Quaint shops, magnificent fort, wine tasting and more!

sa winery royWe started Tuesday by taking a tour of San Sebastian Winery.  Turns out they are owned by the same people that own the Lakeridge Winery we toured in Clermont, Florida.  San Sebastian’s grapes all come from Clermont, Florida but they make different wines in St. Augustine than they do in Clermont.  This tour was very different in that they showed us where the sherry and port wines are aged in the Oak Barrel room. We were then treated to a wine tasting experience by a wine expert.  We learned about smelling, swirling and that you must take three sips before the true flavor comes out.  We bought a bottle of port wine that the expert said would clear any congestion you might have.  Of course it will be used medicinally!!

sa winery tasting  sa winery rosie in barrell room sa winery inside vat sa winery barrells sa winery barrell with name

We walked over to the Whetstone Chocolate Factory to take their tour, but it wasn’t starting for a couple of hours and we didn’t want to wait.  We did, however, taste some of their raspberry chocolate and chocolate amaretto and they were both delicious.

sa whetstone chocolate

We saw this really cool motorcycle with a side car and had to show it to you.  The spikes all over it made it really neat!

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We toured a beautiful Catholic church there, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.  The pipe organ was playing and I loved being there, it felt so comfortable.

sa catholic church alter sa catholic church 3 sa catholic church 2

St. George Street is a walking street nestled between rows of historical sites, quaint shops and restaurants overflowing with local flavor. The narrow streets channel gentle breezes from Matanzas Bay noticeably cooling the area. We spent half of Tuesday browsing the shops on St. George Street.  The fragrant smells coming out of the shops, people playing music and the breeze made for a wonderfully relaxing day.  The oldest wood school house, shown below, is located on St. George Street.

sa st george roy sa st george rosie sa st george oldest school sa st george oldest school 2 sa st george accordian

Castillo de San Marcos (the Fort) is a very impressive historical landmark and is the most visited in St. Augustine.  The Spanish began construction in 1672 and took 23 years to complete. This makes the fort the oldest masonry structure in the United States. It’s made entirely out of native coquina stone, a mix of shell fragments and quartz grains, that is soft and easy to cut, but hard when cured in the sun.  This unique materials makes cannon balls sink into, rather than  shatter, the walls of the fort.

sa fort roy sa fort roy 2 sa fort rosie sa fort man sa fort cannons

A massive steel cross was erected in 1965 celebrating the city’s 400th anniversary at the same place where the first Catholic Mass was conducted in the United States in 1565.  The cross is the largest in the western hemisphere, at over 200 feet high.

sa cross

I stopped at a tea and spice house where I learned about steeping tea and purchased three different fruity flavored teas to enjoy!  I’m looking forward to enjoying some flavored hot tea while reading!

sa tea sign sa tea house

Last thing we saw was the Old Jail which Henry Flagler built for the city out of town, out of sight of the luxury hotels. It was the site of hangings and housed both men and women.

sa prisoners

We topped off the day by walking down the road from Russ and Annie’s house to Napoli’s restaurant where we enjoyed Eggplant Parmesean and Fresh Catch Parmesean.  Wonderful Italian food!  It rained on us all the way home (one block) so we’re now drying out and ready to crash for the day.

Wednesday we have plans with Russ and Annie to eat Chinese, go to Yoga class with them (yes Roy has agreed to try Yoga!!!) and take a ride on the beach with them!  Gonna be another fun filled day in St. Augustine.  We’re leaving here Thursday headed to Tallahassee for a few days so our time in Florida isn’t quite over, but almost.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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