12/31/2012

12 New Year's Eve events and parties | StAugustine.com

12 New Year's Eve events and parties | StAugustine.com

Beach Blast Off 2013 Tonight!


BEACH BLAST OFF 2013 - 4PM-10PM

Ice sculpting, a chili cook-off, live entertainment and fireworks will be part of Beach Blast Off 2013 at the St. Augustine Beach pier, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. Festivities will be from 4 to 10 p.m. Dec. 31, with a fireworks display synchronized with music at 8:30 p.m. The after-party continues from 9 to 10 p.m. with music and dancing. Food vendors, a beer and wine zone with two 80-inch TVs, a kids zone with face painting, clowns and pony rides will be offered. Free shuttles and free parking will be available at Anastasia Baptist Church, Amici’s shopping center parking, R. B. Hunt Elementary School, St. Augustine Beach City Hall, Winn Dixie (on the island) and Harbour Island Executive Center. Parking at Anastasia State Park will be $5 per car, with a free shuttle. Admission is free. Go to www.beachblastoff.com for more details. (Photo by Daron Dean)

12/24/2012

On the 9th Day of Christmas Desserts...


On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...nine ladies dancing...and a Strawberry Lady Finger Cake!

Lady Finger “Cake”

4 packages lady fingers
2 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
¾ cup sugar
1 pkg white chocolate instant pudding (or vanilla)
1 tsp almond extract
16 oz whipping cream
1 8 inch round chocolate cake (split into 2 layers)
Sliced Strawberries

1- Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and well blended.
2- Whip the whipping cream, pudding mix and almond extract until stiff.
3- Fold cream cheese and whipped cream together.
4- Line the edges of a 9 inch spring form pan with lady fingers (stand the cookies upright around the edge of the pan)
5- Start with a layer of chocolate cake, then a layer cream.
6- Next a layer of lady fingers, then a layer of cream.
7- Repeat cake, cream, lady fingers, cream
8- Top with sliced strawberries

Store the cake in the fridge until set (a few hours), then remove the spring form ring, and serve.

On the 8th Day of Christmas Desserts...

On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...eight maids a milking...and Tres Leches Coconut Cake!

Tres Leches Cake

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup white sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed
milk
1/2 (12 fluid ounce) can coconut milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 pkg instant coconut jello pudding mix

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour bottom of a 9 inch springform pan...or a 13x9 cake pan.

12/20/2012

Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas Desserts



On the 7th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...7 swans a swimming...and swan eggnog cream puffs!

Pastry Puffs Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
4 large eggs
Large zip-top bag
Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a small saucepan, bring water, butter, and sugar to a boil over high.

Immediately remove from heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in all-purpose flour. Continue to stir until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 2 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until batter comes together. Transfer batter to a large zip-top bag; twist and squeeze bag so batter is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 1/2-inch opening in corner (or use a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round plain tip).

Pipe batter into desired size mounds, 1 inch apart, onto sheets. For heads, pipe candy cane shapes on to parchment paper. With a wet finger, smooth pointy tops. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until puffs are golden brown and feel light and hollow inside, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Filling

2 Cups cold eggnog
1 box white chocolate pudding mix

Prepare according to pudding directions. Let set, then scoop into halved puffs.

First right whales of season spotted in area | StAugustine.com

Whale Watching Season has begun on our beaches!

First right whales of season spotted in area | StAugustine.com

12/19/2012

On the 6th Day of Christmas Desserts...



The St. Francis Inn chefs came up with:  Goose Mousse Nest Cups!

Recipe:

Start with premade chocolate cups.  Fill with chocolate mousse.

For the nest use a recipe similar to Rice Krispie Treats - some butter melted with peppermint marshmallow, then tossed with Chinese Noodles.  Form the sticky mixture into nests on top of the mousse.

For the eggs - Yogurt-Covered Raisins.

Chill.  Swig Champagne.  Worry about tomorrow's Seven Swans a-Swimming.  :o)

Colonial Quarter watchtower complete | StAugustine.com

We are really looking forward to the new Colonial Quarter opening this spring...here's an update!

