Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Vacay Part 4: Jax & St. Augustine

After a fun day on Cumberland Island, we packed up the car and headed about 40 minutes south to my sister's house in Jacksonville. For those of you wondering, my sister is doing fantastic. She has a few days left of radiation and chemo, but she looks great (very minimal hair loss), feels great (just some fatigue), and seems to really be doing better than before she even had cancer! I am really proud of her and her attitude about the situation and her outlook on life.

She's altered her lifestyle a bit to include some really healthy eating which as you know I'm all about. She's been cooking up a storm and trying/creating new recipes daily. I was fortunate to be able to partake of some of her new delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free alternatives such as these oatmeal blueberry muffins.
While visiting Lindz, Allie was thrilled for the opportunity to play with Bella and Rosie, my sister's two big, black dogs. Yes, the dogs are pretty much Allie's size. Ha!

We hung around Thursday morning and ended up meeting Steve, my BIL, for lunch near his work. Here's Al with Lindz and Steve and... Zach, inside the restaurant. HA!
 And the ladies!
After lunch we headed south to St. Augustine.

St. Augustine inlet full of sailboats

St. Augustine has a very adventurous history. So many explorers, battles, and pirates have left a lasting influence in this place. I haven't visited this city since the 4th grade and I had forgotten that St. Augustine is also the oldest, continuously occupied, European established city and port in the U.S.  Really my only memory was of "the fort", properly known as Castillo de San Marcos.



The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest, masonry fort in the U.S. and was built in the late 1600's when Florida was a Spanish territory. For the next few hundred years, the fort endured many sieges and periods of war, but the fort has never been destroyed or overtaken.

The design of the structure is really fascinating and pretty sophisticated. The exterior walls are built of coquina, a type of local shell stone.
Looking down into the courtyard.

Old cannon
Allie in the courtyard
Exploring the inner rooms.

We also walked through the old village in St. Augustine. Some of these structures are also incredibly old like the fort. It's so fascinating to think about the people that lived here so long ago even before the Revolutionary War.
Here's the most unique coffee shop we've ever gone to with the funniest foreign lady owner.
 Old streets
Our final stop in St. A was the pirate museum. ARGH!
Their pirate poses. Ha!

Door handles
We learned about a bunch of different pirates, saw tons of artifacts and real treasure, went on our own hunt for secret things hidden in the museum, and even touched a 400 yr old treasure chest! This is a really fabulous museum and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting St. Augustine.


After St. Augustine, we headed down to DeLand to see my parents, affectionally named "Holly and Jim" by Allie. Tomorrow's post will be all about our adventures in central Florida!

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