Saturday, December 29, 2007

St. Augustine

Yesterday we spent the day in St. Augustine. One thing we have learned from traveling with kids is to quit while you're ahead, which is exactly what we did. We began at the fort - Castillo de san Marcos. I figured 20, 30 minutes at the most to tour the castle. 2 hours later, I looked at my watch. The boys were just fascinated by the fort. We explored all the rooms. Jonathan loved the "canyons" (canons). However, he was not so thrilled when they set them off. They didn't use a canonball, but the rest was authentic. What a blast!

Then, as we ate a snack, we walked across the street to the Old Spanish Quarter, where there are 8 houses recreated with period actors inside. We watched the leatherworker, blacksmith, and others. This, again, took longer than I thought because the boys were so interested. At that point, we decided to skip the other two exhibits, play at the playground for a while, and stop for lunch.

Our last stop was Fort Matanzas, the southernmost protector of St. Augustine. This fort is much smaller than the other, but you have to take a boat to get there!! The boat trip alone made it worth it. Plus, it was free!!! Love our National Park System! After a quick stop at a shoe store, we made it home by 5:15. There is lots more we could have done, but we returned with happy children, and we were not too exhausted. The weather was perfect, too.
Last night I was asking Chris what the children will remember from this trip. We do lots of traveling, and I have to wonder what they retain. If nothing else, though, they are getting a love of history. Although Benjamin claims to "hate" Social Studies, he was in his element yesterday, asking questions of all the guides and just taking it all in. That makes all the traveling worth it.

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