St. Augustine Day 2

Saint Augustine Travel Blog

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Today was our only full day in St. Augustine so we decided to get out early and see as much as possible. Unfortunately, traveling with a small child and three other women, that didn't exactly happen.

One of my requirements was to see the lighthouse so that was our first stop on our way into the city. With a coupon provided by the hotel it cost about $8 to get in. My sister-in-law Paula and I were the only two from our group who decided that we wanted to climb it so Fran, Lora, and the baby stayed on the ground because they've already seen it (not the baby, she's not even 2 yet.) They say the lighthouse is haunted (it's even been featured on that show Ghost Hunters) but at 10am it didn't look too scary. The views from the top were incredible.
Me at the top of the lighthouse.
It's a must see if you're not afraid of heights because the top is crazy windy. If you're not in shape (like me) your legs will feel like jello when you hit the ground, but don't worry, that feeling goes away after a glass of wine.

The light keeper's house is included in your admission and is pretty interesting if you have the attention span to read through the enormous amount of information and the ability to remain standing after your recent climb. For non-history loving people like Paula, this part wasn't as interesting. For an ancient-history major as myself, this was one of the best parts especially since there is information about the Nazi invasion of Florida there (a topic I wrote a paper on for a Florida History class.)

Next we drove to downtown and paid $9 to park in a lot in between Flagler college and the Basilica.
Lora and Fran on the tram. The baby is sleeping.
We bought tickets for the green trolly (My MIL paid for those, so I have no idea how much they cost) and we rode all twenty-two stops consecutively to get a good layout of the town. If you can afford the ticket it's a good way to see the city to decide on what you want to do, PLUS if you keep your ticket you can ride as often as you'd like all day for three days. The only problem for someone like me, (a history nut) is that the guides aren't exactly factual. The common tourist will have no problem, but if I had to hear one more story about the reason why Ponce de Leon was looking for the fountain of youth or why doorways were made to be only 4.5 feet high, I was going to scream.

After the tour around town we decided to get back off at stop fourteen to walk down the main street.
We took an old-time photo, grabbed some pizza, and found the Vera Bradley store. Then it was off to the Fort, my other must see in the city. Again, admission was paid for by my MIL but I did notice that kids fourteen and under get in free. (I honestly don't believe it was more than $10/person to get in.) No one else cared, but I was stoked to find out that there was going to be some kind of reenactment that day and it was starting in about 2 minutes. As we walked in I heard the guys (in Spanish costume) at the top of the fort talking in cool Spanish accents so I ditched the family and darted up the stairs just in time to see them fire the cannons. Since they aren't allowed to actually fire real cannons, it was really just a bunch of smoke and a really loud bang, but it was cool anyways.
Cannons just went off.
Then they marched out to a battle drum.

Once again, Paula and I were the only ones who walked around to see the fort while Fran my MIL and Lora and the baby sat on a bench. The fort isn't that big and Paula didn't care to read all the information so we ended up splitting. I walked out of the barracks just in time to see the Spanish troop re-enactors march down from the top of the fort and around the courtyard to their "camp". Since everyone was getting a little antsy, (Paula joined the others on the bench), I decided that it was probably time to head out. And we did, just in time to be hit on by one of the re-enactors who said he wanted to show me his barracks. It was a good confidence booster at the end of that tour.

By that time it was getting really cold and windy along the water (the high for that day was 57 and it was probably around 3:00pm) so we walked back into town and found a "Coffee Bar" yet they didn't sell coffee.
Paula in Flagler.
We found a vintage shop and Fran bought a HUGE ring. The vintage shop and coffee wasn't really my thing, but I had just made them visit the fort so I owed them this one. From there I asked if we could see the Presbyterian church. The tour guide on the trolly said that if you only see one church in St. Augustine you should see the Presbyterian Church. It took us too long to walk over there because they stop tours at 4pm and we had just missed it. I was a little sad, but now I have a better reason to come back. Then we headed to the winery a block or two over and partook in the free wine tasting, and then bought our combined weight in bottles of wine.

After another few hours or so of wandering around the same streets and seeing the same shops we found a cool barber shop quartet who did an amazing rendition of Duke of Earl.
Presbyterian Church
That's one thing I've noticed about St. Augustine, it seems that there is some musician on every street corner, usually with their dog, but sometimes you get a quartet or a group of guitars. It must be the tourist/college town aspect of the city.

As hunger pains started to set in we went in search of a place to eat. Not being able to agree we decided to go back to The Columbia. In a great twist of fate there was an hour long wait, we were given one of the buzzers and told it will reach two blocks so we started to wander around and stumbled upon "Casa Maya". It's this great place with Mayan food (I already wrote a review about it so look there to read that.) No sooner than we got seated and ordered a large pitcher of sangria (do you see a trend for this family) our buzzer began to go off.
First cup of Sangria.
At that moment I wasn't completely sold on the place so I was hoping they were going to suggest we go back to the Columbia but unfortunately, or fortunately, we were already "locked in" so we decided to stay. Glad we did, it was great and if I go back to St. Augustine I will gladly dine there again.

After dinner we walked back to the car and along the way picked up some fudge.

Sunday (day 3) was un-eventful. We woke up and drove home. All in all, St. Augustine is a great town and I'd love to visit again, maybe when it isn't so cold and when we have more time to explore. One full day just isn't enough.
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Me at the top of the lighthouse.
Me at the top of the lighthouse.
Lora and Fran on the tram. The bab…
Lora and Fran on the tram. The ba…
Cannons just went off.
Cannons just went off.
Paula in Flagler.
Paula in Flagler.
Presbyterian Church
Presbyterian Church
First cup of Sangria.
First cup of Sangria.
Yep, thats a lot of stairs in the…
Yep, that's a lot of stairs in th…
Pretty street, right in front of t…
Pretty street, right in front of …
Inside Flagler College.
Inside Flagler College.
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