St. Augustine

I’ve been excited and anxious to write about our summer family vacation, but haven’t had a moment to spare since we arrived back from relaxation and bliss. We came home from vacation with two weeks left to spare before school started for the girls, and only one week before school started for me. Yes, I’m back in class : (  Those who watch me study at Starbucks’s ask me the same question you’re probably thinking, I thought you were done, no? Nope, now onto Bachelor’s, but I have pre-reques to complete before I can apply.

So like I was saying, we’ve been busy and I’ve longed to venture into my creative world of writing, but instead I’ve been held back by the priority of Spanish, government and college algebra. This post will not be artistic in nature or as narrative as I’d like with loads of detail, but rather to the point, with pics to paint the picture. I fear if I don’t write now, the beautiful memories of the summer will escape my mind. With my limited time these days I write quick, but it’s better then not at all. So, please excuse my lack of artistry here.

Our summer vacation was separated into two trips this year. Last year Doug put together a power point presentation for the girls, that explained all the fun they’d have to look forward to on vacation. It was loaded with pictures and got the girls anticipating the week to come. This year, they expected the same thing. On Friday night, the 31st of August, we sat on the couch and started the ppt presentation. The girls were so excited for our two part vacation, which would include a quick weekend trip to St. Augustine, Florida, followed by a week long get away on North Captiva Island.

On Saturday morning we were up early and on the road, headed to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. We had coffee’s in hand, and the girls viewed a small documentary of St. Augustine on the iPad set up between their seats, to set the mood. The trip over was lovely…the weather perfect. We arrived at out hotel around 11 am and only stopped to drop our bags, before we on our way, ready for adventures in a mysterious little town with rich history, St. Augustine, Florida.

Our first stop was the Old Drugstore, founded in 1886. Because of my fascination with medicine, I  enjoyed viewing all of the old remedies and “cures”, used back in that day.

Before we headed into the downtown area, we stopped for lunch, and enjoyed one of the best burgers I’ve ever experienced.

After lunch, we walked a good 3 miles to the Whetstone Chocolate Factory. Doug made reservations for an early afternoon tour. We enjoyed viewing the old historic buildings along the way, and right before we arrived, a light rain drizzled from the sky. Our indoor adventure was set at a perfect time. We tried about 7 different chocolates throughout the tour and got to see where the chocolate is made in the factory. The girls loved every second.

After the tour of the chocolate factory, we walked back to the downtown area. We wore poncho’s to keep our clothing dry, because it poured. The rain made the mysterious town, even more exciting for the girls. The next tour on our agenda, was a walking tour through the Colonial Quarter, where we got to experience a guided informational tour of the 16th century boat project, observe the work of a blacksmith, and tour the 1740’s de Mesa-Sanchez house, just to name a few. The big oaks dropped left over hanging raindrops onto our heads, but at least the rain had subsided by this time.

Our last and final tour, was through the Pirate Museum. The girls likes and disliked (equally) the museum. They liked the treasure they received at the end, and firing the canon, but they disliked the eeriness of some of the showcase items, such as the skeleton that hung in the open casket, or the shrunken head that hung from a rope.

The last tour ended and brought us right up to dinner time. After a little shopping in the downtown area, we found a place to rest our tired legs and eat dinner.

St. Augustine 2015

Then, we walked back to out hotel for an evening swim at the hotel pool. The girls played for 2 hours, and Doug and I sipped a nice glass of wine. Here’s a video that Sara shot inside the pool, with Doug GoPro, a waterproof sports camera. Sara’s so creative.

On Sunday, we enjoyed a lovely sit down breakfast at the hotel lobby before we headed out to tour, Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Read about it here. We got to watch a reenactment as well.

Then we took one last walk through downtown, stopping for homemade popsicles, before we decided to wrap up and head home.

We left St. Augustine around 3pm, and headed home to rest and prepare for our next adventure, a week long trip to North Captiva Island. I will write about that trip soon.

We had a great time together, exploring the mysterious town of St. Augustine, and we got to learn a little of Florida’s history as well.