This was the view from his hotel room (tough life, huh?). This was a crab that I found hiding out in one of the shells that I collected while I walked the beaches. I wanted to bring it home to the kids, but I didn't know how well crabs fare on airplanes! On Saturday, we drove to St. Augustine, which is about a half hour from Jacksonville. It was such a neat place to visit- and is one of the oldest cities in the US.
This picture is of Flagler College, formerly the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Many of the large building that are still standing were built by a man named Henry Flagler. He was a business partner with John D. Rockafeller, co-founding Standard Oil. He was a very wealthy man, and many of the buildings in St. Augustine are somehow connected to him. Another picture of Flagler College. This is the Memorial Presbyterian Church. This church was also built by Henry Flagler, as a memorial to his daughter who died in childbirth earlier that year (1889). This is a street lined with "live oaks." These are oak trees whose leaves stay green all year round, hence the "live" part of their names. They are also covered in Spanish moss. It was so beautiful!
We also went to Castill de San Marcos, which is the oldest masonry fort in the United States. It was really quite impressive, right at the edge of the water and with its view of any ships that might be coming to attack the town. There were various cannons at the "fort" and we even watched a cannon shooting demonstration. This is the interior of the fort- the cannons were placed all along the upper wall, and in the "courtyard" area, there were rooms for storing gunpowder, sleeping quarters, and places to keep the prisoners! A view of the fort walls from the outside. The masonry is actually made from something called "coquina," which means "small shells." The shells are bonded together and harden forming something similar to limestone. The construction of the fort was completed in 1695. I really enjoyed my trip and I loved learning about St. Augustine. We took one of the Old Town Trolly tours- which drives around the city and the passengers are able to get off and on the trolley at different stops. They are very good to talk about the history of the town and the buildings in it. (We also did one of the tours when we went to Savannah.) If you are ever in a town that has the trolley tours, I totally recommend it!
It was fun to have a little break from the kids and to get to hang out with Aaron. It is nice to remember that we actually do like to hang out together!