Colonial Quarter watchtower complete | StAugustine.com

12/18/2012

On the Fifth Day of Christmas Desserts....


Five GOLD RINGS!  Pineapple Upside Down Cake - Mary made two!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Ingredients:
Topping:
12 pineapple slices, packed in unsweetened pineapple juice
12 maraschino cherries
¼ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
¼ cup pecan halves (we left these out – so many guests have nut allergies)

Batter:
1½ cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk (preferably whole milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a 10 inch cast iron skillet. You can substitute any heavy 10 inch ovenproof skillet with an ovenproof handle, or a 9 inch or 10 inch round or square cake pan, or a 10 inch spring-form pan with the outside wrapped in heavy duty foil to prevent leakage.

    Topping:
  2. Drain the pineapple slices and cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice. Place the pineapple and cherries on paper towels to absorb excess moisture. You will need 7 whole pineapple slices and 7 whole cherries. Slice the remaining pineapple slices and cherries in halves.
  3. In the skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Use a pastry brush to spread a little of the melted butter around the insides of the skillet to help prevent the fruit from sticking after it is baked. When the butter is completely melted, stir in the brown sugar and pineapple juice until thoroughly combined; remove from heat.
Tip: if you are using a cake pan or spring-form pan in place of a skillet, then use a small heavy saucepan to melt the butter, stir in the brown sugar and pineapple juice until thoroughly combined, then pour the mixture into the cake pan.
  1. Place one whole pineapple slice on top of the brown sugar mixture in the center of the skillet, and six whole slices surrounding it. Place a whole cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. Place the half slices of pineapple side by side against the sides of the skillet with the cut edges down in the brown sugar mixture. Place a half cherry in the center of each half slice of pineapple. Tuck the pecans, rounded side down, into any gaps between the pineapple slices. Set aside.

    Batter:
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the milk and vanilla together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  1. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed.
Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in.
  1. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended.  Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the milk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and milk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  2. Pour batter over the fruit in the skillet; use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly and smooth out the top.

    Bake:
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown on top and a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the skillet from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes.

    Upside Down:
  4. Run a thin kitchen knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen the sides. Invert the skillet onto a serving plate. Leave the skillet in place one or two minutes before lifting to let the syrup drip down onto the cake. Carefully lift the skillet off of the cake.  If any fruit has stuck to the skillet, remove and place it back on the cake.
  
Serving Suggestion:
  1. This cake is best when served still warm, along with a dollop of whipped cream. 






This Week's Events in St. Augustine



Every Night:


Nights of Lights
St. Augustine's famed Nights of Lightsilluminate the nation's oldest city's historic district with the gentle glow of more than three million tiny white lights, providing a luminous setting for an exciting agenda of holiday events and fun through January 31. www.NightsofLights.com

Homes for the Holidays
Lantern light tour through the Dow Museum of Historic Homes, each decorated as they would have been in their first Christmases. Participants stroll with your guide, enter the houses and hear the stories of the folk who lived in and visited these precious old buildings for over two centuries. Tour starts at 7 p.m., at Dow Museum of Historic Homes, 149 Cordova Street, St. Augustine. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children under 12.
904-823-9722 904-501-1253

Viva Florida Art Exhibit
To commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Ponce De Leon's naming of La Florida, the St. Augustine Art Association Gallery celebrates the sights and structures, beaches and byways, flora and fauna, history and happenings that are uniquely Florida with a new exhibit. The St. Augustine Art Association Gallery, 22 Marine St., St. Augustine is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is Free. www.staaa.org

Winter Wonderland
The 6th Annual Winter Wonderland at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is free to the public. Hosted by the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division, Winter Wonderland features North Florida's premiere outdoor ice skating rink, along with our brand new Ice Chute, RC Race Track and Kid's Room and of course Visits with Santa! St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South, St. Augustine. Event Pricing: Each activity priced separately. Phone: 904-209-0367 winterwonderlandflorida.com

