Though Key West and St. Augustine are 467 miles apart, I got to visit both within the span of a week. On January 21, I took a chartered bus to Key West with 35 other members of my Quail Ridge Garden Club. Key West is the southernmost point in the continental United States and the only place where the Southern Cross constellation is visible (but we didn’t see it). Steve, Lilli, Violet and I enjoyed a visit with Judith and Marvin there three years ago, when we saw Truman’s “Little White House” and Ernest Hemingway’s home. This time our group stayed at La Concha Hotel right on Duval Street and explored attractions new to me: the Key West Art and History Museum, the Audubon House, Mallory Square and the beautiful St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. It was a delight to see Marvin Weissberg again, but also to make new friends. Marion Fuchs and I had many laughs together. Sights and friends are pictured in these photos. Or you can view a quick story of the trip that Google made for me.
On the way home from our Burns weekend in South Carolina we stopped to visit Nina and Roger Pitkin in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuous settlement in the U.S., celebrating its 450th anniversary this year. In 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded the city, which he named for St.Augustine, bishop of Hippo, upon whose feast day he had sighted the coast. I missed Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, but was able to climb all 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse with ease. This city is full of treasures, as you can see in these photos or in this illustrated story. Now I must read a book I’ve had since college, St. Augustine’s City of God.