Playing Tourist in My Own Town

My oldest brother and his wife visited a couple of weekends ago and I offered to take a day off and go with them, ifthey wanted. They were only going to be here a couple of days on their way to other parts of Florida. It was their first time here too, even though I have been here 17 years or so, but that is another story and I think they now realize the error in their ways. The main reason I offered, was so I could play tourist in my own town . . . and to spend time with them, of course. We first visited the Fountain of Youth park. I hadn’t been there in a few years. Actually, it may have been since my youngest was in the 4th grade on a field trip, since that is the year they learn State history. I remembered the Navigator’s Planetarium and the Discovery Globe, and, of course, the peacocks roaming around, but they had additional exhibits and demonstrations that were very enjoyable. Then we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, or, as most people say, The Fort. We were on the top deck and the Spanish soldiers were making their way up the steps to perform a cannon firing. My brother turned and said to me, “How many times have you already seen this? Don’t you get tired of it?” I answered pretty quickly – not how many times, because who knows? But, I did say that I never get tired of it. I have visited a lot of our tourist areas with friends and family over the years – the Lighthouse, the Alligator Farm, downtown, The Fort, and others, and each time I learn something new and each time I really enjoy the sights and sounds of history. I feel very fortunate that I get to live in such a beautiful town with so much history to experience and learn every day, and, when family and friends come to visit.


Open House Event this Weekend!

What a great opportunity for all potential buyers and sellers in St. Johns County this weekend. The local St. Augustine & St. Johns County Board of Realtors and The St. Augustine Record have gotten together to plan a St. Johns County Open House Weekend! There should be lots of homes and condominiums open for viewing between Saturday, Marsh 25th and Sunday, March 26th.

For buyers; it will be easy to go check out some of the neighborhoods you may be most interested in and view some of the homes you have been watching on the online sites – but you get to see them in person!

For sellers; if you are currently listed with a local Realtor, you have the opportunity to have your home be seen by a lot of potential purchasers. What a great opportunity indeed!

If you are just thinking of marketing your home for sale, you can take this opportunity to view some of the properties that you may be competing with in the marketplace and get an idea of how you will want to present your home when you are ready to list.

So, get out there, enjoy the weekend, and see a lot of great homes throughout the County. While you are out there, make sure to stop by and see me at the great home in Ocean Palms that I will be holding open on Saturday from 12:00 PM until 3:00 PM. See you there!

For property details and directions: 320 San Nicolas Way, St. Augustine, FL 32080 

Is Spanish Moss Really Spanish?

On my recent visit to the Fountain of Youth, there was some discussion about the Spanish Moss that you see hanging from trees all over the southern United States and specifically here, in beautiful St. Augustine. One of the prettiest streets is Magnolia Avenue leading into the Fountain of Youth. The tree lined street leads to a canopy of branches dripping with Spanish Moss. However, we know that the stuff dripping from the trees isn’t moss and it isn’t Spanish.

If you research it, the true name is usneoides which means “resembling Usnea” and upon further research, Useana is also known as beard lichen. However, the plant isn’t either of those things either – moss or lichen. It is technically a flowering plant (angiosperm) in the family Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) which grows hanging from tree branches in full sun through partial shade. Read  more: Florida Plant Encyclopedia

So, how did it get its name? Lots of stories are out there. The Native Americans, including our local Timucuan Indians, called it “tree hair,” which, it does resemble hair growing on the trees. The first explorers encountered it as something different and had to come up with a name as well. Since they didn’t tend to like each other, the French called it “Spanish beard” while the Spanish called the plant “French hair.” However, even though our area has dominant Spanish roots, the name that has stuck for the plant is Spanish Moss. The site I found most interesting was 10 Things You Should Know About Spanish Moss.

So, next time someone comments on the Spanish Moss hanging from the tree – -you can mention this little tidbit! And, if you want to find your own home in the St. Augustine area and have your own tree with Spanish Moss, just give me a call!

Magnolia Avenue

Irish for a Day in the Old City

If you will be in St. Augustine for St. Patrick’s Day, you have a great opportunity for some good food and fun. I wanted to see where someone who wants to be Irish for a day would go – and Trip Advisor gave me the Top 5 Irish Restaurants (Pubs, right?) in St. Augustine.

