Meet Our Guests: Mark and Marisol

Don’t you love hearing about how happy couples meet?

Our current guests, Mark and Marisol, are the winners of our “Second Honeymoon Contest.” (You might remember reading about them here).

As we talked to them the other night, we heard the very cute story about how they met. They were at a restaurant in San Diego (separately of course), grabbing a meal with friends, and enjoying “six buck steak night.” Mark (who was in the military) spied Marisol (who is from San Diego), and said to himself “I have got to talk to that girl.” Which isn’t surprising, because Marisol is exactly the type of girl you’d want to talk to too–cute, happy, smart, and bubbly.

So Mark eavesdropped on Marisol’s conversation. “Everyone does it, don’t they?” he asked us. “You always listen to what other people say in restaurants.” Mark was listening especially hard at this restaurant, hoping he would hear something that he’d have in common with this pretty girl, so that he could jump into the conversation and say something witty.

But guess what? NOTHING. Marisol never said anything about any topic that he could comment on. He continued to listen to the conversation, but there was no opportunity, and it seemed to him that he and this girl had nothing in common (nothing that was apparent from this conversation, anyway).

Finally, Mark realized that this cute/happy/smart/bubbly girl was almost done with her dinner, and ready to leave the restaurant–and his life–forever. So he did the only thing he could think of. He walked over to her table, and said “Hi. I’m an eavesdropper. I’ve been listening to your conversation, and I’d like to know you better.”

Now, I should mention that Mark is a pretty cute/happy/smart/outgoing guy. And Marisol must have thought so too, because she took the time to talk to him that night. Even if he was an eavesdropper.

The rest, as they say, is history. Mark and Marisol got married, and moved from San Diego to Jacksonville, just in time for Mark to get his orders and head off to Africa. That didn’t give them any time for a honeymoon.

Then, Mark was deployed last year, and the young couple missed their first anniversary as well.

Luckily, all of that was rectified with a four-day stay at the Bayfront Marin House, which gave these two cute/young/happy/smart/bubbly kids the honeymoon that they deserved (finally). “We have just loved it,” said Marisol. “Especially our room!” (They were in Room 5, the Robinson Lewis, pictured at right).

Even though they live in Jacksonville, this is the first time that Mark and Marisol have visited Saint Augustine. So what do they suggest to other people coming for the first time?

“Park your car in the parking lot,” says Mark. “And walk everywhere.”

Mark is from Texas originally, and Marisol (as previously mentioned) is from San Diego. “We weren’t used to being able to walk places,” said Mark. “Everything where we grew up is always half an hour away. But in Saint Augustine, everything is right here. And you really can see the town that way.”

“We had a destination the first day,” says Marisol (they were headed to the Hot Shot Bakery over on Granada Street), “but we soon realized that walking IS the destination here. You walk past all of these beautiful buildings, and the brick-lined streets. There is just so much to see!”

M and M suggest that visitors to the city check out the Lightner Museum, and hang around for the demonstration of all of the antique music boxes and Victrolas in the front room of the museum. “The ladies there are all so nice,” Marisol said. They also enjoyed lunch in the hotel’s old swimming pool. You literally sit in the deep end of the now-empty pool. I didn’t ask the couple what they ordered…but Mike and I love the paninis there, and I sometimes get just the hummus appetizer when we go.

M and M also highly recommend the lighthouse, especially talking to Beau Phillips, who knew every detail about the place. “He was a wealth of information!!” said Marisol. (Beau is the public relations director of the lighthouse. And Marisol is right…he knows everything!)

They also said they recommend staying at a bed-and-breakfast. “If you don’t know a town, and you stay at a family-run business like this, you get all of these great recommendations that you wouldn’t get at a hotel,” said Marisol. “It makes you feel like you’ve been to a place before because you get inside information.”

Marisol has stayed at bed and breakfasts before–so she knew that she would love the atmosphere, and the ability to talk to other guests. She says she likes the back-and-forth conversations that go on in our big dining room. And, although he didn’t say it, I have to assume that Mark liked eavesdropping on the other tables!

Mark and Marisol went home yesterday, feeling like newlyweds again. We hope they had a safe trip, and we hope that they come back and see us soon!!

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