Dressing of the Palms
Complimenting Nights of Lights, the Dressing of the Palms in the Town Center at Vilano Beach features holiday decorations adorning over 200 palm trees along Vilano Road and Coastal Highway in Vilano Beach. Through January. Free. Vilano Beach Town Center 260 Vilano Road, St Augustine Phone: 904-540-0402
 www.vilanobeachfl.com

Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley
Explore St. Augustine's famous Nights of Lights in the cozy comfort of the Holly Jolly Trolleys. Guests of all ages delight at the festive glittering lights throughout St. Augustine's historic area while enjoying caroling, hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Tours depart from St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084 www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/holiday-tour

Ripley's Big Red Christmas Train
Ripley's Big Red Christmas Train transports riders through St. Augustine's magical Nights of Lights. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season while viewing a magical holiday illusion through your free Magic viewing glasses. Nightly tours are from 6 to 8 p.m. (till 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) and begin at Ripley's Believe It or Not, 19 San Marco Avenue On Friday and Saturday, there will be entertainment in the lines and FREE admission to Santa's Village! 904-824-1606 www.ripleys.com/redtrains/holiday-event

Friday and Saturday: December 21 & 23

Mini Santa at Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Why settle for the same old Santa pictures this year? Instead, visit Ripley's where you can have Mini Santa sit on your lap for a picture! Mini Santa will be at the St. Augustine Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, 19 San Marco Avenue from 3 to 9 p.m. Visit with Mini Santa are free with the purchase of Ripley's Sightseeing tickets or Red Train Nights of Lights Tours. 904-824-1606

Candle Light Tours of Villa Zorayda
 Tours of Villa Zorayda, decorated for the holiday season, featuring a Christmas tree in the "Court of Lions"- decorated in the Villa's traditional red and gold and a beautiful crèche nativity scene.   Starting at 6 p.m., refreshments of cookies and punch are served. The docent led candlelight tour begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults and $8 for children 7 -12, children 4 -6 are free (not recommended for children under 3).  Villa Zorayda is located at 83 King Street in St. Augustine. www.villazorayda.com   904-829-9887


Friday, Saturday and Sunday: December 21 - 23

A Mark Twain Christmas and Joseph, the Husband of Mary at Fort Menendez
Two giants of the St. Augustine stage, Robert Gill and Lee Weaver, join to present their  characterizations on the same Holiday program: "A Mark Twain Christmas" and "Joseph, the Husband of Mary." Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Pioneer Barn at Fort Menendez, 259 San Marco Avenue. 904-824-8874 www.fortmenendez.com

Nights of Lights Wine and Carriage Tour
Step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage and meander the historic streets on this 45 minute tour. While enjoying the spectacular light display, indulge in a bottle of delicious boutique wine (red or white). Tours depart from Isabella's Cuban Bar at 19 Cuna Street, at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $46 per person - Adults only! 904-386-5482 www.thetastingtours.com

Saturday: December 22

Holiday in the Woods
Faver-Dykes State Park will host a family-fun holiday arts and crafts program from 4 to 6 p.m. Participants can make a natural wreath, a reindeer boot-jack, or a pine cone ornament to take home. Holiday music will be playing and hot cocoa and s'mores will be provided. Regular park entrance fees apply of $5 per vehicle, with up to eight people, or $4 for an individual occupant. Faver-Dykes State Park is located at 1000 Faver-Dykes Road off I-95 Exit 298 in St. Augustine. 386-446-6783 www.floridastateparks.org



12/17/2012

Four Calling Birds...hmmmm...





Today was a challenge!  Four Calling Birds...what kind of dessert?!

Mary "puzzled and puzzled till her puzzler was sore*."  And she came up with this delicious Christmas-tree-shaped cake - vanilla cake with red and green food coloring sprinkled here and there for fun - covered it with white chocolate whipped cream - then green coconut for the tree...and you can see 4 small birds (made from  Snickerdoodle cookies) with telephone wire coiled from one to the other, because they are:

Four CALLING Birds!!!!


