Guest Profile: Charles and Magaly

Charles Strittmatter and Magaly Toro-Ibecata of Maryland got married in July of last year.

It was a busy time for both of them–in addition to getting married, Charles got a new job right before the wedding, Magaly was working on her Master’s degree, and (in their free time) they were apartment hunting (then moving) outside of Washington, DC.

With all of that going on, they decided to postpone their honeymoon to a time when things were a little more settled. Which makes perfect sense to me, as I’m tired just *thinking* about everything that they had going on.

That time finally came earlier this month, when the still-newly wed couple came to St. Augustine, staying at the Bayfront Marin House for a couple of nights in Stephanie’s Hideaway.

It was their first visit to our city, and they were blown away by the architecture and European feel of our narrow bricked streets. Magaly is from Chile, so she’s used to old architecture…but she said she didn’t know that the United States had anything as old as her home (technically, her home wins: Chile’s capital city Santiago was founded in 1541; St Aug was founded in 1565).

So what did they like about the Ancient City?

The food. Charles and Magaly had just come from a large resort further inland in Florida (one of their relatives had given them a stay there as a wedding present), so they had become used to astromically high prices and gastronomically low food. That’s not the case here in Saint Augustine, where the food is reasonably priced and absolutely amazing. They raved about lunch at the Columbia (pictured at right), lunch at Harry’s, and dinner at Raintree.

Speaking of Raintree, that’s where we suggested that they go for their celebratory meal (Magaly said Charles owed her a nice night out–we didn’t really press as to why). They weren’t disappointed with their choice…and said they felt spoiled from the time the shuttle picked them up (Raintree offers complimentary shuttles to the Bayfront Marin House so you can wear your highest heels!) til they finished their scrumptious desserts. (I actually forgot to ask them what they had for dessert…but Mike just loves the bread pudding there, and I know he recommended that to them).

Flagler University. The happy couple had hoped to catch the tour here, but in the end, the opportunity to sleep in was even more appealing. They did have time to walk through the lobby on their own, however, and were blown away by the detail that Henry Flagler put into his Ponce de Leon hotel. They said they hope to catch the official tour on their next visit.

Biking through the town. On their first day here, Charles asked us how much it cost to rent the bikes that we have corralled at the back of the Inn. “Free?” he said incredulously when we said they could just take them out whenever they wanted. They made good use of them on their second day, pedaling their way through the narrow streets (a much better way to see everything, they said, than trying to drive around town).

Walking through the lights at night. Nights of Lights in Saint Augustine goes through January 31, and Charles and Magaly enjoyed walking through the uber-decorated parks and plazas in our city. It’s a romantic thing to do…whether you’re on your honeymoon or not!

All in all, the young couple said that they will definitely be back. And, as I pointed out to them during happy hour one night, in just six months it will be their first anniversary–a great excuse for a return trip to our town and to the Bayfront Marin House.

Safe travels, Charles and Magaly! Hope to see you both again soon!