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Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
Trip End Aug 12, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We woke up early to get over to Fort Matanzas.  We cleaned up and got the RV ready to go, so that when we returned all we had to do is pull out.  One of the last things we did was send Audrey with the trash to the dumpster which is visible from the RV.  We noticed that it was taking her some extra time.  We walked over there and couldn't find her.  We got into the car and started looking throughout the camp.  We couldn't find her and we started to get nervous so we split up in search for her.  After some time, Clark found her by the front of the park (we were all the way in the back.)  She said that the dumpster said "no containers" so she didn't think she could put the bag in there, so she went looking for another one.  She found a red trash can and put it in there and then ran across a frog that had been run over.  She had stopped to say a prayer for the frog. Thank God! 

We then made our way over to Fort Matanzas.  It was a fort that protected the back door to the inter coastal to St. Augustine often used by pirates.  We were slightly early so we went over to the beach.  Once again, we were very taken by the beach and it's beauty.  Miles of beach that seem to be so peaceful and empty of people. This one you could drive on if you so chose. When we finally got to the Fort we realized we were on the wrong side of the waterway and didn't have time for the hour long boat ride and tour.  We took a picture from a distance and moved on to the Fountain of Youth which clearly, is more important!

This is where Ponce de Leon found the Fountain of Youth.  We were welcomed by a peacock proudly showing off his feathers.  He took a bow and we thanked him for his show.  We continued over to the fountain where they give you a drink in plastic a cup.  We made of toast of "Cheers" and drank it down.  It was absolutely awful, but hopefully it will keep our children from getting any older.  We really like them at this age.  We told the kids that it would rid us of our wrinkles and in their kindness they said it was kind of working.  After a little history of Ponce they shuffled off into a planetarium and taught us how they navigated the old ships.  We all decided that we had no idea what they were talking about and would still be looking for the new world if we were navigating the ships.

We left St. Augustine hoping to come back some day, as we all liked it.  We drove towards Jacksonville and decided to stop at a "State" wayside market (and tourist trinket trap) and get some oranges.   We were in Florida after all....we should eat some oranges.  Unfortunately, we missed the exit.  So Clark insisted on pulling off at the next rest area, unhooking the PT (standing in 4" of rain water) and driving it back to the market.  We got on the highway, drove away from the RV and realized we had to drive quite a bit away from the rest area and the market before we could turn around. This maneuver didn't set too well with Ellen & Co. We made it back and sampled the sweet fleshy delights and purchased some oranges and other Florida treats (trinkets).  

The next stop was Amelia Island and Fernandia via Jacksonville. Jacksonville looked appealing and seemed to have grown quite a bit since Clark saw Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Tour there!  We ditched Monica in a Lowe's parking lot on Amelia Island but Ellen saw some suspicious looking electricians "sizing up" the RV.  We had to go back and move it to the Wal-mart parking lot.  That maneuver didn't set too well with Clark & Co.  Journeying on, in, and through the Island, we went to one of 2 historic areas; Old Town wasn't much of anything except a handful of decaying old houses at the original town site of Fernandia. The main historic district, several miles away, was awesome.  Splendid, well kept, grand old homes, many of them now bed and breakfasts.  The several blocks of downtown were charming and interesting and fronted the water.  The bulk of the island was covered in beautiful living oaks, Spanish moss, palms and the like.  The downside of all this loveliness were the 2 paper mills on the island and their by products: the constant stream of log trucks and the stench of the paper mills.  The other side of the island boasted a lovely beach, beach homes and a Ritz Carleton.  What we found to be so interesting was at least 20-30% of the homes were for sale!  Wahoo! a buyers market! Get the checkbook!  When we pulled a flyer on a 1000sf  basic home it was listed for $849,000 and wasn't even on the water! Fascinated by this oddity, Clark continued to aimlessly drive around the island long after the other riders in the automobile had lost interest.  This maneuver didn't set too well with Ellen & Co.  It didn't help much when he got lost.  It was an ISLAND for God's sake, and not a very big one!

Finally, homeless, hungry, tired and with imperfect dispositions, we were off to the final destination of the day in hurricane force winds and rain.  We landed this boat in Brunswick Georgia the heart of the Golden Isles.             
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