*borrowed from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

12/16/2012

The 3rd Day of Christmas Desserts at SFI!


On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...three French Hens...and a French Napoleon Pastry!

NAPOLEON RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 lb. Pre-made Puff Pastry (refrigerated or frozen - both are good!)
4 cups Whole Milk
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
7 oz. Butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Vanilla Beans
10 Egg Yolks
Additional Flour to roll out pastry crust
Additional Butter for baking sheet (or use parchment paper as a lining)
Powdered Sugar to decorate

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 400°F
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a large rectangle that you will be able to cut into three even parts (once cooked, not now!). Transfer rolled out pastry onto a baking sheet (lightly buttered or else lined with parchment paper). Prick top of pastry with a fork. Cover pastry with a layer of parchment paper and place another baking sheet, of the same size, on top, to keep pastry flat. If you don't have another baking sheet, just pour rice or any dried bean over the top. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Remove pastry from the refrigerator and bake (with either the additional baking sheet on top, or with the rice/beans on top) for ten minutes. Take out of oven, remove baking sheet (or rice/beans) and remove top layer of parchment paper. Put back in oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool off entirely before spreading on cream filling.
3. As your pastry is baking, you can prepare the cream filling. In a large saucepan combine the yolks and sugar and stir well. Then stir in flour, and cornstarch.
4. Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds into the mixture and stir well.
5. Slowly stir in the milk until homogenous. Put the cream filling on the stove (light heat) and very gently bring to a simmer -- when you see small bubbles, take it off the heat and refrigerate.
6. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter so that it rises. Gently mix in the rest of the cream filling.
7. Once the pastry has cooled, cut it carefully (serrated knife works best) into three even parts. Using a spoon and a spatula spread a thick layer of cream filling on two parts of pastry crust. Stack these two layers and cover with the third (top) pastry piece. Sprinkle top

12/15/2012

On the 2nd Day of Christmas Desserts...

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Two Turtle Doves...and a TURTLE DOVE CHEESECAKE!

Turtle Dove Cheesecake Recipe

24 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
6Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1pkg. (14 oz.) Caramels
1/2cup milk
1cup chopped Pecans
3pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4cup sugar
1Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2oz. Dove Chocolate


HEAT oven to 325°F.

MIX crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch spring form pan.

MICROWAVE caramels and milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 3 min. or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in nuts; pour half into crust. Refrigerate 10 min. Refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.

BAKE 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

MICROWAVE reserved caramel mixture 1 min.; stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake.

12/14/2012

12 Days of Desserts at The Inn!



On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...a partridge in a pear tree...AND a Pear Custard Pie!

Pear Custard Pie Recipe

Streusel Top
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

Pie
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
3 medium fresh pears, peeled, sliced (about 3 cups)

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. In small bowl, stir 1/2 cup Bisquick mix, the oats, brown sugar and nutmeg. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly. Set aside.

In small bowl, stir 1/2 cup Bisquick mix, the oats, brown sugar and nutmeg. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter, using pastry blender (or puling 2 table knives though ingredients in opposite directions), until crumbly. Set aside.

In medium bowl, stir all pie ingredients except pears with wire whisk or fork until blended. Pour into pie plate. Arrange pears evenly over top.

Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake 12 to 15 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Serve warm. Store in refrigerator.

12/13/2012

Light Up Your Life - through the end of January!

Check out our new YouTube video!  
It details our Light Up Your Life Special that is good until January 31, 2013 
(weekends and holiday periods excluded).  


