We made it to Florida, and our first stop was beautiful St. Augustine. This city was established in 1565 as a military outpost of the Spanish empire, making it Florida’s oldest city and the oldest permanent European settlement in the United States. Castillo de San Marcos, the fort built to safeguard the city, was never defeated in battle and still holds its commanding post overlooking the inlet. On land, traces of those Spanish roots are visible in many of its photogenic buildings. Flagler University, originally built by Henry Flagler as a luxury hotel, towers over the Spanish quarter.
We toured the fort, walked down historic brick streets, ate Cuban food, and sipped free wine at the “First Fridays” art gallery crawl. Double the fun because Claus and Rachael were with us. After two nights in the marina, we anchored north of Bridge of Lions by the fort. From there, we had a fabulous view of white Christmas lights decorating the huge trees in the park and the rooflines of old waterfront shops.