Monday, March 16, 2015

Cheerleading Competition

Our granddaughter is into cheerleading.  She has been going to the same gym since she was 5.  She’s now 10. Yesterday we traveled to Virginia Beach to see her compete.  We had done this a couple of years ago, but she’s now on 2 different teams so we wanted to see her “fly”.  That’s the term they use for those cheerleaders who get thrown up in the air.  Even though my heart was beating so fast, I watched as they threw her in the air and she then completed her stunt.
Savannah is the one on the left.
Now she’s in the middle.
On her other team, she doesn’t fly but she has a part in the routine where she does a couple of back hand springs and then blows kisses to the judges.
The teams both did real good on this day, however, they really messed up on Saturday and with a 2 day total they didn’t place very high.  But we had fun and enjoyed watching some of the other groups. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

St. Augustine Day Two

We were up early again Sunday morning.  First stop was to walk onto the bridge so we could get a closer look at the replica of a Spanish ship.  Ed love making models of these ships, so he spent quite a long time looking it over.  DSC01855
 DSC01851 Our next stop was Castillo De San Marcos.  This was the first stone fort the Spanish queen authorized in 1672.  The fort is made of coquina.  Coquina is naturally formed in the ocean from limestone and fossilized shells.  Its very soft when first quarried, and when left to dry, forms a block that cannon balls cannot penetrate.  This fort was never taken over by force.  Its the oldest masonry fort in the United States.
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We took the time to watch a demonstration of a cannon fire.
We were told that the reason they were so good at defending the fort, was that the practiced every day.  They always used the oldest gunpowder for practice and saved the good stuff for the real battles.  There cannons they fired that day had a 3 mile range.  They were very accurate when in battle.

We then hoped on the trolley to go to Mission Nombre De Dios.  When Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed in St Augustine he had with him, Father Lopez.  Father Lopez was to bring Catholicism back to the area.  This is the first mission in the United States.  The Statue of Father Lopez with the cross in the background.  The cross marks the spot of the landing. 
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There is so much to see in this town.  In order to really see everything you need a good week.  We only had 3 days and only 2 of them were nice enough to walk around.  It would really be good if you could take the time to rest a day in between.  But we really enjoyed the area.  Wouldn’t be a bad place to settle someday.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

St Augustine, Florida Day One

After going to the Golf Hall of Fame, we spent the next 3 days touring around the beautiful town of St. Augustine.  First thing we did was go to the tourist information center and we bought a 3 day trolley pass with admission to the Fountain of Youth Park.  It was still very cold on Friday when we bought the tickets, but we decided since it was late in the day, that we would just take the trolley all away around and then decide what we wanted to see.
Saturday we got an early start and our first stop was the Fountain of Youth Park.  Ponce De Leon arrived in Florida and found what natives had told him was water that had the ability to grant eternal youth.  This a large park was once home to the ancient Timucuan Indians and evidence has been found that early Spaniards had a village here.
Back on the trolley, we then toured the Old Jail, Oldest Store and History Museum.  Henry Flagler came to St. Augustine in 1891 and bought land and built the Ponce De Leon Hotel.  On the land, was the county jail. He paid to build the jail on the location its on now.  Looking from the street, he didn’t want it to look like a jail. The jail held both women and men.  This location is also where the Oldest Store was.  This store furnished many of the things Henry Flagler needed for his hotel.
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Ponce de Leon hotel

This grand hotel had running water and electricity installed by his friend Thomas Edison in each room.  Guests we expected to stay for the entire winter season.  The dining hall (yellow round portion) had windows made from Tiffany.  These stained glass windows are now protected with plexiglas. It is now home to Henry Flagler College.

After we finished at the Old Jail, Store and Museum, we hoped back on the trolley and got off at St George Street.  This street had many shops that are housed in some of the oldest parts of the town. These stone pillars are at the entrance. 

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We were exhausted by the time we finished day one….and we had another day to go.