The St. Augustine experience

“Party like it’s 1565” seemed to be just about everywhere in St. Augustine. The catchy phrase showed up on T-shirts, bumper stickers and perhaps even tramp stamps. (I didn’t spend any time investigating the latter.)

Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine houses the Lightner Museum along with City Hall and various other shops . This 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine houses the Lightner Museum along with City Hall and various other shops . This 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The slogan refers to the Florida city’s founding, making it the oldest continuously occupied, European-settled cities on the North American continent. All of the conditionals are important because there are challengers to the claim. Let’s just say St. Augustine isĀ old. But partying like it was 1565? That’s the unintended story of St. Augustine in a nutshell.

Those who know anything about history, understand that there really wasn’t much to party about in 1565. Ivan The Terrible was about to become terrible. England was still attempting to recover from Henry VIII. France and Spain were jostling for control of the New World. The Spanish would execute some 300 French soldiers and sailors in settling and defending St. Augustine.

Continue reading

The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings

It amazed me how little I knew of the Vikings. Other than the fact that they ravaged Europe and most of the known world for centuries and settled Iceland and Greenland, my knowledge was pretty limited. Sea Wolves appealed to me. It is well-written, very readable history of the Vikings and their impact on European and Middle East history. Well worth the time.

Link to Barnes and Noble listing