Ponce and Philly

There really is a lot to do here in Saint Augustine so let’s try to find a few links to take you to many festivals and tourists attractions we have going on. March really kicks it off with the festivals and concerts, but that does not mean the Florida winter isn’t loaded with fun.
Now you finally flew in via Frontier from Philadelphia to escape the weather. You start noticing that everything seems to be Ponce this Ponce that. Who exactly is this Ponce de Leon character and why is he so revered here in Saint Augustine?
In Philadelphia you have a Columbus street and even a parade for Christopher who in 1492 sailed the ocean blue. We at Abraxi taxi tried to find out some more about the founder of our historic city and would like to share a bit of his life. He definitely was a Renaissance man, but at the detriment to many.
Being from the Northeast and watching the many parades, what in the world is a better spectacle than the Mummers, in Philadelphia? I think having a tribute to Ponce De Leon would be awesome. My first obstacle was that I could not find his true birthday so we looked further into his life and especially his connection with Christopher Columbus, and as it turned out in a weird twist, Philadelphia.
John Meehan from his famous Irish pub on the Bayfront started the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, we from Abraxi Taxi service and airport shuttle, could propose a similar tribute to our Father Mr. Ponce. How about boarding a Frontier flight nonstop to Saint Augustine airport armed with those awesome costumes and banjos? What could be better than doing it with Philadelphia/Mummers style? We could have those marching bands decked out with feathers strumming and strutting along the Matanzas Inlet with cannons firing from the Castillo de San Marcos. But we are getting ahead of ourselves and with all the festivals, movie premiers, museums, concerts where can we find an open date.
So let’s start with our man Ponce.

