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World's Most Famous Beach

Some couples, celebrating four decades of married life, take to the skies, heading to far away places; not so Mr. and Mrs. Peck.

Nope, we drove over to the "world's most famous beach" for a night at the Hilton.
Nancy, during her stay with us, came back raving about Daytona, following her weekend visit with some old friends who have a condo on the beach. Because we had no other plans, we decided to give it a try.

Getting up early Saturday morning, Bruce finished up a work related project, packed the cooler with some of the fried chicken and fruit and off we went. Gloomy skies greeted us upon our arrival around 9. The link above gives you a little history if you are interested in finding out exhaustive details about the area, however, if you have little time, I'll tell you in a nutshell, Daytona became famous for car racing on the hard packed sandy beaches, beginning in 1911.

That hard sand is what still allows people to drive right onto the beach and park their car, which if you've never done so, I highly recommend it. Bruce is easily burnt, and in fact doesn't really like the beach that much, but as we all know, he will do most anything for me. I'm one lucky gal! Anyway, we set up camp, watching the sky grow darker by the minute.
Mr. Bruce is enjoying some fried chicken as a mid-morning snack. The storm clouds were really something, leaving the tiniest sliver of light just above the water. Moving out to sea, it left the most lovely color of blue sky in it's wake.
I went down to the food truck for ice cream sandwiches for another morning treat. Very uncharacteristic for me, but what the heck, it was a holiday! The water was chilly with very small waves, similar to our day at Jetty Park a few weeks ago with Matt and Tom. So, with the sky looking the way it did, some people, including Bruce, assume you cannot get a sunburn. WRONG! You can, and he did, more so though when the sun eventually came out.

All that hard packed sand looks sturdy indeed, however, later in the day when more people arrived, there were vehicles all around us getting stuck in the sand as they parked. Although we both had a book, mine largely went unread because, as I told Bruce, why go someplace and not enjoy the life around you, rather than go into another world through a book? Have you had similar feelings?

So, a lady pulls up adjacent to our car in a gigantic truck with matching gigantic wheels. My how those big wheels spin sand when stuck! It took about five men to eventually get her out onto the harder packed sand. Her daughter didn't hang around waiting for the truck to get unstuck, instead she got her adorable bicycle out of the back and took off riding down the beach. When she got back I asked her if I might photograph said adorable bike, and she happily agreed.
Isn't it cute? I love those turquoise wheels! Plus, there are polka dots on the seat!! What's not to like?

We took a walk down to the pier, watching all the activity, including this woman who is throwing caution to the wind using all her gadgets out on the sand.
Then too, throughout the day, a steady stream of cars, what I call low-riders, paraded down the beach. One pulled in very quickly on the other side of our car and you guessed it, got stuck like you would not believe--all the way to the axle. He and his companion took off on foot down the beach, returning with a posse of young men. Try as they might, there was no budging the vehicle. Eventually someone drove up with a four wheel drive SUV, and dragged the car out, nearly pulling off the front bumper in the process.
Eventually we got to wondering if we would be able to get out, but we need not have worried. It was all good.

Our room at the Hilton was lovely, overlooking the boardwalk, pier, and the ocean.
After a little rest, we got dressed and went to a restaurant in the hotel called "Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse" which proved to be a wonderful choice as the food and service were excellent. Mr. Romantic had packed a wonderful bottle of wine for the occasion.
Do not ask me why I did not have the server take our picture--duh! But then, you know what we look like don't you?

Nancy told us there were concerts in the bandshell, as well as fireworks over the ocean on Saturday night, which sounded very appealing. That said, by the time dinner was over, Bruce's sunburn was not feeling so great. Before going back to the room I took this shot of the crowds in front of the Daytona bandshell.
The boardwalk I mentioned? Here it is at night:
The two red towers are for what's called, "the slingshot" ride. How it could be considered fun to get in a cage, be catapulted into the air, far above those towers, while the cage rolls around, is beyond me. I nearly got sick just watching it! Crawling under the covers with the curtains wide open, I fell asleep, only to be woken by Bruce at 9:45 to say the fireworks were beginning. They were really terrific, not cheesy at all.
I am the world's worst fireworks photographer, but that doesn't keep me from trying!

You know what comes next when we visit the beach....I wake early, heading down to the beach for the sunrise. You also might know what happened when I did get down there; my camera lens, fogged up with the humidity, with me wiping, and wiping. The problem is that the room is so cold with the ac running, and the outside air is so warm. When will I ever learn?
The sky was beautiful, beautiful, just before sunrise. I wasn't the only one out there trying to get a photograph:
I am, on the other hand, much too cavalier about it to take a tripod along. I did though, at least have a little something more than my mobile phone like these folks:
Since our last visit to Daytona, maybe five years ago, they have redone the pier and the boardwalk so it is all very nice indeed.
There was no question of Bruce heading back out into the sun, so after a nice breakfast, we headed back to Orlando, but not before I took this daytime shot of the famous clock tower on the "world's most famous beach."
It was going to be a lovely day at the beach, much nicer than the day before, but then again, if it had looked like this, Bruce would have been in real trouble!
Short as it was, the weekend will live on in our memories as a lovely anniversary celebration at the "world's most famous beach."
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