Accueil is managed by the Consulat de France de Miami (very helpful understanding group who helped us immensily the transition from USA to France! merci!) and groups all the French residents in its jurisdiction. The group was done to share activities with French families of all sorts including those above. Official Miami Accueil , Consulat de France de Miami

There you go hope not too long, try to be as brief as possible for all these souvenirs of my life ,never to be forgotten and thanks WordPress for allowing me to share it here for my memories and the enjoyment of others. Thank you

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 19, 2019

Restaurants of Mexico!!!

Ok so even if have written on many in my trips to pretty Mexico in previous posts, I like to highlight some of the memorable moments there going to eat out. Food is very important there and one of the best in the world, and I have enjoyed it all the time. Lucky to been able to visit often in the last 20 years and last on oct 2018.

Do not know when life instances will take me back to the land of the Aztecs but the memories will lingered forever. Not only good friends but family too there. Now for the souvenirs of my visits here are the nostalgics restaurants I visited in Mexico lindo y querido!

I will start with the Bistro 77 at Calle Samartin 77, Tepatitlan de Morelos, Jalisco State about 70 km from the  state capital Guadalajara on the M80 road.

I was introduced to this wonderful spot  by local friends on a business trip that was memorable for the good food and good friendship that have lasted and will continue. At this this little restaurant in an old home I had wonderful Pulpo(octopus)  beers and pizzas with Mexican hot chili, great TV screens and wonderful friendly service. Its situated in the heart of the town, just one block up from the main plaza.  It has been made into a restaurant, a former old house. No much done to the building itself.. The food is simple, but delicious, pizzas, sandwiches and traditional Mexican additions. Great selection of beers and some wines.

More info on Bistro 77 here: Official Bistro 77 restaurant

Official Tepatitlan de Morelos on restaurants and Bistro 77

Tepatitlan de morelos

While repeating at this wonderful town of Tepatitlan de Morelos , I was introduce to the restaurant Don Kamaron.  The sport TV all over, the friendly service, good food, good company was all it took; I came back always to eat here!!! It is at Dr. J. Ricardo Alcala Iñiguez 284, Alameda. Tepatitlán de Morelos Telephone +52 378 715 5140 .

The kitchen and service in this restaurant is very nicel. There is Mexican food, fish dishes and traditional style The food was delicious and we were able to taste many seafood platters. One of their dishes, camarones endiablada or sort of devilish shrimps was very spicy and very hot! Be careful but very good!. With all its desserts and strong spirits, beer, etc. The food was quite affordable. We will then visit Don K no doubt next time we go to Tepatitlan.

More info on Yelp on Don K restoYelp reviews on Don K restaurant in Tepatitlan

tepatitlan de morelos

Going down to Quintana Roo had lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice.

I was really comfortable and ate very goood here, before the dishes arrived , I was toasted a snack that included the region’s specialty black beans with totopos and a ceviche, as attractive is one sitting by the sea with its incredible view by its colors, highly recommended.

More info here: http://www.guiacalderitas.com/restaurants/restaurant_12.html

Calderitas

Back in the capital city of Mexico DF , I had gone to the Wing’s Army bar on Insurgentes Sur to see the football/soccer matches, with always a great ambiance ;nice and plenty of good Miller High Life beers by the liter which have been a long time not drank again, this was neat and the Army hamburger was great with good company ;I later came back in the week and it was equally as good. Therefore is my stop for a sport game and beers while in DF.

mexico

This is a chain all over Mexico, the official webpage is here: Official Wing’s Army Mexico

Yelp reviews on the Wing’s Army on insurgentes sur

mexico

mexico

El Paisa, is a more rustic restaurant in a working class area with a nice second floor terrace, a very nice welcome with lots of Mexicans families there; nice ambiance and great conversation with many. The area is nice around a corner, and serve in the terrace in the back upper level. One of the places to go when you know the area and want to get away from tourists. Here we had more goodies of the Mexican cuisine such as the alambre with meat and cheese melted sort like a pizza but chewy and yummy, Pacifico beers and coffee expresso, first we had some chicharones and all good.

The place is typical of the basic restaurant and the food is simple and awesome. You can also order Tepache, a fermented drink made with pineapple peels and zest. Actually very good. All in all, the food was excellent and I would recommend anyone to go there to try the real local food.  More info here: Yelp reviews on El Paisa of Mexico DF

mexico

Puerto Làpice, here it was the filete tampiqueño (Tampico) real beef that was the plate with Mexican wine Chateau Domecq. It’s a place where some old Spanish dishes can be had as well. Located at Poniente 128 647 ,Azcapotzalco, corner of Norte 45 ,in a working class area near the Vallejos industrial park.

