|St. Augustine is lovely!|
We decided to stay at the Municipal Marina for a third night since I wanted to visit the Lightner Museum (in the former Alcazar Hotel) and Pete preferred (anything but shopping) to climb up the Lighthouse and see alligators up close and personal. The Alligator FARM (a real zoo) provided this thrill.
The "gilded age" certainly was an opportunity for the rich and famous to spend money. Flagner required hotel guests to book a suite for the entire 3-month holiday period (Jan-March). Women changed their jewelry 6 times each day. The largest indoor pool, spa, bowling, etc. were available across the street at the Alcazar Hotel (also built by Flagler.)
Today, it's the cutesy pedestrian-only St. George Street that entertains most visitors--plus the great restaurants. We left the Grenada look for an hour for lunch in the French Bistro de Leon. It was the first day for the release of Beaujolais Noveau, so ver y appropriate. Then we again boarded the touristy sighseeing trolley-train to check out the rest of St. Augustine.
|Gary and Rita join us for dinner|
On our "separate afternoons" yesterday, I walked all over Old Town, found something I liked for Dave's 29th birthday in a gallery (sorry Dave, but this small frog bronze was priced at $450), and toured the super eclectic collection of the Lightner Museum. Mr. Lighner took advantage of the 1929 financial demise of many rich Chicago folks and bought up their "stuff." Then he bought the Alcazar Hotel here in 1947 or so and started moving this humongous collection here. In addition to the crystal, furniture, Churchill's stuffed lion, artwork, stained glass from homes that were being demolished, and all kinds of other collections, there's even a shrunken head.
|Shrunken head in Lightner Museum|
Luckily I was there at 2 p.m. when one of the docents shows off the collection in the music room. She wowed us by playing the 1904 nickelodean, 1800s German orchestrarian, and a gizmo that included a violin.