The date was March 3, 2007. On that day we had arrived in St. Augustine, FL, after a two day drive from our hometown of Warren, PA. The next few blog posts will provide a look back at our St. Augustine vacation.
We departed Warren, PA around 12:15 pm on March 2. We arrived in Wytheville, VA at 8:05 pm. After checking into our room at the Comfort Inn, we ate dinner at The Cookery (part of Flying J). Friday’s special was the all-you-can-eat steak and seafood buffet. We ordered the buffet. Afterwards we wished we had ordered something else because the buffet was not all that good and was expensive ($10.95 ea).
We awakened at 5:00 am on March 3. We were able to get breakfast in our hotel, even though breakfast didn’t start until 7:00 am. As we checked out I asked the hotel clerk if there was anything “in there”, meaning the breakfast room, that we could take with us. He told us that cereal, fruit and fruit juice was available. We ate instant oatmeal and orange juice for breakfast. By 5:43 am we were on the road again. We arrived in St. Augustine at 2:45 pm, where we had a hotel reservation for 4 nights at the Quality Inn – Historic. An Internet search for Quality Inn – Historic in March 2016 indicated that the hotel is now closed.
We ate a late lunch at Denny’s, across the street from our hotel. We went for a walk after lunch. We visited the Mission Nombre de Dios, located a short distance from Denny’s. According to its website, the Mission Nombre de Dios “traces its origins to the founding of the City of St. Augustine, America’s oldest city, in 1565. On September 8, 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés landed and proclaimed this site for Spain and the Church. It was here that Menéndez knelt to kiss a wooden cross presented to him by Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of his expedition. It was on these grounds that Fr. López would celebrate the first parish Mass and begin the work at America’s first mission. It was at this sacred spot that the Spanish settlers would begin the devotion to Our Lady of La Leche that continues into the present.” What drew us to the Mission Nombre de Dios was the Great Cross. We saw the cross while at Denny’s. The Great Cross is massive; it is made of stainless steel and is 208 feet tall.
After our visit at the Mission Nombre de Dios, we walked along SR A1A to the information center (across from the historic area parking garage). We picked up a map of St. Augustine. At my request, an attendant at the information center marked a walking tour on the map.
We returned back to the hotel at 5:30 pm, where we spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening.