After the long and ultimately successful involvement with “The Sound of Music” we decided to take a few days in a warm place.

To tell the truth, I don’t much like Florida once I gave up sun worship, but I’d heard that St. Augustine is an interesting historical place – the oldest city in America. And interesting it is, though I’m glad I don’t have to pass a test on who controlled it when – the Spanish, the French, The British, the Spanish again? If you really want to know, I recommend googling it.

The first news, though, is that we hit it during a cold spell so I wore my warm Minnesota coat all four days we were there. This photo of a restaurant inviting people in to get warm tells the story. I’ll bet more often that sign says “Cool inside.”

Come in, it's cold outside


And Old? Well, there’s the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the U.S.

Oldest Wood School House USA


And the colonial village with it’s quick run-through of years of history.

Colonial Quarter


And the guide who made it so entertaining

Colonial Quarter 2

The first thing to see is the fort that once protected the town. I caught Doug looking down as he began is walk on the ramparts.

Doug on the RampartsP1090426

Perhaps the most outstanding is the wealth that contributed to the town’s development. Once there were two extremely luxurious hotels for the 1% of the time, complete with every amenity one could imagine. Now the first of those hotels, built by Mr. Flagler, is a liberal arts school.

Flagler College

Across the street is the other hotel, now the Lightner museum. We started at the third floor ballroom which overlooks what was once the swimming pool. (women limited to the shallow end.) It is now the cafe where we had lunch after enjoying this really eclectic place.

Lightner %22swimming pool%22

We particularly enjoyed the display of old music makers. Wonderful sounds and sights.

Lightner Music

The tour of the Ximenez-Fatio boarding house was an interesting look into the past. The rooms were made up as they would have been for some of the people who lived there. It wasn’t a quick stop-over place. People made their homes there. One room, for example, was furnished as it would have been for the doctor who lived there. It was also a reminder of how much freer single women were at the time to pursue financial goals, but limited in the businesses they could develop — especially boarding houses.

Ximenez-Fatio Boarding House


Just wandering the streets evoked feelings of the past.

Street Scene


And just plain interesting things, like this gentleman playing the Australian Didgeridoo, accompanied by his amazing calm, cool, collected dog companion.


Especially welcoming was the Penny-Farthing Inn where we were treated like invited family in a beautiful 1880s atmosphere.

Penny Farthing

with its lovely breakfast area. The hostess inquired about food preferences. When she learned I don’t eat bread products, she prepared scrambled eggs and sausage for me, while Doug had such goodies as Banana French toast. Really well cared for.

Breakfast, Penny Farthing Inn

If you are wondering — yes, the Penny-Farthing Inn is a delightful place to stay. I guess we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. The rooms were full when we were there.

We also had three great restaurant experiences, like:

the A1A Brewing Company where I enjoyed a perfect shrimp cocktail and wine while Doug had a tuna steak sandwich. He said it was perfect.

the Collage Restaurant, reportedly the best in town, where we celebrated Doug’s birthday with perfect service and food.

The Black Fly where Doug enjoyed a rather huge pizza. I could have had a cheaper meal than I got, but, limited by the fact that I don’t eat bread products. I had a great fish meal. In fact, it was fresh caught fish in all three places.





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  1. You certainly do provide us with rich, descriptive tours and photos from around the world. Something about this one was especially appealing. Perhaps because it teased some of my own memories of what things used to be like. Sorry about the relative cold. But, it still must have been an improvement over the winter “that was”.

  2. What lovely pictures! Looks like a delightful trip!

  3. Mona, what i most enjoy from your photostories is the feeling, atmosphere you pick up. You somehow manage to allow me to feel YOu into all those photos. remarkable. Loved the liberal arts school – that looked quaint and fun! I travel very little myself, except on the inside, and thoroughly enjoy yours mdear:)

  4. What a nice few days!
  5. These pictures bring back wonderful memories of when I visited St. Augustine years ago. They make me want to visit it again.

  6. I’ve never much liked Florida either, but I also find St. Augustine to be a very intriguing place. We haven’t been back to it since my (now 18 year old) son was 10 years old, But, when we were there (on his last day of 4th grade), he fell in love with the old schoolhouse.

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I’m glad you mentioned your son’s love of the schoolhouse. My children and grandchildren are all so grown now that I forget to think in terms of what the children would enjoy.

      • I remember that day so many years ago, because my ex-husband refused to pay the $1.00 so that our son could go in. My ex and I were in the process of divorcing at that time.

        I was unemployed, too and maybe had $5.00 on me (which was supposed to be used to get more gas to get us home). My ex had just been paid.

        So, while my ex was in another building, I handed my son $1.00 and let him go in by himself (I watched him from the gift shop security camera).

  7. I can so identify with you. And it sounds to me like a good divorce, though, I’m sure, painful in the process. I hope your son remembers and appreciates your gift. Even if he doesn’t, I, can feel your the mother’s pleasure as your son experiences the delight.

  8. I love history so certainly enjoyed St Augustine when we were there although my children go tired of me reading every tidbit of information I could find. It is a fun city and I’m glad you and Doug enjoyed yourselves despite the cool temps.

  9. nice pix, pleasant memories… we were there 2 years ago in May and it was quite hot… 🙂

  10. Love the Colonial village. =)

  11. Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, lots of interesting stuff to fill a two-day visit.

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