Monday, June 11, 2012

Travel Week (Part 2)

We had planned to meet my Cousin and tour the Castillo on Friday afternoon, but the weather was rainy and bad, and her husband ended up having to work late, so we changed the plans to meet the next morning and she gave us some dinner suggestions for some fresh, local seafood/shrimp.

It was so-o-o-o-o good. Me and Kevin had steamed peel-n-eat shrimp, and Ryan and J had three different kinds of fried shrimp: original, Dat'l Do, and Coconut. Ryan loved the Coconut shrimp. We ordered another platter of fried shrimp to go and took it back to the room to eat later.

After we ate we went to Walmart for junk food and bottled water, and saw a real life Person of Walmart.
Ryan says he sees them all the time, but I never have seen one IRL, only on the website. Kev chased this guy around to get a picture for me. (He looked a lot better (ie. weirder) in person, lol)

The next morning we got up and headed to the Castillo to meet my Cousin and her husband. It was great, but kind of weird because we knew each other on sight, and it was like we had known each other forever but maybe just hadn't seen each other in a little while. It was unbelievable that we didn't even know each other existed a week before.

She gave us her professional Tour and we got watch/hear the cannons shoot. After there we went across to "the Village" and she took us into the Spanish Courtyard where we saw an authentic Spanish hacienda and visited the gardens and several of her friends had craft booths.
We ate Empandas at her friends' authentic Spanish Bakery. They were very good. I hadn't ever had them before. (I'm not usually an adventurous eater, but it was her friend.)

Then she took us into the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the USA. It was very interesting to see the displays and the way things were done back in the old days. There's a separate kitchen out back, and a beautiful garden area.

It was sometime between the Spanish Courtyard and this garden that Kevin discovered he loves, loves, loves the smell of Rosemary.  Cousin's husband would rub his hands on the Rosemary, then rub them together, almost like rubbing on lotion.  I never heard of anyone doing this before, I thought Rosemary was just something you cooked with. Anyway, Kevin tried it, and turned out it was like catnip or something to him. He really liked it.

Next we traveled over to the Fountain of Youth, discovered in 1513. We drank from it, but the water is so chemically treated now, it wasn't good, and any magical qualities it might have ever contained are likely chlorine'd out.
There were some beautiful Peacocks (that I have probably 100's pictures of, because Ryan had possession of my camera for most of this trip and he loved taking pictures of everything he could see - except people, so I have very few of us, with my newfound cousin, and the ones I do pretty much suck), and we saw a Planetarium show explaining how the Explorers used the Stars to navigate around (don't ask us how, I think we all dozed off, haha). We also some re-enactors setting up their Spanish defense fort/home, and doing some knife throwing and shot off another cannon.

My Cousin's older brother (also my cousin) met us there so I got to meet him, too. He doesn't look much like my Dad, but otherwise they could be brothers. Same quiet, reserved, stand-off'ish personality. (It's mostly shyness, I'm the same way.)

Another very weird coincidence!
When me and Cousin first met on Facebook and I told her we were related and was telling her who my parents were and where they lived (part time in the GA mountains, mostly in a small fishing town in Florida), turns out her brother is also a Boat Captain and often goes to the same small fishing town to go fishing in the Gulf where my Mom and Dad lives.

We were like, y'all had to have passed right by each other and didn't even know it.

Oh, and also, Cousin's brother is a retired Firefighter.

(To be continued....)

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