the Oldest!

We covered a lot of water over the past week, connecting with Tonto’s Reward in Stuart and Vero Beach, then off on our own to Melbourne, New Smyrna Beach, Palm Coast and St. Augustine. Sharing a few highlights, with some solid trivia towards the end of this post to explain “the Oldest”.


This is for my cousin, who was in Stuart with us last year.  A belated Happy Birthday, John.

Vero Beach Beauty

Thank you to the architects who designed this Vero Beach bridge with pizazz.  The pedestrian walkway motivated us to get some steps in – while in the shade -with Tonto’s Reward.

Buttercup is keeping a close eye out, from her favorite vantage point. Thanks, David, for teaching her this fun trick.


Now in our 7th year of boating on Exhale, trust me, we have learned the value of monitoring the weather! As much as I prefer to sleep in, an early morning rise meant we escaped the heavy, heavy rain in Melbourne.

Hey from Phil and Brenda, thanks for a lovely evening.

New Smyrna Beach

If you stop in New Smyrna, we recommend the Outriggers, Tiki Bar & Grille – try the fish dip. This is Jenn and her Rainbow Pens

Jen. Rainbow pens

Bridge Opening

Patience is mandatory, as you often wait for Bridge Openings. Timed perfectly, this opened on arrival.

Project Time!

Thanks Chris for shipping the package to St. Augustine. Buttercup was happy to supervise as Captain Rick installed a VERY cool ceiling fan in our cabin. Normally Chris is the co-pilot in projects like this …

closely supervising

Ceiling panels, removed, so many electrical wires to chose from.

A work of art – as if it was factory installed!

Coveted Title – the “Oldest”

Apparently, there is an ongoing dispute about whether St Augustine is the oldest city in America, especially after Pensacola dug up remnants of an olive jar dating back to 1559 – random trivia for the Bernstein’s – who despise olives.

Brilliantly, St. Augustine advertises itself as the Ancient City.  It appears that smart marketing tactics date back to the September 8, 1565 arrival of explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Thankfully, Pedro named the colonial settlement after St. Augustine, as his landing coincided with the saint’s annual feast.  Whether Pedro was a humble explorer, or just a brilliant marketer we don’t know – BUT just imagine, fellow mariners, having to hail the municipal marina if he had named the city after himself?? And, in a city with LOTS of pubs, it doesn’t hurt that St. Augustine is known as the brewer’s saint. 

A lovely walk-about, beyond the tourist distractions, will bring you to the campus of Flager College. The most well-known building is the former Ponce de Leon Hotel. Built in 1888 by railroad and oil tycoon Henry Flagler – the target customers were rich and famous visitors; after World War II the hotel closed.

Decades later, a true visionary was found in his grandson, Lawrence Lewis, Jr., who collaborated with Mount Ida College to transform the shuttered hotel into a private girls college. In 1968, the Ponce was converted into classrooms, the famed Tiffany glass dining room into a cafeteria, and original hotel rooms into student and faculty housing. This magical historic redevelopment reminds me of the impossible transformation of a certain abandoned railway building into a community treasure – accomplished by someone who is always listening.

As of 2018, the Flager College campus included 19 historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, all carefully preserved and cherished. On a spring day in April 2023 the campus was teaming with students.

Sonic backpack for Tyler!

The Molly Wiley Art Building is found in the center of the campus – a brief cyber search unveiled Molly Wiley was related to Flagler, underscoring the Philanthropist’s generous donations to the campus.

The Molly Wiley Art Building, built between1885 and 1887, the LARGE chimney stack used to contain four electric dynamos – to supply electricity to the Ponce de Leon Hotel and artists’ studios. Renovated in 2007, the building is now the proud home of the fine arts and graphic design departments. To my disappointment, to get inside, I needed an art student escort. Next time I know who to bring with me …

Future ports: JAX (to connect with Golden Ours!), Jekyll Island, and Hilton Head (to reunite with Tonto’s Reward).

Milestones: Birthday: April 13, Piper Jackson; April 14, Meghan Reese; April 19, John Gill, Jr.

Enjoy Life. Every moment is precious.

Life is a balancing act – hold on gently. You’ve got this!!

Author: Exhale49

North Pacific Trawler euro style

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