Legacy (This is from Bio)
“Juan Ponce de León was a product of his time—ambitious, hardworking and ruthless when the occasion called for it. He built a small financial empire that helped advance Spanish colonization in the Caribbean, and he might have gone even further had he been able to avoid political intrigue with the Columbus family.
Many historical sources agree that he treated the native people under his control better than most conquistadors. However, enslavement and disease took a very heavy toll on these populations and he faced several violent uprisings during his tenure as governor.
Ponce de León will forever be associated with the fountain of youth, even though there is no record that he deliberately searched for it. Though he acknowledges the existence of the fable in his memoir, he was by all accounts far too practical a man to waste time on such a fantasy amidst the building of his fortune.”
So the conquistadors were generally religious people that in pursuit of their own greedy goal for gold and treasure ENSLAVED and mistreated the local populations they were trying to conquer. No doubt this was for the glory of god and the salvation of souls and perhaps some actually believed this. But after doing some research on the Spanish Explorers even Christopher Columbus, it really becomes apparent that greed, power and self-aggrandizement were the true reasons. And the natives, as if their fate was not bad enough, suffered from all forms of European diseases the deadliest being small pox.
It does seem that Ponce de Leon came from a nice family that was educated and cultured. He did come to the Americas with Columbus on his 2nd voyage. He was governor of Puerto Rico and was 4 feet 11 inches. And considered tall for his time. We have a statue of a life sized Ponce at the Plaza de la Constitucion that is exactly like the one in Olde San Juan, Puerto Rico. The scholars praise Ponce for his treatment of the slaves, but do not forget Columbus last voyage was back to Spain in chains, for what at the times were crimes against humanity. And it would be later in Ponces life that the sons of Christopher Columbus would thwart his ambitions.
It seems that after Spain expelled the Moors many soldiers of fortune became unemployed but several including Juan Ponce de Leon were able to gain access to the New World. Yes, there was a Muslim problem and under employment over 500 years ago. Yet several thousand boarded ships and set sail from Spain to Hispaniola, what is now modern day Haiti/Dominican Republic. And it really starts here for Ponce and his quest for fame and fortune.
The trip took only 3 weeks and there were slaves to be exploited, souls to be saved and gold to line one’s pockets. Ponce was all in. The priests did expect the natives to be taught reading and writing by the new masters and maybe because of the times this behavior was condoned. The saving of souls no matter the cost. No doubt Juan was an opportunist that had the King’s ear and even some limited support from the Columbus family. This almost sounds Soprano-esque but with little to no oversight he was in defacto the Don of Dons.
Juan did seem impressed with the Indian population fighting skills and like a Don Quixote took notice and defeated the windmills of the new wild west. And to this day is considered the 1st conquistador and hero of Puerto Rico.So along with other soldiers of fortune like Cortez and De Soto they managed to wreak havoc on one civilization, but this laid the foundation for a new world order that continues to this day.
“Spanish conquistador Ponce de Leon founded the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and sought to find the Fountain of Youth. He gained wealth, fame and fortune – often at the brutal expense of native populations.”
Perhaps the lust of more power and more gold drove him to even more expeditions into Florida where he eventually brought a gun to a poison arrow fight which he lost. He was able to make it to Havana Cuba where he died from his wounds. There is much more about him on the History Channel, Wikipedia and Biography but that I think this sums up the man. In his world he would be considered a brave an honorable man, it must have taken courage and a brass set to adventure into the unknown. He discovered Florida on Palm Sunday so I would suggest this should be the day we set aside for the Ponce de Leon/Southern Mummers extravaganza.
Ponce de Leon has one other Philadelphia connection and that is to the esteemed Benjamin Franklin. Ponce is credited with the discovery of the Gulf stream. ”This was the first encounter with the Gulf Stream where it reaches maximum force between the Florida coast and the Bahamas. Because of the powerful boost provided by the current, it would soon become the primary route for eastbound ships leaving the Spanish Indies bound for Europe.” But it was Benjamin Franklin that actually took his genius and performed scientific measurements that actually charted this ocean river naming it the Gulf Stream.
Now all that booty from the New World was heading back to Europe via the Florida straits and the Gulf Stream. Of course we live in paradise but for a few months a year we can experience the Hurricane season. We have great forecasters to warn us when a storm might be brewing but 500 years ago not even Nostradamus was predicting weather. (The fact that he was French and hated the Spanish could be a reason.) So many of those Spanish Galleons sunk, left billions of dollars in gold and silver bullion on the ocean floor. So here comes Saint Augustine’s final connection to Philadelphia in the name of Pat Croce, treasure hunter. You can tour his pirate museum right here in the historic city.
So let’s go over our connections to Philadelphia. Nonstop seasonal flights to Saint Augustine. The airport to the downtown hotels costs about 10 to 15 dollars if you were to use a taxi cab or there are plenty of rental car agencies to choose from. Next we have a relationship between Ponce and that superstar Ben Franklin and the gulf stream. Abraxi Taxi’s next adventure is to petition the U.S Mint as Ponce deserves his portrait on at least a coin. Preferably a gold doubloon 3rd string in this symphony. Is Pat Croce of Allan Iverson and 76er fame, now a pirate expert looking for Ponces booty? Is it too much to ask that the Mummers also honor us? Giving us a quadruple double.
Easter usually comes in April so we really should just pick a date. Early May might be best. The first Saturday. The weather will be ideal. Not too hot, not too cold. Those Mummer arrays would be miserable in the Summertime. This could kick off Player Championship Golf Tournament in Ponte Vedra, an ideal time, and still not interfere with Bill Murray’s Charity Golf Event at his family’s restaurant Caddy shack in late March. Of course the Parade would start at the Fountain of Youth and continue on San Marco. Yes, that is the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not on the left. Up West Castillo past the Best Western Spanish Quarter, ending up at Francis Field.
The Mummers are in of themselves a show. A stage could be set up, we could have more performances and of course an awards ceremony. For those of you that have not been blessed to watch anything as unique and creative as this New Year’s Day tradition you really are missing something special. Think Liberace and those 20s feather strippers on ecstasy, drunk on Blackberry brandy freestyling it down main street America. Some very talented people who work long hours and spend beaucoup de bucks for one show. This is a great opportunity to enjoy our great city of Saint Augustine and what we consider wonderful weather.
At the next city council meeting lets come out and support the Parade for Ponce. We can set up a committee to oversee the implementation and lobby our legislature for support. They were able to plan our 450th birthday party and a huge Mumford and Sons concert very efficiently, why not this event? Some laws like open containers should be relaxed and traffic would have to be controlled. There could be a few designated taxi stands and special shuttles. It would be an awesome tribute to our founding father, a truly sui generis festival, and with help from other Ponce de Leon groupies this could become something special.
Maybe we could invite the King and Queen from Spain! This is a bit about Spanish history and we actually do reenactments of the British Pirate Drake overtaking the Spanish here in Saint Augustine. If you love history especially American history it really all started here in Saint Augustine Florida, and whether or not Ponce discovered the Fountain of Youth or was even the driving factor on him choosing to visit here, the two will always be connected.
So I vote to give tribute to Ponce de Leon with a special celebration here in Saint John’s County Florida and let’s do it with some Yankee flair and show Saint Augustine how we party in Philadelphia. That is another thing we have in common because after all we are a quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem. But do not drink and drive! Call Abraxi Taxi, we get you where you need to Go!

