Sunday, April 18, 2010

STS--St. Augustine, Florida

Months before we had any idea we'd be going to Florida this spring, I read an article in Family Fun magazine singing the praises of a day trip to St. Augustine. When we began planning out our trip, I remembered the recommendation and pulled out the old magazine to show Ted. At that point, neither of us was sure if this would be plausible, but we kept it in consideration as we did more planning.
As it turned out, the first condo we rented was just an hour or so away from St. Augustine. Also, in a serendipitous sort of way, the weekend before we left I attended a fundraising auction put on by the Spouses' Club here. Among the many items available in the silent auction were 4 tickets for an Old Town Trolley tour good in several different cities, to include St. Augustine. For a mere $15 I won those tickets (worth over $70), and the plans started getting firmer. We would only need to buy one more ticket, since children under 5 ride free. Yay us.
We head out for St. Augustine and navigate our way to a trolley station. Once on board, we head to our first stop, The Old Jail. The kids were apparently immediately identified as criminal...

But they must have made good with the sheriff, because they were later seen hanging out with him (or maybe he was just keeping a really close eye on them).

We had tickets for a tour, which was done by an interpreter in character. Our particular guide was a "Deputy." Lucy was not too sure about this strange guy who was fairly intimidating. When he led us into the dark, dank jail she was really all done. We tried hard to console her, but she would not be calmed, so eventually I led her out. He told some interesting tales, which I assumed to be historically correct. The kids enjoyed some of the outdoor displays of various punishments. The birdcage was probably their favorite. We all took a turn inside it.
Peek-a-boo Lucy!

After this we left, stopping at an old drug store (not as interesting as the locals made it out to be, but, hey, it was free, so no biggie), and then we walked over to an open air pedestrian mall area with shops, restaurants, and some museums. We visited the first one-room wooden school house, and the kids took turns ringing the bell. That was quite annoying--and of course, every child (including ours) who comes through thinks they need to ring it, too.

After lunch we walked across the street to Castillo de San Marcos. This Spanish fort was built to protect St. Augustine from English expansion and is the oldest masonry fortification in the U.S. Cory loved this place with all the cannons, even though by now he was pretty whiny about all the walking.

We proceeded to wait for a trolley, which took much longer than we expected. Long enough that we eventually decided to walk back to the trolley stop where the van was. Along the way Lucy started doing somersaults. Funny kids.
It was a good trip--beautiful day, interesting sites. If you are ever in the area we recommend you spend some time checking it out.

No comments: