Day 200 – 3/18/21 St Augustine, Florida.

We had a nice day and checked out the old downtown area here in St Augustine, FL.

It is nice to be in Eastern time and the kids in school in Central time hahaha… I woke up at my usual time (6am) and had plenty of time today to get my daily stuff done before they were up.  I got to finish writing, catch up on emails and other news, etc.  Then around 8:30 I went for a run and then had work calls pretty much until after lunch.  My run was nice, it was warm, and I had not sweat this much in a long time, mainly because it was warmer.  I just took a sidewalk outside the campground and went left towards town.  It was a nice run and I really only had one major intersection to cross, so mostly uninterrupted.  But, not much cool stuff to see.  I’ll try to take the bike tomorrow and go further.  I had good work calls, and got some work done too. Very productive morning.

Bella woke up on her own, and said she wanted to get school done, so she got going.  She had a good school day, even though she took more breaks than usual and took longer to get it all done.  She had a review test with like 18 pages that she also tackled so she did a good amount of work today.  As a prize for finishing before 3pm, I told her I’d give her $1 to spend at the dollar store.  Then Bia asked if she helped, if she’d get one too, so I said sure.  It was about 30 minutes and Bella was done :).

Bia had a good day of school, and woke up on her own as well, just before we’d be waking her up.  She was warm as we had closed the curtain to keep the light out, but that makes air not circulate well in the bunks, and it gets warm in the warmer weather.  She finished school with plenty of time to spare, so she was playing outside, then helped Bella finish.

Carol did some stuff on her computer, helped the girls with school a good amount, then after I came back from my run she went grocery shopping.  We had some final left overs for lunch today, so she got it ready for the girls as I had a sandwich.  Carol worked on some food things for later as well before we left.

We were ready to go around 3pm, so first I left on foot with the girls and went to the Dollar General store that is just outside the campground, so they could spend their $1 each. hahahaha… I had never been to one of those stores, and thought it was a $1 dollar store, but it isn’t.  It is a small market, with groceries, some clothing, ice cream and beer.  Nice, right by the campground.  The girls started running around the aisles looking for what they were going to get, and because this was not a typical dollar store, it was harder to find $1 things.  Bella found something for $2 and came ask me if she could get it, so I told her what she could do is save today’s $1 and earn another tomorrow and we’d be back.  Nope, she didn’t go for that, and kept looking for $1 stuff.  It took them a while to find something, but eventually Bia got a squeezable key chain thing, and Bella got a small dog stuffed animal, when I rang it up, it was less than $1.50 total. haahaahh… Win Win.  Carol was already there with the truck as I was paying, so we got going and drove downtown.

First we went to the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.  I drove into the parking area right by the Castle and just had to wait a bit for someone to leave so I had a spot.  I paid $5 for parking for 2 hrs, and we went to the line to get into the castle.  This is a National Monument, so we didnt have to pay to get in since we have the National Park Annual Pass.  Seriously, everyone needs to get one of these!  Today we would have paid $30 to get in, and we got this pass in South Dakota right before going in to Badlands NP, and it cost $80.  We’ve used it a ton of times already.  We had to wait in line to get in as they have limited capacity due to covid, but it was about 15 minutes wait.  The weather was not looking good, and we were under a tornado watch, plus 100% chance of rain.  Well, it did rain while we were in line, but it was more like a light drizzle for a few minutes.  We could see heavier rain not too far from us.  Once we were in, the castle was cool. 

The girls loved the fact they had a draw bridge with a moat.  We explored the castle, checked out the different rooms with beds, the old bathroom, and some of the history.  Upstairs you can see some canons and how they protected the fort back in the day.  There’s a little bit of history about how the Spaniards were in there with their families while the British burned down the town, etc.  Very cool stuff.  Bella had learned about the Missions and this is the oldest mission in the country.  As we were done with the walk around and it was not raining, we headed to the old downtown.

I had found a place that had some draft beer in the pour your own style, which I had not tried myself yet, so we went there. 

That little old downtown is cool.  The beer place was right in front of the oldest wooden school in he country, which is also “secured” to the ground by being tied to a huge anchor. hahahah… next to it was an ice cream place, so the girls got ice cream and I got ice cold beer.   We sat by that spot for maybe an hour. 

In the meantime, I had to go back to the truck to check on parking, and was glad to find out there is no fee after 5, so I just went back.  We had a great time by the beer place.  The girls were enjoying filling out their NPS booklet on the castle, then we just chatted and laughed.  When we started getting hungry, we went to a restaurant a buddy of mine recommended, but when we got there they were completely packed and not taking walk ins.  So, we decided to eat back at home.  But, on the way home, Carol saw a sushi burrito place and wanted to stop there and grab that to go. 

The concept is basically a Qdoba for sushi.  A bed of rice on seaweed comes out of a machine, and then you chose what you want in it.  What fish, sauce, fruit, avocado, whatever… Carol and the girls loved the idea.  When we got back, we sat outside and had our burritos.  They were good. Bia said she wished she had gotten more hahahah…. She can eat sushi, holly moelly. 

As we were finishing our food, the wind picked up and it got really windy.  We had to retract the awning.  After that we went in, and just got ready for the night.  Kids were done with their showers and had some electronics time.  Bella was sooooo happy she was talking to Lulu, and she’s so excited that we are so close to them and will be seeing them soon.  Bia was watching something on Netflix on Bella’s iPad since her phone is out of commission.  Carol and I were just watching something on TV.  We let the girls stay up a bit longer than usual, and then all went to bed.

It was really nice to visit downtown St Augustine, see the Castillo de San Marcos and old downtown.

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