Thursday Doors/Summer Hiatus

Gate Entrance of St. Augstine’s Old City

I’ve always enjoyed the many “Thursday Doors” posts from the bloggers I follow, each of whom link to Norm Frampton’s blog, the creator of the #ThursdayDoors posts here on WordPress and Twitter. As I embark on another summer blogging break, I thought it might be fun to try my own hand at a ‘Doors post. The worst that can happen is Norm will have his lawyers send me a cease and desist letter, right?

The good news is that I live in the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine. There are lots  of old buildings here and therefore opportunities to show beautiful doors. The bad news is that I chose last Saturday to wander around snapping pictures, and this is  when the local temperatures nearly hit 100 degrees.

So much for timing, eh? My energy flagged a bit after, oh, about 30 minutes. I knew immediately that I’m a Thursday Doors lightweight. Nevertheless, onward we go…

A distant view of the Castillo de San Marcos

Probably the most iconic structure in St. Augustine is the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. It is a large Spanish stone fortress built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in what was then the New World. It’s a National Monument, and, at over 315 years old, the oldest structure in St. Augustine. I’m betting it has a great and impressive door on it too. But, oh that 100 degrees temperature; I simply didn’t have the stamina to walk over there to snap pictures of it. I promise to do so in a future post.

Not a door but another gate: the Huguenot Cemetery is located just outside St. Augustine’s north gate. It was first used for the interment of victims of the 1821 yellow fever epidemic, followed by burial for members of the city’s Protestant population. One only needs to glance at some of the gravestones as you walk by to realize just how long this cemetery has been here.

Cathedral Basilica St. Augustine
Cathedral Baslica Inscription

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the seat of the Catholic Bishop for St. Augustine. Masses are popular with tourists and locals alike, and the church offers them each Sunday at 7, 9, 11, and 5pm. The sundial and inscription above the door is Latin penned by the Roman poet, Martial: “The hours pass, and we must account for them.”

Directly across the street from the Basilica, on the opposite side of the Plaza de la Constitucion, is the Trinity Episcopal Parish, established in 1821, soon after Florida became a territory of the United States. It is the oldest Protestant church in Florida. Services began in this building in 1831. Each hour the bells of the church play beautiful songs that can be heard on the Plaza.

Episcopal Trinity Paris

Adjacent to both churches on the edge of the Plaza lies Government House, which dates back to 1706. The ground floor of the building is open to the public as Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum, managed by the University of Florida.

Governor’s House, St. Augustine
Governor’s House

Everywhere you look in St. Augustine there are old buildings with dates, including the downtown shops.

Wade a bit into a neighborhood and you’ll find the Triay-Hall House, an original Minorcan home constructed of coquina stone. It was owned by the Triay family until 1885 and later restored in 1951 by the St. Augustine Historical Society; in 1963 it was acquired by the Hall family. It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Back in the Old City sits the nation’s oldest wooden school house, which dates back to the 18th century. The house’s exterior was made out of bald cypress and red cedar logs bound together by wood pins and iron spikes, all made by hand. The house has a large chain wrapped around the exterior. This chain was added in 1937 in order to hold the house in place in case of hurricane-force winds and weather.

So how do you end a hot day? Take a short drive north on U.S. 1 and have a late lunch at the King’s Head Pub. Authentic? Well, sure, what British pub doesn’t have an old double decker bus sitting outside in its parking lot?

King’s Head Pub, St. Augustine

I am taking a summer break from blogging. Have a great summer and see you in September…

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, May 30, 2019.


41 thoughts on “Thursday Doors/Summer Hiatus

  1. I’ve been to that fort! I remember the smells, the darkness, the echoes of the past. I wondered who had been there and what they were thinking. “He” had a hard time clearing most of the ceilings, and I said to him, “I think people were a lot shorter then.”
    We didn’t get to see any of the other sites you’ve posted…he had a headache. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. POC took me for my 50th birthday. I’d like to have seen that old telephone booth. I might have been tempted to abscond with it. I had always wanted to knick the sign that stood right on the line, entering North Carolina, but it was HUGE…and of course, theft is illegal…not to mention, someone like me would start thinking, “where the hell is that state anyway? I haven’t seen one sign!”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoy your Summer Blogging Break. I look forward to your posts whenever you choose to write ’em!

