Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 7, 2014 Tourist Day in St Augustine

I was able to connect with our possible new insurance agent to answer a few more questions.  He is going to check one more thing for me by Monday, then we should be ready to go with our new company, Pantaenius through Casey Insurance.

Today, I decided to see a few sights in St Augustine.  Dave actually likes to do some projects where he doesn’t have to worry about me trying to move about the boat.
First, lunch at the Mill Top Tavern across the road from the fort that I was going to tour.  Great outdoor atmosphere with a guy playing songs I recognized :)
tourist lunch

view of the fort from  the restaurant

Then off to the Castillo de San Marcos.  It was built between 1672 and 1695.  It has flown the flags of Spain, Britain, Spain again, then the US.  The fort was never taken by force, only military agreements or political treaties.  The walls were made of coquina, a type of shell stone indigenous to the area.  It absorbed the cannonball blasts rather than crumble.  It’s amazing how much of it is still standing today.  On the weekends, they have cannon blast demonstrations.  I watched it from outside and below the wall and then again inside.  I was here with Dave and my parents in 1980, but I don’t remember any of the interior.  Probably just walked around the exterior.  My mom wouldn’t have paid for sour cream if it was extra :)
View of Bridge of Lions from the fort.  Our boat is on the other side of the bridge
cannon fire
cannon demo
inside fort
moat and walls
After touring the fort, Dave joined me on land.  We returned to the Columbia restaurant to have their paella.  We had their awesome salad and their mussels and andouille sausage appetizer.  Then we shared their house special paella.  I am sorry to say that we were disappointed.  Their menu tells you that it will be a 30 minute wait for special preparation.  Well, it ended up tasting like a SD casserole.  Very disappointing.  We remember paella in Spain over 30 years ago and were hoping for that same experience. (and Dave undercooked the rice the last time we tried it at home)

Today was the 425th anniversary of Sir Francis Drake’s British raid on St Augustine.  There is a reenactment of the raid.  There were military camps set up near Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.  Then at 7:00pm at the City Gates there was a sacking and burning of the town.  Then Drake’s forces drove the Spanish from the streets (where we were waiting on St George St), then everyone followed them to a plaza where there was a battle.  Lots of shooting of historic guns. 

After Drake’s men looted and burned the town, the Spanish Colonists returned and rebuilt the city.  So this is the oldest continuously occupied city in the US, since 1565.

After the demo, we had ice cream (doesn’t keep in our freezer) and returned to the boat.
 Spaniard being driven from the streets

British army


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