Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Holiday in Jacksonville

My old man and I took some time for some serious R&R last week and all I want to do is live by the ocean forever. It was amazing! Jacksonville isn't exactly the touristy spot like, say, Disney or something but it has what we wanted: nothing. We wanted a nice, chill place to spend the last days of summer being lazy and Jacksonville was perfect.

Neptune Beach is the BEST. The water is fantastic and because of the tropical storms on the way, the surf was AMAZING. It made me want to learn how to surf. For serious, y'all.

Neptune Beach Surfers Sea foam

Our other favourite place is Saint Augustine. I was so moved by the architecture of the Ponce de Leon Hotel (now known as Flagler College) that I spent quite a few hours researching the history of the oldest city in the U.S. NERD ALERT I know, but it's beautiful.
Ponce de Leon Hotel Ponce de Leon hotel lion Hotel detail
All I kept thinking about was: imagine Flagler College the way it was before - when it was a hotel. A super fancy monocle worthy hotel. According to our Ghost Host (on the super fun Ghosts and Gravestones tour), you didn't pay for a room a the Ponce de Leon by the day or week, you paid for the whole season!  When we go back, we're definitely going to take a tour and see if we can truly imagine what it was like as a hotel.

Another tour I'm glad we did was of the beautiful lighthouse.  Yeah, it was quite the climb but it was totally worth it!  On the Ghost and Gravestones tour, our host talked about my favourite Ghost Hunters episode involving the lighthouse while we were on the grounds right outside.  We couldn't go in because the lighthouse has a separate ghost hunt tour thing BUT just standing outside and hearing the stories was enough for me to get creeped out - especially after what TAPS found in that particular investigation.  I took lots of photos on the ghost tour but here are some shots during the day tour
Down the lighthouse Top o' the lighthouse St. Augustine lighthouse 
It is as gorgeous at night as it is during the day.  What a beauty!  And it has such crazy history - just like the rest of Saint Augustine.

We spent some time at the Castillo de San Marcos as well.  I wanted to walk around the grounds this time since we didn't last time we were there (in 2008, I think).  There's a rich history of war all over and I'm glad they have managed to capture that and keep it for the rest of us to enjoy and appreciate
Cannon Lookout tower Cannon
Sorry all the photos here are from my iPhone - I took TONS more on my other camera that I'll be posting to Flickr soon (including the ghost tour pics!) Keep an eye out for those!!

Until next time!

PS - Looks like TAPS co-founder Grant Wilson is looking extra dreamy for the Syfy banner ad for this season of Ghost Hunters.

Why have I stopped watching?! I need to get back on it!