Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ormond Beach - New Year's Eve


Ormond Beach

 (needs photos) can't get photo thing to work

December 30, 2012 January 5, 2012

Sunday we took a walk on the beach and went to grocery store. In the evening went to movies to see Django. Looked around the beach area downtown and they have a neat open air band shell and they had an ice skating rink -- temporarily up during the holidays.  That was cool right on beach boardwalk area.  People were having so much fun ice skating.  I like palm trees and ice skating.

 

New Year's Eve.........yeah. We were invited to a couch surfer's house (Dawn and Al, and three of their friends) for turkey dinner at 5:00 p.m. and around 10:30 p.m. we all headed downtown for Daytona Beach Street Party. Live music, food/drink vendors, ball drop at midnight and fireworks over the ocean. We had such a great evening and a New Year's Eve like we haven't done for a long time. It was nice to party. Robert called to wish us a Happy New Years.

 

Rest of the week was pretty calm, some beach walking, some rainy days. We did rent two movies and we enjoyed: Men in Black 3 and Hope Springs. They were both good.

Tuesday had a few drinks, walked on the beach, hot tub, and we just had fun being stupid. Had Mexican food at a place called Peppers and they had the best Mexican rice I have ever had. I just could not believe how good it was.

It rained Wednesday, so  trip to Walmart to pick up some stuff.  

Thursday, a little rain.  Took a free tour of the chocolate factory, Angell & Phelps.  They had some good stuff, chocolate potato chips and also bacon.  We got samples.  Fun seeing them make choc. covered cherries.

 

Friday, packed up luggage and got stuff into car. Went to dinner at Greek Restaurant and had gyros. John had Greek lemon chicken soup and we both thought it was awful. To me it tasted like a nursing home smells. Weird stuff.

Saturday, checked out, stopped for breakfast. Made a detour to Deland and looked at their historic district which consisted of Stetson University, founded 1883, which is the oldest college in Florida.  Found a used book store where we were able to get credit for some books we gave them and John replenished his Clancy books. Got to Kissimmee and checked in. 

We went to Old Town to see the Saturday night cruise. This is the old cars and they had over 150 of them. There were some real nice ones there. I didn't like looking at cars at night because I couldn't see the true color or details, but it was fun. They also had a little band on stage that played “do wop” music from the 50's and 60's, so that was a trip down memory lane.   Fun evening. 



 
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bahamas End - Titusville and Ormond Beach


Bahamas End -- Titusville and Ormond Beach
 
 12/22/12 - 12/31/12

Spent Saturday packing and getting organized for our departure tomorrow. We did take the shuttle into Port Lucaya for a last delicious gyro. Later we took Curtis and Shelby out for Italian dinner at Giovanni's. While there and since it was our last night decided to try conch again. I ordered a conch fritter appetizer. We all shared it and again and for the last time I realized I do not like conch.   I have to face that I do not like Bahamian food.   I've given it a fair chance and some cuisines just aren't for me.  Giovanni's was decorated for Christmas and looked very pretty and festive. We all ordered something different and everyone enjoyed their food.

Shelby and Curtis
Great CS friends
 
Woke up early, checked out and Curtis and Shelby came to pick us up for the airport. It was so nice of them to drive us over. We checked in at 8:30 a.m. and went into the terminal. Delay after delay. We got a dinner voucher of $12 each. We had to use it at the front snack bar. I didn't want to trust the food so I got 4 butter croissants, 2 Fritos and 2 Pepsis and John 5 croissants and 2 Cokes. At least the croissants were delicious (we did not eat them all). Back through security, sat another several hours. By the time we flew to Nassau we had been in the airport for 9 hours.  We were exhausted. 

In Nassau we picked up luggage, went through U.S. Customs  (that was a bit odd) and then went to get shuttle to go to International Terminal. Last trip we had paid $6 to taxi to the other terminal. When we got off the plane a guy was saying Taxi, need a taxi? I asked how much and said last time we had paid $6. He quoted between $6 and $9, and I asked which is it $6 or $9. He decided to be a butt and said $9, so we just left to get free shuttle. This taxi ride is about 4 minutes long just to the next door terminal, but too far to walk with luggage unless you're 21 and have one backpack. Waited and waited for shuttle. Finally a cab driver, Jonathan, came over and said he would take us over for $6. I am so thankful he came over. He was heaven sent. He took us to the terminal and told me to go in because he wasn't sure our plane was going to be there. I went in and the entire International Terminal was empty. Jonathan came in and said, let's go I'm taking you back to domestic. Bahamasair will give you a room, taxi and meal.

So back to Bahamasair domestic, told them our story, and they did give us a room at the Wyndham (a Casino) in Cable Beach that was very nice. They paid for our cab over and back and that was pretty far. We did pay Jonathan for the ride over and back to International and gave him a major tip. I felt he saved us that night and that he was our Guardian Angel sent to us.  Airline gave us each $15 for breakfast and $30 each for dinner. It was late when we arrived, so we ate a $75.00 dinner -- shared a Caesar salad (odd flavors for this salad); John had fried Macaroni & Cheese; and I had grilled pork chops w/french fries. I had to send my chops back for more cooking, fries were very good. I think Bahama cooking is not good and the spin they put on standard recipes is not good.  I did not like one item we ate in the Bahamas except these fries (all others we had were soggy, not crispy) and the Greek gyros I lived on. I think I would starve if I had to eat out in the Bahamas. 
 
