Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 27, 2017

Anastasia Island

I’m not sure what kind of trees these are on Anastasia Island, but they’re pretty interesting. Am I the only one who finds the crooked white branches to be really creepy, though? I know that sometimes trees are made to grow in certain directions by human intervention, but I’m almost certain these are natural. I don’t know if I’d trust having a picnic underneath . . . depends on the strength of the roots, and how secure the trunks are.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

For some reason I really like this display at the Lighthouse. It’s attractive, historical-looking, and informative, and the artifacts are down to your level, not behind glass or something like that. Plus I’m a sucker for colonial artillery so that probably has something to do with it. Despite it being so accessible, I wouldn’t recommend touching. Most museums frown on that . . . and it’s not okay to do it just because someone else did. (You wouldn’t believe how many people climb on historic structures or displays, particularly artillery, even when there’s a sign that clearly says not to).

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays 

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017

Castillo de San Marcos

On the west gun deck between Baluarte de San Pedro (Saint Peter’s Bastion) and Baluarte de San Pablo you can find a fascinating array of historical artillery. Make sure to take the time to read the inscriptions; the often tell a story. Please don’t be “that person” who places their small child inside the mortars. (Yes, I’ve seen pictures of people doing this). I really wouldn’t suggest sticking your hand inside, either. Not only are there folks who think this is a trash receptacle, but you might be disturbing a birds’ nest. That aside, enjoy the guns. They’re pretty great.

St. George Street

Once upon a time, in another incarnation, the wonderful Spanish Bakery restaurant behind Whetstone’s Factory Outlet at St. George Street was the Jorge Salcedo house’s kitchen. This old fireplace hints at that historic past. When you’re waiting in line for empanadas, fresh-baked colonial-style bread rolls, homemade cookies, or piccadillo, you might not even notice this little gem of history tucked back inside the tiny kitchen. Always make sure to keep your eyes peeled in St. Augustine. You’re sure to notice a ton of things you never noticed before.

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January 13, 2017

Mission Nombre de Dios

I’ve often said that people of any faith or no faith can appreciate the beauty of the many religious statues, memorials, and sculptures on the Mission grounds. This Virgin of Guadalupe tile memorial is one such work of art that can be admired by all. The colors of the tiles, as well as the distinct Hispanic ‘roof’, go very well with St. Augustine’s Spanish vibe.

St. George Street

This is part of the old staircase in the De Mesa-Sanchez House, in my opinion the best attraction in Colonial Quarter. This house, which dates from the 1700s and 1800s, is accessible to the public, but it’s rare that tourists are allowed to go upstairs. You might have to be content with this view. You can tell by the worn carpet that these steps were well-used in the past and that the carpet is likely older than many of the visitors!

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, January 5, 2017

January 06, 2017

Aviles Street

Aviles Street is one of those cool “small-town” experiences, a haven for tourists with its restaurants, art galleries, old homes, and historic attractions.The house at left is the Seth Wakeman House, originally from the mid-1800s but renovated more recently; a colonial Spanish church once occupied its space. This is not a pedestrian-only street, so if you stop by, watch for traffic. You might want to check out the Spanish Military Hospital which I haven’t get been brave enough to visit, but be warned: colonial medical instruments were nothing to laugh about.

Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine

For some reason, this side door at the St. Augustine Cathedral reminds me of something you would find in Cuba or any large Spanish-founded city in Mexico or South America. Note the papal coat of arms above the doorway. The reason we came to the side of the building was to see if we could get a tour, which you sometimes can, but it has to be at the right time and under the right circumstances. I’m not Catholic, so it would have been awkward to stumble inside in the middle of a religious service, and I doubt the parishioners would have appreciated it either. 

(c) 2015-2017 St. Augustine Fridays