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Taking a rest in the “Ancient City” - St Augustine…..

January 2022

We decided to settle in for a week in St Augustine at a campground newly acquired by Sun Resorts. It was away from the beach but I chose it because of the dog friendly reviews and it did not disappoint. Their dog park was as large and as nice as many city ones. Jackson and Chloe enjoyed running around under the live oaks and made several dog friends there. It appears Sun is gradually adding their own landscaping stamp and there will be more nature trails but the one that existed around a pond, although muddy in patches made a great daily walk with the pups. Neither of us recalled ever having been to St Augustine so we took in some of the historical and touristy sites.

The Ponce de Leon Archaeological Park had that peculiar blend of schmaltz and educational information that I came to recognize as a particular stamp of St Augustine. We had seen it reviewed on BringFido as extremely dog friendly and we found that to be true. On an uncrowded day we were able to walk the dogs around, check out the displays and chat with the interpreters. Jackson is afraid of loud noises but having been clued in to when they shoot the cannons off we made sure to be on the other side of the park. I drank from the “fountain of youth” so we’ll see if that works! The most interesting for me were the archeological dig sites and the posts where the original buildings were as well as the small boat that they would have used to bring goods from the larger ones. The example they have was a wreck from that time period off the coast of Labrador in the north.

Next up was the Pirate Museum! Yes, goofy - BUT they had a fair amount of actual pirate items which I found fascinating. At the end they had movie posters to compare what you learned with Hollywood’s versions. They give you a paper to fill in as you find things to earn a prize but we were too busy looking and reading and forgot.

We also of course walked around the fort….but what I found even more interesting was Fort Mose which I had never heard of. I love learning new historical stories! The ranger there was giving a video presentation for schoolchildren which told us about the free black settlement the Spanish established (not exactly from disinterested motives-they needed the farmers and soldiers and wanted to encourage slaves to leave British North America). The fort was moved several times and the site is now reclaimed by marsh. When the Spanish left Florida for Cuba the inhabitants of Fort Mose went with them. There was an excellent small museum and a boardwalk out into the marsh.

We took the dogs to the beach as well on two separate days which they loved. The pleasures of traveling in the rainy cooler off seasons- we had it mostly to ourselves.

All in all it was a good week to relax, let the dogs have fun at a decent dog park and do the tourist thing as well as catch up on laundry etc.

Our treasures….

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