Whether for a business lunch, with couples, friends or family, the Puerto Lápice restaurant presents in its menu the most traditional dishes of Spain, all, seeking to satisfy the desire for tasty food at a good cost and in an area where   you’ll not find a lot of quality restaurants. More info here: Chilango review site on Puerto Lapice

mexico

mexico

This is a meat heavens place in Mexico city for a change. Cambalache, an Argentine jewel small but all kinds of cuts beef that is, at Insurgentes Sur 1384. If you’re looking for meat, and good meat, Cambalache is your place.

Cambalecbe is a private chain more info here! Official Cambaleche restaurant on Insurgentes Sur

Yelp reviews on Chambaleche resto on Insurgentes sur

Mexico

And last but not least, I need to tell you about a special experience in Zona Rosa a populat vibrant area that I have stayed most of the times in Mexico city. I had repeated good experiences at the steakhouse Angus Butcher House, Copenhage 31 , steaks are big, beers are cold, and the ladies are all beautiful !

mexico

The Angus restaurant was founded at Zona Rosa in February 1977. This restaurant provides an innovative option for Mexico. They are the pioneers in the introduction of beef imported from U.S.D.A. Choice and Certified ANGUS ® Beef on demand. Moreover, they were the pioneers in introducing the concept of Hostess in Mexico, which is about a host or waitress, usually good looking women, who will assist diners from the beginning to the end of the evening.   The restaurant design is based on the culture of New Mexico, with details and paintings by the most prominent artists of American West Art. More info here: Official Angus restaurant on Zona Rosa

Yelp reviews on Angus Butcher Restaurant Zona Rosa

Mexico

And there you go another round of wonderful times, friends galore, and great food in pretty Mexico. You will do well to visit these in your next trip in the country. Hope you enjoyed the post and buen provecho!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

July 18, 2019

Restaurant: Brazil!!

So here I continue my saga of my memorable restaurants in my travels amongst many. This time I take you to lively Brazil and three different cities and restaurants. Hope you enjoy them as I did

Taverna do Chef Nico Rua Pardais, 490 – Jardim Italia, Vinhedo, State of Sao Paulo.  We eat very well!! The atmosphere was nice. ! The waiters were nice. ! A great selection of excellent Italian meals!! Very good wine . There is a large table of good choices of salads, hot dishes, grilled meats. The story of the memorable moment is that I was visiting the city and had a friend there who was welcoming his daughter’s in laws so I was left to walk around alone at first. Feeling hungry and knowing the language decided to take a walk a spot one place to eat. There I came across this lively place and some it seems known regular customers so I settled in to eat. Later I told my friend what I did, and he weeks later decided to bring a group of local friends here as he had never been! And it turn out the friends agree it was a great place to eat. So I told my friend if need to know where to eat in his town to call me jejejeje!!! I still joke about it with him lol!!!

Vinhedo

In total, the tavern menu contains 50 dishes between antipastas , pasta, risotos, meats and fish. It is one of 60 Brazilian restaurants with the Ospitalità Italiana label granted by Unioncamere (Chamber of Commerce of Italy). The certification is granted to establishments with 70% of the wine list composed of Italian labels, which use Italian raw material, have Italian ambient music, decoration that refer to Italy, at least one official who speaks Italian fluently and Italian-Name dishes. Recipes prepared by the matriarch of the family of Angeli.

Nicoló Ferdico was born and studied in Palermo. He traveled to Italy from north to south and specialized in Mediterranean cuisine. The chef also commanded kitchens in the United States, where he lived for a few years. Its restaurant, the Taverna of Chef Nico, in Vinhedo , State of Sao Paulo, is one of the 60 restaurants with the seal Ospitalità Italiana of Brazil, and it’s also accredited by FIC – Brazil (Italian Federation of Cuochi) .

They have a page in Facebook here: Taverna do chef Nico in Vinhedo

vinhedo

Churrasqueria Estancia Grill, Avenida Albino Jose Barbosa de Oliveira 271 Jardim Santa Genebra II, Campinas, State of Sao Paulo.

The story here was that coming over I was to meet an old friend who had invited me to eat here. I was with another couple of local friends and they tag alone. Well so happened my old friend knew them as they were in the same line of business!! Needless to say the conversation was lively and technical afterward many caïpirinhas!

