Perfect Gainesville Florida weekend

Thursday night rolled around and I didn’t have any plans for the weekend! I knew this had to be remedied immediately.

I started searching for somewhere that I didn’t think wouldn’t be packed with spring breakers, didn’t cost $400 plus a night for lodging and offered some type of hiking and adventuring. Some of the spots we had been wanting to go were coming up short; way too much for a last minute, budget trip.

We recently went to Disney World and I remembered all the state park signs on I-75 between Lake City and Gainesville, I had also seen some springs on Instagram, so I checked out Gainesville for hotels. I found Hotel Indigo in Celebration Pointe, Gainesville for… READY FOR THIS? Under $100 a night!!

I actually went to college for two semesters at University of Florida in Gainesville but spent all my time partying so I completely missed out on the goodness this part of the state offers.

Gainesville Here We Come!

My itinerary was very vague. I wanted to hike at Payne’s Prairie State Park and kayak at Gilchrist Blue Springs or Ginnie Springs. Also had found the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Devils Milhopper Geological State Park that I was interested in as well. My husband and I both have ties to Gainesville and University of Florida, so we wanted to check out the campus as well. And of course, check out the food scene!

We arrived Friday night to Gainesville and were pleasantly surprised with our accommodations. The staff was very helpful, hotel was new and very clean, there was a beautiful hanging garden in the lobby, up to date decor and a hotel bar that was open! We were pooped though, so we showered and hit the hay, knowing that we had an early morning in order to ensure we made it to the park before it filled up. With COVID-19 still affecting everything, state parks limit visitors in order to maintain social distancing.

Saturday morning, we woke up, grabbed Starbucks and headed to Payne’s Prairie State Park.

Payne’s Prairie State Park

Payne’s Prairie State Park is located at 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy FL 32667; just south of Gainesville. There is a $6 entry fee per vehicle to enter the park. The park is normally open from 8 am to sundown.

Far from the Far West, herds of wild horses and bison roam the prairie in this surprisingly diverse preserve south of Gainesville. Paynes Prairie is unique in many ways. Nowhere else in Florida can visitors experience wild-roaming bison and horses. Nearly 300 species of birds also frequent the park along with alligators, deer and many other animals. The park’s eight trails, including the 16-mile paved Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, allow one to explore the park’s interior and observe wildlife, while a 50-foot high observation tower provides for panoramic views. You can hike the La Chua Trail, Bolen Bluff Trail, Wacahoota Trail, Cone’s Dike Trail, Chacala Trail, Lake Trail, Jackson’s Gap Trail, Gainesville Hawthorne Trail, and Savannah Boulevard.

La Chua Trail – Pets are NOT allowed on this trail.

During drought conditions, vegetation may limit wildlife viewing opportunities along the LaChua Trail. This is part of the natural fluctuation of water levels. Abundant water and alligators sightings will return when Mother Nature provides a wetter rain cycle.

The LaChua Trail is three miles round-trip from the north rim of the prairie to the observation tower. This trail provides scenic views of wet-prairie and marsh habitat including Alachua Sink and Alachua Lake. Main access is at 4801 Camp Ranch Road. LaChua Trail opens at 8 a.m., seven days a week. For safety and wildlife disturbance reasons, the trail closes one hour before sunset. Alternate access is from Boulware Springs at 3500 S.E. 15th St. (Boulware Springs is also the starting point of the Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail).

  • Foot traffic only! Pets are not allowed on this trail.

Bolen Bluff Trail – Pets are NOT allowed on this trail.

The 2.6-mile round-trip trail is named after a family of pioneer settlers who lived on the south rim or bluff of Paynes Prairie. The trail leads to a wildlife viewing deck after it passes beneath the shady canopy of a hardwood forest dominated by large oaks – the most impressive of which are Southern live oak. Other species of oaks as well as sweetgum, hickory, palm, magnolia and holly trees flourish along the trail. In Florida, communities of broad-leaved evergreens or hardwood-dominated forests are called hammocks. This name probably originated from early Native Americans who inhabited the region. Hammocks grow on high well-drained soils and thus provide an ideal habitat for a large diversity of animal species including Virginia white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobcat, gray fox, barred owl and raccoon.

