Wednesday, June 29, 2011

St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine

I've never stayed at a bed and breakfast and I never thought I would. I always thought they were for couples and I also thought they were too cozy. When I go on vacation, I like to do things when I want, and I like to come and go when I please. My first experience at a bed and breakfast happened a couple of days ago. In the oldest city at the oldest inn, I fell in love with a bed and breakfast after tasting a few of the amenities and experiencing their warm hospitality! It was different from anything I had imagined!
The Saint Francis Inn is hosting my family for a few nights at their beach house, and we were given the opportunity to be pampered and spoiled by the Innkeeper and his staff.
When we arrived, we parked across from the entrance in the shady parking lot. After we crossed the narrow street, we entered the courtyard and admired the view!
Red rocking chairs and a swing welcomed us! The grounds were shaded by massive oaks and surrounded by lush landscaping. I could sit out there for hours and enjoy reading a great book ! It was peaceful and very relaxing. A breeze chased away the heat and humidity, making it comfortable and cool!
A Koi pond surrounded by stone was a favorite spot for Logan and Sam. Each and every time we visited, they had to stop and look. A turtle lurks here and my children tried to see who could find it first!
When we checked in, we were greeted by a smiling face. We were given a map, a book on dining options, coupons for a free dessert for two at select restaurants, and Lighthouse tickets! We were invited to dine and enjoy evening socials and desserts, and were were given our keys. I'll tell you more about Our Beach House later!
 On Sunday morning, we drove over for Brunch. Even though it was beautiful outside, we opted to eat in the Inn's spacious dining room. It was filled with friendly faces, each enjoying a thoughtfully prepared meal.
 The dining room has plenty of seating and it's furnished with beautiful antiques. There is more than enough room to walk around tables, so even if the room is full, it doesn't feel crowded!
Conversation flowed freely with other visitors of the Inn. We had fun, smiled at each other's kids, talked about our plans and gave each other recommendations on things to do!
 While we talked, I enjoyed the best Belgium Waffles I've ever had. I topped mine with syrup and delicious homemade whipped cream.  I also enjoyed a fruit salad and fresh squeezed orange juice! My husband raved about the greatest eggs he's ever had and he's talked about them every day since to anyone who will listen!
There was an assortment of cereals, granola, fresh breads, hard boiled eggs, sausages, and fruit parfaits. It was all beautifully displayed on the antique furnishings. The presentation was elegant and everything was spread out for easier service. The staff came in several times to refill platters and pick up dishes. They were caring and warm, and it gave us a wonderful start to our day!
 There was also a selection of teas and coffee. Our favorite was the water, which was loaded with mint and fresh fruit! It was crisp and refreshing!
On Sunday, we enjoyed the Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar! Homemade tomato juice put these Bloody Marys over the top! During our stay, we met Nancy, a member of the staff. She was so attentive and friendly! We enjoyed her stops at our table and also her special way of making us feel at home. I feel as though I made a new friend! We also met Mary. She is gifted in the kitchen and she can make your tastebuds sing with pleasure! I never believed I could enjoy a Bed and Breakfast and truly feel relaxed in this very intimate setting. After a few days visiting this Inn, I've had a change of heart. I have a true picture of what to expect and I know I'll be back. It's a beautiful place to stay and the food is divine! I have more pictures of the Inn to share. I also have some great pictures and memories to share from Our Beach House! Check back soon!

Disclosure: Lodging was provided in exchange for this mention. Honest opinions given.

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