This morning I waved goodbye to my friend Asheev and Daytona Beach, and made my way to historic St. Augustine about an hour north, taking the one-lane scenic route, which for the most part follows the tranquil shoreline of the Atlantic directly east, occasionally departing from the sea at times through the little coastal towns that spontaneously crop up along the way, sprinkled with a broad range of vacation homes from mellow and modest to large and lavish; a lovely little journey indeed, thanks to Asheev's thoughtful recommendation =D
"Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the United States. Forty-two years before the English colonized Jamestown and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish established at St. Augustine the nation's first settlement.
"From that day until today, the City of St. Augustine has continued to survive and thrive, as it proudly proclaims over four centuries of history that includes Spanish and English, Greek and Minorcan, Native American and African American influences, making it the longest continually inhabited European founded city in the United States, or more commonly called the 'Nation’s Oldest City."
In 1513 the King of Spain ordered Juan Ponce (aka Ponce De Leon, who stood 4'8") to give up his seat as the first Governor of Puerto Rico and take three ships with lots of sailors and soldiers and head north in search of the fabled Fountain of Youth. Ponce found North America, came ashore and met the native Timucua Indians (who stood an AVERAGE of seven feet tall). The King was happy with Ponce's discovery and sent his knight, don Pedro Menendez de Aviles (along with African slaves and a few priests) to kill the 250 French Protestants who had also discovered the area, and to build a fort.
Pedro landed on September 8th, 1565, killed the 250 French Protestants and sat down for a lovely little your-land-is-now-ours thanksgiving meal with the Timucua, whose estimated population of 200,000 would dwindle to less than half by the end of the first Spanish period in 1763, decimated by European diseases like small pox, measles and syphilis.
African slaves who escaped the American plantations to the north were given sanctuary, arms, and supplies if they joined the Catholic Church and swore allegiance to the King of Spain, proving useful in preventing the British colonists from seizing the city.
British Rule - The 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War and gave Florida and St. Augustine to the British, and almost all of the population of 3,100 Spaniards departed from St. Augustine to Cuba; the remaining Timucua went with them, then the Spanish tried to enslave them, the Timucua refused, the Spanish killed some, the rest died by their own hand. There are no more Timucua, an entire people, all 200,000 of them, are wiped from the face of the earth.
Second Spanish Rule - The 1783 Treaty of Paris ceded Florida back to Spain in recognition of Spanish efforts on behalf of the American colonies during the American Revolutionary War.
American Rule - Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain in the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty, Florida gained statehood in 1845.
Beer Battered Mushrooms Served w/ Chili Sauce
Upon Returning to the Honeybee's Homestead, I Followed the Sounds of Laughter and Conversation through the House to the Backyard where a Crackling Bonfire Entertained Evan and his Friends, Who Invited me to a Cold Beer and a Place at their Circle for a Night of Jokes and Storytelling =D