Sunday, June 30, 2013

St Augustine- The City

We took a couple of trips into the city. The first time we started at the Santa Maria Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant is built out over the water and it is "special" because while you wait for dinner, you feed the fish from your table. Next to each table is a little door to open and drop bread to the fish.
                                                                                    Feeding the fish.
St. Augustine is the nation's oldest city. It was founded by the Spanish in 1565. The city is full of history and a popular way to see many of the sights is to ride the trolley. We took the trolley around town for a morning.
We went to see a fort called Castillo de San Marcos that was built in 1672 to help protect the city. It is built from a material called, Coquina, which are seashell stones that compact together naturally and form an indestructible material.
                                                          Inside one of the fort's look out towers.
The view from the top of the fort. I am not sure the name of the bridge in the distance. We never had a chance to drive over it.
St Augustine is filled with churches. The first church was Catholic, but over the years hundreds of churches of all faiths were built. I would have loved to have gone inside each one. We did take a break from the trolley ride and go inside the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine and it was beautiful.

The girls were fascinated with the candles. Raphael explained about lighting a candle, so Rachel lit one and they said a prayer.
One of the most popular areas in St. Augustine is St. George Street. It is filled with shops and restaurants and various historical landmarks. It goes on for several miles. We walked most of it, had some ice cream, and  window shopped.
The oldest wooden school house. It has a huge chain wrapped around it. They say the chain was used to anchor it to the ground when hurricane winds would come through the city.
                                                                   Hitching a ride on St. George Street.
St. Augustine reminded us a lot of Charleston- full of history, beautiful homes, huge old trees, the same weather and perfect for tourists.
                                                                             Lightner Museum
St. Augustine was turned into a resort town by Henry Flagler. He was business partners with the Rockefellers and Mr. Flagler spent millions of dollars building fancy hotels, churches, schools, the city jail, and railroads. The museum was one of his many hotels.
We drove over this bridge to go back and forth from the beach to the city. The bridge is named, The Bridge of Lions. We walked from the fort and take a closer look at the lions.
                                                          A huge lion sits on each side of the bridge.
We went to a church/museum/cemetery called Nombre de Dios to look at the cross. It is over two hundred feet tall.
We wandered through the cemetery and found this tiny church which is dedicated to Mary.
                              One of the many tombstones.
I know I have posted too many pictures already, so just a few random ones of things I want to remember.
Our trolley drove through here. We didn't get off to take a look. I had heard it was a waste of money.
We found a little garden area by a fountain by St George Street to take a break and I liked the clock.
             The last night we walked over to an ice cream shop by our hotel and had this picture made.
                                                  A fun trip! We would love to go back and visit again.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer at the Shore

We took a trip to St. Augustine, FL last weekend. We weren't really planning a beach trip this summer, but managed to squeeze in a few days and I am so glad we were able to go.
This picture has nothing to do with the beach, but on the drive to Florida we pass by all sorts of interesting billboards and signs. I had to get a picture of this huge peanut- Georgia's number one crop.

                                           We made it into Florida! Only two more hours in the car!

St. Augustine has two areas- the beach and then the "city". We had to drive about ten minutes from our hotel near the beach to get to the city, which was perfect. I am going to share beach pictures first and blog about our visits to the city another day. And LOTS of pictures to follow!
                                                         We made it to St. Augustine!
We had never been here before, but heard it was beautiful and lots to do for the family, so we decided to go.
We got there around dinner time, so we walked to a pizza place and then over to the ocean. The girls were just going to get their feet wet, but of course they ended up soaking wet!
                                         A huge pier that we never did walk out to, but it looked pretty.

               I got up early each morning to go running and this was the  beautiful sunrise on the first day.
We stayed at a hotel across the street from the beach. Just over the wooden bridge and it's the ocean!!
The girls love the water! Especially Rachel- she spends hours in the surf. Rebecca is in and out. She likes to dig in the sand and eat snacks :)
We took this ourselves.
The weather was cloudy and sometimes rainy. The first day there were dark clouds all around us, but beautiful blue sky and sunshine directly over us.
Surfer dude. Surfing looks so fun and extremely difficult. I would love to try it sometime. I think Rachel would be pretty good at it too.
Sandcastle building with Daddy.
I am sooo thankful that Raphael likes the beach and the water. He is great with the girls. I like the water, but only up to my knees or if I can float on an inner tube. I prefer to sit on a beach chair with my feet in the water and work on my tan ;)
                        We had some big waves.
 There was a "super moon" over the weekend and it caused bigger waves than normal.
Parts of the shore barely had any sand and instead it was billions of tiny broken seashells. I spent lots of time trying to wash itty bitty shells out of the girls' hair.
So pretty.
Raphael and I talked it over and we need to find friends with a beach house, so we can spend more time at the seashore.
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Long Weekend

                                               We headed south to Florida for a quick trip to the beach.
                                                                     We had a wonderful time.
                              I am sorting through all the pictures and hope to blog about our trip soon.

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