St. Augustine was another favorite! We had planned to camp at Anastasia State Park but the weather report was terrifying so we ended up booking a hotel last minute (for Miami, as well). We drove down the coast, stopping in Orange Park to visit the house and neighborhood K lived in when he was in middle school (where he could feed lettuce to manatees on the river!), and ended up getting a very expensive red light ticket on our way out of the area (which was sent in the mail to my parents' house). We arrived in town in the early afternoon and went straight for Castillo de San Marcos for a self-guided tour. The masonry fort is the oldest in the continental United States (construction began in 1672), and it's really quite beautiful. The third picture, above, is a carving of a ship on the stone wall! When we were finished in the fort we walked around a bit more, taking shelter on the gorgeously historic Flagler College campus when it started to rain and then rushing to the Chianti Room (actually, the front porch) of Pizzalley's for dinner. We got the pizza and champagne on special (2-for-1 of each!) and spent a lovely evening watching the rain fall and getting tipsy (okay, just me--K is incapable of tipsiness).
The next day it was reallllly raining, but we wanted to see more of the little city so we went downtown anyway. Big mistake. The water was sloshing around our ankles as we rushed around, and we ended up throwing in the towel. I had wanted to drink from the Fountain of Youth (it was on my 27-year-old bucket list), but K convinced me that I shouldn't because it's never a good idea to tempt fate. Instead we visited the Memorial Presbyterian Church and Mission Nombre de Dios and the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, which, for a nonreligious person, was a bit awkward (the gift shop at the Mission was weird). I do, however, have a great appreciation for the grandeur of majestic historic cathedrals (Presbyterian), and always feel a little spiritual twinge in small, silent chapels (I didn't go in to the Shrine because there were actual worshipers there and I felt out of place, but I absolutely would have sat for a while). It was still drizzling and windy and cold, but we decided to drive across the bridge to check out the lighthouse, which we ended up not wanting to pay to see. We did try to go over the bridge again later to get food but it started raining so hard we were afraid we would be trapped on the wrong side of the river if we didn't get back quickly. I think we ended up getting cheap Chinese food that night... and the next morning we were off to Miami!