Forgive me Oprah, for it has been 3 weeks since my last confession of haphazard parenting. But alas, there is more to tell than the usual fighting with kids to get dressed, brush their teeth, and FOCUS!
Spring break started Friday for Mikey, so we decided to take them to one of our favorite places—St. Augustine. We have done this before, and they have managed to ruin it for us, but it seems to get better each time.
We learned a few things this time around. You’d think these lessons would have something to do with a 500-year-old settlement, the Fort, or Ponce de Leon, but they had more to do with what happens to our children when their blood sugar drops.
We took the scenic route to St. Augustine which takes about 30 minutes longer than I-95, and the boys were pretty good until that last half hour. They started to ramp up and pick at each other. Pierce’s squeals and random screams, caused a couple of swerves and some yelling, but we finally made it to the Fountain of Youth. Greg, in much need of revitalization, was the only one who drank from the fountain. The boy’s weren’t allowed, as they were already younger and more immature than we could handle.
It was about 11:00 when we got to the grounds around the Fountain of Youth, and Mikey was bouncing off the walls (it’s all outside, so you can imagine…) like a dog that just had a bath, a B.M. and is a little not right in the head, he is a wealth of exaggerated body movements, random obnoxious little boy noises and a barrage of “What’s next?” questions. After about 15 minutes he was ready to leave (and we were ready for him to.)
Meanwhile, Pierce is slow and methodical, and getting slower and more methodical. There was plenty of education on the park grounds with Chickees and other Timucuan Indian artifacts and examples of how they lived. They still dig on this archaeological site, but I can’t tell you too much about it, since we were scolding and moving through the exhibits entirely too fast.
Our favorite part about the place is the peacock population. They managed to bring us together momentarily as a family. Man those things are loud! At one point a cannon fired off, and one of the peacock’s let out a startled scream that sounded like a cross between a dinosaur and Cam from Modern Family when he’s upset. My phone wasn’t very forgiving with the angled sunlight that insisted on over exposing many of my photos, but you can see them anyway.
When we left The Fountain of Youth, we found parking closer to George street. That’s the main pedestrian thoroughfare in downtown St. Augustine. Many historical landmarks, little restaurants, bars, and local shopping line the street, and as we walked, Pierce started to whine about being tired and wanting to be carried. At this point it’s about lunch time, and it dawns on me that this is exactly why the boys’ personalities are turning into horrible amplified versions of their normal selves. We found a place to eat lunch immediately. After we ate, and Dad and I dosed up on liquid tranquilizer/courage (beer) all was right with the world again! The boys were re-energized—meaning Pierce could carry his own weight again and there was no immediate chance of Mikey going out super nova style. We were mellowed enough to enjoy our kids among the throngs of people and chaos.
We walked, had ice cream, another beer, and went to the Fort where they fired off the cannon, and played on the coquina stone walls. We walked back through the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” parking lot which had some pretty unbelievable artifacts that entertained us on our trek back to our car.
We spent about 6 hours in St. Augustine which was two hours more than last time, so I guess out kids are maturing a bit. Unfortunately, on the drive home, instead of sleeping, they began to escalate in exuberance. It was dinner time…and so we hadn’t learned a thing…it seems.