Florida 2019 – Day 11 – Sun, Sand and Sunburn

Another slow start yesterday.

I was up early after a poor nights sleep. Jane’s not been feeling too well (sore throat) so was tossing and turning. But for me, it wasn’t just that. The pillows are a lumpy nightmare, the aircon is noisy, the bog door squeals like a stuck pig on opening, and the 1” gap at the bottom of the room door means light and sound get in the room. All not great for a sensitive sleeper like me.

To be honest, I can’t say I’m overly impressed with the hotel. Location is fabulous, but disappointingly, our room just feels ‘tired’. Not helped that our room is on the ground floor either, which Charlie doesn’t like. It’s not spoiling anything, but just isn’t the ‘grand hurrah’ I was expecting.

At around 7am, I left the room and took a walk out past the nice pool area, and onto the private beach. It’s quite a way to the shoreline across what’s know as sugar sand. It’s snow white and super-fine. It was pretty much deserted, so I had a nice, relaxed walk and then finished up yesterday’s blog, sat on a sunbed.

Charlie wasn’t for getting up, and isn’t great at breakfast person anyway, so when I got back, Jane and I went and had a decent breakfast in the hotel. Not a bad price either.

We’d decided to go across the bridge to the north beach and Pier 60, park up and meet up with the F’s, before working out what to do for the rest of the day.

We parked up, and meandered down the beachfront road, past Hulk Hogan, before cutting through a gap of hotels and got on the beach. The sand here is even finer than at the back of our hotel.

A quick stroll along the pier to look at all the “tat stalls”, and then a meet up with the F’s.

The lads all wanted to muck about in the sea, so after them changing into their swim shorts behind a towel, to much amusement and winding up, they hit the surf, whilst Mrs F and Jane sat on the beach.

Having not brought beach gear from the cars, and finding out we’d parked at opposite ends of the beach, Mr F and I volunteered to go back to their car, drive up to where we parked, and then bring both beach bags back. Via a pint, “obvs”!

We picked up a selection of cold drinks for the rest of the party, and then went back with the haul.

Now as it turns out, I don’t like sand and I don’t like sunbathing, so I went and had a kip under the pier in the shade, whilst the rest chilled out and fried.

Mid-afternoon and I think they needed a break from the heat, so it was decided we’d get a snack/late lunch at a little cafe just off from the beach. I wasn’t hungry so declined, but the rest ordered toasties, hotdogs or sandwiches. So much for snacks! The portions were huge and with the addition of the sides of fries, coleslaw and other gubbins, it was clear that there want going to be any need for them to have tea.

We had a quick look in Ron Jons Surf Shop, and watched some of the street performers, before heading back to the beach. This time, I left them to it and sat under a tree, in the shade, in a carpark. Each to their own, but it was way too hot for me.

Eventually, they all packed up and headed off the beach. Oh! My! Word! The lads looked burned to a frazzle, Charlie particularly so. Even the Factor 50 had been beaten!

Because of that, he just wanted to go home, so the idea of hanging around to watch the sunset was kyboshed.

Instead, we said our goodbyes, and I took Jane and Charlie back to our hotel. It was around 6:40pm, and sunset was 7:55pm, so I decided to head out on my own, park up, watch the sunset and then get some tea.

It took an age to find a parking spot. Especially so because I have that ability to be at the opposite end of a carpark when a space becomes available and someone else just drives in and takes it.

I managed to park at 7:51 and legged it up on to a high point to take some photos. If you’re not aware, once the sun goes below the horizon, there’s still reason to hang around. At the beginning of civil twilight, just after sunset, and when the sun is around 5-10deg below the horizon, the colors of the sky change most rapidly, and there’s more variation, with the “Blue Hour” creating some really nice light for photography.

As it happens, I didn’t have that luxury, as I’d only parked for two hours, most of one had gone, and I needed some food.

I went to a bar that we’d spotted when walking to Mr Fs car. The BadFins taproom is well worth a visit. It has the reputation as having the best ‘beach food’, and a great selection of mainly local craft ale.

The reputation is well deserved. I had their “fish and chips” which were actually three large goujons of mahi-mahi fish in a really light tempura batter, served with crinkle- cut potato slices, that were dry fried. Spot on. I went with a local “Floridian Hefeweizen” to match my tea. You can go posh with this craft ale, and food pair, you know!

I headed back and drive to male and a half back over the bridge to the South Beach and our hotel. On my return Jane & Charlie were still up, and I got to see Charlie in all of his sun-radiant glory. Turns out he’s not put sunblock on his face. Think Gerry The Berry, if you know your “Phoenix Nights” episodes.

Oh, and I fixed the squeaky toilet door by ‘oiling it’ with suncream. Sorted!

That’ll do for Day 11. See you tomorrow, when we think we’ll head off to Honeymoon Island.

Tata for now.

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