Wednesday, April 8, 2009

St. Augustine Mini Vacation

My sisters came out from Denver to visit me here in Florida so we decided to spend a few nights in St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. This is a picture of my sisters and me (center) riding the trolley in St. Augustine. This was our last day and it rained like crazy for about ten minutes so we just had to get a photo of us in these trendy little raincoats, compliments of Old Town Trolley.

The Old City Jail is one of the 22 stops on the trolley. This building was used as the city jail until the late 1950's. It was first built on the very outskirts of town to keep the "undesirables" away from the city folk. The sherriff and his wife and 2 daughters lived in one half of the structure and the convicts lived in the other half. It is quite dark and dank in there and very little room for the prisoners to move around. The cells held 2 sets of bunkbed cots each and there was about 24" of space to move between them. No room to move about at all and the temperatures in the summer reached up to 120 degrees inside.

This is us in front of our hotel called "The Casa Monica". It was established in the late 1880's as an overflow facility to the Ponce de Leon Hotel (in the background) which is now known as Flagler College. The Ponce de Leon was built by Henry Flagler and was one of the first buildings to have electricity so they had a big celebration for the grand opening and people stayed all night to see if the lights would die down like that of a candle. Most had never seen electricity. There is a lot of stained glass in this hotel and all of it was done by Tiffany himself. Henry Flagler was a very wealthy man and had only the best to work on his many ventures.

The background here is just one of the many houses in Historic St. Augustine. The wall I am leaning against was made of coquina which is a compound of shells and a mortar. The majority of the foundations and walls of this city had this mixture as it was easily accessible, strong in structure and the sharpness of the shells made their enemies think twice about entering.
We also experienced a GPS ghost tour which was a hoot. We were given individual tracking systems that had a headset and would activate as you reached each destination. There was no guide with us so we fumbled our way through the night. After the first few stops we began to realize we were not synchrinized and unless you hit the exact spot to activate the next narration you were left in the dark...literally! Lots of fun though. They have many different kinds of ghost tours using trolleys, horse drawn carriages, or walking with a guide but they were a bit too realistic for me as the drama students at the college hire out to play various "ghosts".



Wonderful blog about sisters and vacation--:)

Tins and Treasures said...

What great memories you have of a vacation spent together...priceless! ~Natalie

BlenderBach said...

awesome vacation spot! I've always wanted to go to st. augustine :)

Dirt. said...

i'm definitely adding st. augustine on my list of placed to visit... it's beautiful! thanks for sharing your visit. it looks like you all had a great time.