I was looking up National Parks, and I saw Casillo de San Marcos (at St. Augustine, FLA) was only about 4 hours from here. That is a do able day trip! Long, but do able. There was another National Park about 15 miles south, called Fort Mantanzas. We could do both! The next one down the coast was over an hour south, so that was not a do able day trip. (Canaveral National Sea Shore)
This was the day to go to Florida. I looked up the weather before we left, about a 60% chance of afternoon thunder showers. We would be gone by then, so it was good.
Our first stop was a rest area in Brunswick, Georgia. They have a big cast iron pot there for the claim that this is where Brunswick Stew came from!
Brunswick stew vary greatly, but it is usually a tomato-based stew, containing various types of lima beans/butter beans,corn, okra, and other vegetables, and one or more types of meat. Most recipes claiming authenticity call for squirrel, opossum or rabbit meat, but chicken, pork, and beef are also common meats.
We watched the movie at the Visitor's Center and learned that Mantanza means slaughter in Spanish. It is named for the massacre of the French by the Spanish at this Fort. The Fort was originally covered in white limestone. When the Fort came into British hands, they did not bother with the limestone. And when the United States gained the Fort, nothing was done with it and it fell into ruin until the National Park Service took it in the 1920s. They brought it back and have taken care of it ever since.
Inside the watch tower. That was part of the work Lon had to do for his Jr. Ranger badge was to tell how it felt to be in the watch tower.
He said it was small and there was not much inside
There were two levels, and the roof. The top level was the Captain's Quarters, and the powder magazine. The lower level was everything else. Kitchen, sleeping quarters, etc.
Back on the mainland.
Yes, it was HOT
It is moving really fast!
It is a little crab! The Ranger said there were hundreds of them all over the place last week!
Lon did the extra work to get the Master Jr. Ranger patch too. He had a choice to be an Jr. Enviromental engineer or a Jr. Anthropologist. He picked Jr. Anthropologist. Two pages of questions on the life of a soldier at the Fort. He also he had to complete ALL the activities in the booklet, not just the 5 required for his age group.
We printed out the booklets at home, and he worked on what he could on our drive down.
Time to drive the 15 miles north on A1A to St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos!
Goofy face but a nice picture
Part of Lon's Jr Ranger badge was to interview a Ranger. He found a very nice lady in a soldier's costume. She is from Norway, and the adult conversation turned to food. Now I am craving Lefse!
We learned about the Castillo. There was a Charleston connectoon. When the English were setting in Charles Towne, they were threatening Spanish holdings. This made the construction of the Castillo a priority. The English tried to capture St. Augustine in Queen Anne's war, but never did. The Castillo never changed hands due to battle, only by treaty. The Spanish held Florida longer than the United States has had Florida. Lon also learned that Florida means land of the flowers.
We then got on the road !
There was something going on with the road to get to I-95. There were several police cars blocking the entrance. I drove around in a circle so I could ask the police man how to get to 95. He said something about speedway road. I did find it and made it to 95 without anymore problems.
Driving in that storm it was very similar to a white out. Heavy, heavy rain. You can not pull out of your lane because you are not sure if someone is in the other lane. I had my flashers on to make us as visible as possible. Everyone was going about 35 miles an hour. I thought this was the last of the storm. Then...
Round two. Closer to Savannah.
More of the same heavy rain. We got though it without any trouble. Lon was really good, he was quiet as I concentrated on driving.
It was a fun trip, we learned a lot and had a great drive!