We’re back from our trip to Saint Augustine!! Wheeee! Did you miss us?
We knew when we got stationed here in Pensacola, Florida, that we wanted to see some of the local sights. Ya know, places we might not have otherwise gone out of our way to visit. And towards the top of the list was Saint Augustine! Also known as the Ancient City, Saint Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and the longest continually occupied European settlement in the continental US.
The timing of this trip was particularly spectacular, because this year marks the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival in Florida – over 50 years prior to the sailing of the Mayflower – and it all started in Saint Augustine! You’d think this would be big news, being such a vital chapter in United States history, but with everyone intent on Euro-shaming us and whitewashing over all of our major accomplishments as a nation (in the name of political correctness, of course), this momentous anniversary has been largely swept under the rug.
But we made it in the nick of time, and spent the weekend exploring the historic sights and taking in some of the local flavor! And it was a blast!
Our first stop was at the fascinating, informative, and highly entertaining Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park – the site of Juan Ponce de Leon’s original landing in 1513.
During his travels, Ponce de Leon was in quest of the Fountain of Youth, said to be a legendary spring that restores youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Upon landing in Florida, he believed the cool, fresh spring by the Timucuan Native American village of Seloy may have been the object of his quest. 500 years later, people still come to try the waters, (us yahoos included)!
The water contains over 30 minerals, and lots of magic, but it tasted very… mineral-y. Which is very healthy for you, but tastes like butt. So, being on my fresh, clean water kick, I decided that I needed to try my new Berkey sports water filter out on it. Yup, this bad boy can even filter out YOUTH!
Next we visited the Castillo de San Marcos, built by the Spanish in 1672 completely out of coquina stone – basically limestone with broken seashell chunks in it. It’s a beautiful castle fortress, complete with a double drawbridge and moat. There were historical re-enactors running amok, and literally thousands of people milling around. Oh! Oh! Oh! And Jonathan got us all into the park for free, being all military and awesome. Yay, Navy!
After that we ventured into the heart of the cobbled streets downtown area to visit the San Sebastian winery, to take a tour and taste some of the award winning wines. After buying a bottle to open in a year or so, (awww, ain’t we romantic?!) we headed over to the Columbia, an exquisite Spanish cuisine restaurant. OMG, so good! Sparkling Spanish sangrias made tableside, followed by five star and historically inspired seafood… mmm, mmm, mmm!
Anyway, here’s a mini collage of our weekend to Saint Augustine. I’d highly recommend this vacation spot. Lots of historic sights, wonderful food, and fun times!