The forecast for Thursday was a bit sketchy, so we figured it would be a good day to explore St. Augustine. The day actually turned out to be quite sunny and warm (although still windy and filled with rip tide warnings) so it would have also been a good day to hang by the pool, but with only four days to play with and not realizing it would be as nice as it turned out to be - our plan was just fine. Friday was downpours on and off all day long, so Thursday definitely worked out to be the better town day.
On this day we thought we'd try to park closer to town, but didn't have any luck. We headed back to the free parking at the jail and took advantage of our trolley tickets again. We got dropped off close to Castillo de San Marcos where we wanted to start our day.
We had a few friends mention that they were content just walking around the exterior of the fort, but we felt it was well worth the admission to get inside. The kids were all free and Greg and I were just $7 each. Greg, coincidentally, had just watched a documentary of this fort on one of his recent work trips, so it was that much more interesting to him when he already knew some of the history.
You could Google this fort for a full day and never run out of interesting history to read.
We asked the pirate at the front desk why the beds were on a slant. He said it was because back then (in the 1600's) they believed that you could drown on your own fluids, and they also believed sleeping in that position helped with acid reflux.
As we climbed the stairs to the upper level, there were signs warning us to keep an eye on our children and to not stand or kneel on the walls. The walls were extremely low. I kept an eye on Brian and Greg was in charge of Mark. We didn't lose either of them.
Two of these were still open for viewing - the other two were visible, but blocked off.
The cannons shot a distance of five miles. FIVE MILES! That's amazing to me.
This was one of the rooms that Greg had learned about in the documentary he watched. It was a hidden room off the powder room, and was used for torture. Brian, our child who has been known to beg to go through haunted houses, couldn't get out of this room fast enough. The only way in and out is that short little door. I managed to duck walk my way through.
This was an oven used for heating up the cannon balls.
Still a couple more vacation posts to go. I guess we crammed a lot into those four full days....