Bear with me with this late post, folks. I know I am way behind, but what with my new job and all... anyway, take a trip back to November with me, why don't you?
From Vermont to Florida, New Orleans to Vermont, it has been a whirl of wind road trip adventure (my favorite kind!) with a few of my favorite people. AGP and I packed up the pickup and hit the loooong road south with stops in Wilmington, Delaware (where we ate monstrously delicious sushi at Takumi), and quick tourist stops in Washington, D.C. and Savannah, Georgia.
Why all the driving? For growth and profit and we were headed to the panhandle of Florida for our mostly-annual crew meet-up at a music festival along the beautiful Suwanee River in Live Oak. AGP and I, having nothing better to do, drove down with our truck full of camp gear to meet a pile of our friends who were flying in from all around the country for a weekend of funk music, Spanish moss, canoe adventures, and general debauchery (yes, and of course a healthy(?) dose of day drinking).
But first, while AGP and I waited for some friends to fly in to Jacksonville, Florida, we just had to check out the Kingsley Plantation right along the northeastern coast of Florida on Fort George Island. The Kingsley Plantation has been on my "To Visit" list since I stumbled upon its existence Google Map surfing and read this ethno-historical report by the U.S. National Park Service during my days of procrastination at work.
I freaking love North Florida <-- That is a bizarre fact about this born and bred New Englander. Palmettos, flatness, Spanish moss, and summer time in the winter? I'm there--
The Kingsley Plantation, which operated under Spanish rule in from 1814 and grew mostly sea cotton, is historically significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, the original plantation house and a number of slave houses built of tabby (a type of concrete made from oyster shells) still remain on the 60-acre (once 1,000-acres) site.
Secondly, Zephaniah Kingsley is notable for his polygamous and multiracial household, one that sprang from his tendency towards marrying his slaves and later granting them their status as free. Though he was still in defense of slavery, he was also in favor of slaves buying their freedom and believed strongly in the rights of freed slaves, namely his own multiracial children and their right to inherit his wealth and property.
Our trip to the plantation, on a blustery and cold fall afternoon, was informative and fun. The long and windy dirt road that leads to the plantation is crowded with palmettos and spanish moss (my faves) and ends at the FREE National Historic Park site, where you can wander the slave cabins, tour the plantation house (on weekends), and soak in the coastal Florida beauty.
Oh, and bonus osprey with some sort of needlefish action:
Don't all the nuts roll downhill to Florida?