Castillo de San Marcos

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Bad Boys

Today the boys and I met-up with their Godfather for a visit to the Old Fort in St Augustine. He has a son who is just a little older than A2, and they’re the best of friends. All three boys had a great time exploring the rooms around the fort’s lower level, and Alex especially enjoyed peering over the bastion walls on top…


This never gets old! And what a beautiful day!!

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When we visited the fort last week, Adam signed-up to become a Junior Ranger. He was given an activity book and the opportunity to either complete select portions to become a Junior Ranger, or complete the entire activity book and earn recognition as a Master Junior Ranger.

The Junior Ranger receives a National Ranger Service gold badge, which is quite an achievement in and of itself, but the Master Junior Ranger receives a badge, a special patch, and a certificate of achievement. Naturally, Adam had to earn the Master Junior Ranger level, which he did. Although we could’ve mailed the activity book to the National Park Service to receive his rewards, this achievement required an in-person visit, which we did yesterday.

The Ranger at the fort reviewed his activity book and even quizzed him on some of the details. Adam did very well, and was very proud of himself. As was I. 🙂

Master Junior Ranger

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Today, Adam and I hit the water in St Augustine. We left out of the marina on Camachee Island and headed “downtown”. The inlet channel was a little rough today, but Adam loved the bumpy ride, and was grinning from ear-to-ear.

Me and Adam

As we passed by the “Old Fort”, we noticed they were about to fire the cannon, so we hung out for a few minutes and watched the show.

Me and Adam

There was a lot of traffic on the water today, but once things opened-up a bit, I was able to let Adam take the wheel. As we headed down the channel, Adam was singing, “Yo-Ho! Yo-Ho! A pirates life for me!”

Me and Adam

On our way back, we took a detour toward Anastasia State Park for a look at the St Augustine Lighthouse

Me and Adam

It was a great afternoon, and with the sky opening-up after a week of rainy weather, it was fun to be outdoors!

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Labor Day. The boys are out of school and I’m enjoying the final hours of a much-needed 3-day weekend! What better way to spend the day than a visit to America’s oldest city, which just happens to be a mere 20-miles away. This week marks the 450th birthday of St Augustine, and we joined the many visitors absorbing its rich history. The highlight of the day was our visit to the Castillo de San Marcos, affectionately known as the “Old Fort,” and the boys are excited at the prospect of becoming Junior Rangers!

St Augustine 450 Years

We parked down the street at the Mission of Nombre de Dios, which is known for the park with the world’s largest cross, and walked to the fort. We came in from the west side and stopped for a quick picture in front of the San Pablo Bastion.

San Pedro Bastion

Tickets in hand, we climb atop the unfinished Ravelin, which is a triangular outer work that originally protected the fort’s front (and only) entrance.


As part of the Junior Ranger program, the boys have to ask one of the park staff members why he or she likes to work at the fort. They selected this man, who said he volunteers to “educate visitors and enhance their experience”. Adam especially liked the “army” uniforms the staff wore

Old Fort Volunteer

Atop the terreplein, the boys explore the San Carlos Bastion…

San Carlos Bastion

and some of the canons on display…

Canon Canon

then pose for a picture with Mom.

Old Fort Volunteer

We had a great time. After the Old Fort, we headed down the street to a little Irish pub for an early supper…and a beer 😉

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The tradition of hauling visiting family members to the “Old Fort” in St Augustine is still going strong. Cousin Katy is following in her dad’s footprints, as he made several of these trips in the 70s. For Kam and the boys, the fun is just beginning!

Old Fort

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The sun shines through the daily thunderstorms long enough for Dad to take the boys to visit the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine. Thus continuing the family tradition of regular pilgrimages to the “Old Fort.”

The boys were actually more interested in the boats on the water than in the history of the fort. But they did like exploring the crooks and crannies…

At the Old Fort At the Old Fort At the Old Fort

A great day for me and the boys…a picture-perfect moment:

At the Old Fort

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