Thursday, July 22, 2010

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is the Florida you see in the brochures and such like: miles of beaches with huge hotels and even huger condominium complexes lining said beaches. The difference at Daytona is that you can drive your car onto and along the beach. There's some controversy about that at the moment though as more and more people are being hit or run over by cruising vehicles. One poor 4 year old was killed just last week. Personally I can't think of any reason to allow cars on the beach - it's not just a question of safety but also of the environment.
We're staying at Bahama House, 4th floor room with beach view. Apart from the cars it's a pretty damned good view! Take the lift downstairs, out the door, walk past the pool and we're on the beach. Cool. The hotel also has a happy hour from 5.30pm to 6.30pm when they put on free drinks. Excellent! :)
Ate at Crabby Joe's last night, a place on a pier a few miles down the road. The windows were all open to allow the sea breeze to waft through, plus allowing the sound of the ocean to keep us company. There's fishing at the very end of the pier and every now and then people would wander through the restaurant carrying buckets and rods to go try their luck. Quite bizarre at first but you quickly get used to it.
We ventured out into the ocean this morning. The weather is stinking hot so it was good to get wet. The undertow is pretty strong so I didn't get out too far. (However, I've yet to strike a beach with a stronger undertow than Woolamai at Phillip Island.) Played in the water for a couple of hours then it was time for lunch. Down to another restaurant on a pier, this time at Ponce Inlet at the end of the peninsula that Daytona Beach is on. This place overlooks the river that runs pretty much parallel with the ocean. Very pleasant setting. Also the biggest plate of pasta I've ever seen! The prawns (shrimp) were overcooked though. Then we did a quick check of the lighthouse - the tallest in Florida and second tallest in the US, so I'm told. You can actually climb this one to the top. The views would be pretty spectacular I imagine. I didn't do the climb. It was a thousand degrees out there and just standing in one spot to take a couple of photographs was almost enough to do me in.
After that we headed back into Daytona itself. Sheryl wanted to show me the main pier, and a few other things. But I was struggling with the heat by this stage so we came back to the hotel. I don't think I've had a day under 30 degreesC since I left California on June 9th and today I think I reached the end of my tether. Next time I come to the US it won't be in summer. God knows what possessed me. That doesn't mean I haven't had fun or haven't enjoyed myself - I've certainly done that!!
Anyway, we've just come back from dinner at the Oyster Pub - the closest place I've seen to an Aussie pub so far. I'm sprawled on the bed typing this with the sound of the ocean as a perfect backdrop. I love that sound.
We're back to Lakeland tomorrow but I think we're going to make a detour via Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Centre on the way.


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