The kids thought "Spring Break" meant no school. NOPE! Not when you're a homeschooler! Even vacation becomes a giant field trip.
1. Juan Poncé de Leon sailed from Cuba to Florida and landed on April 3, 1513. He was actually in search of the island of Bimini and the Fountain of Youth. We learned that he claimed "all the land" between the Rio Grande and Labrador for Spain, naming it "La Florida" in honor of the Easter festival. That means New Jersey is technically "Central Florida." Based on our weather...I don't think so.
This statue of Poncé de Leon is larger than life. In stocking feet, he was only 4' 11" tall; his boots and hat made him a still-not-imposing 5'3".
2. We learned that St. Augustine is celebrating its 450th anniversary this year. It's this country's oldest continuously occupied settlement. It was settled by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and historians are fairly certain of where he and his crew made landfall, due to several carefully drawn maps. The 208 foot cross - the tallest in the world - that marks their landing was a gift to the city from the Vatican for the city's 400th anniversary in 1966.
3. We've seen several musket firings in our travels, including at Fort Necessity (PA) and Fort Erie (Canada). However, they are practically a whisper compared to this cannon demonstration at the Castillo de San Marco. Boom!
4. After our visit at St. Augustine, we drove over to Disney World. Luke is studying church architecture, and compared the Stavkirke (Stave Church) in Epcot's Norway with the ones in his lecture. His verdict: allowing for things like local building codes, it's a pretty close match to the originals. (Look for his post about stave churches soon!)
5. Jude got lots of reading practice. He read menus, he read the destinations on bus signs, and he had lots of opportunity to read details in stand-by queues. This one is from Muppet Vision 3-D.
Kermit isn't joking...there really is a key under the mat.
Back home and back to work next week - heading down the home stretch to summer!