Pool at Wyndham Casino Resort, Nassau
Cool water slide

Christmas Eve. I got up at 5:00 a.m. so I could look around the hotel since we arrived at night and I couldn't see anything. It stayed dark outside until about 6:40 and I did manage to get a few pictures so I'd remember Nassau. Our cab driver, Jonathan, picked us up at 7:00 a.m. and took us to the airport. We checked in, looked around, and sat and waited.  We were full of fear when we heard the announcement that our flight was delayed and they would get back to us.  Luckily only one delay and instead of us leaving at our original time of 10:30, we did fly out of Nassau at 11:40, and let me tell you we were happy.

 
On Christmas Eve we literally had 3 hotel rooms paid for. The Wyndham in Nassau paid for by airline. We had our hotel room in Orlando (Super 8 online price $41.00, senior rate) since we were expecting to arrive to pick up car at around 7:30 p.m. and did not want to drive to Titusville that night. Then our week rental in Titusville. Weird how that all worked out.

Arrived at Orlando, called the car storage shuttle and walked down quite a way to wait for it. Got our car and it was so nice to get in it and drive away. Off we headed to Titusville to our room at Vacation Villas. Stopped for lunch and John checks his phone and there is a message from resort. Said they are leaving at 3:00 instead of 4:00. Well we're an hour away and it is 3:50, so John calls them to say we are on our way. No answer so he leaves a message and he never heard back.  Since we're in Orlando we don't see any reason to drive an hour to have the office closed, so we decide to get a room. Go to Super 8, where we had paid last night but not stayed. Now the lady says their rate, best they can do is $99.00. I said I don't think so, we'll go somewhere else. She manages to go down to $79 so we take it. Went to first room, it was moldy smelling so I charged to front desk and asked for our money back and said we're not staying in there. She says try another room and it was much better so we did stay. Got to room, got online to find a Christmas Eve service. Went to a wonderful church for 8:00 p.m. service and then back to room to bed. 
 
Huge Christmas Tree at
Orlando Airport
 
Figured no one would be in office in Villas in Titusville on Christmas, so we got a room at the Wyndham Orlando Resort (same price at Super 8). Had lunch at the most unusual McDonald's huge and had their BBQ pork sandwich. This place is two stories with games and different areas for kids. Very different, but this is Orlando mecca for kids. Finally able at 4:00 to check in to resort. Unpacked a few things and headed to hot tub, steam room and dry sauna. Wanted to take advantage of it all. Met a nice lady, Mimi, at the pool and we visited a bit. We walked around and saw Mimi again by the bar so sat down with her and her husband, Mark, for Happy Hour.   Fun visiting with them and hope to see them again when we get over to their side of Florida.
Named the most unique
McDonald's in the world
 
Checked out early since John had a doctor's appointment. We had to get his defibrillator battery checked. I wanted John to go "home" for doctor but he said no. I did research on the internet and found a highly rated doctor who specializes in defibrillators. What a nice staff and doctor.. The internet sure does help in life and I'm so thankful for it. Battery does not need replacing and John has appt. to come back in two months to check it as it is getting close. Dr. did talk to John about his medication. Said one Rx he is taking could turn him blue if he gets too much sun. We have been in the sun a lot and are tan from the Bahamas. I will get him to put on sun block 50.  He thinks it would be cool to be blue. That's John!!!!

Drove to Titusville and found Vacation Villas. Yuck, I can't believe this place is on RCI as a resort. We knew it wasn't the best place, but it is just not what I expected. It is like 1970. It is not dirty it just seems creepy to me. John thinks it is fine and roomy, but I'm creeped out. If it wasn't paid for, I'd be gone. I guess I can tough it out. With the travel/Christmas problems our 7 nights turned into only 3 nights of staying here so I will have to handle it. I will not cook or eat or even drink here.

Thursday we drove out to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is a world famous spot for birders. Stopped at the Visitor's Center and then took our picnic lunch and headed out to the beach. Long nice beach, lots of people fishing. Drove to an area to try to see Manatees, but we had no luck.  We have to track some down.  They are so neat and we've got to see them.
 
Turkey Vultures
These birds are everywhere and can cause big
problems.  They will tear rubber trim off cars
in the Florida Everglades.
 
Friday, off to pick up our mail in Cocoa Beach. The mail store in Boise messed up our mail and sent it to the wrong town -- a resort we'd been to about 6 weeks ago, not happy. Just drove around and went to Walmart to pick up a few things and went to a few local parks. Watched some type of water bird dive down to get fish. He stayed under the water for so long and came up so far from where he drove down.  Fun to watch.
 
Saturday we were happy to get out of the place we were in and Titusville in general. Drove to Ormond Beach and had a nice breakfast along the way. Found our hotel. Can't check in until 3:00 so we drove around, went to the beach and picked up some shells.  Looking forward to the New Year.  We have been so blessed and we are thankful.