Tuesday, February 23, 2021
After a week on the road it was laundry morning. The laundry and bathroom/showers at North Beach Camp Resort are very nice. I caught up on the news and a few other things before everyone was ready to go at 11:30.
In St. Augustine we took a hop on-hop off trolly tour with JP as our guide, and a good job he did. Winding up and down and across the small old town district, he told the stories of the Spanish settlement, building a fort to defend against the British, the black part of town, the school for the deaf and dumb where Ray Charles went to school and the huge influence of Henry Flagler.
The varied architecture is interesting, each beautiful in their own right. It is a study of concrete and its different forms. Native Americans used oyster shells to make “Tabby”, “a type of concrete made of equal parts of lime (made from burning oyster shells), sand, shells and water with incidental quantities of ash.” From The Lost Art of Tabby. Then there are four types of Tabby, but you might not want to know all of that.
Coquina is another kind of concrete that forms naturally around St. Augustine. It is a shell concretion that forms a sort of rock over thousands of years of naturally forming from tiny coquina clam shells accumulating over thousands of years mixing with carbon dioxide to make calcium carbonate which solidified the layers. It was used to rebuild the fort at St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos, and it was able to withstand four days of canon fire in 1702.
Flagler used Coquina mixed with poured concrete to build Ponce de Leon Hotel. His idea was to make St. Augustine into a “Winter Newport” or the “American Riviera”.
After our trolley tour, we went to O’Steen’s Restaurant for lunch. Sandra’s friend had recommended it. A simple place