Nov 20-22 – The Spanish influence is stunning in St. Augustine.  This is America’s oldest city and has the oldest everything – the oldest house, schoolhouse, and oldest street.  A very walkable city with cobblestones and Spanish/Moorish architecture in the historic buildings.

The Flagler College is beautiful.  It was once a hotel built by Henry Flagler for his rich friends to spend the winter in Florida.  To stay for the season, people would have to pay $4,000 in cash (equivalent to $120,000 today).  The lobby has a grand rotunda with lots of gold leaf and gold fixtures everywhere.  The lady’s parlor room is painted Tiffany blue with 11 crystal chandeliers and ornate moldings.  The dining room features beautiful Tiffany glass windows everywhere.

The Fort-Castillo de San Marco is a Spanish fort built in 1672 to defend the city.  The fort and walls are made of coquina, a compressed mixture of sand and shells that is flexible and would compress when struck by cannonballs instead of breaking.

We spend Thanksgiving at Golden Acres Ranch in Monticello, with the Harvest Host program.  This farm has miniature donkeys and a miniature horse, as well as chickens and lots of goats.  We see some Tennessee fainting goats, who have myoclonic seizures that cause them to stiffen up and sometimes fall over.  We see the rear legs of one goat do this, making the goat unable to move for a number of seconds.  Another goat does the same thing and actually lays its head down on the ground briefly before carrying on.  The seizures happen when the goats are scared or just randomly.

Nov. 23-24 – The Florida Historic Capitol Museum allows us to tour the restored Capitol building as it was in 1902.  This includes the Supreme Court, the Senate, and the House.  A very pretty building with its red/white awnings.

Nearby is the Museum of Florida History.  This is a lovely museum that is free.  Its exhibits include a mastodon, as well as displays on native culture, transportation, the Spanish influence, and even a surfing history display.

We happen upon the Tallahassee-Leon County-Civil Rights Sidewalk.  These murals depict lunch counter sit-ins and bus protests during the segregation years.

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