Wednesday, January 13, 2016


There is more than one fort in St. Augustine, Florida.  The big one we all know about downtown is the Castillo de San Marcos.  Fort Mose is the one that is a little more hidden but also historic just north of the Castillo. The third fort that comes to mind is Fort Matanzas.  The small fort south at Matanzas Inlet that guarded the city from surprise attacks from the river side.  A strategy used successfully by the British  Privateer Francis Drake against the city in 1586.  The Spanish upgraded their fortifications after the event so history would not repeat. Fort Matanzas can be visited by boat from the park at 8635 A1A South most days for free.  There is, however, an evening event coming up that offers period reenactors, torchlight ambiance, a boat ride, and cannon fire all for a modest cost. The date is January 23 and the link with the phone number can get you a reservation.

Link to Fort Matanzas



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Monday, November 23, 2015

Cold Snap

After setting a record warm period for the last two months we are experiencing a cold snap.  The low temperature is projected to be 52 degrees overnight. Temperature plus a strong wind kept a lot of people from going to the beach today.  Barbara and I however grabbed our sweatshirts and forged ahead.  With the blowing sand and high hollowing winds it reminded us of walking in a snowstorm when we lived up north in our youth.  Just then, out of the mist came a surreal sight.  It looked like dogs pulling a sled.  Could this be?  This is Florida, right.  Well almost right, as the aberration got closer it was clearly a dog team pulling a young lady on a large skateboard.  The dogs saw Barbara and came over for a chat.  The nice young lady from Gatorland was training the happy young dogs.  Great fun!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Tough Pretzel

School mascots are important components of school pride and spirit.  They usually are based on large predator animals that easily help your school team intimidate and alienate opposing teams in athletic or academic competitions.  First let us talk about Terry's mascots.   In High School we were the Galion Tigers.  Our tough tiger mascot at events was a cute young lady running around in a tiger costume.  It worked!  Undergrad we were the Ashland College Eagles.  Tough big predator birds with large talons.  The person in the Jake the Eagle suit had to be coordinated and tough just to navigate with the big Eagle costume with the large claw shoes.  Graduate school was at Ohio State and we all know the power of tough nut Brutes Buckeye and the current National Championship football team.

Now lets get to Barbara.  She grew up in Freeport, Illinois which is certainly in the Midwest.  My first trip to her home town we drove by the Freeport High School on a tour of the city.  Their was a large pretzel statue in front of the school.  I asked why and she said they were the Freeport Pretzels.  I asked if their teams got licked a lot and she said No, we tied the other teams into knots.  Now that's tough.  When she got to Beloit college in Wisconsin it got even tougher.  Their official school mascot is a Buccaneer.  A Pirate who got way off course and ended up in the Midwest.  Maybe that is why their popular unofficial mascot is the Turtle.  A lost pirate with a snapping turtle, now that is tough.  School rivalries are so much fun!

    
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ride in the Clouds

For someone living close to sea level  it's a real kick to be in the clouds.  Were not talking about an airplane or balloon ride but rather a ride on a ski lift.  Ski Beech in North Carolina is the highest ski area in Eastern America.  The summit is over a mile high at 5506'.  I love it in the winter when one can start out under the clouds at the bottom of the lift and be over the clouds when you arrive at the top.  Skiing through the clouds is just great.  You don't ski, well now you can experience the same event in the summer.  Ski operators have found that people will ride the lifts all year long.  At Beech their is a bar/restaurant at the summit with a large patio and an enclosed area called the 5506'.  Sightseers and Mountain Bikers share the lift in the summer.  Numerous trails allow two wheel gravity sports enthusiasts a way to enjoy their sport without peddling to the top.  Hikers and those just enjoying the view get a ride both ways if they so choose.  Barbara and I love the ride winter and summer.  The link to the Ski Beech website.   http://www.beechmountainresort.com/





  

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Monday, July 20, 2015

St. Augustine Beach Hotel Projects

St. Augustine Beach Mayor Andrea Samuels said "the development of new top-quality hotels at the beach is a sign of the desirability of the area as a destination".  She goes on to say "We're no longer on the verge of a renaissance; we're in it."  The Friday St. Augustine Record article reports on the three new hotels being built on  A1A Beach Boulevard.  The first to open will be the 205-room Courtyard by Marriott expected to open in December.  The hotel is expected to employ about 70 people and bring in $52,000 a year in tax revenue.  The second hotel will be the conversion of the Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort into the Guy Harvey Outpost.  This should open in the spring of 2016.  The third project is the demolition and construction of an Embassy Suites located down by the pier where the former Beachfront Resort stood.  It is scheduled to open some time in 2017.  These are all quality offerings and should enhance our area as a destination.  For more information on the Guy Harvey Outpost click on the link below. 

http://www.guyharveyoutpost.com/

The Courtyard by Marriott























  
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Carousel Ride

Granddaughter Audriana was a little intimidated by the noises and the breakneck speed of the carousel located in St. Augustine's Davenport Park.  Her grandmother assured her it would be fun and eventually it was.  Then she had to do it again and again.  Thank goodness tickets are only a buck.
 

 
The history of the carousel is interesting.  It was built in 1927.  It was purchased by a Ringling Brother circus performer for $25,000 and stored in a barn in the State of Michigan.   It was moved  to a children's zoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  After the death of the owner it was inherited by his brother and moved to St. Augustine in 1992 after being restored.  The park has other fun things for children and is located close to the main public library.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

A New Bambi


We are creatures of habit.  We have been traveling to the same location in the North Carolina Mountains for the last ten years for vacations.  Deer are obviously also habitual.  We were told that the lot across the street was a birthing place for deer.  Mother nature co-operated this year when Barbara witnessed a newborn trying to stand up and I grabbed my camera.  No lengthy hospital stays here.  Licking, nudging, more licking and nudging, then standing on wobbly legs, more licking, feeding, nuzzling and more licking and we look ready to go.  Wow!




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