    As for being a ‘lightweight’ – 100 degrees in just as much humidity (St. Aug. is humid, no?) is an awful combo to amble about in. Here in SC it’s been 100 degrees but more dry and thus more tolerable lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely, lovely post, Marty. We have never visited St. Augustine. We had a week booked at a B&B several years ago and, wait for it… a hurricane came to visit. I would love to hear the bells of the church. Enjoyed all the doors with the Governor’s House door being my favorite. Gotta say though that the Pub door looks mighty inviting! We need to visit St. Augustine, but I think we will wait for the cool season. Enjoy your blogging break and you two have a wonderful summer!


    1. Yeah, damn those hurricanes anyway; always getting in the way of our existence. The bells really are beautiful, and we’ve often found a bench to just sit and enjoy them for a bit. My crummy cell phone video doesn’t come close to really capturing their beauty. Thanks so much!


    1. Indeed, Eddie! And btw, fellow stone sufferer, you’ll be glad to know that my draft beer was only 1/3 bad: I had a Black Veleveteen, which is 1/3 Guinness and 2/3 cider — as low oxalate a draft one can have and still call it “beer.” I then made sure to have several water chasers afterwards.


  4. Hi Marty, The first time I heard about Thursday Doors was following Joanne’s site. Is this your inaugural Door post? Great photos! No need to be concerned about a letter from the lawyers. Your photos have inspired me to take some door photos. Only 20 degrees (Celsius) here. An interesting and fun post. Enjoy your Summer Hiatus:) Erica

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Erica! Yes, it’s my first ever Door post. I was struggling to figure out what to write before I took my blogging vacation, and this seemed like the time to do so. I’ll make sure to take a few peeks this summer to check out what you’re up to. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a delightful post!! One of my sons went to Flagler and graduated a couple years ago…we fell madly in love with your beautiful city. Such a delight in many ways. Thanks for this fun post and have a magical summer off! – Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, thank you! I really wanted to get over to the Flagler campus because there are so many photo opportunities there. But it was just too damn HOT. That’ll have to be for a part two in the fall. Congrats to your son; what a wonderful school from which to graduate. You must be proud. 😊


  6. I think you’ve found your calling Marty. That, or you’d make a great tour guide! I fell in love with St. Augustine several years ago during a vacation. Someday, you must do a blog on St. Augustine’s beautiful flowers. I’ve never seen such beautiful flowers outside houses in my life. HAGS. (Have a great summer.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, G. We’ve been slow to investigate so many things here (my wife is a workaholic), and we also sort of have an unspoken agreement not to explore too much on our own. So it’s all a process. It’s easier to get around once tourist season is over and the weather cools a bit anyway. I’ll definitely keep your flower post suggestion in mind. Have a great summer and be safe!


  7. I’d say you hit a grand slam with your first Thursday Doors post! I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen a door with a crown on it … and you have one with TWO crowns! Hands down, that’s my favourite door!

    I was quite intrigued by the sundial over the door of the Cathedral Basilica. I hadn’t even noticed it was a sundial until you commented on it. So if I read it correctly, you took that photo at around 9:45 am? … and it was already 100F?!!

    Hope you have a great summer, Marty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to do a bit of back-research on the sundial and the Latin after I got home. Apparently quite a few Catholic churches use it, but the translation changes slightly from place to place. We haven’t been inside either church yet, but we plan to soon. So much to see here.

      It was probably mid-90s by that hour and heading higher, ugh.

      Thanks, Joanne!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am drawn to the door with the pointy top. Any time I see architecture with curving lines, I marvel at the technique involved – was it easier than straight line construction? Or does each style have its own peculiar challenges?

    Have a great summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand, Maggie. A friend of mine who built his own home many years ago explained the several different ways one can put mortar in between bricks. It was dizzying to think about, and he said it took him ages to come to a decision (with people waiting). So all those individual decisions on building I think are terrifying in their own way. 😩

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome to the Thursday Doors group (although I haven’t done one for a while so maybe I’m no longer part of the group)! You live in such a beautiful, historical city and you should show it off more. Have a wonderful summer hiatus and don’t forget to come back.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m going to have to add St. Augustine to our list of places to visit. We both love history and your city clearly has plenty. We’ll choose a different time of year though!!! Have a great summer. Will miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Don’t worry, my stomach-churning imbecility will return quicker than you want. 😀

      Lots of history here for sure. A good time to come is the end of hurricane season when the weather is still warm but not too hot. Also the crowds thin out a bit by then.

      Liked by 1 person

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