The Churrasqueria or steakhouse with the best Rodizio of Baron Geraldo, with the best choice of noble meats. Complete Rodizio with Buffet at will! Hot table, cold table and salads, pasta table, Sushi and Sashimi, Experience their Picanha steaks, that painted on the Ember, and the most succulent Lamb of Baron! And on Sundays, come and taste the salmon in the caper sauce. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The buffet also includes freshly made pasta dishes and other hot dishes. Price of the Rodizio on weekdays, 35.50 BRL, lunch or dinner and 45.50 BRL for the weekend.

Official webpage of Estancia Grill Campinas

Campinas

Pinga Com Torresmo , Avenida Princesa do sul 29 A, Varginha, State of Minas Gerais.  Varginha is a municipality in southwest Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Varginha stands out as one of the major centers of commerce and coffee production in Brazil and the world

varghina

The memorable story here was that was taken to Café Com Pinga by a local friend to a place specialising in Pinga been a rum alcohol base drink similar to Cachaça but cheaper. It is another term for it a bit cheaper. And the place was great with pork ribs, fry fish, and great Itaipava premium beers. The views over the city as the night fell was fantastic and live music playing oldies but goodies was a king size top off to a wonderful night . I should be back here::)

varghina

varghina

A bit of explanation to some Latin American readers as the Portuguese word can be dirty. But is not the thing I can assure you ::)

Cold beer and good bar food with live music on Fridays. No doubt, the best bar of Varginha! Service note 10 and the wonderful menu!!! All done with excellence… Cozy atmosphere, perfect! That’s a restaurant where you can go and try every food on the menu.  I have done twice since 2015  and food still the same as first time. If you want to eat really good food and drink the best Caipi in the State of Minas Gerais you should considered going there. Really good food and services!!!!

They have a Facebook page here: Facebook page of Café com Pinga or Torresmo

varghina

And there you go , some happy memorable moments in lovely Brazil. Always waiting to be back and see these again in Vinhedo, Campinas, and Varighina!!! Enjoy restaurants in Brazil!

And remember, happy travels, good health and many cheers to all!!!

July 11, 2019

Las Olas, beaches, Ft Lauderdale!

Ok so lets get back to the fun youthful days and my time in Florida (18 years strong!) . We were west of I75 expressway and we enjoyed a lot coming to the beaches especially in Ft Lauderdale that were straight east of us.

Again, I have written some posts on the city but felled in debt to do one on the beaches of Ft Lauderdale so here it is ,hope you enjoy it as we did.

fort lauderdale

 Las Olas Beach, has a small stretch of sand that attracts beachgoers of all ages. It is a smaller beach right of the chic Las Olas blvd and so beach amenities are not as plentiful as those offered at the bigger  and equally nice Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. However, visitors have access to beach chair and water sports equipment rentals, restrooms and metered parking. Restaurants, bars and shops are also available across the street. Just do not come during college Spring Break time as it gets rowdy and crowded otherwise is a great place to be at the beach.

fort lauderdale

The transportation to the beaches here is king Car but there are nice public transports from the city to the beach and back. The local bus lines 11 and 40 will do the trick. Here is their schedules in Broward county (where Ft Lauderdale is located).

fort lauderdale

The particular buses that comes to the beach are the No. 11 or 40 bus, see their schedules here: http://www.broward.org/BCT/Schedules/Pages/default.aspx

Another option is to take Sun Trolley’s Las Olas sort of like a little train on wheels : https://www.suntrolley.com/routes-schedules-fares/beach-las-olas/

Or the wonderful Water Taxi: https://watertaxi.com/

In the same venue of beaches , if you’re looking for more out of your beach day head over to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park just south of Las Olas blvd. At the bigger Ft Lauderdale Beach you’ll find a calmer and less chaotic version of other well known beaches in Florida, but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There ,you’re more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline . Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. All  just south of the wonderful Bahia Mar Resort, at 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard, this picturesque park has everything you need to maximize your fun in the sun time, from sand volleyball courts to a boat ramp to outdoor showers. There are grills for cooking, a basketball court if you get bored with the sand and a kid’s playground to keep the little ones busy. Park Facilities and Amenities available daily from 06h ( 6 a.m.)  to 21h (9 p.m.) include: Boat Ramp – non-motorized, Grills and Picnic Tables, Outdoor Showers, Restrooms,  Basketball Full Court, Children’s Playground, and a Volleyball Court. The above Broward bus schedule look for No 40 that takes you here. More info from the city of Fl Lauderdale here: City of Ft Lauderdale on the beach park

fort lauderdale

Here you will see closed by the Bonnet House , this came to be when in 1919, a wealthy settler gave the 35-acre property (named after the bonnet lily flower that grew on the grounds) as a wedding gift to his daughter . In 1920, began construction of Bonnet House, and later was donated to the city now open to all to marvel at its gardens and architecture along the beach! More info here: https://www.bonnethouse.org/