Nights of Lights in St Augustine Florida - YouTube

12/11/2012

Holiday Fun This Week in St. Augustine



Tuesday: December 11

Candlelight Tours of Villa Zorayda
Explore the beautiful Villa Zorayda during an evening Candlelight Tour. Guided candlelight tour begins at 5:30 p.m. 83 King Street, St. Augustine. Tickets are $16 for adults and $8 for children 7 -12, children 4 -6 are free (not recommended for children under 3). www.villaZorayda.com

Tuesday and Thursday:  December 11 & 13

Emma Concert Series: Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops
The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra will regale St. Augustine with the ever popular Holiday Pops concerts at 8 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada Street, St. Augustine. Tickets are $30 per person. www.emmaconcerts.com

Tuesday through Sunday: December 11 - 16

Nights of Lights
St. Augustine's famed Nights of Lights illuminate the nation's oldest city's historic district with the gentle glow of more than three million tiny white lights, providing a luminous setting for an exciting agenda of holiday events and fun through January 31. www.NightsofLights.com

Festival of Trees at World Golf Village
A festive display of holiday trees and wreaths decorated by businesses, organizations, families and friends from the local community, all to benefit two local charities. Vote for your favorite tree for $1 per vote, or bid on one of the tress in the silent auction. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus and performers from the St. Augustine Ballet at the opening reception Friday 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the St. Johns County Convention Center, 500 S. Legacy Trail at the World Golf Village, through December 9. Admission is free! www.WorldgolfHallofFame.org

Viva Florida Art Exhibit
To commemorate the 500th Anniversary of Ponce De Leon's naming of La Florida, the St. Augustine Art Association Gallery celebrates the sights and structures, beaches and byways, flora and fauna, history and happenings that are uniquely Florida with a new exhibit. The St. Augustine Art Association Gallery, 22 Marine St., St. Augustine is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is Free.www.staaa.org

Winter Wonderland
The 6th Annual Winter Wonderland at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is free to the public. Hosted by the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division, Winter Wonderland features North Florida's premiere outdoor ice skating rink, along with our brand new Ice Chute, RC Race Track and Kid's Room and of course Visits with Santa! St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South, St. Augustine. Each activity priced separately. 904-209-0367 www.winterwonderlandfl.com

Dressing of the Palms
Dressing of the Palms in the Town Center at Vilano Beach complements Nights of Lights where holiday decorations adorn over 200 palm trees along Vilano Road and Coastal Highway in Vilano Beach. Through January. Free. Vilano Beach Town Center 260 Vilano Road, St Augustine Phone: 904-540-0402 http://www.vilanobeachfl.com

Water Taxi Nights of Lights Tours
Board the Horizons II for a relaxing Tour of Nights of Lights form the water. Tickets are $39 on weeknights and $49 on weekends. Tours depart from Vilano Beach Fishing Pier, 298 Vilano Road, Vilano Beach. www.jaxwatertaxi.com
 
Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley
Explore St. Augustine's famous Nights of Lights in the cozy comfort of the Holly Jolly Trolleys. Guests of all ages delight at the festive glittering lights throughout St. Augustine's historic area while enjoying caroling, hot apple cider and homemade cookies. Tours depart from St. Augusitne Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive, St. Augustine. http://www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine/holiday-tour.asp

Electric Bus Nights of Lights Tour
See the City lights on a 7 seat silent comfortable all electric vehicle with a city licensed guide giving a fully narrated 45 minute tour covering all the downtown city lights and sights, travelling down both the narrow and main streets. This tour goes where others do not! Nightly departs from parking lot at rear of Love Tree Café 31 Orange Street at 6.00pm 7.00pm 8.00pm 9.00 pm Adults $12 Child under 12 $10. 904-325-0547   www.staugustinegoldtours.com

Big Red Christmas Train Nights of Lights Tours
The Big Red Christmas Train transports riders through St. Augustine's magical Nights of Lights. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season while viewing a magical holiday illusion through your free Magic viewing glasses. Nightly tours are $8 for adults and $4 for children and take place Tours start at Ripley's Believe It or Not, 19 San Marco Avenue from 6 to 8 p.m. (till 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday).On Friday and Saturday, there will be entertainment in the lines and FREE admission to Santa's Village! 904-824-1606  www.redtrains.com

