About two hours north of Orlando lies St. Augustine, which bills itself as "America's oldest city." (It's an appropriate slogan: If Orlando is for young families, then surely St. Augustine is for seniors.) The Spanish settled here 1565, and in 1695, they finished construction of a stone fort they named Castillo de San Marcos.
Credit where it's due: St. Augustine has a very attractive parking garage.
Inside the city's welcome center.
St. Augustine's pedestrian-oriented historic downtown area features lots of little shops and restaurants.
These sight-seeing tram things are a big deal here, despite the fact that most of the area is relatively easy to cover on foot.
The downtown area also has some weird little attractions like this one. (We didn't do it. Maybe next time.)
The remnants of the old city gates still stand.
And nearby, the real focus of this update: Castillo de San Marcos.
Never let it be said that this thread is not educational.
The ticket booth is the small, non-stone building on the left. Cost is a very reasonable $4.00 for adults, with children (13 and under) free.
Coming in through the large square opening behind the two randoms, the stairs to the upper level are immediately to your right.
If you like old, non-functioning cannons, you owe it to yourself to come here!
You may fire when ready, commander!
Smisty, modeling this millennium's hottest new sentry-wear.
And down there is the old Spanish pizza oven.
Bowling was the primary pastime back then. (Surely you have heard of the Spaniards' most famous player, The Jesus?)
Back down in the courtyard, I am arrested for that pizza oven joke.
Where those guys sleep. Each bunk held two men. So either they were gay, or they didn't just assume that everything that involves two men touching each other was automatically gay, like we do now. Hard to say.
The latrines. No, really.
This area is where they kept the artillery, or something.
This is the "models and broken cannons" room. Interestingly enough, inside the model of the fort is another smaller model of it.
Sure...but when I say, "Please touch," does she do it? No!
My camera is really good at making it look like it's The Rapture outside.
Let's see what our buddies are up to. Looks like a duel. Awesome. Let's move on.
There are no refreshments in the fort, but there is one small gift shop. How small? So small I could get a fudging photo of it not crammed with people! Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Time to head out. Wouldn't want to miss The Rapture!
Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida. Worth $4.00.
The fort is fun! It's been a few years since we have been to St. Augustine but it was kinda fun. I was surprised how "down-market" so many of the tourist attractions were. Did a lot of it still feel kinda run down?
Crazy_Behemoth_Lady_Jess wrote:That fort kinda reminds me of Fort Point in San Francisco. Were they built for the same war? (I don't know much about American history).
Forts generally weren't built in times of war, they were built to protect in area in case war was to break out in the future. Since the Spanish colonized Florida earlier than California, San Marcos is older. Since both areas were colonized by the Spanish (probably within 100 years of each other)the style of the forts should be similar.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
triggernel wrote:I love the anticipation of waiting to find out where the next update will take place. You never know whats gonna happen next.
Cool. At one point, I was toying with the idea of announcing what the next update would be at the end of each one. Sort of a cheesy 'James Bond will return in: Live And Let Die' kind of thing. But then I thought, maybe it's better to not know. Which is one of the reasons I'm now taking an even more random approach, as compared to the Smoky Mountains thread.
disneyfan1313 wrote:It's been a few years since we have been to St. Augustine but it was kinda fun. I was surprised how "down-market" so many of the tourist attractions were. Did a lot of it still feel kinda run down?
No. I mean, we had not been previously, but that's not the way it struck me at all. I will say that it seemed like there was almost nothing but couples there, which I thought was interesting. But it didn't seem run down.
cfc wrote:Isn't there some "pirate festival" in St. Augustine each year? The old town is like walking on the set of a pirate movie.
Actually, I was hoping for more pirate stuff! There was a pirate ship you can sail on, but it was closed when we there. And the local Ripley's Museum did have a special pirate exhibit. (The same one that used to be at Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, perhaps?) But other than that, I didn't see much.
spaceace12 wrote:Erik, I request a Gatorland TR.
And you shall have one! I just don't know when yet.
Today's update is somewhat unique, and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a McDonald’s. And just why, exactly, are we at McDonald’s? For the answer to that, we must first look to Twitter, where two connected conversations recently took place, between myself and Theme Park Review's official Twitter Monkeys.
ThemeParkReview What. RT @TacoBell: New Pacific Shrimp Tacos: Succulent shrimp marinated in spices, lettuce, salsa & avocado ranch sauce
Electerik @ThemeParkReview Cod would be better. Fish tacos rule. Hopefully, this is nation-wide?
ThemeParkReview @Electerik I'm not going to tell you. Nobody should eat this and you should be ashamed.
Electerik @ThemeParkReview And here I thought TPR Headquarters was in California.... Wuss.
ThemeParkReview I don't support this. RT @Electerik: Ladies and gentlemen, the wait is over. Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures: http://tinyurl.com/y9evumo
Electerik @ThemeParkReview Is it because of the shrimp tacos? I can do a McDonalds TR, if that'll make it up to you.
ThemeParkReview This is acceptable RT @Electerik: @ThemeParkReview Is it because of the shrimp tacos? I can do a McDonalds TR, if that'll make it up to you.
And I am true to my word. But we’re not going to do an update about just any old McDonald’s. No, this is one of only five "Bistro Gourmet" McDonald’s, all of which are in Orlando. And while the "World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald’s & PlayPlace" is perhaps the one the most people have seen or heard of, Misty & I actually prefer this one:
Bistro Gourmet at McDonald’s, European Café
Two stories tall, just to make it more interesting.
Here's the menu board for the gourmet items. And yes, they do have the full proper McDonald's menu, too. (Not pictured, because...well, I assume everyone knows what a normal McDonald's serves.)
Would you care for some cake with your Big Mac?
Display items. Do not attempt to eat these.
The upstairs area consists of extra seating and arcade games.
Smisty thinks the seating downstairs is a bit more comfy, though.
If I ever have occasion to send out an "Erik & Smisty Bag O' Crap," this will be in it.
Here's your chicken chimichanga, ma'am. Would you like fries with that?
Although I generally try to avoid eating things with the word 'explosion' in them, I have to admit that the 'Peanut Butter Explosion Cake' was pretty darned good.
I'm more of a Taco Bell guy, really. But this genuine Mickey D's quesadilla seems like a good compromise.
Are you feeling intimidated yet? AUTOMATED TRASH CANS!!!
And also, they talk.
And best of all, it's all free!
Actually, the gourmet items are a bit more expensive than the regular stuff. But you have to admit, it's still pretty cool.
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.