St. Augustine, FL Day 3

This is our last day of vacation. Tomorrow we head for home. It was another gloomy morning–only the third on our whole trip so we can’t complain. It is warm and still not a whisper of a breeze. Auggie got his morning walk while the rain held off–50% chance today. We had our breakfast and then Bob hosed off everything outside. The rain had made a real mess of things splashing sand from the ground on everything. That’s one of the disadvantages to having a sandy campsite when it rains. It gets in everything! We also had a bit of a small leak in the trailer with all the hard rain yesterday. We’ll have to investigate that more. We got ready and left for town around 10:00. Our first stop would be the St. Augustine Lighthouse on Anastasia Island. We would have to cross the Vilano Causeway and the Bridge of Lions to get there. We had driven under it by boat many times, but never over it. On our way to town, my camera started to act up. It wouldn’t focus and the screen eventually said, “System error-focus”. I had a computer glitch that couldn’t be fixed until we get home. In fact, the lens wouldn’t retract. Yikes! What would I do without my camera? I felt so naked! The one good thing about this happening today is that it is the last day of our trip. Bummer!! We crossed the Bridge of Lions into the city, past the City Marina where we stayed in our boat, and out to the lighthouse on Anastasia Island. (I pulled these pictures from our trip in 2010.)

 
 
I bought a ticket and took the 219 step climb to the top. It is 165′ tall ,as tall as a 9-story building. It is the 8th tallest lighthouse in the country. It contains a WORKING 1st order Fresnel lens that gets taken apart and cleaned every Tuesday according to the young volunteer I spoke to.

 
 
From the top, I could see the ocean which was very calm today and the city of St. Augustine with its distinctive architectural-style buildings. The view was breathtaking from above.

 
 
 I got to get a closer look into the lens tower to actually see the lens up-close and rotating. After I descended the tower, I took a self-guided tour of the lightkeeper’s house and grounds which had some very interesting exhibits on the history and restoration fo the lightouse, its inner workings, the life of a lighthouse keeper, and the Coast Guard’s involvement in WWI and WWII. This was the best tour of a lighthouse and grounds that I have ever taken. It is well worth the money! I thoroughly enjoyed it!! After spending about an hour touring the lighthouse and the grounds, I joined Bob and we drove into downtown, finding a place to park at the Fort.

 
 
From there, we walked to St. George St. which is the Pedestrian Mall that runs between the Old City Gates at the Fort and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.

 
 
It wasn’t too crowded with tourists for a Thursday. We meandered down the street checking out a few of the shops. We stopped for a beer and some nachos at The Taco Shop around lunchtime and then headed back to the campground.

 
 
Once we got back, Bob did some online research to see if we could do anything to fix the camera. No luck! Bob did an online chat with Panasonic and we’ll have to wait for an answer. In the meantime, we changed our clothes for our swimsuits and headed down to the pool for a swim. It turned out to be a pretty nice day after all….until about 3:30 when the dark clouds moved in and the skies opened up. We were already back from the pool when it started to rain and at least we had a chance to dry things out after yesterday’s rain. We were lucky enough to put everything away before the rain began. We had already put things away in anticipation of our departure tomorrow. It really poured for about 2 hours. We had a light dinner of leftovers from yesterday. I was able to take Auggie for his walk after the rain and before the sun set. We walked up to the office for an ice cream and then across the street to take a look at the ocean. What a surprise to see a wedding taking place on the beach! We stopped to watch for awhile and then went back to the campsite. The rain held off for the rest of the night.

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