Monday, November 28, 2011

ST Augustine FL

      Hi, just a short update. Not to much going on for us. We had some beach time since Thanksgiving. Friends Paul and Sandy who volunteered with us last year stoped by several days for a visit. They will be back on the 28th of Dec to volunteer here in Jan and Feb. Of course we had to go out to eat a few times. We went to Sunset grill and Woody's Bar B Que.
      On Saturaday we went to the  46th Fall Art and Craft Festival. There were over a 150 juried artist. There were many many beautiful items for sale.  Wish we had room for some of them.
       Across the parking lot from us is the "Winter Wonderland At St Augustine Amphitheater". They have a real ice skating rink, ice slide and it snows every hour. There is a elf village and horse drawn buggy rides.
                                               Guess what blazer is watching.
     He's watching them unload the horses.
In this picture you can see the swelling on his face (left side of picture, his right side) and how its affecting his eye. He still has not slowed down. He is still being "Blazer" wanting to play all the time.
Our site at Anastasia State Park, we are in the middle.

How to haul a christmas tree in Florida. It was 80 degrees this day. Being from the north it just dosen't seem right shopping for a tree in this weather.
A storm moving in. Going over the bridge of Lions and at the bay here in the park. Over the sand dunes in the background is the ocean.

Wind swept trees in the park
We toured the Villa Zorayda Museum. A small super museum modeled after the Alhambra Palace in Spain. We couldn't take any pictures inside. Check out their web site. . The website dosen't show the most famous piece in the museum, the Cat Rug over 2400 years old.
History of the Villa Zorayda
Closed for the past eight years the Villa Zorayda Museum has undergone an extensive renovation and is once again open to the public as a museum. On the National Register of Historic Places it was built in 1883 as the winter residence of Franklin Smith utilizing his method of construction of poured concrete and crushed coquina shell. It is built 1/10th the scale of a section of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. This building set a precedence for St. Augustine and began the Moorish Spanish revival of architecture that is seen throughout the city today. In 1904 it became the Zorayda Club. On display for the first time ever is the custom made bone china made exclusively for the Zorayda Club. In 1913 it was purchased by Abraham S. Mussallem, an authority on Oriental rugs, fine arts and Egyptian artifacts. In 1922 it became one of the most fashionable places for casino gambling. In the mid 1930's it was opened as a museum featuring the priceless antique collections of both Franklin Smith and A.S. Mussallem which are still on display today. The 45-60 minute tour gives an in depth look at the historical significance of the building to the City of St. Augustine, the magnificent architecture as well as descriptions of the many exquisite pieces you will see. On display is the "Sacred Cat Rug" over 2400 years old and made from the hairs of ancient cats that roamed the Nile River. Taken from a pyramid in Egypt it is said to possess a curse for anyone that walks on it! Washington Irving wrote of the original Alhambra in Spain in his famous "Tales of the Alhambra".
If you are interested in more information on the most interesting Franklin W. Smith you can read more here

Villa Zorayda Time Line
1883-Franklin Smith builds his winter home, Villa Zorayda, the first poured concrete and crushed coquina building in St. Augustine
1903-Franklin Smith leases the Villa Zorayda. It soon becomes the "Zorayda Club"
1913-Abraham S. Mussallem purchases the Villa Zorayda
1922-Gambling becomes fashionable at the Zorayda Club
1930s-Villa Zorayda becomes private residence of Mr. and Mrs. A.S.Mussallem and family and a show case of oriental rugs, furniture and fine arts.
1934-Opens to the public as Villa Zorayda Museum
1941-October 21, 1941 death of Abraham S. Mussallem
1942-Museum closes during World War II
1940s (late)-Villa Zorayda reopens as a museum
1954-With the death of Mrs. Olga Mussallem, museum closes
1964-Eddy and Wally Mussallem reopen the museum, rename it Zorayda Castle
1965-Wally Mussallem oversees daily operations of Zorayda Castle
2000-Zorayda Castle closes
2003-Major renovations begin and continue through present time
2005-Eddy Mussallem's daughter Marcia, and son-in-law, James Byles take over overseeing of renovations and the future operations of the museum
2007-December 15th Grand Reopening Celebration
2008-Villa Zorayda Museum reopens to the public.
2009-Villa Zorayda introduces audio tours and opens for wedding ceremonies.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving on the beach

    Hi,hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Here is were we had our Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Florida-ST Augustine

