Sunday, May 6, 2007

April 29

April 29. Having Christy’s parents and her brother and his wife visiting us for a couple of days was bloody good fun. We’ve done a ton of walking around town.

We took the tour through Flagler College. The building was finished in 1887 by the railroad baron Henry Flagler. It was originally the Ponce de Leon Hotel. It was the most expensive and opulent resort hotel of its day. There are 2, 4000 gallon water towers that provided hot and cold running water. There is also a separate building that housed 4 giant dynamos’ that provided electricity for the new fangled incandescent lighting. Both of these modern conveniences were unheard of at that time.

Thomas Edison himself built and installed the power plant to run the lighting. The hotel was only open January through March and rooms were between 6 and 90 dollars a night. The only catch was that if you wanted a room you had to rent it for the entire season. The dining room could seat 700 people and each table had it own waiter. This dining hall is used by the student body today but much to their dismay they have to carry their own food trays.

A young designer named Louis Tiffany designed most of the furniture and his new company installed over 70 stained glass windows. Today those windows are insured for about 30 million dollars. The place is absolutely beautiful, carved wood, imported marble, inlaid tiles and hand painted ceilings, nothing but the best.

On Monday we all went for a ride on the boat. We were out for 3 or 4 hours with only a wisp of wind moving us along. I saw what I thought was a jelly fish and as we moved closer I realized it was a message in a bottle. We turned around and scooped the bottle up. It was sealed with wax melted over the cork. Inside was a picture and address of a young couple that had gotten married 2 days earlier and had thrown the bottle into the sea as part of their new lives together. We’ll write to them and tell them we found it.

It was good to see everyone, I learned a lot, no animals were injured, I got soap and nobody was forced to shave.

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