Saint Augustine and the taxi scene!

Abraxi taxi has been servicing Saint Augustine area for going on 10 years, now. We are a small, privately owned, full-service cab company. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. We can get you to local restaurants and bars, tour departure locations, or one of the many airports here in the northeast part of Florida.

Abraxi Taxi is fully compliant with all of the regulations put forth by the City of Saint Augustine. This includes proper business and hack licensing, commercial taxi insurance, and the official city medallion. Our cars are inspected by the city garage, where a certified master mechanic performs checks and inspection of all the essentials related to engine and safety, as well as brakes and tires, windows and seat belts. We think we have the nicest, newest and safest livery. And into our well-kept vehicles we place the most knowledgeable professional drivers in town. Our cars even smell nice! That’s because we keep them clean and also enforce a non-smoking policy.

We do not use taxi-meters. Rather, we base your fare on a zone or flat rate basis. This usually benefits the customer, since no matter what, the price quoted will always be the price you pay. Traffic in the historic portion of the Ancient City can be brutal. The Bridge of Lions goes up many times each day, and often it seems to go up at the most inopportune times. No matter, the flat rate that we’ve quoted you will be what you pay. This can really favor the passenger when using our airport shuttles.

We charge just 75.00 from Downtown Saint Augustine to the Jacksonville and Daytona airport. Other airports – those further away from the city center – cost more. The brunt of our airport transportation is to Jacksonville International (“JAX”), which is about 50 miles from Saint Augustine – close to the Georgia border. Driving to JAX can take as little as an hour and 15 minutes, but it can also take longer if there is traffic, an accident, or construction on one of the highways. We can pick up at the Daytona airport and for a few extra bucks bring you to the beautiful Castillo Real on Saint Augustine beach.

Keep in mind that Frontier airlines also has seasonal nonstop flights from Chicago and Philadelphia to Northeast Florida Regional Airport NFRA here in Saint Augustine. There are many car rental businesses here but if you need or just prefer to go with a cab, call Abraxi Taxi. We are properly licensed to pick up passengers at the gates.

We will provide our shuttle anywhere in Saint John’s county but our base fare of 75.00 is from the downtown area. When you book with us it is your private cab, so you won’t need to be sharing with strangers. A bit of privacy can sometimes be a good thing!

Abraxi taxi accepts cash and all major credit cards. A few of our drivers can also accept Pay Pal. If you feel the driver did a great job, then tipping is also an option. And all of our drivers can process credit cards using their smart phones.

As an added bonus our cars are all late-model. And because our drivers all live in Saint Augustine they not only know how to get to places the fastest way, but they will make sure you are getting your drinks and dinner at a reputable establishment.

