Friday, August 27, 2010

Onward ho!

In the wee hours of the morning...
while the honeymooners were yet sleeping, we headed (in our NON Cube car!) down the Florida coast on Highway 95 toward Ft. Lauderdale and The Florida Keys. 

With pedal to the metal, as they say, (too bad I don't have the ability to add a cheesy soundtrack right here-- some Steppenwolf "Born to be Wild" would really set the proper tone, I think.) we sped down the highway hoping to make it to the Mile Marker 0 of Highway 1 by  noon. Sorry no time for MacDonalds!

Finally, we are taking the exit to Highway One which is the only way to the Florida Keys and Key West.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love at first sight

The beautiful architecture and lovely oceanic views, historic connection and lush Florida vegetation which I adore about Key West made me simply fall in love with St. Augustine so I am simply going to overdue it with pictures in this posting. We were only there for three days but I went wild! 
I'm not sure which bridge this is but I took this picture from the wall of the Fort.
After our first very long day with virtually no sleep-- we finally got to our lovely rooms at the Inn at Charlotte. They were so accommodating and welcoming there that I want to make sure and give them a little plug. Here's their link: 

This is the little garden in front of the Inn and they apparently have a wedding package that couples buy. One couple that was there while we were got married right in front of this fountain. It was quite beautiful and then they were carried off in a horse and buggy to ride about town which is quite quaint considering so many of the old streets are still paved with brick.

You can just imagine yourself having an frosty glass of lemonade as the sun goes down...

Monday, August 23, 2010

St. Augustine at a glance

I can't possibly do the oldest continuously occupied European city and port in the United States any justice without starting from the beginning... 

The vicinity of St. Augustine was first explored by Ponce de Leon although it seems that "exploration" mostly amounted to his waving as he floated past the shores of Northern Florida. Here he stands, apparently still in search of his Fountain of Youth. The one he found (at least according to local legend) not far from this statue was worthless since he did in fact die.
So Ponce de Leon found Florida... or at least saw it first and then went on his way but the French thought they'd give it a go. They were not terribly successful as the Florida coast was a wild and mosquito infested area. But when it became a hideout for pirates who then attacked Spanish ships along the Caribbean, the Spanish began to take notice. That's when Pedro Menendez de Aviles headed for the Florida coast and spotted land on August 28, 1565. As this fell on the feast day of Augustine of Hippo, he decided the area was to be dubbed San Augustin (and only later to be called St. Augustine.) and his little flag was quickly planted...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What's in a plan???

Sometimes planning is overrated and sometimes having something planned is like waiting for Christmas...

It is no secret to the most glancing of a glimpser of my blog that I love Key West- that there is something about the place for me that I can only try to articulate but I probably am not quite able to convey properly is probably true. Probably part of the charm for me is that I was always moved hither and yon by my family whether I wanted to move or not and the place I landed as an adult had absolutely nothing to do with where I wanted to live. I occasionally thought of moving but finances managed to keep the family where we were. I struggled a great deal with winter depression when my children were young and could only be grateful that I was in Colorado where there were more sunny days than in most states and I guess it never occurred to me to push to move to a sunnier state where a winter malaise wouldn't knock me out three months out of the year. At any rate, now when I am older and wiser, I realize that some of those factors probably play into what attracts me to the Sunshine state of Florida along with my love of the ocean. But there's much, much more to it than that and perhaps as time goes on I will do more to explain why Key West, an Island that is as bawdy as it is lovely draws me the ways it does...  But today I shall merely touch upon all of that because it explains why my vacation this year was not merely a vacation, it was a VACATION!


In 2009 we had a vacation planned to go to Key West but the change of jobs and finances forced us to put it off. We decided to put the trip off and went to New Mexico instead. We went to see the Sunspot Observatory which was interesting and spoke to one scientist (which is rare because they sleep during the day and do their observations at night.) about their work there which was truly interesting.
there were certainly some lovely views. They have some fantastic Sunset points... 
we scandalized one gentleman by offering him some champagne. He obviously missed his wife though and wished she would come with him. 
we had a a lot of fun in Roswell and took tons of pictures there !!!

Another day we went down to the New Mexico Museum of Space History which was pretty terrific and to the White Sand Dunes. I won't put pictures of all that here because the real point to all that is that we had a lovely little vacation last summer with the long range plans to come back to Key West this summer. 
So we began counting down right after school ended. Plans were being made although we kept a pretty serious eye on the oil spill and we were constantly worried (and still are!) that the oil might ruin that beautiful place.
Our luck held however and before you know it we were negotiating our tickets with United Airlines to fly to Orlando for first a jaunt to St. Augustine...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A day in the life of...

The library 

Libraries have an exalted position in our collective memory. And it is not without reason as the library has had a place in society that dates back through antiquity, the oldest being found at Sumer and Ugarit (long before most of us even think of humans as "civilized") but others at Nippur in 1900 BCE and Ninevah in 700 BCE.

 All through the Grecian and Hellenistic period, libraries are quite important and even in Chinese and Southeast Asian cultures libraries have been found in archeological excavations. Muslims and Medieval Christians used libraries for theological studies (what else was there? poor misguided folk...). We still learn a great deal about what these older cultures believed, how they lived, what they thought, what they celebrated, etc. by looking back at these ancient manuscripts to see how they lived- all thanks to the library! (info and pic from Wikipedia)
And that is where I work! 



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