Wednesday and Saturday: December 12 & 15

Historic Weapons Demonstrations at Fort Matanzas
Take the National Park Service's ferry to Rattlesnake Island and experience daily military life at Fort Matanzas - the 18th century Spanish fort that guarded the southern approach to St. Augustine.  From 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., authentically clad re-enactors will demonstrate Spanish muskets and cannons at the fort.  Admission is free.  Fort Matanzas National Monument is located on A1A at the south end of Anastasia Island approximately 15 miles south of St. Augustine.  904.471.0116 NPS.Gov/foma

Thursday: December 13

Winter Chorus Concert
SJCCA Center for the arts at St. Augustine High presents their annual Winter Chorus Concert. The evening is filled with holiday favorites, culminating in the Hallelujah Chorus. St. Augustine High School, 3205 Varella Avenue. Tickets are $5 at the door. 904-547-8530

Thursday through Sunday: December 13 -16

Ancient City Theatre presents Dickens' A Christmas Carol
Fort Matanzas Pioneer Barn, 259 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine will host this one-man presentation of this Christmas classic. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students.  The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday  904-824-8874 oldfloridamuseum.com

Limelight Theatre Presents Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings
Through January 6, Christmas classics delight as well as audience favorites featuring the Rockettes and the Chipmunks! This holiday show is truly heaven-sent! Located at 11 Old Mission Avenue, performances will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25 for adults; $22 for seniors; and $20 for students and active-duty military. 904-825-1164  www.limelight-theatre.org  

Friday and Saturday: December 15 & 16

Amahl and the Night Visitors Opera
The holiday classic, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a 50 minute opera that tells the story of the night the Three Kings, following the star to Bethlehem will take place at St. Anastasia Catholic Church 5205 A1A S., St. Augustine Beach. Free parking. Tickets are $15 for adults and children 12 and under are free with an adult. (904) 471-5364

Santa's Village
Santa's Village is open at 3 Cordova Street in St. Augustine. From 6 to 9 p.m. guests can visit with Santa, make a craft, enjoy hot cocoa, sing holiday karaoke, play reindeer games or enjoy a movie. Admission is $3, or FREE with the purchase of Red Train Sightseeing or Nights of Lights Tour. 904-824-1606

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: December 15 & 16 

Nights of Lights Wine and Carriage Tour
Step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage and meander the historic streets on this 45 minute tour. While enjoying the spectacular light display, indulge in a bottle of delicious boutique wine (red or white). Tours depart from Isabella's Cuban Bar at 19 Cuna Street, at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $46 per person - Adults only! 904-386-5482 www.thetastingtours.com

Saturday: December 15 

Washington Oaks Garden Tour
Join Park Ranger Amanda at 11 a.m. for an hour long tour of the beautiful formal gardens at Washington Oaks! You will learn about the various plants and animals that are found in the park and you will also learn about this park's fascinating history! This program meets in the main garden parking lot and regular park entrance fees apply. WashingtonOaks Gardens State Park is located at 6400 North Oceanshore Boulevard in Palm Coast. 386-446-6783 www.floridastateparks.org

Navidad en el Viejo San Agustín / Christmas in Old St. Augustine
Florida Living History, Inc. ( www.floridalivinghistory.org ), will present its second annual heritage event - Navidad en el Viejo San Agustín / Christmas in Old St. Augustine, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Mission Nombre de Dios. Enjoy Las Posadas - a colonial, Spanish Christmas procession; colonial Spanish musical entertainment; and a 16th-century, Spanish Christmas play along with other activities.www.missionandshrine.org

Changing of the Guard
Presented by the 1740 Spanish Garrison,  Spanish Soldier re-enactors will march to St. Augustine Government House on the west end of the Plaza de la Constitucion where they will relieve the posted guards. A musket fire volley salute will follow. It takes place in the Plaza at 6 p.m.

