Saturday, October 01, 2016

Daytona Beach Sept 2016, Part Three

September 7, 2016 9:00pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Fl

I had a tough time waking up this morning for no known reason whatsoever and my stomach felt sort of off. All this vacation food has caught up with me, I think.

I eventually made my way poolside and sat in the shade, reading, before dipping in the pool, laying in the sun, and dipping in the pool again.

We ate at Stonewood again and played mini-golf at Pirate's Cove again. I won this round thanks to four hole-in-ones. I was on fire for the first nine holes, with three hole-in-ones and six hole-in-twos. Then, I hit three after three after three for most of the back nine and ended the round with the fourth hole-in-one.

(Yarr! I be Blackball the Pirate!)

It's 9:00pm and I don't feel the least bit tired. My stomach seems to be back to it's normal self and I feel like doing something. I'd like to seek out adventure and intrigue and rum beverages!

I'll likely read and go to bed.

September 8, 2016 10:00pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Fl

No intrigue or rum drinks for me. I ended up walking the beach for about an hour. I really wanted to sleep on the sand. There is something about that cool, silkiness of the ocean sand at night.

(My dad took this sunrise picture).

Anyways, I am sunburned. I spent more hours in the sun today than any previous day and should have put on another coat of sunscreen instead of thinking that cooling off in the pool regularly would stop me from getting burned. I must say, I had been thinking -- up until now -- that it wasn't feeling like a true vacation because I hadn't been burned. Fool, I am.

I relaxed for a bit and then explored some ancient temples, apparently.

I found a full unbroken shell on the beach among all of the broken pieces.

I did enjoy two excellent Pina Coladas whilst slowly cooking myself over the course of the day.

I do believe I shall partake in the enjoyment of drinking Pina Coladas again tomorrow. Though, that will have to occur, mostly, in the shade.

Dinner tonight was informal at the cabana bar. I had pork tacos and fries and rather enjoyed it almost as much as the fancier dinners.

After dinner, we went to my dad's balcony to watch a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. I played my guitar for a bit and then walked the beach again before bed.

It's funny how often I am rubbing some sort of stuff on myself while on vacation. First it's sun tan lotion. Later on, it's aloe gel. Tonight, I rubbed some stranger things on myself. I googled fast sun burn remedies and found more than one person praising the effectiveness of rubbing apple cider vinegar on the sun burn -- there were before and after pictures; it seemed legit. So, I went across the street to Publix grocery store and picked some up. I also bought coconut oil. The irony of rubbing cooking oil on my self after actually cooking myself is hilarious to me.

The scent isn't all that bad... it coulda been worse, I suppose. They could have recommended fish oil. If this remedy works half as good as it is supposed to, I'll be happy tomorrow. If it works less than half as a good, then tomorrow is really going to suck.

September 9, 2016 9:45pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Fl

It (the apple cider vinegar) worked just about half as a good at it was supposed to.

I hung out in the ocean for a little bit again today.

And spent the afternoon in the pool or in the shade and just a little bit in the sun, reading or sipping Pina Coladas.

Dinner was at Stonewood again. Rather than getting filet mingon, I opted for a chicken dish that was really good.

We played mini-golf again after saying "goodbye" and "see you soon" to my grandparents (even though, "soon" will likely be another year for me).

#II. All mateys get equal share of the booty. (Sorry, but once I get some booty, I don't share.)

The color of the sky at Pirate's Cove was... There are really no words to describe it. It was just amazing. I was more focused on getting a good picture of it than I was on playing mini-golf. I'm disappointed that the background seems so degraded (I don't know what the technical term is, but if you look closely, you'll see what I mean). It's supposed to be kinda blurry, but it's like... pixely and blurry...

Back at the resort, I packed most of my things and will only have a little to do tomorrow morning before we leave for the airport. It will be another really early morning.

Mostly, I'm looking forward to my own bed and bland diet. The foods I ate on vacation were fantastically yummy to my taste buds, but only gently tolerated by my broken stomach.

I'm really going to miss the beach, though; I wish I could take that with me. Maybe I'll buy a sandbox...

