March 27, 2009

St Augustine Florida

Today we are headed to St. Augustine to check out the Seafood Festival. Remember, while on our way to Blue Spring, as we drove through St. Augustine we saw a sign about a Seafood Festival that was going to be a 3 day event. Well it's March 14th and we are ready to go and see what this is all about.
St. Augustine is only about 15 miles from Ponte Vedra Beach, so it's a nice drive along the coast on A1A. In fact we have already spent part of another day in St. Augustine shopping at one of their Outlet Malls. Stijn loves to hit the Outlet Malls when he comes from Belgium and do a little shopping for some great deals. In fact he likes it so much that the first place we stop at today is the other Outlet Mall. Lucky me! A man who likes to shop.
Satisfied with his purchases, we now head over to Francis Field where the Seafood Festival is taking place. We pay our $7.00 to park and then follow the crowd onto the Festival grounds and pay another $2.00 each to enter. We spent about 1 hour walking along the vendors booths checking out all the different types of crafts they were selling. Then it was time for some of that Seafood. There are about a dozen or so vendors selling all types of seafood that is cooked every way possible. Crab legs, crab cakes, whole crabs, boiled crawfish, frog legs, alligator, shrimp! Of course I'm having a tough time trying to make a decision here people. I finally settle on a booth that is selling a dish called the "Captain's Platter". So for $15.00 I am handed this plate overflowing with crab, scallops and shrimp over some rice. I know you're expecting a picture here, but silly me didn't take my camera into the Festival. What was I thinking.
We decide now to explore some of St. Augustine. but first we make a stop at the car to get my camera! The Visitor Center is right next to Francis Field and here Stijn picks up a walking map of St. Augustine, we head out the door and right in front of us (across the street) is Castillo de San Marcos. Now for those of you who might not know this (sad to say, me being one of them) St. Augustine is the oldest European city in the United States, settled by Juan Menendez de Aviles, almost a half a century before the first English settlers landed at Jamestown.

Castillo de San Marcos is this magnificent military fortress that was built in 1672 on the shoreline of St. Augustine to protect the Spanish that had settled here from the British.

You can pay an admission to tour the inside, but we arrived just minutes after they sold the last tickets for the day. However, this was still a magnificent site from the outside to explore. We took our time walking around the outside looking closely at the bullet holes that had tried to penetrate the 18 foot thick walls while under attack by the British.

There is a lot more to see and do in St. Augustine, but it's getting late and Stijn needs to figure out how to pack his purchases he has made over the last few days. Yes sad to say, he has to fly out tomorrow to go back to Brussels.

The packing is done and we spent the rest of our evening remembering the wonderful time we were able to share with each other again here in Florida.

I will be staying for another week holding down the fort...........
So check back soon to read more about my home exchange here in Ponde Vedra Beach.

And if you would like to see more pictures of our day just go to "Where's Debbie" and click on the album "St. Augustine".

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