Our First Trip to St. Augustine

Trip Start Jan 16, 2011
Trip End Jan 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Bayfront Westcott House bed & breakfast

Flag of United States  , Georgia
Sunday, January 16, 2011

After spending an entire week indoors due to the great blizzard of 2011 in Atlanta, I was more than ready to hit the road for my birthday trip. Not only that, Michael had just returned from a 10-day trip to New Orleans to attend some events related to his genealogy research. He attended a commemorative event to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1811 Slave Revolt in Louisiana, a press conference where New Orleans  Mayor Mitch Landrieu presented a $3 million community redevelopment block grant to African American Museum in the Treme Neighborhood as well as several other events around the city of New Orleans. 

Michael returned a day early, got some needed rest, then back on the road we went, headed this time for St. Augustine, FL. This would be our first trip there and we were both excited to explore the town. 

After a six-hour drive, we arrived in the quaint city of St. Augustine. The seaside town, with its Spanish-influenced architecture, moss-dripped trees and sailboats sprinkled along the bay, brought to mind other cities we have visited: Key West, San Diego and even New Orleans. Our home for the next few days was the Bayfront Westcott House, a lovely victorian home built in the late-1800s. Michael found the place online, and we were quite pleased with the inn and its 16 rooms. 

Jean, our host, greeted us, then showed us to the Ponce de Leon room. How ironic that we would stay a few nights in a room named for the first Spanish explorer who came to St. Augustine. We didn’t even bother to unpack because we were eager to see some of the town before nightfall. Michael placed a quick call to James Bullock, a gentleman we had met several months prior during a visit to Savannah to commemorate the unveiling of two new figures atop the Haitian Monument there. James is an historian, author, dramatic re-enactor and one half of a duo seeking to tell the history of the Spanish, Cuban and African American influences on the city of St. Augustine. He had agreed to be our tour guide for a day should we ever visit St. Aug. The Globetrotters never miss an opportunity to take someone up on a friendly invitation. 

With our logistics done, we headed out to explore the town. Strolling down main roads with gift and antique shops, we found ourselves at Flagler College, an historic building that was originally constructed as the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Check out the link for some great history on it. The quaint side streets held more shops and Victorian homes and more restaurants than we could possibly explore on this trip. But we didn’t spend too much time strolling because we wanted to get back to the Westcott to enjoy the evening wine and cheese prepared each day for the guests. 

An assortment of crackers, wines and a variety of flavored cheeses -- including a delicious goat cheese roll with cinnamon and cranberry -- were the perfect appetizers before we headed to dinner. One of the eateries that James had recommended was Harry’s. After all of that bread and cheese, we had just enough room for soup and salad. A great end to day one of our trip.

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