After our visit to Historic Colonial Savannah we made our way farther south across the Georgia border into the state of Florida.
A short drive later we found ourselves in the city of St. Augustine. Colonized by the Spanish, it has a completely different flavor from the rest of the East Coast. Founded in 1565 over 40 years before Jamestown, VA and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the U.S. Truthfully, we were just a little disappointed at how crowded and commercialized it was. However, we did find the old fort to be very interesting. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the walls and inside the courtyard buildings.
The early settlement was vulnerable to marauders and pirates, such as the famous Sir Frances Drake, so the fort was constructed to guard the Spanish shipping lanes as well as the town.
Views from the upper walls and the watch towers which overlook the town and waterway.
The day was quite warm and sultry so we just took a short trolley ride through the area before having lunch and heading back to our hotel. Many of old streets were so crowded I had little desire to get out and walk around. Much of the Spanish architecture was very pretty though.
After a short rest we decided to drive out to the St Augustine Lighthouse. Even though the beautiful grounds were closed to the public that afternoon we were still able to see the beacon towering above the trees.
One of the most delightful surprises of our visit to St. Augustine was the discovery that we were just steps away from the famous Magnolia Avenue, one of the most photographed streets in America. With it's towering oak trees draped in Spanish Moss, I didn't begin to capture how beautiful it was.
When we returned from our walk we sat under the shade of the magnificent "Old Senator", the 600 year old live oak tree that graces the courtyard of our hotel. There is a small palm tree perfectly intertwined within the trunk of the oak. Popular legend says that if a couple kisses under the branches of the tree they will remain together forever. What better place to spend the last evening of our anniversary trip.
I would like to come back to St. Augustine again at a different time of year in the hopes of spending more time in the historic district, but for now it was time to say goodbye and head back to spend the rest of our trip with the kids.
We had a wonderful final week hanging out with our grandson. We went for a ride on Thomas The Train in Chattanooga, TN.
And we also visited the numerous parks in their neighborhood.
We even took him to see a baby cow!
All too soon our visit was at an end. Watching the sunrise on the tarmac, it was time to set our sights toward home.
In the eight weeks that we have been home from our visit we have been on a marathon of spring cleaning both inside and out as we prepare for the wedding of our youngest son in mid-July. It is all taking much longer than usual, as I have been having more back and hip issues than usual. Much of our time has been spent outdoors. We have taken down the old broken and battered fence which now opens the yard up to the back field and fruit trees. Our property ends where the blackberry brambles begin on the ten acres behind us.
We have scrubbed the decks, cleaned out the ponds and fountains and planted all the flower pots.
This post has been a bit jumbled as I am trying to tie up a number of activities into one big package. Our daughter and family arrive tomorrow and we are excited to have the all the children and grandchildren together again for the next three weeks. While the wedding will not take place here, we will be hosting a combination wedding rehearsal barbecue and birthday party for our future daughter in law. With a guest list of over fifty people, there is still a great deal of planning to be done and exciting activities to look forward to. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you are all enjoying a lovely summer.