In fact, Abraxi taxi drivers are like having your local Trip Advisor. Saint Augustine has SO much history to share! After all, we are the oldest city in country. Back in the 1500s Ponce De Leon came here looking for the Fountain of Youth and named us “La Florida.” That fountain is still here, and well worth a visit.

If you are staying for a few days or more we highly recommend that you check out the Red or Green train/trolley tours to see the many sites we have to offer. Ghosts abound for the paranormal fanatic. The Alligator Farm is worthwhile and has zip lines for the young at heart. So take a sip of that water from Ponce’s quest and have a blast. The old jail – especially on one of the special Gravestone Ghost Tours – is really spooky. They put you in the hoosegow, then throw away the key. Some other haunted venues include the lighthouse and Spanish Military Museum located on Aviles street – the oldest street in America. We recently celebrated our 450th birthday. And with all those years come a treasure trove of museums. Try the Lighter or Villa Zorayda — plenty to do when the weather does not cooperate.

Your visit here will not be complete until you visit our fort, The Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental US. This ancient fort is constructed with coquina. Coquina is a type of sedimentary rock composed of shells of mollusks, making it able to absorb the force of cannonballs. Because of this the fort was never breached.

If you like adventure you may want to book a spot on the pirate ship Black Raven for some mock battles and “arrgghhhh-rated” fun. And then there’s the pirate museum, owned by Pat Croce of Philadelphia 76ers fame.

Other outings to fill your days: take a trip to one of our beautiful beaches – Vilano or Saint Augustine. Many great restaurants and bars to choose from. For waterfront dining try Caps on the water or the Conch house. We can also highly recommend the Reef restaurant – especially for Sunday brunch. Take a walk on the pier, or charter a deep-sea fishing trip. Saint Augustine has many venues that are popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties, with a wide range of beautifully appointed and reasonably priced ocean front houses for rent.

If you are staying in Crescent Beach you may want to try out Marineland, a place that is both fun and educational. Here you can swim with the dolphins. The original Flipper TV show was filmed here, and this was also the location of some fascinating experiments conducted during the second world war. The University of Florida now runs Marineland and is just an hour away from St. Augustine, in Gainesville.

Recently opened is the Saint Augustine Aquarium snorkel adventure, where the truly adventure-loving can swim with sharks and explore for underwater treasure, all the while snorkeling with an abundance of beautiful fish. Does it get any more exciting?

Years ago some great explorers came here looking for treasure, and there is still much treasure to be found in Saint John’s County.

Are you a golfer? Then you know that the 5th and richest golf tournament is held in May at the Sawgrass Marriot resort in Ponte Vedra. Here you can tee off on the world famous 17th. And if the Sawgrass fees are a little too steep for your budget, try the Squire or King and Bear – two other top notch courses located in World Golf Village. They are about a 20-minute drive from downtown Saint Augustine. The World Golf Hall of Fame and Bill Murray’s Caddy Shack restaurant are also located in the Village.

If you’re a fan of music and live performance you may want to check out the Ponte Vedra Beach concert hall – just a short drive North. And of course there is our very own Saint Augustine Amphitheater, a gorgeous outdoor musical treasure here on the island. Just a few of the up and coming shows that will kick off in 2017: Foreigner, Kansas, and Willy Nelson. The season ends in November, so check out the Amphitheater’s website for early tickets and special events.

For business meetings there’s the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center – superb location place for those special company meetings. It is a bit of a drive from Saint Augustine but the Renaissance Marriott offers golf packages and limited free shuttle service to the outlet malls and downtown Saint Augustine.

Taxicabs rates here are among the lowest in the country, so there is no reason to drink and drive. Keep your car parked and call a cab. You can get your car later or we can even bring the car to your house. If you know you might have one glass of wine too many at Michael’s Tasting Room, just call us! We’re more than happy to serve as your designated driver.