Located halfway along the loop-trail is an open, grassy knoll – Bolen Bluff. The bluff affords the visitor a scenic vista of the low-lying freshwater marsh, wet prairie and open water of Alachua Lake. From the bluff a 0.5-mile spur-trail heads out onto the prairie basin along an old earthen dike. During the 1920-30s, the Camp family constructed an extensive system of dikes and canals into the vast wetland to reduce the flooding and thus create drier conditions for cattle ranching. In 1970 the Camp Ranch was sold to the state of Florida, establishing the first state preserve in the Florida Park System.

  • Today, upland areas once cleared for agriculture and cattle grazing are slowly returning to their previous hammock state.
  • The trailhead is accessed off U.S. 441 south of Gainesville. Open daily 8 a.m. to sundown. Foot and bike traffic.

Wacahoota Trail

About a quarter-mile round-trip. Begins at visitor center and loops through hammock to a 50-foot observation tower along the edge of the prairie.

  • Closes at sunset.
  • Foot traffic only!

Cone’s Dike Trail – Pets are NOT allowed on this trail.

This trail is an 8.25-mile round-trip hike from the visitor center parking area trailhead. The earthen dike trail travels into the center of the prairie creek waterway. The flat terrain of the basin is quite open and has limited shade for hikers or bicyclists.

  • Closes at sunset.
  • Foot and bike traffic.

Chacala Trail

A series of loop trails encompassing 6.5 miles in length, Chacala Trail is named after a small freshwater pond just outside the preserve boundary. The level trail winds through several distinct biological communities, including pine flatwoods, hardwood forest or hammock, baygall, open ponds and old fields. A quiet hiker might observe a diversity of wildlife, including Virginia white-tailed deer, bobcat, wild turkey, pileated woodpecker, bald eagle and various woodpeckers.

  • Horse, bike and foot traffic.

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

The trail is 16 miles in length. Access from Boulware Springs at 3500 S.E. 15th St. Boulware Springs is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. November through April, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May through October. Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, however, is open 8 a.m. to sundown daily. Horse, bike and foot traffic. 

Lake Trail

A little less than a mile in length from Lake Wauburg parking area to Savannah Boulevard.

  • Foot and bike traffic.

Jackson’s Gap Trail

This 1.3-mile trail passes through shady hammock and pine flatwoods to connect two of the longest trails within the preserve, Cone’s Dike and Chacala Trail.

Jackson Gap Trail was named after a pioneering cattle rancher from the turn of the 19th century, Archie L. Jackson, who moved cattle through a gap in the fence where the trail passes near Chacala Pond.

Jackson Gap Trail connects with Cone’s Dike Trail 0.15 mile down the trail. Wetland wildlife in the area includes sandhill crane, American alligator, egrets and herons, and rails. Occasionally, the Spanish horses or American bison may be seen grazing in the marsh.

Savannah Boulevard

Visitors also can enjoy walking down the paved park entrance road.

Our Experience at Payne’s Prairie State Park

When we got there, we checked out the observation deck, hiked a short Wacahoota Trail, and then began the Cone’s Dike Trail (8.25 miles). With such a light breakfast and no water with us, I figured we wouldn’t make it very far…maybe 2 miles in and then 2 out.

As we walked into the trail, we saw wild horses in the distance. There is a sign warning not to approach the horses, bison or gators. This trail takes you right out in the prairie and then through what I would call a swamp with tons of moss lined Cypress trees and gators, lots of gators. We saw plenty of birds and even a bald eagle. We made it all the way to the end of the trail. The weather was cool and we were enjoying it so much, we made it all the way. But now what? We had over 4 miles to get back. We decided to sit down up against the gate marking the end of the trail and take a break. After about 20 minutes, we were recharged and ready to head back. We saw very few people on the trail past the two mile out point, so it was very serene and peaceful. On the way back, we actually even got to see the Bison in the distance!

Make sure if you head to Paynes Prairie to take water and even a small snack, granola bar or something. We were very fortunate the weather was cool Saturday and we got an early start. Also a lot of the hike on Cone’s Dike Trail is not shaded; be sure to use sunscreen and a hat. Also bring some bug spray! We didn’t encounter any bugs, but I can imagine when it gets even warmer the mosquitos could be bad in the swampy area. Research the park and make sure you chose a trail to your fitness level and the current weather conditions.

We were almost to the point of being Hangry. I found a brewery, but my hubby didn’t like the reviews, so he found one. We got there and found out they don’t serve food, so plan B. He found a Thai restaurant; we made the drive there and they were closed. Strike Two. So I recommended we just go back to the hotel area and find food there.