Candlelight Tours of Villa Zorayda
Explore the beautiful Villa Zorayda during an evening Candlelight Tour. Starting at 6 p.m., enjoy refreshments of cookies and punch. Guided candlelight tour begins at 6:30 p.m. 83 King Street, St. Augustine. Tickets are$16 for adults and $8 for children 7 -12, children 4 -6 are free (not recommended for children under 3). http://www.villaZorayda.com
 

Saturday and Sunday: December 15 & 16 

St. Augustine Ballet Presents The Nutcracker
The St. Augustine Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada Street, Saint Augustine. This magical musical event features elegant costumes, custom-designed scenery, professional dancers and local celebrities, including the Mayor of Saint Augustine. Performances are at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $15 to $30. http://www.saintaugustineballet.com

Sunday: December 16 

Sundancer Yacht Nights of Lights Cruises
Enjoy viewing St. Augustine's brilliant Nights of Lights aboard the 117 foot, two story, luxury yacht Sundancer. The Sundancer is set-up in the holiday spirit with decorations, lights, and holiday music. Starting December 16, cruises will depart nightly through December 30 at 5:15, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez . Tickets are $16 for adults, $10 for children ages 12 - 6, and free for children 6 and under. 877-446-6465 www.SundancerYacht.com

Holiday Tour of Inns - Pictures for your Enjoyment!

Thanks to all the Tour Participants (we estimate had 500-600 people tour the Inn Saturday!) who visited us.  Thanks to Meehan's Irish Pub & Seafood House who blew us away with their signature Macaroni & Cheese (with bacon and grilled shrimp!) and their cheerful crew who worked hard serving up that delightful fare.  Thanks to Randy Cribb for setting up shop and signing his books.  Thanks to Kelly & Janice for all the prep-work before the tour.  Thanks to Beth and Mary for manning the ice water & ice tea table and pouring hundreds of cups for thirsty visitors.  Thanks to Bozena for all her hard work decorating the Inn.  Thanks to Jill Ziebell for her gardening touches - poinsettias and more -  and lending us her Victorian rocking horse.  Thanks to Joe DeCormis (aka Joe the Painter) for building our geese.  It was a grand day!




















12/10/2012

Restaurants Open/Closed on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day

Restaurant Christmas Hours Reservations
95 Cordova Luncheon 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Dinner 4:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.  Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Strongly Suggested  Credit Card Needed to Hold Reservation
A1A Ale Works 11am to 4:00 pm Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day  
Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Downtown Closed  
Amici Italian Restaurant Christmas Eve 11:30-9:30. Closed Christmas Day Strongly Suggested
Ann O’Malleys Irish Pub C.E. Open                                    C.D. Open Walk Ins
Athena Greek Restaurant 7a.m.-10p.m. C. E.                        7a.m.-10p.m. C.D. Walk Ins