As a full service 24-hour cab service we also offer a range of auxiliary services. Like delivery! Maybe you ran out of cigarettes or milk or eggs. We are happy to pick it up any purchase and bring it to you. Some drivers carry battery cables and can come out and give you a jump. We also can provide car transport, bring your vehicle to any location. Our fees will vary depending on distance. So no matter the issue if we can provide our services in any way just ask. Need your student picked up from Flagler College and brought to the Jacksonville Airport? Feel free to call and we will process the credit card via phone and ensure the safe transport your son or daughter.
Abraxi also specializes in late night airport transportation when the other taxi services are fast asleep.

Saint Augustine is a big wedding town and we have taxicab vans for large groups. Plan on Abraxi Taxi to handle all your needs, from the airport to the wedding to the reception to the hotel, and back to the airport. Call ahead to make a reservation or visit our website for complete rates and reviews.

Regardless of where you choose to go, remember that even though you are in Florida (The Sunshine State!), the weather can be fickle. So on a rainy day, you can visit the San Sebastian Winery. They offer tours, wine tasting, including some of Florida’s finest. A short walk away is Whetstones Chocolate Factory, where you can sample everyone’s favorite confection. And then just around the corner is our Distillery and the Ice Plant. Tours are conducted and you can even purchase a rare bottle of their Florida bourbon. In the adjoining building, you can enjoy a wide selection of craft cocktails and appetizers. Feel free to dine with gusto and then call Abraxi Taxi for your ride back to the Casa Monica.

At Abraxi Taxi we are honored with the tasks of transporting the guests that visit us here in the Ancient city and appreciate it that you are supporting small businesses like us that are the core of our country’s free enterprise – its lifeblood. So when you come and visit, drop a dime and call us for timely and prompt service. And always remember:

Abraxi Taxi gets you where you need to Go!

Saint Augustine taxi service is here! Hello World.

Abraxi Helo-Taxi

July 4th in Saint Augustine Florida is a taxicab owners worst nightmare.For the drivers it can be a bonanza as a majority of the population feels in need of a cab company.

The fireworks are rather impressive and many flock to the Ancient City to enjoy the display.However; traffic soon backs up and even the most knowledgeable hackney can get lost in a labrinth of gridlock.

To avoid these delays and provide timely service Abraxi Taxi will be parking our cab vans and using the new Nissan taxicopter.Our taxi pilots are reasonably familiar with the innovative air taxis,so not to worry, as an added safety feature each vehicle will have pontoons attached. In case of driver error we can emergency land in the Matanzas river.

For your enjoyment will be providing an open bar, complete buffet and other party favors.We encourage our customers to dress appropriately and to wear very comfortable shoes.I promise to hover as close to your destination as possible before dropping you,our taxi fare.

So,when you are sitting at the Tini Martini Bar watching bumper to bumper traffic,be assured that the Abraxi air transport is just seconds away.

Visit our website for rates, reviews, helipad locations and the safe grassy knolls near your home.Mr.Scott will be the dispatcher when all else fails we will put the transporter into service.Scotty,beam me up:the taxi services in Saint Augustine Florida are overloaded and off the grid; and I am running out of di-lithium crystals captain.

Please enjoy Independence Day in the nation’s oldest city.Be prepared for long waits and impossible traffic.Do wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to do some walking.To those who we are able to take into town we will do our best to get you safely back home Abraxi Taxi currently does not own any type of flying machine but on this day in particular sure wish I did!

via Saint Augustine taxi service is here! Hello World..

 

External or internal taxi competition in Saint Augustine Fl.

Registered with sunbiz.org

Fully comply with Saint Augustine Fl.regulations

City medallion attached to proper vehicles

Insured properly, all licensing current

Alcohol and drug-free workplace

Impeccable and timely service

Knowledgeable and mostly friendly drivers

Clean cars and cold air

No strangers riding shotgun

Taxicab vans that are comfortable

Longest tenured independent company in town

Has a business licence

Files corporate taxes

Spends our money in Saint Augustine

So if you can handle the truth take the time and do some research before choosing a local cab company or airport shuttle.It is costly to provide the correct insurance and to maintain our fleet to the precepts that Saint Augustine city council has decreed.