Hotel Indigo is located in Celebration Pointe. There are a lot of options for food and shopping. You can see what Celebration Pointe has to offer here – Celebration Pointe. We decided on The Keys for our linner. It is a piano bar & restaurant that has an island vibe, tasty cocktails and delicious food. We started with the gator bites and cocktails; I must say this was the best gator we’ve ever had. I ordered the Cuban and my husband had The old man and the sea sandwich (basically a Cuban sandwich with shrimp). We were both pleased with our choices. Full bellies and tired feet took us back to shower and see what we were going to do next.

After a short rest, we decided to get ice cream at Kilwins. We have enjoyed Kilwins in Highlands, NC and Charleston, SC, so we knew it wouldn’t disappoint.

While we were enjoying our ice cream, I spotted Le Macaron, a French pastry shop. Since our trip to France in 2015, I have enjoyed French pastries especially macarons. The sign out front said they had wine too, so we decided to check it out. No room for anymore dessert, but there’s always room for wine.

I had a glass of Champagne and my hubby had some red wine. We checked out all the macarons and pastries and decided we would head back to eat breakfast there Sunday morning.

After the 9+ mile hike and having a full tummy, we were just ready to call it a night.

Sunday morning we packed up and loaded the car.

Breakfast at Le Macaron

Then we headed to Le Macaron for Pan Chocolate (chocolate croissants). We arrived before they opened, but as soon as we walked in, the worker was packaging up a large order of pastries; no more pan chocolate or croissants. While we waited for a new batch of pan chocolate to come out of the oven, my hubby enjoyed his coffee and we tasted a few macarons. The pan chocolate was amazing right out of the oven.

University of Florida

My husband wanted to go see one of his childhood homes. We explored the University of Florida campus and checked out Lake Alice. He got to see where he lived and went to daycare. I also got to see one of the dormitories I stayed in while there.

Gilchrist Blue Spring State Park

Gilchrist Blue Springs is located at 7450 N.E. 60th St., High Springs FL 32643. There is an entry fee from $4-6 per vehicle to enter the park. They are open daily from 8 am to sundown.

Gilchrist Blue Springs is the newest addition to Florida State Parks!

The park contains a collection of natural springs, including a large second-magnitude spring that produces an average of 44 million gallons of water per day. This spring, known as Gilchrist Blue, has outstanding water clarity and discharges water through a shallow spring run about one-quarter mile to the Santa Fe River.

The other named springs on-site are Little Blue Spring, Naked Spring, Kiefer Spring and Johnson Spring, which provide scenic vistas and photographic opportunities.

The most significant ecological habitats include the spring run stream and floodplain communities. The main spring run is renowned for a diversity of wildlife species, including turtles, fish and invertebrates. Redbreast and spotted sunfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish can be observed in waters with unparalleled visibility. 

Paddling, snorkeling and swimming are all popular at the park. Pavilions are available, and a concession stand provides food and beverage service plus paddling equipment rentals. Other popular activities include camping, hiking, nature study and picnicking. 

Our Experience at Gilchrist Blue Spring State Park

We stopped at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. Luckily they had room for us to enter and even still had kayaks to rent. We kayaked through the spring and up the Sante Fe River. Paddling up stream was tough, especially for my hubby as I was not much help. When I did paddle I sent us the wrong direction. We decided to head back downstream and just go relax in the spring floating in the kayak.

After our kayaking, we hit the trail. It’s marked with the blue blaze and is a little over a mile. There are some gems along the path, that are must sees. A smaller spring that is being preserved, that doesn’t allow swimming or kayaking was so undisturbed and absolutely stunning. There are also some massive cypress trees along the hike. The hike is very easy, but not one you want to miss.

By the time we finished exploring there, it was 3 p.m. and once again we forgot to even eat lunch, so we were starved. We also had a three hour drive to get home. There were some local spots, but with it being Easter Sunday, some places were closed. We decided on a quick stop at Five Guys for a burger and fries.

This was an absolute perfect weekend to get out in the convertible, hike in some new places and explore this beautiful world we live in. We will make plans to go back to explore some more of the area. Gainesville and surrounding areas really has a lot to offer; it’s not just a college town.

Where are you exploring and enjoying?

XOXO

-S

There is “more to life” even in a Pandemic

COVID-19, we give you the permission to get the heck out of dodge. It’s time to be wild & free. I have been out wandering, but with all preventative measures in place. I have been using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The plan is to continue all measures that are needed to protect myself and others. I don’t think things will ever go back to pre-pandemic times. Now we spend more time at home and sometimes are even able to venture out close to home for exercise or visiting local sites. Pre-pandemic our lives were so hustle and bustle; this is time to slow down and smell the roses.

