Dragon Road Trip

My boyfriend and I recently went on a road trip to St. Augustine, FL. Yes, we saw something dragon-related, and the other pictures in this post make it a little bit of a virtual dragon road trip!

It was fun and relaxing for the most part with social distancing measures in place.

Here are some photos and other updates.

1. Short Vacation at St. Augustine

Places we visited included:

  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (castle; the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States)
  • The Old Jail (with live actors)
  • Medieval Torture Museum (unique and truly full of misery)
  • Fountain of Youth (mythical spring, blacksmith shop, and lots of peacocks on the 15-acre property)
  • St. George Street (coffee houses and souvenir shops — we REALLY enjoyed the scones we got from The Spanish Bakery)
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Drawbridge at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
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At the top of the castle

We went into a pearl art shop. It was very cool that there were fresh pearls cultivated right there at a small fountain near the counter.

My boyfriend got me a drop double pearl drop pendant for our 4th year anniversary.

We saw a dragon skull at a coat of arms shop and snapped a quick pic. It was nighttime so we couldn’t go inside as the store was closed.

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Dragon skull at the Coat of Arms Shoppe

2. Dragon Road Trip: Crosier

We took quite a few pictures. Here’s another one of a dragon.

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We saw it by chance when we decided to step into the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, which had a small and pretty courtyard garden at the entrance.

From Wikipedia:

The crosier is “a stylized staff that is a symbol of the governing office of a bishop or and is carried by high-ranking prelates of various churches.” The serpents or dragons are facing each other. The small cross between them represents the bishop’s diligence in guarding his flock.

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Medieval Oven at Castillo de San Marcos

And WHOA, that really is a medieval oven (!!), also from the Castillo de San Marcos. Is it where Chef Adventures cooked up their recipe to feed a hungry dragon?

I’ve always had a high level of interest in all things medieval.

Here are a couple of books on my shelf that cover the topic. What’s on your shelf?

medieval_books

3. Dragon Road Trip: Stickers

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Dragon Stickers from Dungeons and Doggos

The next stop on our virtual dragon road trip involves some cute dragon stickers, which my sis sent to me in the mail from Dungeons and Doggos!

The holographic one is super shiny. I put them in the inside covers of one of my handwritten journals.

Why do I still have handwritten journals? I like the tangible aspect between pen and paper, and writing down your goals has been proven to be more effective than simply thinking about them or typing it out.

Sometimes I think I might have been a medieval scribe in a past life. That would explain quite a few things about me…

4. Mystic Dragon Tea

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There’s a nice tea store near my place. This one was called “mystic dragon tea” and I was curious as to what it would taste like since green tea is one of my favorites.

This one by Spice and Tea Exchange is named after its blend of Japanese Sencha and Chinese Dragonwell green teas.

I enjoyed the flavor and look forward to trying more loose teas. I use a dragonfly designed tea strainer to hold the leaves.

5. Adios 2020

During this last week of the year, I’ve been writing out to-do lists and simplifying for next year. I’m focusing on fewer side projects. I’m still keeping this site despite considering deleting it a number of times over its lifespan due to the pains of maintaining a hobby website.

I’ve struggled with monetizing this site as ads can be annoying. I had Google Ads on for some time but found it distracting after a while.

I suppose I’ll keep monetization as a secondary focus for now as I’m happiest when my creative endeavors aren’t solely dictated by how much I can make from them. Monetizing a hobby can be stressful in terms of both time and energy. I feel the same way about creative writing (here’s my horror short story site). It’s not something I find enjoyable when there’s a commercial aspect strongly attached to it. I may change my mind about it over time as I have in the past on certain things.

I did/do have some new ideas for t-shirt designs, which you can check out at Dragonsinn on Bonfire. Will be adding a few more designs soon. Thanks to those who have supported the site and bought a tee!

6. Kim and Paul at The Blue Mind Group (Real Estate Agents in FL)

To end this post, I’d like to mention The Blue Mind Group, which is the real estate website of Kim and Paul Hicks.

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Kimberlee and Paul Hicks

If you’re in the Port Charlotte / Punta Gorda / North Port / Englewood area of Southwest Florida, you definitely want to check them out when it comes to selling or buying a property!

Kim sold my previous property (a condo unit) in a record 1-2 days. Holy cow, that was fast.

Kim let me know that her husband and son were born in Chinese zodiac dragon years and that they collect dragon figurines. Here are two images she kindly shared with me.

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Dragon figurines on The Hicks’ bookshelf
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Another dragon in The Hicks’ home

When I was getting ready to sell my condo last year, I took Kim’s advice in terms of pricing and preparing the unit (getting a professional clean done, etc.) as it sounded sensible. I could see that she had the end goal in mind and knew what she was doing.

Some Thoughts on Home Ownership

Buying and selling properties is no shortage of stress no matter how old you are or where you live, so you want to work with a reliable professional who’ll keep you posted with updates, and more importantly, listen to what you’re looking for when house hunting. It’s a big purchase and it ranks even higher than divorce and bankruptcy on a poll done on most stressful modern life activities and events.

I’m in my mid-thirties now and thinking about renting vs. buying was probably the number one most stressful thing I had to think about in my twenties. I grew up in Singapore where property prices are quite astronomical due to shortage of land.

In the U.S., I decided not to live in cosmopolitan areas due to the higher cost of living, especially with housing. There are trade-offs to make with every option or decision, but I guess home ownership was always a big goal of mine so that’s what I based my planning on. Have you struggled a lot with the whole renting versus buying conundrum?

I like these posts by Tyler Tervooren (of Riskology.co) and financial expert David Bach, who both have similar things to say about the connection between buying property and building wealth.

It can be a contentious topic for sure, and price tag aside, I guess it boils down to one’s priorities and lifestyle preferences.

Dragon Road Trip: Temple in Thailand

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Wat Samphran Temple in Thailand

Speaking of property, that 17-story Thai temple would surely be one of my Top 10 places to visit some day (should’ve gone on a dragon road trip when I was still living in Singapore / SE Asia, d’oh!).

Monthly Ezine Themes

I have not forgotten about the monthly dragon ezine and I’m going ahead with the themes next year. I have prepared the first two header images and outlines. I put aside one other side project in favor of this dragon site for 2021, so I look forward to getting it moving.

2020 was a tough and anxiety-ridden year. Nonetheless, I enjoy quietly reflecting on past and intended future actions during the final days of the year.

This quote sums things up well when it comes to choosing to single-task over multi-task:

“Commit your mind and focus. Distraction is the root of all failure.”
Dragon Ball quote

 

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