Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home Exchange

We did a Home For Exchange last fall and the week before Thanksgiving we used our half of the exchange in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. My sister went along. Really a good experience.
We stopped in St Augustine for a brief look around, but were rained out. Flagler College was our only short stop. We had a brief visit to the main hall of the former Ponce de Leon Hotel built in 1888 in the ornate Spanish Renaissance design of the period. Appropriate for a town settled by the Spanish in 1565.
The hotel was built by Standard Oil millionaire Henry Flagler. He developed much of the Florida East Coast building other hotels and starting a railroad to supply the necessary visitors.  Thus his name is prominent among Florida place names.

Our home exchange was a very nice low key condo complex.
Too bad the weather was so windy and cool. We did walk on the beach and sit by the pool.
 Some nice sunsets.
 Very fine white sand with fantastic patterns.
We went into New Smyrna Beach which is very arty and old.
 I liked this idea for old luggage.
These wooden carved feathers were very life like.
 Many places to chow down.
The city museum is very well done and the history of the area is quite interesting. Florida changed hands from Spanish (1665-1763) to British (1764-1777) to Spanish (1784-1819) before being ceded to the US in 1821. The original 1200 European settlers were residents of the Mediterranean area ... Greece, Turkey and the island of Menorcia. They were brought over by Scottish doctor and entrepreneur Dr. Andrew Turnbull in 1768 to grow indigo. The colony lasted until 1777.
There was also a big Saturday farmers market.
We went over to Flagler, another arty place and surfer heaven.
 Drive on beaches.
 The red flags were up all week.
Our cousin lives in Winter Park and we went over to see him. He's working on his mom's house, but that's another story.
Downtown is always active and upscale. Here's lunch.
We popped our heads into the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art for a micro second. The driver was getting antsy, and we'd been to it before. On the way back I did get a stop in Mt. Dora. More on that later.

We got home in time to make Thanksgiving for the troops.

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