You will have another memorable spot for us there and lots of walks indeed in the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park located a few blocks north of the above Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The park is position between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean makes it a fun locale for all types of folks. Those looking to get a little wet can canoe or kayak in the largest of the park’s coastal dune lakes. Adventurers who want to get their adrenaline pumping can bike along the nearly 2-mile paved park drive. Meanwhile, visitors who prefer to explore by foot can hike the Coastal Hammock Trail, which snakes through a native maritime tropical hardwood hammock ecosystem, one of the last of its kind in the county.(marvellous indeed!). More info here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/HughTaylorBirch

The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea welcomes visitors to enjoy its beautiful beach, multitude of sidewalk cafes, frequent live music and enticing public plazas, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is widely acknowledged to be the South Florida shore diving capital. Snorkelers and divers come from all over to swim from the beach to reefs alive with tropical fish, turtles and even lobsters. And the Sun Trolley Las Olas can take you here too! You are worth coming up to El Prado Park( at 4501 N. Ocean Dr.) , this is the town’s most popular beachfront park and parking facilities just across at El Mar Drive (st)

And to close out let me tell you a bit on my fav Las Olas Blvd. A very chic place in So Florida which fame has relegated behind the more famous SoBe in Miami-Dade county. However, for my tastes this is more private, cosy, and chic a family event. Therefore, let me show you a bit of Las Olas Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA!

fort lauderdale

Las Olas Boulevard  runs from Andrews Avenue in the Central Business District (downtown/city center)  to A1A (road along the beachfront) and Fort Lauderdale Beach. The easternmost section of the boulevard is interlaced with canals and waterfront homes. The commercial stretch, approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) or the Golden Mile ::)  in length, features cool sub-tropical breezeways and courtyards with bars, nightclubs, bridal stores, shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and the historically nice  Riverside Hotel. https://www.riversidehotel.com/

fort lauderdale

The name “Las Olas” means the waves in Spanish. All but the westernmost fourteen blocks are also signed as State Road 842 (SR-842) . Las Olas has its own historic house, a nearby IMAX cinema and movie theater within a short walk. Las Olas Boulevard can be accessed by the water taxi. The boulevard is a popular dining and shopping destination for locals and visitors as it is situated close to Fort Lauderdale beach, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades. (cruise ship terminal), and has a wonderful arts museum such as http://www.moaflnsu.org/

The boulevard was constructed in 1917, when Las Olas was just a dirt road that crossed the swampy wetlands to the barrier island at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The boulevard begins at the famous Elbo Room bar where the beach meets the boulevard and ends in the west at the Arts Museum.  A few of the most notable who lived here are: Johnny Weissmuller, actor who played Tarzan and invented the signature yell. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Waste Management, Inc, Blockbuster Video and AutoNation. Connie Francis, actress and movie star who was featured in the movie, Where the Boys Are which was filmed on Las Olas Blvd at the famed Elbo Room. Lee Majors, actor who played The Six Million Dollar Man and former husband to Farrah Fawcett. Sonny and Cher, singers and actors. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, television and movie stars. Stars of I Love Lucy fame. Gloria Vanderbilt, designer and socialite. Frank and Ivy Stranahan, founding pioneers of Fort Lauderdale and the first residents of Las Olas Boulevard. Their trading post Stranahan House is located between the boulevard and New River. More info on the house: Official Stranahan House

Official Tourist office of Florida on shopping at Las Olas blvd

fort lauderdale

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and is a must when in Florida are

Official webpage of Las Olas Boulevard

Official tourist office of Ft Lauderdal, SUNNY

Official tourist office of Florida on Ft Lauderdale

This is a wonderful art festival on its 32nd edition! and has grown very nice right at Las Olas well recommended. Art Festival of Las Olas blvd

And there you go , a nice hommage to my last home in the USA. There were very nice 18 yrs in Florida and before that 13 yrs in New Jersey. Memories forever, as do not think will ever go back as France is awesome too, but the visits yes, and the memories forever, after all was married and my 3 boys were born in Florida! Enjoy Fort Lauderdale!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

 

 

July 11, 2019

St Augustine, Florida!

