Saturday, May 9, 2015

Florida or BUST Part 2; Daytona Beach


March 21, 2015
Daytona, Florida

After driving for hours we finally made it to our first destination. Daytona Florida. This seems to be the stop for us, as this was the second time we have stopped here the day before heading to Orlando. Our last Florida road trip was in 2008, when all six of us made our way to Disney. Daytona was our resting point on that trip as well.
Last trip we had no crowds pick of hotels, laid back, cheep prices...this trip (SMACK DAB in the MIDDLE of SPRING BREAK, a cheer leading competition and the ending of bike week) was slightly different...CROWDS, HEIGHTEN PRICES and TONS of activities EVERYWHERE. We got one of the last hotel rooms at our place and they wouldn't honer the coupon...(hotel was on the beach...but the place was NOT worth the increased PRICE.)
After getting to the beach( traffic was awful) and to our hotel after the many many many miles of travel all we wanted to do was flop down somewhere...anywhere...

 We were stuck in traffic trying to get to the ocean and our hotel, I caught some pictures on the way...is there anything about these statues that could raise a Politically correct person to raise an eyebrow?

 Above is a glimpse of the Beautiful bridge crossing the bay...(Sorry I missed the mural of the turtle, but these ocean animal scenes were all along the bridge and beautiful,)
 Gavin took a picture of the Krispy Kreams...they don't have the same popularity up North (The one that did open in Syracuse failed miserably several years ago) but he had heard of them. He tried one and nope,....still not a winner for this family.

 While at the worlds most famous beach...we of course had to see it for ourselves...





It was a little bit to cold for me..but Gavin ventured out into the waves, and Mark eventually went out with him.





 It was a bit overcast and somewhat breezy, but there were several people on the beach enjoying the day. I love jumping the waves as these to did. Maybe next time when it is warmer...even the hot tub back at the hotel wasn't WARM enough for me that afternoon,..The boys loved it though and it was hard to think that just yesterday we had been standing in several feet of snow....


 Daytona Beach is one of the few beaches you can drive on, (once it was where the race cars ran). The cars and their MUSIC (I think it was music, but all I ever heard was bass and my head bouncing) were incredible. Here is the only one I caught on the beach, but the cars on the roads were detailed to the tops with colors, polished metal, speakers, and big tires...

 All along the beach were locations to eat, play and relax.
After a day of fun in the sun, we headed out for a nice meal at a restaurant on the beach.
We found Racers North End was a nice place to enjoy a meal, It was on the beach, there was a live musician (although he ended his first set just as we sat down and returned just as we were leaving), the food was pretty good, and there was an auto museum inside.



 mark started with Clam Chowder,..I really have to start enjoying fish if I am going to be at beach front eateries.
 Boneless chicken wings, celery and fries....

After dinner we meet up with my Uncle Dean, he lives in the next town over. I haven't seen him since I was a few years older then this guy pictured below. It was nice to meet up with him, catch up on many many many years and he took us to the famous Daytona Boardwalk.
 Crossing the street...
Getting a view of the cheer leading competition from up top of the outdoor mall.
 and ALL the people...




 Walking down the boardwalk..
Like most boardwalks, there is the ocean on one side and the shops, arcades, rides and eateries on the other. Gavin sits of the toilet seat of this silly arcade game. 
 Up next was a few rides. Gavin took his turn at the go carts

 of course there is salt water taffy,,


 above is my uncle Dean, myself (looking not so slim..I wish I could say I was retaining water..but probably not the case) and Mark on the boardwalk. below is on the beach looking towards the boardwalk.
What a great day and evening we all had. It was great to spend time with a family member I haven't seen in years, We made plans to meet up for breakfast at...you guessed it a Waffle House in Daytona the following morning before heading to Orlando. The following morning Gavin and I waited in the dark for the sun to rise. (I so wanted to get a picture of the sun coming up from the water. It never happened. Just like turning on a light switch it went from dark to light...I blame the overcast rainy sky.)
 Above..its Dark out and then it was LIGHT and we were leaving Daytona Beach...





 My uncle found pictures of the last time we saw each other..and a few he had from when I was little. We both look very different.

 Saying goodbye to the Waffle House and my uncle...until next time.
Then we were back on the road...heading to Orlando.