Thursday, November 27, 2014

A visit to America's first Colony St. Augustine...

In keeping with the theme of our adventure of “firsts” what a perfect place to visit, St. Augustine Florida, America’s first successful colony and oldest city.
In 1565, Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived with 800 colonists to settle the New World in the name of Spain. It was an ambitious attempt indeed, and on September 8th, St. Augustine was founded.

We picked another nearby KOA to park Chillax’n at for a couple of days. St. Augustine Beach KOA is located about 3 miles from downtown, and has public transit available just steps from the front entrance. Sorry Rick forgot to snap a photo of our campsite however, we did manage to take a few pictures of the resident wildlife.


This cool bird above could be seen on his perch for most of each and every day, with the exception of course when Mr. Hawk arrived below!

This colourful fellow and his entourage regularly paid our site a visit in the hope that we would feed them, which of course we did not. I’m sure many people do though because they were unbelievably tame and not afraid of humans. Toby enjoyed rolling in their poop too if you didn’t keep a watchful eye UGH!
Of course there will always be these little critters around when there is an abundance of live oak trees.
The name "live" oak comes from the fact that evergreen oaks remain green and "live" throughout winter, when other oaks are dormant.
When the term live oak is used in a specific rather than general sense, it most commonly refers to the southern live oak, the first species so named, and an icon of the Old South.

We spent a beautiful warm sunny afternoon walking around the downtown core where there is so much to see and do understandably. There was everything to do from sports and recreation, sightseeing and walking ghost tours, both fun and historic attractions, shopping galore, art galleries, and lastly an abundance of bars and restaurants.

                    The first Spanish Military Hospital now a Museum


Scarlett O'Hara's Pub
When you’re in need of a good restaurant and/or pub who better to ask than the local constabulary...

Sangrias Tapas & Wine Bar where 1 beer + 1 glass of wine + tip equalled 20 bucks!

Of course Wee Shaemus tagged along with us!

Just to enlighten you a little - prior to entering this place we had enjoyed a fantastic dinner out at an Italtian restaurant called the Chianti Room.
Several glasses of wine, and we're not telling you just how many + 2 Caesar Salads + 1 Lasagna and 1 Veal Parm dinner equalled $49 less the tip.
What is up with that ??? 

Oh well, at least this little musical duo was worth the coin!

But after a fantastic belated Birthday dinner / date night we waited for our taxi in front of Tini Martini Bar all decked out in it's Christmas bling. A little over the top perhaps?



Tomorrow we will be moving further south to the West Palm and Delray Beach areas so we can enjoy another couple of firsts. We also have a couple of friends to hook up with there, both who are friends of Rick’s from his pre-Sandra days.
If you ever get the chance to visit St. Augustine please don’t hesitate and let the opportunity pass you by. St. Augustine is most certainly a compelling narrative of exploration, innovation and let’s not forget its enduring human spirit.
It is marked by so many milestones such as being the first permanent European and African settlement; the site of the first Christian mass in the Americas; the first port to develop into a centre of trans-Atlantic trade and commerce; the site of the first hospital; the first tavern just to mention a few.
Legacies such as these will be celebrated next year during the 450th Commemoration of what is known as the first colony.
Our visit definitely was a first on so many levels!
Thanks for hanging out with us, and don't forget to catch up with Chillax'n after our adventure of first continues on to West Palm and Delray Beach Florida.
See you all on the flip side….
Rick, Sandra, Toby and Wee Shaemus

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