Zanne at Where Gals Wander inspired me to answer the question – “Is there more to life”?

There is still more!

Quit making excuses and find your “more to life”.

This Pandemic may have you thinking that maybe there isn’t more to life outside your home’s four walls. But that is a lie, don’t listen. There are tons of opportunities to get out and about while still maintaining social distancing and wearing PPE.

COVID-19 Road trips

We have managed to get in quite a few road trips in to Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and around our home state of Georgia. All of our road trips were within a 5 hour drive from our house; if someone would have gotten sick, we could easily get home the same day. We whitewater rafted, boated, played at the beach, ate a lot of wonderful food, found our new favorite ice cream spot, visited some museums, went glamping, hiked and chased waterfalls all while masked and/or 6-feet apart.  Mostly, we are spending time making memories, once again, the more to life.

Here are some of my favorite places that we have visited during 2020 (The year of COVID-19).

Dry Falls, North Carolina
Upper White Water Falls, North Carolina
Margaritaville, Florida
Driftwood Beach, Georgia
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Linville Falls Winery, North Carolina
Linn Cove Viaduct, North Carolina

Staying Safe

Everywhere we have went the majority of people followed all local ordinances.  You can be responsible and still be able to keep everyone safe. During this whole pandemic I can say, that I have never felt like anyone was doing anything unsafe that would negatively affect my health.

I am very fortunate that I am working from home and still have a job (that a lot of people no longer have). COVID-19 came into our communities like a wrecking ball, wrecking jobs, turning schools upside down and for goodness sake, we can’t even find any toilet tissue that is not sand paper textured.

The important thing that we have to see is that things are getting better and as soon as YOU feel safe, it’s time to get back out and spend your time on the trails, meeting new friends, and visiting beautiful sites. Now the timing will be tricky as all states are in different phases of how everything operates; some restaurants are only take out, while others you can eat in. Your perfect time, is when you feel comfortable. One day the supply chain will start functioning at full capacity and we will be able to get products we once could easily get, we will get back to our favorite restaurants, and exploring in favorite or new cities.

Travel Responsibly

Travel responsibly though, make sure you are close enough to home, so if you get sick, you can get home quickly. You do not want to be a hindrance on another hospital (that already might be at full capacity). Some smaller hospitals cannot handle a lot of patients and if a surge of folks travel to said location and get sick, much stress would be put on the hospital and its staff. Make sure to carry some food and water with you in the car, because some areas, restaurants have still not opened or are opened for limited hours. Be prepared to get take out, find a park, and have a picnic; make it part of the adventure…See there it is…more to life.

Opportunity Knocks

COVID-19 has made us come to the realization that we now have opportunities with our families, that we would normally not have pre-pandemic. Life seems to have slowed down. There is more time to exercise, hike and explore nature, participate in your hobbies, maybe play some backyard baseball, and time to prepare delicious recipes.

Things can be simple; even with simple things, there is still more to life. A lot of people complain about all things COVID-19 and I can be one of them too. When you think about the times 10 or 20 years down the road, there will be stories to tell about dinner table conversations, that time when mom made me hike on Mother’s Day, crazy graduation ceremonies, and inventive things we had to do to be safe while also having fun. We will look back and have memories of all the together time that we have been blessed with. Perspective.

Bottom Line: Even when things aren’t status quo, you can still find your “more to life”. Make the ordinary extraordinary by finding something fabulous in each day!

I have been hiking more, running some, recreating photos that I took on my travels in digital design, and traveling the world through food.  I have been cooking Mexican, Filipino, Indian (here’s my vindaloo & naan recipe), Italian, American, Canadian, French, Spanish, and Caribbean cuisine.  If I can’t travel internationally right now, I can surely pretend (remember we learned that in kindergarten) and enjoy the foods of my favorite places.

Planning for that dream vacation

And of course, being on the International travel sidelines…I have been planning two huge trips booked for 2021; Peru and a Mediterranean Cruise.  While sitting the bench, it’s a perfect time to get to plan that dream vacation; you can plan a local road trip too!

Start dreaming about what you want to do, where you want to go, how you want to make a difference, make a plan, put your mask on, grab the hand sanitizer, give people their personal space and most of all be nice. Everyone is dealing with COVID-19 and there could be things going on in others’ lives that you don’t see on the outside. Be the reason they smile today!

