Extended Weekend Getaways Nov. 2021 Isssue

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Location of the Very Firs Traditional stories of English Pilgrims and Indians place them togeter in sharing their first meal of Thanksgiving in 1621. Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts is the setting for this celebration. However, when visiting the historic St. Augustine, you will learn it has been documented that colonists shared a feast of thanksgiving with Native Americans 55 years prior to Plymouth Rock. The date was Sept. 8, 1565 when the very first Catholic Mass was held by a Father Francisco López. The story of that original ceremony originates fromFather Francisco López, the fleet chaplain, coming ashore ahead of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the leader of the founding expedition. He held a cross as he went forward to meet Menéndez who came on land, knelt down and kissed cross. Following the religious service, the Spaniards shared a communal meal with the local native tribe. Since the Spanish had only just arrived in St. Augustine, they did not have the benefit of having raised crops for a year as the English Pilgrims did more than half a century later. The Spanish had to do the best they could with leftovers from their long voyage. The menu was said to be a stew of salted pork and garbanzo beans, accompanied with ship’s bread and red wine. Hosting the actual first Thanksgiving celebration, in what would become the United States, is one of many “firsts” for the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in America, founded 451 years ago. When the Spaniards founded St. Augustine, they proceeded to found our nation’s first city government, first school, first hospital, first city plan, first Parrish church, and first mission to the native populations. You can still see some of these firsts today when you walk down St. George Street. Considered the first main pathway of the historic section, the original city gate proudly stands guard at the North end. -16- | ExtendedWeekendGetaways ~ November, 2021

It is made from coquina stone, a sedimentary rock comprised of compressed shells. You will find other numerous locations where coquina stone was used. The pedestrian-only walkway is lined with gift shops, art galleries, and restaurants, among historic buildings like the oldest wooden schoolhouse. The Colonial Quarter is known for its small shop, restaurant, and outdoor venue where you can listen


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