Have you ever just opened your eyes in the morning and had this overwhelming need and desire to get away for a little while? With July 4th upon us, we had that very feeling Saturday morning. Thinking that trail riding with our horses would “scratch that itch,” we loaded up the horse trailer and spent several hours being one with nature. While that helped, I still felt a strong pull toward something greater that evening.
With my newly graduated daughter starting her “big girl” job at the bank on Monday, I had a desire to throw a few things in a bag and head to the ocean for a celebratory trip for her landing that job! So, we did! Our little getaway was a spur of the moment decision to go where we find joy. I do find the greatest joy in being with my family!
After hours of trail riding fun Saturday, I turned to my husband who was in the driver seat and said, “Let’s go to St. Augustine!” I’m sure he thought I was nuts, but he did not hesitate. I called my daughters and asked them to pack their bags, and we would be home to get them. They were EXCITED, and that thrilled my heart completely. My 10 year old always wants to go on outings with us, but some times our 18 year old would rather not. This time, though, she was rearing to go, having herself and her sister ready, as well as having both of their bags packed when we entered the house.
And away we went as a white and black striped lighthouse with a red top was calling my name. It was none other than the St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida. Ah, yes, I find joy in family time, lighthouses, and beautiful scenery!
I have been following their page on Facebook for a while now, even sharing some of their pictures and quotes from their page. I actually saw where they “followed” the shared post over to my Light Love Hope Facebook page and “liked” it, too! I felt a special thrill when I saw that. Yes, it is the little things that make me happy!
Seeing the newly renovated pictures, I was, indeed, drawn to this beauty.
We knew we would not have long in St. Augustine on this spur of the moment, spontaneous trip. Yet, we packed as much fun as we could into the time we did have. I wrote on my Facebook status a few of my favorite things, which are my family, lighthouses, and waking up in St. Augustine to see their lighthouse, and that IS how we began the next morning.
Shortly after the lighthouse opened, we were there to get our tickets for the tour. There were 219 steps that would take you all the way to the top of the lighthouse, and I walked every single step with great determination. While the others were panting, taking breaks, and slightly complaining, I was on a mission to get to the top. I took every step with great pride as I thought of the lighthouse keeper that would carry oil to the very top. While others complained, the keeper had an important job to do. There was no time for complaining for him! I was mindful of this as I made my way to the top.
I’ve heard that this particular lighthouse is haunted. There have been several deaths at the lighthouse through the years, and after hour tours are held where you will hear several of those stories.
This lighthouse is just intriguing to me. It is still a working lighthouse today and has the original lens from 1874.
While we did not encounter any ghosts on our trip, we did enjoy the breathtaking view at the top. You can see for 25 miles from there, and after hiking up steps equal to that of a 14 story building, the welcomed breeze as we stepped out onto the deck at the top felt marvelous. One tip, though. If you are afraid of heights, this would not be a good idea for you to try! Honestly. If you just want to say that you did it, just don’t look down when you’re up there. Look around … look left, right, and out in front of you. But, do NOT look down!
After our morning at the top of the lighthouse, we wanted to see the view of the historic city from the water! We set out in search of a cruise but did not have to go far as the marina was maybe 15 minutes away. We chose the one hour and 15 minute cruise, and we were delighted as we took in all the sights as the tour guide told all about this beautiful city. We even got to see the draw bridge open up to allow an extremely tall sailboat to go through. My 10 year old was fascinated by this!
We stopped for lunch and to browse a few shops along the way. Then we found the oldest house and the oldest schoolhouse, too!
We ended our time in St. Augustine at their wax museum. We saw famous people like Elvis Presley, Britney Spears, characters from Seinfield, and even Maleficent, too. They had people from history, also, like former Presidents and First Ladies, as well as members of Congress from many, many years ago. I was very impressed with this exhibit!
Initially, I wasn’t sure how my children would like the wax museum, but they said they loved it! Score one for Mom!
After playing around and posing like the statues, a huge thunderstorm rolled in … and we made our way to the car to roll out. We began our journey back home having enjoyed the holiday weekend together as a family doing things that bring us the greatest joy!
Ah, St. Augustine … with all of your history and beauty, we will see you again soon!
This post goes perfectly with Karen’s prompt phrase of “I find joy in …”
Visit her each Tuesday for a new prompt phrase/word.