Yesterday Mike took the day off and after sending the kids off to school, we drove to St. Augustine to play! Having recently purchased the Entertainment Book from Justine's school, and armed with coupons galore, we thought we'd go visit the Lightner Museum. Well, we got distracted and short on time and never made it to the museum BUT....here's what we did instead:
Mike thought it would be a good idea to check in at the Visitor's Center to see what they suggest and possibly get a map. He LOVES maps. We ended up buying the St. Augustine's Historic Points of Interest Walking Tour map. Best $3.13 we ever spent. It contains 5 short and easy walking tours all around the Historic area of St. Augustine. Now, you should know we've been to St. Augustine many, many times. But, we usually do about the same thing (with friends & family from San Diego) and lots of times things are closed or we have the kids with us. Today was all ours to do something new and learn more about this city we've fallen in love with.
We did the Flagler Buildings Tour #3. The most exciting things we saw were the Alcazar Hotel Swimming Pool and the Memorial Presbyterian Church. The pool was the largest indoor swimming pool in the world at the time, but is now an antique mall and restaurant. Click on the link for the pool so you can see it...it filled the entire bottom of the room and measured 50' x 120' with a private area for the ladies at one end. It was so cool to walk down the stairs into the actual pool area and imagine it filled with water and everyone cooling off in the spring water. Spring water is typically 72 degrees. The restaurant down there looked adorable and the prices were very reasonable. We didn't eat there because it was mid-morning and we weren't hungry yet. We were the ONLY people walking around inside there, too. In the photo, you can see a man on the steps...we walked up those steps to the next level and walked around, too. Many of the rooms on that floor are now for conferences, meetings, etc. The architecture of the building inside and out is fantastic!
We walked around some more...a bunch of college students (Flagler College) wandering around, sitting in the heat at bus stops, or waiting in line at various buildings could be seen. I don't know if school had started yet for them. The day was beautiful, but it was getting very warm for walking around. I told Mike that I'd always wanted to see inside this church by the college. I'd seen it many times on the trolley tours and heard about the beautiful marble, stained glass and best of all...the Flagler mausoleum. We walked over to the Memorial Presbyterian Church and went INSIDE! We took ourselves on the self guided tour and learned alot about this beautiful building. Flagler built the church in 1889 as a memorial to his only daughter who died at sea en route to St. Augustine. It was modeled after St. Mark's in Venice, Italy. The stained glass, carved mahogany, mosaics and marble inside are breathtaking. Go see it if you're in town...they only ask for a $1 donation. A very unique, budget friendly way to spend your time.
After walking some more, we just were too darn hot and sweaty to continue. We stopped at Harry's Bar & Grille for lunch. They have a beautiful patio (fully shaded) for eating outside, and it wouldn't have been too hot to eat outside...but we'd been walking in the heat and needed to get out of it for a bit. After lunch, we drove across the temporary bridge to check on the progress of the Lion's Bridge that's being renovated. Everything is coming along beautifully...MaryLou and Al, you're gonna be amazed at how different it looks. Then we went to pick up the kids at school.
Um, after getting the kids, we took them to Dairy Queen for an ice cream.
You didn't think we could have a perfect day without ice cream did you?