We are a family who homeschooled for 20 years. Though both my girls have now graduated High School and are in college, I have never outgrown the lure of adventure that awaits someplace that we haven’t yet explored. I also enjoy revisiting places that held great memories, either by taking a return trip or via a walk down memory lane in photos.
Today is a photo trip : )
Did you know that St. Augustine is the oldest city in the nation? It was founded on September 8th,1565 which was 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before Plymouth. Next year, 2015, will mark the 450th anniversary of this Spanish settlement. The city is already gearing up for a big celebration.The “Old City” is home to the national monument of Castillo De SanMarco. It also boasts the oldest wood school house in the USA, now conveniently located near an ice cream shop.
The St. Augustine Light Station tour included a trip to the top of the lighthouse and some nautical hands-on exhibits on the grounds around the lighthouse.
Mostly though, we just enjoyed time away with the family that weekend.
We have been to the Loggerhead Marine Center in Juno Beach numerous times and have enjoyed every trip. Who isn’t enamored by a sea turtle? Most recently we signed up for a summer sea turtle walk at a cost of $17 per person. They do not promise a sighting however, but you will see an informative but looong 2 hour powerpoint slide show while you wait to see if a sea turtle comes ashore and begins to lay eggs.
We experienced a few “false crawls” where the turtles come ashore and then retreat. The center has spotters on the beach in “walkie talkie” contact with the presenter in the center where the group waits. So be prepared to wait until midnight at a slide show for a sighting. We were falling asleep come 11:30pm and still had a 40 minute drive home, so we left early. We learned a lot about turtles though! We brought my 8 year old niece and the age limit is 8 and up with good reason – much late-at-night patience needed and no guarantees. Kids can get disappointed with all the build up and no turtles : (
On day trips you are guaranteed to see the turtles in the tanks and they are an awesome sight to see. The tanks are set up so all ages can peer in and observe the rescued sea turtles, most of them injured in some way and recouperating. On days they release the turtles out to sea, crowds of over 1000 can gather on the beach to watch, so go early if you choose to view a release.
Mostly we just tour the small edu-info center and then visit with the turtles in the tanks outside. They added a fun hands-on “turtle hospital” exhibit that the kids loved. They put on lab coats and, with measuring tapes and calipers in hand, they tend to plastic sea turtles. The little ones lingered there a while day-dreaming about becoming turtle doctors. The entrance fee is a $5 donation per person.
Out back is a park, covered picnic table, and across the street just behind the center is the beach.
You don’t see sea turtles every day, so when you do – it will be a day well spent.