So looking back into my blog I sadly realised have not written a post on the city of St Augustine, Florida! It is a shock to me as used to lived for many years just 55 minutes from it and went there even for lunch/dinner, played soccer/football, and just plain sightseeing first with my parents and later with wife and kids. Oh well busy traveling and writing elsewhere and you tend to forget what you had next door lol! Time to remedy that even if photos are scarce on a period where my youthful hormone did not allow for picture taking lol!!! Bear with me please.

St. Augustine is a Florida town in the southeastern United States on the Atlantic coast. This is the county seat of Saint Johns. about 60 km (37 mi) from Jacksonville and 90 km ( 56mi) from Daytona Beach. Today, Saint Augustine is one of Florida’s most popular destinations.

It is considered the docking place of the first European explorer and the oldest city in the United States, following the Spanish maritime explorations of the 16C, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, arrive on the future territory of the United States, on March 27, 1513, as well as more widely on the American continent proper (Columbus and Cabot in the previous century had only landed on islands). Founded by the Spaniards on September 8, 1565, under the leadership of Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the city is also the oldest establishment of European origin that has remained continuously occupied on the continental United States!

The French tried in vain to come here! The French explorer Jean Ribault, on April 30, 1562, was commissioned by Admiral Coligny and recognized the coast of Florida. He then went north to the St Johns River near Jacksonville. There was raised a column with the arms of Queen Catherine. Further north, Ribault settled on Parris Island by building a home he named Charles fort in honor of King Charles IX. In response, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés came to expel the French from these lands in the name of the King of Spain.

In 1565, during a second French attempt to colonize Florida, Laudonnière took the lead of an expedition of 300 persons. There they built Fort Caroline on the shore of the St. Johns River, which, justifiably, can be considered the origins of Jacksonville (name after American General Andrew Jackson and later President of the USA) . The resumption of the place by the Spaniards ended the war between France and Spain for the control of Florida. It was during this year that the final settlement of the Spanish in Saint Augustine began ,after been massacred by the Spanish in a great battle Fort Matanzas (massacre in spanish).

The Treaty of Paris (1763) ended the Seven Years ‘ War and altered considerably the map of the North American colonies: Spain must cede Florida to the English in exchange for Cuba. The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave Florida back to Spain, without specifying its borders. The United States wants the old pre-1767 limit to be resumed. The Treaty of San Lorenzo ratified this choice in 1795. Florida was ceded to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in 1819, and formed a territory in 1822. The capital is located in Tallahassee, halfway between Saint Augustine and Pensacola. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States.

It has wonderful beaches we enjoyed at St Augustine Beach and Anastacia Island. Briefly , vehicles are permitted on  St. Augustine Beach  within designated areas. However, access may be limited dependent on weather, sand, or tides. Traffic is regulated and a ten mile per hour speed limit is strictly enforced.   St. Augustine Beach is located on Anastasia Island where you can enjoy white sand beaches, the St. Johns County Pier, a playground, pavilion, fishing pier, volleyball courts, bait shops, fine restaurants, shopping and more. RV and cabin camping areas are located nearby.  Location: Old A1A Beach Boulevard south of State Road 312 at the St. Johns County Pier, less than five minutes from downtown/city center St. Augustine.  Anastasia State Recreation Park is a protected bird sanctuary and consists of 1,700-acres and five miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. It features swimming, lifeguards, a bath house, hiking, nature trails, a boat ramp, fishing, a volleyball court, beach equipment rentals such as umbrellas and beach chairs, canoes, nature trails, grills and picnic areas, concessions, a covered pavilion, gift shops, playgrounds, and camping. Vehicles are prohibited from driving on the beach in this area.  Location: 1340 A1A South between the St. Augustine Lighthouse and the Surf Station approximately one mile from the Bridge of Lions on Anastasia Island.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip are

City of St Augustine on heritage

Tourist office of St Augustine Ponte Vedra on things to see

Tourist office of St Augustine

Tourist office of Florida on St Augustine

There is a huge amount of things to see in St Augustine and even my favorite over those years are many so will condense as much as possible. My favorites were/are:

Colonial quarter St Augustine , 33 St George St Historic District: Visitors can experience three centuries of St. Augustine’s vivid history through interactive activities and more at the Colonial Quarter.

St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum , 12 S Castillo Drive Historic District: Explore the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts in a city that has seen its share of pirates.

Fountain of Youth Archeological Park , 11 Magnolia Avenue Historic District: The Fountain of Youth gives visitors a chance to experience history at this important archaeological site and to drink from the famous springs.

St Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum , 100 Red Cox Road Anastasia Island: Climb 219 steps to the top for breathtaking views of the nation’s oldest city and the Atlantic Ocean.

Oldest Wooden School House 14 St. George Street Historic District : Take a lesson from the Oldest Wooden School House in the country, complete with replica displays and museum on the inside!

Oldest House Museum  14 St. Francis Street: The Oldest House Museum Complex offers guided tours, two museums, a colonial kitchen, ornamental garden and museum store to its visitors.

Oldest Store Museum 167 San Marco Ave.: Step back in time and explore the “modern” wonders of an early 20th century general store.

Ripley’s Red Train Tours  19 San Marco Avenue Historic District:  our the nation’s oldest city and learn its fascinating history while hopping on and off at various attractions, restaurants, and more with Ripley’s Sightseeing Trains.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum  19 San Marco Avenue Historic District: Amazing exhibits and unbelievable artifacts from around the globe make Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! a one-of-a-kind experience.

Mission of Nombre de Dios & Shrine 27 Ocean Avenue : Founding Church mission in St Augustine Walk the scenic grounds dating back to the city’s founding. Discover the role of Christianity in Florida at the Mission Museum. https://missionandshrine.org/

Father O’Reilly House Museum  32 Aviles Street:  Built during the first Spanish Period, the Father O’Reilly House Museum is one of the oldest structures in St. Augustine.

Marineland  Dolphin Adventure: Discover the oceanfront playground that has delighted visitors since 1938. https://marineland.net/

Ximenez-Fatio House Museum 20 Aviles Street Historic District: Welcome to 1800s St. Augustine with a fascinating tour of this beautifully restored colonial house and museum.

Villa Zorayda Museum 83 King Street Historic District: The Villa Zorayda was built in the late 19C to replicate a portion of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

Potter’s Wax Museum 31 Orange Street Historic District: The whole family can enjoy interacting with famous figures from history as well as modern movie stars and more at Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine.

Lightner Museum 75 King Street Historic District: Enjoy the atmosphere and artwork of another age at this elegant Museum, formerly the Alcazar Hotel.

San Sebastian Winery  157 King Street Historic District: Come by for a free wine tasting and fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of how wine is made.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine 38 Cathedral Place: America’s first parish and the oldest Catholic Church in the city. Explore this exquisite building and view the Spanish-inspired architecture. Official First Parish on the Cathedral

St Augustine

St Augustine

Flagler College 74 King St.: (played football/soccer against them!) Flagler College built in 1884  is a unique combination of the past and present, and an architectural icon of the city of St. Augustine.

st augustine

Fort Matanzas  8635 A1A South (along the bay next to the Bridge of Lions) This park and historic site offers a glimpse into history as well as scenic trails and shoreside access for fishing and collecting shells. Fort Matanzas

Castillo de San Marcos  1 South Castillo Drive: The oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. and a National Monument, the Castillo is the focal point of historical St. Augustine. https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

Government House 48 King Street: Located on the Plaza de la Constitucion, the Government House site has served colonial governors in St. Augustine for centuries.

Old Jail 167 San Marco Ave.:  Home of St. Augustine’s most violent criminals from 1891–1953.

Peña-Peck House 143 St. George Street: The Peña-Peck House is a historic house that offers guided tours to visitors and locals.

Pirate & Treasure Museum  12 S Castillo Drive: Explore the world’s largest collection of authentic pirate artifacts in a city that has seen its share of pirates.

Spanish Military Hospital Museum 3 Aviles Street: This museum offers an intriguing look into colonial medicine and early settlement life in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm 999 Anastasia Blvd: See wild reptiles, lemurs, Komodo dragons and toucans at the only place in the world to see all 24 species of crocodilians. https://www.alligatorfarm.com/

St. Augustine Aquarium 2045 State Road 16: This family-friendly aquarium offers exciting encounters with a variety of marine life. https://www.saaquarium.com/

St. Augustine Distillery  112 Riberia Street: Explore St. Augustine’s first legal distillery since Prohibition and sample some of the award-winning spirits being crafted there. http://staugustinedistillery.com/

Whetstone Chocolates  149 King Street: Take a chocolate tour at this classic St. Augustine chocolatier, which offers a sweet look behind the candy-making process. http://www.whetstonechocolates.com/

This is a must when visiting FLorida even if most go down to S Florida, the Central North section is awesome. Enjoy St Augustine, and again sorry for the pictures, but feld a must to tell about it in my blog.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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