Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Adventures in Florida, Part 3: Believe It or Not!

It didn't take long for Jamie and I to cross back over the state line into Florida after leaving Valdosta and the true southern hospitality of Barbara and her family.  Unfortunately, though, crossing the border didn't leave any of the Georgia heat behind as it trailed right after us on our way down to Saint Augustine, which isn't too very far past my original starting point of Jacksonville and Orange Park.

Following a couple of stops along the way for flip-flops at Wal-Mart, a cold beverage or two, and gas which is A LOT cheaper in Florida than in Connecticut we arrived in Saint Augustine a little after 3:00 and checked into our hotel which really isn't even worth mentioning.  It may be worth writing a letter to the Choice Hotel group, though,  as I was pretty disappointed with the accommodations.  The location was good though so after a late lunch/early dinner at the local iHop, Jamie and I checked out the lay of the land which included this place:

In spite of my protestations that it was going to be a rip-off, Jamie had her heart set on going to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum which I really had absolutely NO interest in going to but I figured it was her vacation, too, and it wouldn't be right to not let her do something she wanted to do even if it turned out to be a bust ... which it was as you can tell by the look on Jamie's face.

I guess I'm just not into all of the oddities and freak-show type objects that Ripley's specializes in and I'm also not exactly the 'tourist' type either.  That probably makes me sound like a snob or something but generally speaking, I just don't like following the crowd and would rather take the road less traveled when it comes to explorations and the like.  The museum was most definitely a very traveled road that Sunday afternoon probably because it was too bloody hot to do anything else so it seemed like a lot of people had escaped to the air-conditioned strangeness of Ripley's where they were backed up behind the cases and displays trying to get a look at the six-legged cow and shrunken heads.  Great ...

Leaving Ripley's we drove around downtown Saint Augustine a little bit just to see what they had.  I really wanted to stop at the old Spanish fort but ended up just doing a drive-by as it was a) too hot to get out of the air-conditioned rental car and b) even if we had wanted to get out, there was no place to park!  In spite of the heat, the place was hopping and popping with people of all shapes, sizes, and ages.  Still, there was some beautiful architecture to be seen and lots and lots of towers!

I wish that it had been just a bit cooler and less crowded so that I could really check out Saint Augustine as I could just feel the history seeping out from the walls of the old buildings and see it down every narrow alley but alas, just like it's hard to sometimes see the forest for the trees, it was hard to see the beauty of Saint Augustine through the haze of tourists. I made a mental note to make a return trip to America's oldest city at a time when it was less crowded - if there is such a time! - and then Jamie and I went back to our hotel room to rest up a bit before our planned activity for the evening:

I do believe that this will be the part where Amanda gets jealous .. stay tuned!


  1. Ooh, I love the photo of the tower at dusk! Beautiful...
    ~~~Since I grew up in the tourism industry, we avoided going anywhere in the summer. It was nice going places w/o long lines. I'm like you in that I don't like the canned spiels. We have found more unique places and restaurants by just taking off and exploring. Much more fun!

  2. I'm with you. I'd much rather explore off the beaten path. Especially at places like Pigeon Forge, total tourist trap. But Hubby knows the area fairly well and we usually end up on some side road searching for yard sales and pawn shops. :)

  3. I see you at least got some photos of Flagler College! You'd enjoy the Flagler College tour, which they only offer when class is not in session, of course. The woodwork, decor, history... wow.

    November - February is the best time for anything in the Deep South!

    Big hugs xo

  4. Anonymous9:01 AM EDT

    I'm so jones-ing for a trip to Florida... BIG TIME! Just found out my big brother will be at Sanibel Island next week. I wanna go!

    Ok, I'll wait to hear about the hearse, I think I know what it was for...

  5. Lovely architecture and of course you got great shots of it Linda. :)

  6. i think st. augustine is the hottest place on earth. with the worst hotels. (just sayin')

    smiles, bee

  7. Anonymous10:50 AM EDT

    what a great trip so far! I went to the Ripley's museum in San Fransisco and it was a bust. Sorry about the yucky accommodations you had also. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  8. Oooh a mystery at the end. If you ever get to San Francisco again, avoid Ripley on the pier there as well. Same story.

  9. you sure do have a knack for skies and steeples and rooftops!!

    I went back to part 1 to catch up
    Congrats Jamie
    seeing all those young women marching in is quite the sight

    also - thank you so much for your loving and lovely comment to Bobbie's family
    you're a good friend Linda

  10. I'd rather not have the crowds either. Exploring on my own is far more fun.

    I see we are going to have a mystery post. Something haunted. Something Amanda is into and couldn't participate. Can't wait to hear about that.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  11. The fort is much more interesting than any ole Ripley crappola, but even the fort needs to be avoided when it is 400 degrees outside! And we don't do crowds either. Love to get off the beaten path. Us bloggers gotta meet there in cooler temps for sure, OK?!

    Big hugs,honey...

  12. I hear you about the heat. I can't take much of it anymore. That makes planning vacations a little more difficult, but it might also mean less crowds as we'll visit a lot of places outside of peak times.

  13. The Fort is a great place to visit. Lots of history and nice photo opps, but if you can't handle the heat, forget that idea.

  14. These memories with her...priceless!!! I'm so thrilled that you got to spend so much time together. You both look wonderful.


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