Tag Archive for tour guide

Amelia Island: Downtown Fernandina Beach and Walker’s Landing

It’s nearly six months later, but I’m finally finishing up my photo blogs for our Amelia Island trip last May. Because I’ve only had one short vacation since then, it doesn’t actually feel that long ago that Ben and I wandered the streets of downtown Fernandina Beach, though we live on the other coast now. I love it here, but there’s something to be said for warm beach towns where cold fog is an unknown quantity.

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Fernandina Beach is the city under seven flags, which means seven different countries have claimed it at one point or another. Those influences are present walking the few short blocks near their retail center along Centre Street. Just follow Highway A1A in and you can’t miss it.

Original US Post Office Lamps

Original US Post Office Lamps

Walking by the Island Art Gallery

Walking by the Island Art Gallery

The Palace Saloon, oldest operating bar in Florida.

The Palace Saloon, oldest operating bar in Florida.

There are several beautiful churches on the small stretch, and a few just down the low-numbered side streets.

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Cocktails and Other Night Sights in New Orleans

Cocktails and Other Night Sights in New Orleans

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Last time, we covered the bevy of food I ate after dark in New Orleans. In this post, we’ll take a look at all the tantalizing libations Ben and I imbibed in the Big Easy in early December. You may question this claim by the end, but I swear we weren’t drinking at all times. Sometimes, we were walking. Walking off-kilter, but walking nonetheless.

It was Saturday evening when we arrived in New Orleans, and there were surprisingly few people around. We began our journey in the Central Business District.

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In short time, or rather, short time to me and my warped concept of a city block—we really should have taken a streetcar—we made it to the French Quarter. The first few western blocks of Decatur and Chartres Streets were all but abandoned, but we did not yet know we needed to continue on toward Jackson Square to find the crowds or head north a few blocks to Bourbon St. So when the modern, romantic vibe of Evangeline (329 Decatur St.) caught our eye, we stepped in for Drink #1.

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You’ll note their signature drink, the Ginger Mint Julep, advertised on the building behind the restaurant.

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It was refreshing, but not the sort of cocktail that keeps my attention for long. Too much club soda for that, and who knew what was waiting for me in a city known for its mixology? My husband went for one of our trusty standards, the Sazerac, and we were surprised by how sweet it was. Sugar is not something I associate with a Sazerac, but several bars served it that way in New Orleans. Simple syrup appears to be in the standard recipe for it, but I think bars outside of New Orleans may skimp on it—and I approve of that decision.
Evangeline on Urbanspoon

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Travelogue: Abita Springs and Covington, LA

Art at the Abita Mystery House

Art at the Abita Mystery House

The hubby and I did a whirlwind tour of New Orleans and the surrounding areas in early December. The quintessence of the city—Cajun food, voodoo religion, laissez faire—has always placed it high on my list of places to see. I had considered moving there not long before Hurricane Katrina hit. Its pull on me is that strong, and yes, I’m the type of girl that will move without ever having seen the area where I’m relocating. I’ve done it a few times, actually.

So December was when I finally had the chance to indulge my Crescent City hankering. And it lived up to nearly all my expectations. Ultimately, it was a speedy, sanitized view of New Orleans for tourists, but it was wonderful. We drove there over two days, and luckily, the miles flew fast. It was the first time I’d been in Alabama or Mississippi as well, if driving over their highways and staying overnight counts. Midday on our second day of driving, we made it to our first destination: the Abita Brewery (21084 Louisiana 36, Abita Springs) in Abita Springs.

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The town of Abita Springs is tiny and centered around a cute roundabout of an intersection, just about a mile south of the brewery on Route 36. We were there on a Saturday, and tours start on the hour from 10 am to 3 pm. They’ll assign you to the next tour when you arrive at the courtyard. In the meantime, soak up that southern sun!

My husband in the courtyard.

My husband in the courtyard.

The tour begins right inside the french doors in a large, mahogany barroom.

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