Visiting St. Augustine, Florida involves flying into either Jacksonville or Daytona Beach, or connecting to a little airline flying scary little planes. I flew into Jacksonville, and I was kinda smug when I texted the temperature to my wife. It was 77°f (25°c) in Jacksonville but it was 92°f (33°c) in Connecticut – Ha! Well, the joke was on me.
I drove to St. Augustine (about an hour) and parked my car at the indoor lot of the hotel. I had plenty of time before my evening meeting started so, after checking email and uncrumpling my clothes, I went for a walk. That’s when it hit me. Like – a – brick! St. Augustine was about 85°f with well over 90% humidity – yuck – how do people live there?
I would have cancelled the walk, except for three things. 1) I like to get some exercise when I travel. 2) Our company is holding a walking contest, and I am on a team led by a tough task-master of a walker. “Get your steps in, Dan!” 3) Doors. I mean, I was in an area I hadn’t been in before, and there were doors. Old doors. According to St. Augustine, they are the oldest city in America. They take pride in being old, so even a lot of the modern doors have an older look to them.
45 minutes was about as much of the heat and humidity that I could take. Some of that was Florida’s fault, some was mine – I didn’t remember to pack shorts. I did manage to see many interesting doors, including a couple Dutch Doors (the Editor likes those). The heat may have affected my ability to accurately remember the history of the area. I’m pretty sure I have this right, but you might want to find a second source if you’re writing a term paper.
St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor. He named the settlement “San Agustín”, since his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine.
Following the Spanish settlement, the French also explored the area. Captain René de Frampton sailed into St. Augustine, sketched a variety of doors, and then sailed farther up the coast and settled in what would eventually become South Carolina. It is rumored that René and his family didn’t like the climate. René’s decedents continued migrating north, to escape the heat and humidity until they reached the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. Throughout their journey, they sketched doors in every city. You can see these doors today at Norm Frampton’s gallery, just outside of Montreal. Visit the site, look around and click the blue frog – the little tadpole will get you inside.
I don’t want to go on at length about the weather, but you know it’s hot and humid, when you take the lens cover off your nice cool camera and the lens fogs up completely.
Today’s gallery has the first installment of the doors of St. Augustine. I took a lot of pictures.