Thursday, April 12, 2012
Saint Augustine, FL
We departed our wonderful dry camp spot behind the Cracker Barrel, and next to Daytona around 8:30am for the 1 hour drive up to St. Augustine, but not before enjoying a great breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants, of course! The temperature and humidity were totally in my comfort zone for a change....low 70's, and 27% humidity....lol. As we move north the temperatures are going down!
Elaine found us a great parking spot for the day right near the visitor's center where the buses park, and it was free! She is becoming quite adept at finding overnight spots, and day parking spots. No over night camping at this location, but you can be there until 10pm at night. We quickly got dressed, and unloaded our two hybrid bikes to begin our tour of the oldest city in North America. This year they are celebrating their 450th anniversary! Our first stop was the US Post Office to mail some tax stuff off, and then down to Aviles Street which is a narrow, red brick road dating back a century, or two.
When Elaine checked in at the visitor's center she purchased two tickets to tour the oldest house in the city, which was built 1700's, then we rode over to the Castillo de San Marcos fort. No doubt many of you have seen pictures of this fort. We spent over an hour touring the fort, and got to use our Senior Park Pass again....we've only used it twice now and have more than recovered the $10 cost per pass......just today we saved $14 in entrance fees.
Castillo de San Marcos Fort
After the fort tour we rode over to San Sebastian Winery to take the tour and, of course, do some wine tasting. The only grapes that can be grown in Florida are of the muscadine (sp?) variety. This grape variety was discovered by the first explorers to America growing wild. Most of the wines produced by San Sebastian use the muscadine grape. The tour and wine tasting are FREE.....one of our favorite words! There is an interesting 10 minute video at the beginning, a tour of the wine making facility, and then on to the wine tasting room.
We arrived back at the coach around 4pm after logging around 8 miles of riding around town, and I decided to take a nap before we headed north to Jacksonville, and what we thought would be our overnight spot, however, there was a forest fire burning just to the northwest of Jacksonville, which resulted in a cloud of smoke over the city, and the accompanying smoke smell. We decided to just do our shopping here and push on north to get out of the smoke, we also wanted to wait for the rush hour traffic to subside.....I didn't drive 4,000+ miles to sit in rush hour traffic! Finally around 7pm we rolled the wheels again and headed north to Kingsland, GA.....yes....we have left Florida in our rear view mirror, but we will return. We overnighted behind another Cracker Barrel just off the Interestate. Another great dry camp spot!
Thanks for stopping by!