What is great is that anywhere you are in St. Johns County, you won’t be too far from an Irish Pub and some great food!
Meehan’s Irish Pub, Barley Republic Public House and Ann O’Malley’s Deli & Pub are all located within and around the historic downtown area. You can get great views of the Bayfront from Meehan’s along with your food. Ann O’Malley’s is on the north side of downtown, so close to the parking garage, if that makes it easier for you to get there. Barley Republic is on Spanish Street and always puts up a tent with great music, food and drinks!

If you don’t want to venture downtown, you are not out of luck! For those on or near Anastasia Island, O’Loughlin Pub is located at 6975 A1A South just south of the intersection of A1A and SR 206. Of course, you can pop in to the party at the World Famous Oasis as well, since they always put up a tent, even if they are not technically an Irish Pub!

North of town isn’t left out either, since you have Donovan’s Irish Pub located at 7440 US Highway 1 North, right by Palencia!
So, you can go out and be Irish for the day and get some great food, great drinks – and great friendships with those enjoying right beside you!

Time to Spring Forward

It is that time of year again — Daylight Savings Time officially begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 12th!  I don’t plan on staying up for it — I’ll just wake up for it in the morning.  It will provide us with a little bit more light at the end of the day to, well, enjoy our day!  What can you do with the extra light at the end of the day?  Take a walk, run or bike ride?  Enjoy the beach for a little longer?  Stroll around downtown? Work in your garden?  Make an appointment to see that home you have been wanting to see? Or, make an appointment to have your favorite realtor over to list your home for sale? Great ideas!! Me? It will be easier to get in a walk with the dog!  How about you?

Great Island Neighborhood – Gorgeous Lake View!

If you are looking for a great neighborhood on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, you need to consider Ocean Palms. This gated community consists of single family homes of block construction on over 40 acres of conservation area. Some of the homes are patio homes  – meaning  the neighborhood association takes care of the lawn care on your behalf. The list of great amenities include a community pool, playground and river park with views of the intracoastal waterway.

If you are looking for a great home within Ocean Palms, look no further than the gorgeous lake views of 320 San Nicolas Way. A nice flowing floorplan with lake views from almost every room and a three car garage! Yes, a 3 car garage on the island – rare indeed!

To view homes for sale in Ocean Palms contact Karen below:

Why I Do What I Do

I had a tremendous experience in December that really helped me realize why I do what I do – that is, why I am a Realtor.  I helped my daughter and her boyfriend purchase their first home.  There were a few ups and downs during the search, like the time we pulled up to a home to view and there were shingles all over the ground!  Yikes!  And there were a few things that had to get cleared for the lender, like them thinking my credit card was a second credit card of my daughter’s.  We made it through and sat at the closing table at 5:30 PM on a Wednesday (with a great and accommodating attorney, I might add), so that she and her boyfriend could become the owners of their first home.  Since then there has been painting, new appliances, painting, new flooring, painting, new garage door opener – oh, and did I mention painting?

They are happy to be in a place they can call their own and in a property where they can build equity rather than paying rent.  More importantly, they are in a home where they can make memories and build a life.  That is why I do what I do – to help people achieve their dreams and goals, whatever those may be.  Yes, I also do it because my husband suggested it all those years ago, but I do it because I like to help.  I like being a help to those that want to buy a new home or second home/condo for new memories with the people important to them, or help those selling their home where they have made lots of memories to move on to the next stage of their lives.  I like helping by explaining the process, by showing properties, by showing people around this great area, by helping people determine their options, by just being there to help.

If you would like Karen to help you realize your goal of selling or owning a home or condo, please use the contact form below.

Open House in Ocean Palms

Saturday, February 25 | 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

For details see: 320 San Nicolas Way | St Augustine, FL 32080

  • Covered lanai with views of the lake and nature preserve
  • Living areas and master bedroom showcase the beautiful views with large sliding doors and windows
  • Light and bright concrete block home
  • Tiled living areas, updated stainless appliances, and updated systems.
  • Three car garage (hard to find on the island)
  • Great island location in Ocean Palms
  • Close to the beach
  • No storm damage to the homes in this neighborhood

Learn more about the community of Ocean Palms

Open House in Marsh Creek

Saturday, February 25th | 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

 For details: 238 Marshside Drive | St Augustine, FL 32080

  • Gorgeous water to golf views from the screened lanai, or in the family room, kitchen and master bedroom.
  • Move-in ready Marsh Creek home.
  • Unique floor plan highlights the views.
  • Formal and casual living spaces.
  • Spacious and upgraded kitchen overlooks the family room and breakfast area. Great for entertaining!
  • Roof, A/C, and more in newer condition for peace of mind.
  • Paver drive and beautifully landscaped.