However;if you wish to gamble life and limb over a few dubloons, Abraxi Taxi should not be your first choice taxi service.Competition is the American way.It is healthy and a boon for the consumer.All we want is a level playing field.Hang those pirates from the gallows and tell the gypsy cabs to walk the plank.For honest transportation providers;full speed ahead!

I am not sure if the threat to our way of life comes from the outside with taxicab companies like Uber,or from within the borders of Saint Johns county,but a storm is brewing and Abraxi Taxi is a safe harbor to moor your ship to.

Traffic Control

We at Abraxi Taxi applaud the GOTR Mumford and Sons tour along with the city of Saint Augustine Florida for all the effort and hard work it must have taken to turn what I thought would be a traffic disaster,into a resounding success.

As a small taxi service in town getting around was never an issue.The police and sherrif departments did an awesome job directing historic downtown traffic and the multitudes of jaywalking tourists.

We salute all who contributed to this monumental event.You did the city proud.Perhaps this can become a yearly festival.

Let’s take what we have learned and apply it to other heavy traffic extravaganzas namely July 4th and the trademark Night of Lights.

Again hats off to Mumford and Sons for putting the Ancient City into the national limelight and generating a tremendous amount of revenue for my adopted city Saint Augustine Florida.

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Mumford and Sons

The time has come.Great website to check for transportation it is www
Gotrstaug.com..Just loaded with relevant concert information.

Check this site for any concert related questions and the City of Saint Augustine Florida should have an answer here.

Taxis will be busy so if you can utilize the tools the city is providing your transportation needs should be covered.

We at Abraxi Taxi will do our best to get you where you need to Go! But volume will be very heavy and the Downtown area will be packed with revelers. Please be patient and follow the guidelines put forth by Gentleman’s of the Road website.

This is a great opportunity to showcase our great historic city and with proper planning everyone attending Mumford and Sons will have a tremendous time.

So be prepared to walk,wear comfortable shoes.Our city is not very high heel friendly.Make sure you bring plenty of water and maybe some snacks as most local restaurants and bars will be packed.Please purchase the shuttle wristband as this will be the best form of locomotion in the downtown area before,during and after the concert.

The city council has a well designed plan for our transportation needs and if we follow this strategy we all will have a much better Mumford and Son experience.Thank you Steven abraxitaxi Ciccantelli.

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Saint AugustineTaxi delivers a winner

Among the many mundane tasks that taxi services provide one is the delivery option.Sometimes it is just faster and cheaper for us drivers to pick up what you need and bring it to you.We do charge a nominal fee plus the cost of the booty.Be it alcohol,cigarettes or even fast food.

Besides the usual beer and rolling papers we normally bring to Mr.Calloway:this time I was tasked with a power ball lottery ticket.Weeks go by and Abraxi Taxi receives a big fat check in the mail along with a short note saying; “I won”.

Well good luck Mr.Calloway sorry to see you go.Unfortunately for our taxi company and airport shuttle we have one less Cab to service.

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First Day Back

The kids are finally back in school here in Saint Augustine.When I went to school way back when,we started the day after labor day. I am not sure why in Florida they start so early and at the hottest time of the year.

From a taxi drivers viewpoint this does put a damper on the cab industry as a whole.This will be a very lean month overall but we do have the holiday weekend to look forward to.And of course Mumford and Sons in mid September.

So even as you watch taxicab drivers sit and sweat during the August doldroms,start planning ahead for labor day weekend and the concerts that are in the near future.September will be a big month for taxi services and airport shuttles.

Abraxi taxi is accepting reservations for the holiday weekend and we will be servicing the beaches during the Mumford and Sons concert.Really plan ahead as parking and taxis will be scarce and traffic will be horrendous.

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