Tuesday, September 25, 2012

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

Before Hubby and I hauled the 5th wheel home ahead of Hurricane Isaac we visited St. Augustine where we saw the lighthouse, built in the 1870's, and the home the lighthouse keepers, and their families, lived in.
Since working the lighthouse was a full time job, keepers lived on site with their families.  Wives, and children over 12, were also required to know how to run the site in the absence of the keepers.
This is actually the back of the house facing the lighthouse.  It was built in 1876.  Two smaller buildings on either side of the house are the kitchens.  The Head Keeper and his Assistant lived in the duplex and the 2nd Assistant Keeper lived in a room upstairs.
It isn't really known how the house was decorated so it has been restored and furnished with things the families might have had.  The winding staircase leads to the basement.
I sure wouldn't mind having that sofa in my living room!
I thought this dollhouse in the shape of a lighthouse was unique.
Here are some possible things they might have had to amuse themselves.
In the basement were even more exhibits.
After touring the house we headed across the yard to the lighthouse.
In addition to tending the lighthouse, the keepers had to maintain signal buoys and channel markers and attempt to rescue shipwrecked sailors.
These are just the beginning of 219 stairs.
Hubby and I took advantage of every landing to catch our breath!
I really wasn't sure I wanted to make the 14 story climb.  It's a long way!
Going higher........
.............and higher.
I made it!
A long way back down.
Back on ground we bid good-bye to St. Augustine and headed back to Juno Beach  -  but not before taking a picture of this fellow advertising a local alligator farm. 
I'm taking some time off from the grandkids and redecorating the family room to fly back to Florida this weekend to enjoy some time with Hubby.  See you next week!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Going Home Ahead of Hurricane Isaac

I can't believe it's already been 3 weeks since we arrived back in Arizona after fleeing Hurricane Isaac.  Initially, we thought we could ride it out when they were predicting 40 mile per hour wind gusts.  But then they started predicting 65 to 70 mile per hour gusts and we just didn't feel safe remaining in our 5th wheel - so cross country we went.
We left Juno Beach in a driving thunderstorm that lasted for the next week.  After putting in a long 15 hour day, we finally stopped for the night at a campground in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Little did the residents of Gulfport know that the hurricane would change paths and head directly for them!
It's nice not having to unpack at hotels but there's always work to be done at the campgrounds.
I think Maggie was happy to be headed home.
Hubby did most of the driving but I actually took a couple of turns behind the wheel too.
Arizona seemed so far away.
Schulenburg, Texas had a nice campground.
They had some crazy looking ducks in their little fishing pond.
We had another very long day across Texas and overnighted in Deming, New Mexico.
"Are we there yet?"
Seeing this sign was cause for celebration!
Since arriving home, I've been putting things away and setting things in order.  I just don't know how we got so much stuff into our 5th wheel!  It was like combining two households.  Hubby has flown back to Florida to finish out his contracting job so we will be racking up those frequent flyer miles seeing each other every few weeks.
Meanwhile, back in Florida, the friends we left behind had to deal with the effects of Hurricane Isaac. 
My friend, Victoria, sent me this picture of her backyard.  Then, after she sent me this pic, they received an additional 10 inches of rain.  The RV park we stayed at is still dealing with flooded roads even now!
We aren't done with Florida though.  I still have to show pictures of our trip to the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  I may be home (at the moment) but the adventures continue!