Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Augustine, Florida

During our vacation last week, we took a little day trip to the historical part of St. Augustine which is about a 2 hour drive northeast of Orlando.  I had no idea what to expect but once we'd gotten there I was not to be disappointed.  What a lovely place St. Augustine is not to mention the history it boasts.  It is the oldest city in the US, established in 1565.  This was right up my alley.  I love to take Logan to places where he can learn something and still have fun but not feel like he is learning.  Sneaky, I know. 

We took one of those jump on/jump off tram tours around town but didn't really have enough time to enjoy all that was available for us to explore.

In the town square there was a lovely gazebo which I couldn't resist making Logan get up on.  I love this kind of small town stuff.  
Here is my cousin, Maddy.  She's Josh's sister.  She and Uncle Ken were with us this day.  Sadly, Josh had school so he wasn't able to come with us. 
Here is a view of the draw bridge. 

I found this building interesting once I read the plaque on the front of it.  Below is a picture of what was inscribed on the plaque. 
Notice the year.  That's right.  According to the tram tour guide, Spain didn't recognize us until 10 yrs ago. 
This is a view of one of the many quaint streets in St. Augustine.  It's lined with adorable shops on either side.  It was very hard to resist going into each one of them.
This is the opposite view of the same street. 
Does this building remind you of New Orleans?  It should.  It's done in the same style as the French Quarter in New Orleans which is really constructed in Spanish design.  The original French Quarter in New Orleans burned down so the Spanish rebuilt it in their style. 
Here we see the fort.  It was too late in the day by the time we arrived here to take a tour of it so I only have outside shots of it.

Forgive the bars of the tram blocking part of the picture but you can clearly see how large this oak tree is.  It's terribly old, I forget how old the guide said it was but aside from it's immense size what's most amazing about it is...look at the next picture.
There is a palm tree growing right out of the center of it.  See it right there in the middle between the thinner limbs?  Quite amazing, right?

Next we have one of the reasons St. Augustine makes the list of prettiest cities in which to live.  Look at this tree-lined street.  I love how the sun light caught in my lens.  The opposite side of the street was equally beautiful but the tram was bumpy so my one picture of it is blurry. 
Another view of the draw bridge.  This was taken from the hill where the fort sits.  We actually got to see the bridge as it was raised to allow for a passing boat.  Silly me forgot to take a picture of it in the up position.
You can see the lighthouse in the background.  That is an oddity in it's own way.  It's painted blue.  Not many lighthouses are painted blue.  It was way off in the distance but that new zoom lens Jim bought me brought it up nice and close.  Thank you, Jim!
Here are my boys at sunset.  What a pretty background. 
This is the jail house.  We took a tour of this which was delivered by a man in full period character.  We were taken inside and put into the actual cells.  I was very glad when the tour was over.  The cells gave me the creeps.
The actual gallows where hangings took place.  Not surprisingly, more people died of diseases in the prison than they did at the gallows.
Jim was selected from our tour group to demonstrate how a prisoner was put on display for his crimes.  Back in the day, this cage would have been suspended in the air for all to see and throw spoiled food at.  Notice the tour guide.  Can't you just hear his accent? Of course, he was acting the part but it was hilarious.
Scarlet O'Hara's restaurant.  Rhett also has his own somewhere in town but we didn't get to see it. 
What a grand building this is but alas, time was running short so again, only facade pictures.
This building is to the right of the Alcazar hotel pictured above. 
I hope you are enjoyed this picture tour of lovely St. Augustine. 

Thanks for stopping by.


Tamika said...

beautiful photos and family, it looks like a great time was had by all!

Elaine. said...

wonderful photos and what a great trip and to get away from the city for awhile, good for ya'll,

Marlene said...

So happy you had good time Serene. I love St. Augustine too. Beautiful picture and a beautiful family.

luv46kdz said...

All the pics are awesome. Luv those big cats! What beauties. Looks loke you all had a great time. How about some pics of you lady : )

Melissa said...

Love the photos, especially the one of Jim in the cage, LOL!

Lora Oliver said...

Wow! This looks like a phenomenal trip. I am so glad that you and the family were able to take it and spend that time together.

Lisa said...

Looks like you guys had a great time. It's good you went!

I'm with Melissa, my fav is Jim in the cage!! I'll call him cageboy now! hahahaha