Anna June is just like every other kid in the history of kids. "Are we there yet?" is the most frequent question asked on road trips.
Although the drive from Jacksonville to St. Augustine was longer than I remembered (hey, I was ten last time!) it wasn't that bad - less than an hour from house to house.
We rolled into St. Augustine on that Saturday morning and met Jeff, Gail, and their three dogs at their lovely home.
I could have spent the day taking pictures of their house. It is beautiful, in a beautiful place, and beautifully decorated. We even had beautiful weather!
But I didn't. It was too pretty to stay inside.
Also at the house, we opened a surprise package from Granny - a fancy
dress, complete with shoes and accessories, a Mickey Mouse shirt, and
spending money. It was turning out to be a magical trip so far.
We went to the tourist area and hopped on a trolley for the grand tour.
We hopped off to eat lunch at Harry's, a delicious place with New Orleans-style food. There were fantastic corn grits, crab cakes, fish tacos, and more. It was a great lunch!
Then, we continued with our tour of the town, walking and shopping on St. George Street. Aunt Gail had given AJ some shopping money for her vacation, so she bought a shiny seashell and some candy. It was great fun looking at all the different shops and historic places. The town is just beautiful.
Then, we went to the Castillo de San Marcos. This historic fort was one of the highlights of our trip. As we toured around, we got to see how the fort would have been used at different times in history. From what I could tell, whoever controlled the fort controlled Florida. It just so happened that our time there coincided with a weapons demonstration, so we stayed to watch. Even though we don't like thinking about the implications, it was still neat to see how cannon and muskets are fired.
We returned by trolley to where the car was parked. There's a lot of history in this little town - it was hard to soak it all in. We'll have to go back one day.
After a break at the house, we went to dinner at a local pizza place. The food was great! Then we went next door to Marble Slab Creamery, where we all enjoyed some fantastic ice cream. It was getting cold outside - AJ's lips were starting to turn blue - but maybe that was from her blue cotton candy ice cream.
AJ read a little from the book that Gail and Jeff got for her - an Ancient City A to Z. I'm glad we chose to visit the fort instead of the gator farm, by the way.
We got AJ to bed after several attempts. It was too much excitement - between the trip, the sightseeing, and the promise of the actual Magic Kingdom the next day she was on overload. We wanted to stay up talking but we were both exhausted and distracting Anna June from sleeping, so we retired for the evening.
The next morning, Jeff and Gail outdid themselves with a homemade breakfast: scrambled eggs, raisin toast, cantaloupe, kiwi, and Greek yogurt. It was just a great start to our day. We had our drive (long for AJ!) ahead of us and it was great to fill up.
We had a wonderful visit - we can't wait to go back!
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