September 10, 2016
Somewhere over the east coast

Pretty skies this morning:

Orlando, Fl:


Albany, NY:

(overcast, gray)

Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part Two

September 5, 2016 9:30pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Florida

I spent most of today laying by the pool or floating in the pool. I attempted some boogie boarding; the waves were much more intense than yesterday, but I literally couldn't catch a break... seriously, literally.

Anyways, the ocean wiped me out... wipe out? Never mind.

The undertow was so strong that you'd take ten steps and end up five steps further away from where you were heading.

I had woken up shortly after the sun came up and, when I saw the clear sky and bright sun, I jumped out of bed to take some pictures from the balcony.

Then,I set my alarm to wake me up before tomorrow's sunrise to get some good pictures at the break of daylight.

I played around with Lego photography (Legography?) a little more. I'm getting a little more comfortable with the macro setting, but still have a lot to learn.

After beach and pool time, we went out to dinner to Bubba Gumps', which is an incredibly annoying place... The servers are overly interactive and way too excitable -- and it's 89% seafood, which I don't like.

After dinner, we walked the boardwalk, played in the arcade for a bit, and then went back to the resort.

I must now go to bed, because that alarm before the sunrise is going to go off earlier than I'd like.


September 6, 2016 4:00pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Florida

Sitting on the balcony. It's that point in the vacation where I"m having trouble remembering what day it is and what day I did which thing. It's Tuesday, says my phone.

Daytona Beach is deserted, practically. On Monday, it was much less deserted and on Sunday and Saturday it was very crowded. Now that the long holiday weekend has passed, we have the resort pretty much to ourselves, which is excellent.

I woke up before the sun and it was lovely.

Since then, I've done nothing but lounge in and around the pool.

The Pina Colada I had was cocomazing. It was rumarrific. It was cherritacular. Floating around in the pool with a light rum buzz was floatabulous and pooltastic and buzz... I'm drawing a blank on more adjectives.

Anyways, I went back to my room at 3:30pm and showered and dressed and now I'm sitting on the balcony listening to the waves before dinner. We're going to Outback Steakhouse tonight.

September 6, 2016 9:00pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Daytona Beach, Florida

The sound of the waves crashing and smell of the sea,
the stars above and cool sand like silk beneath my feet,
the taste of ocean salt on my tongue,
and the warm breeze washing over me.

I could have stood on the beach all night.

Instead, I am back on the balcony scribbling (it really is scribbles) in my Moleskine notebook.

After dinner, I grabbed my guitar and went down to the fire pit. I played about a dozen songs, in between letting Rylee (my seven year old step-niece) attempt to play. She also played her recorder -- of course, I gave her some room to solo.

It felt great to play for people -- it felt really great.

When I used to play out frequently, there were times where'd I'd feel like I was playing somebody else's guitar and I had a hard time focusing. Other times, I'd fall into a sort of zone and kind of have an out of body experience, as if I was watching myself play and sing. Those were the best times. I had one of those experiences playing tonight. Yeah -- it felt really great.

Afterwards, I wandered down to the beach. I love the ocean at night. It tantalizes all of the senses.

Daytona Beach Resort

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part One

9/3/16 7:50am
Plane, somewhere over the east coast.

I woke up so early this morning that it should really be referred to as "last night..."

I woke up "last night" at an ungodly hour to catch my flight to Florida. I had prepared myself for the early morning two days in advance by forcing myself to wake up earlier and earlier each day so that I would be so insanely exhausted Friday evening that I would fall asleep early enough to get enough sleep before the flight. Since I normally go to bed at 12:30am and wake around 9:30am, going to bed early enough to get 7 hours of sleep before waking up at 3am is not an easy feat.

I packed my suitcase the night before.

Lots of plaid, of course.

(Somehow, I managed to fit all of my things into that tiny suitcase...)

And I set my alarm three times (just to be safe).

Surprisingly, I actually woke up before the alarm. I did some last minute packing, put my bags in the car, and drove to my dad's. Once there, I helped him load up his car with everyone's stuff. Then, we drove to the Albany airport.

I received two compliments at the airport: an airport employee noted that my fedora was "very cool" and a Starbucks barista said she liked my beard.

