With the cruise behind us, (well the first day here is disembarkation day) we are now at Daytona Beach. A quieter week, planned that way after the cruise. I knew I would have time or internet on the ship. That meant I needed a couple days to work on the pictures and the web site.
Our condo in Daytona Beach, while not as nice as the ship, in fact it is below expectations, is right on the beach. Instead of sunset shots, I got a few sunrise pictures. Then we watched the day on the beach unfold in front of us.
First off, to our surprise, they allow cars on the beach. And they came. And they kept coming. By mid afternoon I thought we were at a Walmart parking lot. Except of course for the bikinis (x- rated, not for this family web site), the people swimming, surfing and playing games in the sand. Kind of cool to watch this as i worked on the cruise pictures.
When the sun started to go down, it was like rats leaving a sinking ship. It was almost a traffic jam getting all the cars off the beach.
Second day at Daytona Beach...second day working. Hopefully we will get out a bit tomorrow. So, just five pics around the resort today.
I didn't realize that they charge $20.00 a day to drive those cars on the beach. The annual pass for Florida residents however is only $25.00. I guess I am not wasting twenty bucks to drive on the beach. A walk will do.
Well, we finally got out and about a bit today. First it was a trip to the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse. Built in 1887, it is 175 feet high with 213 steps to the top and has been lovingly restored to working condition. Of course I had to climb that! There are also several restored buildings and a display of lights. Very interesting.
Next a brief walk on the famous Daytona Beach, then off to downtown and the "Boardwalk". A tad underwhelming but nice nonetheless. This is the beach where they held NASCAR races and motorcycle races right on the beach until 1958!
After dark I decided to go back to the lighthouse and get some night shots. I drove there and realized I didn't have the tripod mount so these are handheld. Interestingly, the constellation Orion can be seen in one of the shots.
A fairly quiet day so after a short walk on the beach and few shots of some interesting gulls (Black Skimmer), we went off to the Ocala National Forest for a short hike. Not much seen there so a couple stops in some small towns on the way home and a lovely sunset.
Our last full day in Florida. Tomorrow we are off to South Carolina.
We had a good day. We drove along the coast to St. Augustine which is a beautiful place.
We saw "Bing's Landing" (park and boat launch at an historic site), several Osprey (one with lunch), I climbed the St. Augustine Lighthouse, we had a great lunch on the water at Vilano Beach and then watched beautiful sunset.
So long, Florida. First a couple shots of a beautiful sunrise over the beach. After 5 weeks we are off to Hilton Head, South Carolina. Not a long drive, about 5 hours so a stop at Jekyll Island, Georgia.
I had never heard of Jekyll Island until yesterday when I did some research for the journey. In a word...WOW! First there is a beach called Driftwood Beach. Hundreds of trees that have been there for a very long time (hundreds if not thousands of years), on the beach. Yup, some wow factor there. Then we came across the Jekyll Island Club. , established in 1887. Simply beautiful. Imagine our surprise when we pull up and people are playing croquet on the front lawn. Not only are they playing, they are dressed in the white pants, shirts and hats. I swear it looked like 1895. Some of the "cottages" lining the road were built by industrial giants such as Frank Henry Goodyear (rubber) and Richard Teller Crane Jr. (plumbing fixtures) in the early 1900's. The island is well treed with Palm trees and magnificent Live Oaks covered with Spanish Moss. Stunning!