Life will go on!  Live it!

XOXO

-S

36 hours on Amelia Island

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, Amelia Island is the place to go.  With over 40 public beaches, state parks, and an island full of history, this hidden gem doesn’t feel like any other.  You can easily sneak away for the weekend, spend 36 hours here and return home feeling refreshed and renewed.

Amelia Island is located just north of Jacksonville and is a bit off the beaten path, so it is not overrun by thousands of tourists.  Fernandina Beach historic district (on Amelia Island) boasts some Victorian architecture and over 400 historic structures that are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Where to Stay in Amelia Island

We stayed at the Amelia Schoolhouse Inn, which was originally built as the first school on Amelia Island in 1886.  The school closed down and then the building was restored and reopened as the Schoolhouse Inn in 2017.  This boutique hotel has 17 rooms, a pool, a courtyard with putting green and a bar.  The bar is called “The Principal’s Office” that gives a unique historic flair to their cocktails.  The Schoolhouse Inn is located in a prime location, where you are within walking distance to over 30 restaurants and shopping.

 

The rooms are decorated in a schoolhouse theme and are very cute!  The rooms are well appointed to include cozy robes and plush beds.

Amelia Schoolhouse Inn Location:
914 Atlantic Ave
Fernandina Beach, FL

Amelia Island Weekend Guide

Friday

We drove down from Georgia Friday afternoon. We arrived to the Amelia Schoolhouse Inn and were greeted with such Southern Hospitality. The “innkeeper” lives on property and as soon as we checked in, she showed us to our room and made sure everything was perfect for us.

We put our bags away and headed directly to the Principal’s Office for a snack and drinks before we headed to our dinner reservations. I had two Principal’s Ritas and my hubby had two Rum Punches. These weren’t your ordinary drinks though, they are well thought out and much care was taken in preparation. Make sure you watch when they make your drink, you might see a flame and smoke involved in the preparation!

For dinner, we headed to Burlingame Restaurant. They realize dining out is more than just the food on your plate. They focus on the whole dining experience. I had the steak and frites and my husband had the Red Snapper. My husband hates eating anything related to rice out (he lived in Japan) and is a Puerto Rican native, so he knows his Red Snapper. They won him over though with the deliciousness and perfect preparation of everything. My steak and frites was delicious and was presented perfectly. I had a Lovely Rita at Burlingame and it was fabulous as well!

 

Burlingame Restaurant Location:
20 South 5th St
Fernandina Beach, FL

Sunset at Fernandina Harbor Marina

When we walked out of dinner, we saw the sun starting to set as we walked down Atlantic Avenue in downtown Fernandina. The sun as it peaked through the old oaks covered in Spanish Moss was an irresistible sight. We weren’t really sure where we were headed as we headed towards the mesmerizing sunshine, but the road ends at the marina where you can watch a fabulous sunset every evening.

Fernandina Harbor Marina Location:
3 S Front St
Fernandina Beach, FL

Saturday

Big Talbot Island State Park

While Big Talbot Island State Park is not on Amelia Island, it is a short drive and in my opinion worth it to visit. Big Talbot Island State Park is primarily a natural preserve providing a premier location for nature study, bird-watching and photography. Bird watching and nature photography are some of my absolute favorite things, so we spent the morning exploring here. The Boneyard Beach at the park had very few people and it was a very peaceful morning of exploration and photography. Boneyard Beach is a mile long beach littered with bleached skeletons of oaks that have tumbled on the beach through erosion. To me, it compares to Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island in Georgia. The Boneyard Beach is much less crowded though and much easier to explore and photograph freely.

Big Talbot State Park Location:
A1A North
Jacksonville, FL

Wave crashing and Beach laying

After we hiked almost 3 miles at the Boneyard, we headed to splash in the waves on Amelia Island. We headed to Main Beach Park. The beach had quite a bit of people, but plenty of room to social distance and enjoy ourselves. We enjoyed the water and a little laying in the sun. This beach has nearby rentals, restaurants, restrooms, pavilions, volleyball nets, and even lifeguards.

Main Beach Park Location:
32 N Fletcher Ave
Fernandina Beach Fl

We were ready for some drinks and a late lunch, so we headed to Timoti’s Seafood Shak for a light lunch. They are a casual dining establishment, but are full of fresh and flavorful seafood.

