Trip to Florida – Part II

After leaving Sarasota we went to Ocala where my new niece by marriage lived.  Her parents operate a print shop but not only do they make business cards and those types of things, they make Vehicle Graphics, Screen Printing on t-shirts, Banners, Embroidery on shirts, hats and other things.  We got to go on a tour of the place.  What an interesting business.

Leaving Ocala, we landed in St. Augustine.  St. Augustine has one of the oldest structures in North America – the Castillo de San Marcos.  It was built in 1672 by the Spaniards and was never taken by the enemy.

The walls are 14-19′ thick at the base and taper to 9′ at the top.

The walls are made of coquina .  Wikipedia has this to say about coquina – “The stone makes a very good material for forts, particularly those built during the period of heavy cannon use. Because of coquina’s softness, cannon balls would sink into, rather than shatter or puncture, the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos.”

Over 400,000 blocks of  conquina were used to build the fort.  You can see that a lot of the stone is sea shells.

Here’s a close-up of one section of the wall.

I was completely captivated when I saw this writing from hundreds of years ago.  No one has been able to figure out it’s meaning.  Some of the walls had pictures of ships scratched into the stone.  When I see these things, I think about the people and what things they must have felt or thought about.

My darling, Audrey.

Both my sisters and I like to cook, so when we saw there was a shop called The Spice & Tea Exchange, we took the time to drop in.  It’s in a very quaint area of town with dozens of small shops.  They are also online at  The Spice & Tea Exchange, selling a variety of spices, salts, rubs, teas, sugars, and tea supplies.

At a regular city park near our hotel, there was this carousel.  We went there for Audrey but as you can see in the picture, the older ones got in on the fun, too.

Justus reminds me of royalty with that little wave. 🙂

Part III coming soon…

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