January 12, 2010 – Tuesday morning we got up bright and early (before sunrise) and walked the short two blocks to the ocean. We had the entire stretch of beach almost to ourselves, and despite the chill in the air, enjoyed hunting for shells and taking pictures of the sunrise. We lingered for about 30 minutes after the sun was up, strolling along the beach and admiring the views.
After our time on the beach, we were ready for breakfast. We checked out of the hotel, and drove a few blocks to Cafe Eleven. The restaurant is a converted convenience store (we’re guessing an old 7-11) that serves some great breakfast and also brings in various bands. Tony enjoyed his mocha, and Louisa had fun drinking a variety of coffees. There’s a little coffee bar; buy a cup, and drink as much as you like. They also have some very fun coffee mugs. Our breakfast sandwiches were also good; big and yummy.
After a satisfying and leisurely breakfast, we drove to old town St. Augustine. We found parking at the high density parking facility (HDPF); the structure itself is made to look like it’s stucco, so that it blends in with the other architecture. We walked by the visitor center, past an old cemetery where they buried people who died from a plague (happy thought, huh?) and across the street to Castillo de San Marcos. The fort itself is incredibly well-preserved. We walked across the bridge over the moat (there was no water in it) and into the fort. We enjoyed walking around both levels of the fort, and saw the chapel, powder storage, signaling station (at the top of the fort, on one of the corners), and a variety of canons. The canons were very neat; we could read the inscriptions and decorations on them. The fort has never been taken by force; it has only changed hands via treaty. We also spent time avoiding the groups of school kids that were happily touring the fort.
We then went for a walk along St. George street and the surrounding area in old town St. Augustine. We saw the Cathedral of St. Augustine (which had a cool statue in the courtyard), the old town plaza (which is now a park with canons and a fountain), the Lightner Museum, and then made our way to The Bunnery for a cinnamon roll smothered in freshly-poured cream cheese frosting, and a strawberry strudel. We got our food to go, and happily ate it in the car on the way home. We also stopped for some Chik-fil-A for dinner, too, once we hit Columbia.
Photos can be found here.