An afternoon in St. Augustine, FL

Today Kaitlin and I drove up to St. Augustine, FL to attend a friends morning wedding which left us an afternoon to explore around St. Augustine, FL, the oldest city in Florida.  While we didn’t have lots of time, we did manage to see Castillo de San Marcos and the Spanish Military Hospital Museum.

Since the post wedding transportation trolly dropped us off at the public paid parking garage, we decided to walk down to Castillo de San Marcos first.  The Fort is a US National Park, and admission was $7/person, or if you have an annual pass you can take 4 people in for free.  While our schedule didn’t allow for it, the Fort hosts ranger talks, as well as demonstrations of how the cannons were fired during the era of Spanish rule over Florida.  I have attended one of the cannon firing events in the past, and it’s pretty neat to watch, but not something I would come back and do again.  Other exhibits include wall graffiti, soldier bunks, powder room, etc.

The Spanish Military Hospital Museum is almost more of a tour than really a museum.   There aren’t many things to see here, but the tour guides do an excellent job and share lots of knowledge that I don’t think I would have gained walking through a traditional museum, as my attention span for reading displays isn’t the longest.  During the tour, topics discussed included: sanitation and it’s importance to the Spanish, how tooth extractions and amputations were handled and why, and medication from the era and how it was bought and sold.  All in all I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest someone visiting for a weekend stop by for the tour.

Flying to Winter Haven for Breakfast

Last week Antonio, a coworker turned good friend, asked if I would be interested in flying somewhere this morning.  Of course the answer was yes!  We rented a Diamond DA-20 from TraxAir, a training facility located at Orlando Executive Airport.  I had ridden in an ultralight sport aircraft before, but never a general aviation aircraft.  The difference in how smooth the ride was surprised me, the DA20 was incredible!  We landed in Winter Haven (GIF) and then ate at Pappy’s Grill, which served a very reasonably priced and delicious breakfast.  After we were done with breakfast, we headed over to Lake Jessup and practiced a few stalls, then headed back to Orlando Executive and returned the plane.