Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jacksonville Day 3

Today we spent the day in St. Augustine, "the nation's oldest city" and had a fabulous time. We started off the day at the local Alligator Farm which claims to host every species of crocodile and alligator in existence.

I've been to my share of zoos and such, and while I expected our friend's 4 year old to be enamored with the place I wasn't expecting to be blown away. But blown away I was. Never before have I see so many crocodiles and alligators in one location. There were hundreds of them, and just watching them sun themselves and do their daily business (which in the middle of the day, isn't much), was quite a thrill. What gorgeous and scary animals.

From the Alligator Farm we made our way to Caps on the Water, a seemingly out of the way fish place which was actually quite crowded. And I can see why, the food was delicious and the eating-on-the-deck made for the perfect ambiance. I felt like I was in a Florida Vacation commercial as I munched away on very tasty fish tacos.

After lunch we returned to the historical downtown area of St. Augustine and did a little wandering around. Shira was spared any visits to museums because neither our friend's 4 year old nor she could tolerate them. We did get to explore the fort in town which was castle-like-enough that both the little guy and I were very excited to check it out. We played with the canons while Shira and our friend pretended not to know us.

Of all the historical sites we saw in St. Augustine I think one of my favorites was the Constitution Monument. To make a long story short, in 1812 Spain wrote its first constitution, and to celebrate the fact, required all towns throughout their empire to erect a constitution monument. Which St. Augustine did. Then, in 1814 the constitution was chucked out and towns were given a new order: you must destroy the monuments you just created. Luckily, St. Augustine didn't follow this directive. I just find this decree followed by counter-decree to be such a classic government move.

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