Timoti’s Location:
21 N 3rd St
Fernandina Beach, FL

Due to social distancing and limited seating at Timoti’s, we took our sandwich to-go and ate back at the Schoolhouse Inn. We split a grouper sandwich and it was absolutely delicious. Although the Principals Office was not officially open, they were able to serve us wine to go with our lunch. After we finished lunch, we lounged by the pool until it was time to get ready for dinner.

Dinner at Espana

Espana Restuarant and Tapas specializes in traditional flavors from Spain & Portugal. They are located in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. Choose to dine in our cozy main dining room, enclosed patio dining room or in our lush outdoor garden. We ordered four tapas (octopus, potatoes, pork belly (special) and duck empanadas (special)) and dessert (cheesecake with raspberry sauce) and of course some sangria.

Espana Location:
22 S. 4th Street
Fernandina Beach, FL

Walking tour of Fernandina Beach

After dinner, we walked around enjoying the shops and historic sites. There are boutiques and antique stores everywhere with so much to see.

The macarons at Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop were very fresh and delicious! This bake shop is right next to Timoti’s so I had scoped it out earlier in the day when we were nearby.

Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop Location:
13 N. 3rd St
Fernandina Beach, FL 

Sunset! Did you say sunset?

Another night, another sunset. Today, we didn’t make it to the Harbor as early as Friday, so we caught the end of the sunrise with more pinks and purples in the sky.

Today was absolutely filled with a ton of food and drinks, so we headed back to the room to relax with our full bellies. Now for a good nights rest before our Sunday explorations.

Sunday

We woke up early and headed to get breakfast. Hopped in the convertible and were headed to a breakfast spot when we spotted a corner Cuban restaurant called Hola Cuban Cafe and detoured. We had cheese pastelitos and pork empanadas. They had great cafecitos too! It was a perfect taste of the Caribbean.

Hola Cuban Cafe Location:
31 S 5th St
Fernandina Beach, FL

Fort Clinch State Park

Fort Clinch State Park is located right in Fernandina Beach. The historic fort is only one aspect of this diverse 1,400-acre park. Maritime hammocks with massive arching live oaks provide a striking backdrop for hiking and biking on the park’s many trails. You can also view the lighthouse at Egan’s Creek Scenic View.

Ft Clinch State Park Location:
2601 Atlantic Ave.
Fernandina Beach FL

Pier on Fernandina Beach

We had heard from locals, that we needed to check out the pier on the beach, but we had to do a little hunting to find it, as it isn’t very advertised. The closest beach access to the pier is Beach access 33, but the closest beach access with parking is Beach access 35. It is a wooden pier that is among one of the most photographed spots on the island, so of course, I had to check it out. This end of the beach had very few people, but a storm was rolling in. We wandered the beach, watching the birds and getting our feet wet before we headed back home.

This weekend was very refreshing and relaxing packed with a ton of tasty food and drinks. We would definitely recommend Amelia Island for a laid back food inspired weekend!

XOXO

-S

 

Escape Rooms for 2019

So we started 2019 with and escape room and finished it with an escape room. We tried our first one in Orlando at the beginning of the year and were hooked.

Our first escape room was at The Escape Game in Orlando. We almost escaped The Heist. We had to choose the room based on my back brace as we really wanted to do Prison Break…but The Heist was more suited to me because I couldn’t bend or twist. The Escape Game is right next to Cooper’s Hawk Winery…so be sure to check that out while you’re there too! You won’t go wrong!

Next up was Situation Room in Macon Georgia where we faced Red vs Blue. We accomplished our goal here though!

Next stop Escape Artists in Warner Robins. We tried The Cabin here…it was more of a mystery than an escape…but we scheduled at the last minute and just had to roll with what was available for our large group.

We made a day trip to Savannah to try the Escape Company where we escaped the Speak Easy. It was a lot of fun. They even have a bar where you can have a drink before or after your escape room. We went on a Sunday though and sadly the bar was closed.

On the way to Miami for our Christmas cruise, we headed back to the Escape Game in Orlando and escaped Prison Break. This I think is definitely been our favorite of the year. And yes we went to Cooper’s Hawk Winery afterwards to indulge in food and wine!

Blayne was in town, and he has missed out on all the escape room fun, so before he heads back to college tomorrow, we had to hit up Situation Room for Stellar: Re-loaded. One day we will have all 4 kids in one…but Baylee has to work today.

If you haven’t tried an escape room…get out there and do it! One key, for us over 40s bring your readers so you can see!

XOXO

-S