Thursday 5 March 2009

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Awake: 7:04am Temp 42 sleep 7+21 sunny overnight @ St. Augustine, FL.

My brother called last night but it was too late to return his call. This morning, he was working with a client & will call later this evening.

K & I motor to the Grumman aircraft facilities in St. Augustine & ask about a tour schedule; "there are no tours" the gate guard told me.

Next, we decided to check out "The Fountain of Youth" just down the road from Grumman. After carefully reading the advertisements of what we would see & do in this Archaeological Park, we changed our minds; I could be wrong but it seemed more like a "tourist trap."

Then we drove downtown & parked in Flagler's parking lot for $5.00 per day. We self toured the Memorial Presbyterian Church that Flagler had built in 1890 to the glory of his daughter, Jennie Louise who passed away as a result of childbirth in1889. The pews & lighting fixtures along with the hand carved doors, etc are all original. After the church was dedicated, it took the artist (12) yrs to complete all the stained glass windows. More recent, the stained glass windows have been restored as a project of the Trustees of Memorial Presbyterian Church. Every window, all (92) of them, were removed, cleaned, repaired, releaded & reinstalled from 2002--2005. We looked closely @ these windows & found that, reading from left to right, they contain passages from the Apostle's Creed.

One room contained pictures & more information about a Flagler home which I didn't know about; just west of the church he had built "Kirkside", another large large mansion.

Next, we find the Cathedral Basilica & join the tour group in this Catholic Church. The tour guide told us that Flagler had a role in rebuilding this church as well after a fire did damage to the coquina stone walls in 1887, (17) yrs after it became a Cathedral; Flagler had the walls covered over & built a beautiful Spanish Renaissance style bell tower, topped by a steeple & gold cross. This Catholic Church was certainly not as beautiful, deluxe, lavish, or ornate, as the Presbyterian Church we just saw.

Then we join the outside crowd of tourists who are walking the historic pedestrian Mall, St. George Street, that includes: bikers from many states who are having a Rally in this city this week, & the snowbirds who like us, are touring places of interest. So many stores, cafés, bars, places of interest, etc, etc; the last thing on our might-do list for today is the unconquerable "Castillo de San Marcos" which took (23) yrs to complete.

After spending a good (1.5) hrs cautiously looking the fort over, room by room, with its bombproof storerooms, thick coquina walls, mounted sea coast artillery pieces along the seawall, the bastions on each of the four corners, a moat with drawbridge, etc, we find this fort amazingly well preserved & tough for its yrs.

The Spanish kept the moat dry &, during sieges, used it as pen for domestic animals. Whenever under land attack, the moat could be filled with sea water by opening flood gates on the seawall. Without a doubt, these early Spanish solders had planned extremely well & designed their fort even better.

Dinner: leftover stuffed peppers with broccoli.

My brother calls: we run the gamut; Don answers my 2nd question explaining that he & Josie are not doing the West Coast bike trek down hwy (1) & 101 from Washington State to San Diego this yr. He tells me there are just too many lose strings yet to tie up.

Late movie: ½ of "Dinner at Eight."

Lights out: 12:14am

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This page contains a single entry by George Monte Kirsch published on March 8, 2009 10:08 PM.

Wednesday 4 March 2009 was the previous entry in this blog.

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