Throwback Thursday: Revisiting St Augustine

We are a family who homeschooled for 20 years. Though both my girls have now graduated High School and are in college, I have never outgrown the lure of adventure that awaits someplace that we haven’t yet explored. I also enjoy revisiting places that held great memories, either by taking a return trip or via a walk down memory lane in photos.

Today is a photo trip : )

Castillo De San Marcos

Did you know that St. Augustine is the oldest city in the nation? It was founded on September 8th,1565 which was 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before Plymouth. Next year, 2015, will mark the 450th anniversary of this Spanish settlement. The city is already gearing up for a big celebration.20140302-173130.jpgThe “Old City” is home to the national monument of Castillo De SanMarco. It also boasts the oldest wood school house in the USA, now conveniently located near an ice cream shop.

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The St. Augustine Light Station tour included a trip to the top of the lighthouse and some nautical hands-on exhibits on the grounds around the lighthouse.

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Mostly though, we just enjoyed time away with the family that weekend.

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Aboard the Nina and Pinta

One of these things is not like the other. Clearly this vessel stands out in the marina and so it should. It is a replica of Christopher Columbus’ vessel the Nina. In 1492, as you may recall, the Nina was one of the three famed sister ships that lay claim to the discovery of the Americas over 500 years ago.

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Replicas of the Nina and Pinta tour the country 11 months out of the year and draw a crowd wherever they are in port. This month, we were fortunate to have them dock on our coast in Stuart, Fl.

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There is an entrance fee of $8 for adults. For children aged 4 – 16, the cost is $6, and children aged 4 and under are free. We found parking was limited in the marina, especially on the weekends, so we parked across the street in Downtown Stuart by the Pelican Restaurant. From there we walked under the bridge via Stuart’s Riverwalk and went across to the Sunset Bay Marina.

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The Nina is the most historically accurate Columbus replica ship ever built. The original Nina made the entire voyage and was the ship that carried Columbus safely home.

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One of the things that struck us the most was how SMALL these ships were compared to modern ships. You can see how they sized up compared to a yacht and tug boat docked next door. The originals were 15 feet longer and 6 feet wider, but still nothing compared to the size of a modern day cruise ship. A lot has changed in 500 years!

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The Pinta returned home from the original voyage and disappeared from history without a trace until she was revived through her replica by The Columbus Foundation.

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You can view the port schedule to see when and where they will visit throughout the year.

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For us, an afternoon spent aboard the Nina and Pinta,

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and exploring a nearby park

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followed by a walk on the dock

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and some ice-cream at Kilwins, was definitely a day well spent.

Tara and Mama at Kilwins