As I was thanking the barista for the compliment and Mint Majesty tea, I saw a penny on the ground by my feet. It was head's up. I picked it up and put it in my pocket, feeling pretty good -- as in, "this is going to be a good trip" good.

The sun was rising while I sipped my tea and I took some pictures of the gorgeous sky. Then I walked down to my gate and found my plane.

Once on the plane, there was a young child who was having a tough time and letting the world know about it. I heard the mother say to a stranger that the child has Autism and his routine was completely disrupted by the flight schedule this morning (I hear ya, man!). I was impressed that people were generally polite about the situation because I really don't have the expectation that the general population has the ability to be generally polite about a child who is screaming.

I put in my headphones and listened to Jackson Brown's solo acoustic albums -- they are relaxing and since I couldn't control the volume of the upset child, I controlled the volume of my headphones.

I'm disappointed in Mokeskine's presumption that the reward for returning this notebook, should it become lost and then found by someone other than myself, is going to be monetary. It says "As a reward: $______"

There is a hurricane that recently hit Florida's gulf coast and traveled across the northern part of the state and is now making it's way up the east coast. The pilot said we'll be flying above it. Right now, I just see white clouds just below the plane.

And the skies continued to become clearer as we got closer to Florida.


9/4/16 9:30pm
Daytona Beach Resort, Dayton Beach, Fl.

It seemed like we didn't stop for a breath after landing in Orlando, Florida. We quickly collected our luggage and rental car -- wait, that actually took forever, which was nice. Once we loaded up the rental car, er... tank -- a Toyota Sequoia (which is the size of a small bus) -- we drove to the Daytona Beach Resort with just one quick stop at a Starbucks.

I had enough time in my room to put my bags down, look around, and take a picture before meeting back up with everyone to go to the grocery store.

(Cloudy and gray)

I grabbed the bare essentials and a six pack (the "beer essentials?") and went back to the resort where I had enough time to unload my groceries, lay on the bed for a minute, and pee before going to my grandparents' house to pick them up for dinner. My grandpa took us to his favorite restaurant, Alfie's.

(Sunny! And blue!)

By this time, I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open. I had been up for fourteen hours on less than typical sleep for the prior three days and my allergies were becoming extreme. I couldn't get back to the resort fast enough to take extra Allegra. Once I took the extra dose, I fell fast asleep before the sun went down.

I awoke the next morning and took a picture of the sun shining in my room.

I took my sweet time getting up and, then, took some pictures of the sun from my balcony.

At 9:30am, I went down by the pool. Still feeling drugged up from the extra allergy meds, I floated around in the pool in a daze for much of the morning. Then I laid on a lounge chair in the sun.

I went back up to my room for lunch and sat out on the balcony for a bit where I took some more pictures.

After lunch, I spent time in the ocean. I was told that the temperature of the ocean was 82 degrees! So, I went back to the pool to cool off.

(There was a fair amount of this throughout the week)

We had dinner with my grandparents again. This time, we went to Stonewood, which is a high end restaurant that makes amazingly delicious food, including the best filet mignon I've ever tasted in my life. They also have pretzel/roll things, which are the unorthodox -- but fantastic -- marriage between super pretzels and dinner rolls, and are incredible.

Stuffed and with leftovers, we stopped at Pirate's Cove for mini-golf. I had a slight buzz from the beer at dinner and played terribly.

I've been to Daytona Beach three times in the last four years and every time I take a picture of this sign:

The second time I took this exact same picture, I didn't realize I had taken the first one two years prior. I posted the second one on social media with the caption, "I don't think that's really rum." Two days later, the Timehop app showed me that I posted the first picture two years prior with the exact same caption!

So, now's it a tradition. Also, I don't think that's really rum.

This year, I also noticed this sign at the entrance of the course:

What's with the mixed signals, Pirate's Cove?

I went back to my room around 9pm and sat on the balcony, which is where I am as I write right now. The breeze off the ocean is strong and somewhat coolish. I'm tempted to go for a walk. I see people in the pool, but no one around the cabana bar, which is a shame because I'd love to hang out at the cabana bar. But, I'd feel weird going alone... then again, if there were people there, I'd talk myself out of going, anyway...