Monday, October 16, 2017

Getting the Keys

We were wide awake with gleeful anticipation at 3:30 am this morning.  Our program today was a meeting at 11:00 am with the condominium concierge and the estate agent to complete our introduction to the rental property and to obtain the key fobs and garage door opener. Meanwhile at Jacksonville Beach at the Marriott hotel where we had stayed overnight we were leisurely recovering from a very agreeable experience yesterday at the beach and pool and afterwards while dining on the patio overlooking the sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean.  Fortuitously we had escaped any of the rainy weather which we had understood was initially predicted. Accordingly we were buoyant and not unnecessarily perturbed that there was no water in the hotel when we awoke.  In fact there had been an apologetic notice in the elevator that due to Hurricane Irma damage there would be a water supply interruption from 1:30 - 3:30 am.  But the interruption continued until almost 5:00 am this morning.  At my request the front desk clerk Whitney called our room around five o'clock to advise that the water supply had been reinstated.  We slipped ito gear almost immediately, completing our routine ablutions then loading the car and headed south along the picturesque A1A to our destination on Daytona Beach Shores where we planned to hibernate for the season.

We had intended to breakfast en route at Obi's Fillin' Station in St. Augustine but when we arrived there we saw that it didn't open for business until 8:00 am, about a half-hour hence.  We had no patience to linger.  When not long afterwards we passed through Flager Beach we thought of looking for a spot there to grab a bite but by that time we had already settled on Crabby Joe's on the Sunglow Pier next to our condominium on Daytona Beach Shores.

The drive to Daytona Beach Shores was accomplished in about two hours at the most so we had plenty of time to satisfy our hunger at Crabby Joe's.  It was pretty much an all-protein indulgence for me (bacon, sausage patties, corned beef hash, eggs and cheese). As I always say, the test of a good protein meal is that afterwards I feel I could eat it all over again.  None of that heaviness of carbohydrates!  It was another hot and sunny day, perfect for sitting at the high-stooled wooden tables next to the open windows hearing the surf below and watching the fisherman further along the pier. The occasional small bird flew about the interior of the restaurant looking for handouts.

After breakfast we still had about twenty minutes remaining before our planned meeting with the concierge and estate agent so we sat in the shade on a cement bench seat at a nearby bus stop and relaxed, mesmerized by the heat and dazzling sunshine, chatting about nothing.  Then about five minutes before eleven o'clock we trundled to the condominium and rallied with our hosts who greeted us eagerly in the lobby of the condominium.

We were treated to some rigorous education about the building and the apartment and everything related thereto, including mail, garbage disposal, indoor parking, fitness centre, lounge, pool and luggage carts.  Though it was intense, it lasted only slightly more than an hour.

We then proceeded to unload the car and dump everything in the condominium. Without sorting things we immediately drove to Publix to collect our groceries and household provisions.  While there we succeeded to get our seasonal flu shots.  Luckily for us at the pharmacy we were first in what developed as a line of other old fogeys doing the same thing. There was a charge for us to get this medication but we had been unable to have this done in Canada before our departure.

Though upon returning to the condominium we were inclined to put away the groceries and attend to the storage of all the stuff we had had in the car, we broke free long enough to go for a swim in the pool and the Ocean.

Again today the Ocean was marvellously warm. But very powerful!  There was even a sign planted in the water near the shore cautioning people not to swim between it and the nearby pier for the reason (as I discovered) that the undertow pulled everything towards the pier with amazing strength.  Accordingly I positioned myself some distance beyond the sign.  I was tossed about like a cork! The salt water worked its usual magic upon me. When I returned to the pool at the condominium I lowered myself into the hot tub for several minutes before taking a final refreshing dip in the pool.

We passed our first evening in the condominium in a state of exhaustion.  Fortunately we knew enough to get food provisions which didn't require a great deal of advance preparation. I made up a plate of sliced raw vegetables, smoked salmon and Gouda cheese. This I followed with blackberries and a delicious cream of cashew and coconut milk.

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