     Hi, just another week in at Anastasia State Park. We had free passes for the Ripely Museum, so we did a tour. I'ts just ok, but glad we didn't have to pay for the visit. After that we had a great lunch at Aunt Kate's. Aunt Kate's sits on the intercostal waterway about 3 miles north of downtown ST Augustine and had some great food. The best coleslaw we ever had. Linda ask the waitress what the secret ingredient was. She check with the chef and told us it was pineapple and lime juice. It was super. They have a nice deck overlooking the river as well as inside setting.
     We went to camping world to get a new water filter system. We have a built in filter by 3M, but we always have a very hard time finding the replacement cartridges. So we set up a new system with easy to find cartridges.
    We went to the turning on of the Christmas lights in town, called the "Nights of Lights". According to the newspaper the event was named by AAA as one of the "12 Favorit Places to Catch the Holiday Spirit in the US and Canada". Also named on the top 100 list by the American Bus Association list.      
     We went with fellow camp host to an early lunch to Woody's B-B-Q. Then  into town to see the festival lighting. About an hour before the lighting it started to rain. The rain lasted through the countdown and stoped raining about 5 minutes after the lighting. But there were still crowns of  1000's of on lookers.
     We were on ther beach several times this passed week. The water is in the low 60's to cold for us. But the beach is great.
     Blazer is still holding his own. No changes. His is eating great since we changed his food. He still wants to play.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Connecting with friends in FL 11/2011

     Wow its almost 2 weeks we have been in St. Augustine.  Friends Barb and Jack, and readers of our blog saw they were only 20 miles from us and gave us a call. We got together for a great visit. They are fellow Escapee members and our parents in our Escapees chapter 36.  We toured some of St. Augustine and had a great dinner. Hopefully we will catch up with them this winter as they are spending the winter in FL.    While here at the park we also ran into Art and Beth, friends from Disney. He heads up the "Friends Of Mickey" BOF, and Escapees get together held once a month. It is great how our life style lets us meet up with friends.
    Last Saturday we went to the Palm Coast Seafood festival with fellow camp host Rodger and Sue. It was a short 20 mile trip, that took us 60 miles to get there via a short cut. Don't say anything, we have all been on these short cuts.
    This passed week the weather has been on a roller coaster ride. We had a record low on Thursday and now we are expecting a record high. The beach has been great, but the water is getting cold. The water temperature is down into the 60's.
   Welcome new blog followers Mark and Chris.
     We are back into the routine here at Anastasia State Park, our camp hosting job till the end of the year. There are a total of 10 host couples. We are on 3 days then off 3 days. We are suppose to work 20 hours a week for our full hook up site. That's 10 hours each. Not a bad deal.  A weeks stay here coast $196. plus tax. And that's not for a full hook up site. Its water and electric only. The bonus is the 4 miles of beach and St Augustine. Also we are across the parking lot from the Anastasia Amphitheater. Last night we got to listen to John Fogerty the lead singer from CCR. Its was a great concert with the highlight being his "Proud Mary. All the other host meet here by our site for a get together and campfire to listen to the concert.
    Blazer has been having some eating problems. We switch him to a can dog food and he seems to be eating better. He still wants to play and run as if nothing is wrong. We are keeping a close watch on him and enjoying his loving friendship.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A couple of week in FL

       Wow, hard to believe its been two  week since our cruise ended. We rested a few days and are getting back to our normal RV life. Through the generosity of friends Jim and Linda we went to Walt Disney World on their guest pass. Once we went on our own and once we went with them. We did get to see many friends we worked with at Disney. It is great reconnecting with friends. We did get to go "Sourin" twice, one of our favorite things at Epcot. We ate at the German buffet, Linda's favorite. We got to try some of the foods from around the world, as it is the "Food and Wine Festival"  Even though we were at WDW 100's of times, we still enjoy walking around.
    We arrived at Anastasia State Park on Nov. 1st. We are looking forward to our two months at Anastasia State Park. We are Volunteer campground host. The St. Augustine area is a great area to spend some time at. We had a great time here last year and hope this year is as much fun.
      Blazer is beginning to show signs that he may be having some pain and or swolling problems. We did get him started on a pain regiment program. We will watch him closely.  
     A couple of photo's from our Cukka Dune Buggy ride, one of the tours we did on our cruise.  First is our son Cy and wife Dawn. See the smile on Linda's face and you can guess what see is saying.