The first item on our agenda this morning was having a look at the beach. We hooked up the dogs and walked a few blocks through a residential neighborhood that brought us to a little access to the beach. Here in northern Florida you are allowed to drive on the beach. It is marked for two way traffic and vehicles cruise on past on the hard packed sand.
We walked the dogs a ways then jumped in the ocean for a refreshing swim. Small waves were rolling through but lots of wind had the conditions looking a bit choppy. There were layers of clouds up above moving in opposite directions, higher clouds going west and the lower strata moving east over the sea. Had a long conversation with a local named Mark with his two yorkies.
It was close to check out time, so we walked back and signed on for another day. PJ went for a dip in the large, clean pool and we sat around on lounge chairs planning our next move.
After lunch, we hailed an Uber and rode into old St. Augustine with our Cuban driver, Yousani. His shiny new red Mercedes let us out at the Castillo San Marcos, the large fort on the point overlooking the harbor. Hmmm…maybe I should be driving for Uber. The big stone stronghold was finished in 1695. Having never been taken by warfare, it withstood a number of assaults by the British.
The area first saw European visitors when Ponce de Leon stopped by in 1513 searching for the fabled fountain of youth. The actual city was established by Don Pedro Menendez de Avila in 1565 making it the oldest continuously occupied city in the U. S. by Euros. So tons of history and lots to see. When we abandoned the fort, we visited the first Greek Orthodox Church where the 400 or so survivors of the original 1500 Greek immigrants began to worship after moving up from New Smyrna. They originally came as indentured servants promised plots of land for themselves after x amount of years farming for their Scottish overlord, but few managed to pull it off.
We strolled down the shopping streets and paid a visit to Flagler College which is housed in the building that was once the grand Ponce de Leon hotel. Amazing architecture and beautiful grounds, looks like an awesome place to be a student.
It was getting towards time to return to camp, so we walked across the Bridge of Lions to get back onto Anastasia Island. When we reached the apex, the horn started sounding and the draw bridge lifted up to let some large boats pass by underneath. We watched their passage then hurried to the other side where we hailed an Uber home.
Did the usual dog walking, dinner making, etc. The guys that were resurfacing the road were still laying down asphalt until about 8:30. We got online and munched some of our candy from the fancy candy shoppe on the walking street. A fun, active day.