Thursday, August 20, 2009

Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine

We made an unplanned visit to the fort in St. Augustine - otherwise known as Castillo de San Marcos. We attended Sunday morning Mass at San Sebastien Catholic Church in St. Augustine and met my best friend from high school (and Caroline's godmother!) and her husband Jason. They had just moved to the Jacksonville area about a month ago from the New England area - so it was really neat that we could visit them!! After Mass, we went out to lunch in historic downtown St. Augustine at a restaurant called Harry's and had very good food along with very slow service from our waiter, who looked like Rick Astley (it is my goal to work in a reference to him in every post about this vacation! ;P).

We parked about 2,000 miles away from the restaurant. Okay, so it wasn't quite that far, although we did circle the city for about 15 minutes looking for a parking place. It was 11:30 on a Sunday morning - weird time for the town to be packed, but maybe everyone else had decided to go out to lunch after church? The nice thing about it is that parking is free on Sundays. The above photo was taken by the water next to where we parked. Cecilia is being held by Jason - her new buddy. She likes men for some reason. She still talks about Jason over a week later and thinks she sees him at times when we pass somebody in a store...

We had ample time to make use of the little girls' room as well as thoroughly coloring on the children's menus before our food came.

Cecilia insists on being able to use crayons just like Big Sister.

Cecilia with her buddy again after lunch... and since she'd taken an unexpected little nap during Mass, there was no need to rush back to the condo for her to get a nap - so it was on to the fort!

We'd planned to come back into town one day to visit the fort, but since we were already there and had already obtained a parking space, we decided to just do it then. It costs $6 for adults to get in - kids are free up until 15 or so years old. But, you can come back all week long after paying your $6, although I am not sure why one would want to come back repeatedly... not that it wasn't impressive, but once in a week is probably enough unless you are really short on time one day and want to return a few days later.

I don't think this photo even needs a caption. We did learn later that we are not supposed to touch the cannons or even the walls... oops.

Caroline points o her name on a sign inside the fort. I am not sure what the significance of Fort Caroline is... but she thought it was neat to see her name!

Cecilia, Daddy, and Caroline, still dressed in their Sunday best in the 90something degree heat, look over the edge of the fort towards to ocean.

We got to hear them fire the cannon (with a blank, of course) and learned that this cannon could fire a cannonball all the way to the lighthouse - a distance of over one and a half miles! Cecilia was impressed with the "boom" and talked about it a lot afterwards... even upon seeing these photos of the cannon after we'd returned home!

Jason sacrificed himself by covering Cecilia's ears for her, as was recommended to everyone watching since it was quite loud. Caroline was impressed by the soldiers, all dressed in historical clothing. But we were all glad to get back into the air conditioned van afterwards!

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