   
Aunt Kate’s 11:00a.m. - 9:30p.m. C.E.          11:00a.m. - 9:30p.m. C.D. Walk Ins
Aviles Restaurant & Lounge 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Recommended
Barnacle Bill’s Closed Walk Ins
Beachcomber 7a.m.- 5p.m. C. E.                        Closed C.D. Walk Ins
Beach’s On Vilano Noon to five Walk Ins
Bistro De Leon 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve, 10:00 a.m. -10:00  p.m. Christmas Day Strongly Suggested
Blackfly    
Borillo’s Pizza and Subs 11am to 3:00 pm Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day walk Ins
British Pub    
Cafe Alcazar 11am to 3:00 pm Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day Reservations
Cafe Atlantico 4:00 to 9:00 Christmas Eve.  Closed Christmas Day  
Cafe Cordova 6a.m. - 10p.m. Walk Ins
Cafe Del Hidalgo Closed Walk Ins
Cafe 11 Closed  
Cafe Spain    
Cap’s on the Water Closed Walk Ins
Carmelo’s Marketplace    
Casa Maria Closed Walk Ins
Casa Maya Closed  
Cellar 6 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Christmas Eve, Closed Christmas Day Walk Ins
City Coffee Company Closed Walk Ins
Collage Restaurant   Reservations
Columbia Restaurant 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Reservations
Conch House Restaurant 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day Walk Ins
Creekside Diinery    
Crucial Coffee 7a.m.-10p.m. C. E.                        Closed C.D. Walk Ins
Cruisers Grill 11am to 4:00 pm Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day. Walk Ins
De Noel French Pastry Shop Closed  
Flavors Eatery 11:00a.m.-3:00p.m. C.E.             Closed C.D. Walk Ins
Florida Cracker Cafe 11:00a.m.- 4:00p.m. C.E.           Closed C.D. walk Ins
Fusion Point Closed walk Ins
Gas Full Service Restaurant Closed walk Ins
Gaufre’s Goods Closed  
Georgies Diner Closed walk Ins
Gypsy Cab Lunch 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Dinner 4:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day Call Ahead Seating is available
Habana Village Cafe Closed  
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille 11:00a.m.-10:00p.m. C.E.          Closed C.D. walk Ins
Hot Shot Bakery 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m.C.E.               Closed C.D. walk Ins
Hurricane Pattys at Oyster Creek Closed  
IHOP Restaurant 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve, 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Christmas Day Walk Ins
JJ’s Liberty Bistro Closed  
J.P. Henley’s 11:00a.m.-          C.E.                  Closed C.D. Walk Ins
King Fish Grill Closed Call Ahead seating unless 8 or more dinning.
King’s Head British Pub Closed  
La Cocina Closed  
La Herencia 4:30p.m.-9;30p.m. C.E.               Closed C.D. Walk Ins
La Pentola 11.p.m.-8p.m. Reservations
Le Pavilion 5:00p.m.-9 to 11p.m.C.E.           Closed C.D. Reservations
Local Heroes Closed Walk Ins
Manatee Cafe 8:00a.m.-4:00p.m. C.E.              Closed C.D. Walk Ins
Mango Mango’s 11:00a.m.-5:00p.m. C.E.            Closed C.D. Walk Ins
Mc Leans Public House    
Meehans on Matanzas 10:00a.m.-2:00a.m. C.E.             Closed C.D. Reservations
Mi Casa Cafe    
Mikato Japenese Steakhouse 4:30p.m. - 9:30p.m.  C.E.           Closed  C.D. Walk Ins
Milltop Tavern 11a.m. - 2 a.m. Walk Ins
New Century Buffet 11a.m. - 10p.m. Walk Ins
O.C. Whites Seafood & Spirits Closed Walk Ins
Old City House Inn & Restaurant 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Christmas Eve, 2:00 p.m. -5:00  p.m. Christmas Day Reservations
O’steens Closed  
Panama Hattie’s Lounge And Restaurant Closed  
Pizza Time Restaurant 10:30a.m.-8:00p.m. C.E.            Closed C.D. Walk Ins
Pizzalley’s Chianti Room Closed  
Playa Chac-Mool Closed  
Present Moment Cafe Closed 22nd Holiday meal pick up. For $18-.
Raintree 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day Reservations
Saltwater Cowboys Closed  
Sangrias Tapas & Piano Bar    
Sara’s Crepe Cafe 8:00a.m.-12:00a.m. C.E.             8:00a.m.- 12:00a.m. C.D. Reservations
Scarlett O’Haras    
Schmagel’s Bagels Closed  
Schooners Seafood House Closed C.E.                                 Closed C.D. Walk Ins
South A Philly Closed  
South Beach Grill Closed Walk Ins
Villagio Italian Grille 6:30a.m.-2p.m. C.E.                    10:30a.m.-3:30p.m. C.D. Buffet Reservation Only
The Bunnery Closed  
The Prince of Wales Closed  
The Reef Restaurant 11:00a.m.-9:00p.m. C.E.             Closed C.D. Reservations
The Taco Shop Closed  
The Tasting Room 3:00p.m.-5:00p.m.-10:00p.m. C.E. Closed C.D. Reservations