Daytona Beach Sept 2016 Part 1

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. It was 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. It was sunny and blue.

My grandpa took us to his favorite restaurant, Alfie's.

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...