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Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Fountain Of Youth
St. Augustine, Florida

I visited St. Augustine on a vacation with my Mom and Dad in the mid 90s. We were staying in Jacksonville Beach and did St. Augustine as a day trip. What a neat place!

There are lots of stone buildings, lots of old and old-world styled buildings. Pop is always up for an adventure or two. He was the one who wanted to go to Daytona because he’d just bought a new SUV and in Daytona, you can drive on the beach. He just wanted to get pictures of the new toy on the beach! St. Augustine was like that. He wanted to go drink at the Fountain of Youth!

We got into St. Augustine around lunchtime and found what looked like an alley, but it was an alley full of little market tables here and there and concession areas, with the back fences of people’s homes on either side! I saw my first real live orange tree growing in someone’s backyard! It was a small tree with about a dozen oranges on it. The little market area is also where I tried alligator!

I recall that I ordered an actual sandwich for lunch, but Mom and I shared an order of gator fritters, bite-sized fried alligator! Tastewise, it wasn’t bad at all. It had a mild lobsterish taste. I wasn’t crazy about the texture, though. I don’t know if it was the gator or because it was fried, but the texture was very chewy. I called it a lobster-flavored fried superball!

Next we took a chartered tour of the city, learning about the old architecture and Ponce De Leon’s discovery of the Fountain of Youth. Dad pondered if he could get a bottle to take home.

Well, finally, we went to the shrine where the historic and fabled fountain was. Would you believe, they DO sell bottles of the water! All of the good tourists from our bus lined up to sip water from the fountain.

Now, if you recall my stir about The World of Coke and my brother with the Beverly, you know what I mean when I say Dave would have had a big gulp, swore he felt younger already and had another gulp, encouraging everyone to drink up so he didn’t return to toddlerhood alone. But Dave wasn’t there, and my Dad will agree that the reason so many people DO age, is because they probably tasted the water at the Fountain of Youth and decided gray hair and a few lines was a better alternative. If I have to drink that stuff every day to remain young, I’ll go gray too!

It was a great day, a sweet town, neat orange tree and okay gator, but DON’T DRINK THE WATER!

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