Dave & Dot's 25th Anniverary Tour

Jacksonville & St. Augustine, FL

Friday, November 2nd - Today I Feel Much Younger . . .

Welcome to our last full day on the road . . .

We started our day by stopping at the World Golf Village home to the USGA Golf Museum and Hall of Fame. It is a spectacular place with a large building snuggled between two championship golf courses, surrounded by beautiful condominiums. The whole Museum is laid out like a golf course. The beginning of golf and how the game evolved is encompassed in the "front nine", and the modern game is covered in the "back nine". There is lots of video and audio bits to keep one browsing for hours. This of course, all ends at the Hall of Fame. We were there just a week prior to the actual induction of this year’s players and everything was being prepared for an onslaught of personnel, guests, and dignitaries. The view from the central tower is awesome and I attempted to get a panoramic view captured on disposable camera.

Our next stop was the Fountain of Youth, discovered by Ponce de Leon. What a tourist trap!!!. If there was ever a way to make money this was it. The actual water from the "fountain" (well) tasted terrible and had the strong smell of sulfur. Mom always told me that if it tasted bad it must be good for you but this stuff probably would age you rather than make you younger. The depiction of the fountains discovery was very "hoakie" although the grounds were very well kept and lush with vegetation. The "fountain" is now a well, filtered by the public works dept. and is several miles from the ocean separated by marshland for the most part.

The "tour" starts in a lean-to with paper mache indians and half-cut logs for seats. This is where you actually get a tast of the water. We then entered an auditorium very much like my old elementary school auditorium. On the stage was a curtain that hung on the floor and when it was finally opened, there was a large paper mache globe with blinking lights on it depicting the travels of several of our explorers including Ponce De Leon. Finally we were ushered into another "half" building where behind glass was very large "sandbox". Really. There where photos on the walls showing the previous exploration of the sandbox and the discoveries that were made . . . but all I saw was a sandbox . . . At the end was the gift shop where you could get just about anything (junk) with the Fountain of Youth printed on it. WOW! I'm impressed . . . NOT!

We left St. Augustine around 5:00pm and headed for our final destination, Orlando, FL where we would fly home in the next afternoon. Traffic was horrendous, and included some rather heavy rainfall. All of this severely hampered our trip to Orlando. We were to meet one of the "McHenry" researchers, Karen Bogart at 7pm in the WDW town of Celebration at a restaurant called Columbia. The traffic made us nearly two hours late for our planned arrival in Orlando. Fortunately, Karen waited for us and we finally met at 8:15pm. Had a wonderful dinner and chat about family history and finally headed to our huge room at the Buena Vista Suites around 10:30pm. Another very long day. I can sleep on the plane tomorrow . . .