Friday, November 3, 2017

Back to the Beach

It wasn't until almost 10:30 am this morning that I first opened my eyes. Through the blinds on the balcony windows it appeared from the dim light that the sky was grey.  I got up and squinted through the centre crack of the blinds. Yes, clouds.  Grey.  That helped.  I hate waking up late in the morning.  In defence we had both been up at 2:30 am sipping coffee and poring over our computers.  I had gone back to bed shorty before 5:00 am. Clearly I needed the rest.  It seems my bicycling is taking more out of me than I imagined.

My morning initiative gathered speed when I recalled that a parcel from Macy's might arrive today. Last week I had ordered a stainless steel pocket watch and I was anxious to see whether it met my expectations.

A quick review of the "Track Shipment" button on the latest email from Macy's told me that the parcel had been delivered mere moments earlier. I hopped into the shower and set things in motion. As soon as I had dressed in my cycling togs I went to the lobby.  There were a pile of boxes on the floor next to the bank of letter boxes.  One of the parcels was mine. Back at the apartment I unwrapped the package then inspected the contents. Everything was in order. Though I regretted the evaporation of my anticipation it was settling to get the item and to confirm it operated properly. Another bauble to add to my collection of favourite things and a memento of my time here.

I had a hearty appetite for breakfast, not surprising given how long it had been since I last ate.  My repast was as usual fruit and protein lubricated by a cup of strong black coffee.  By the time I finished eating the weather was beginning to change for the better.  The grey skies turned to clouds which in turn gave way to a dome of blue.

There was a strong wind from the north again today.  As a result a directed my bike northward with the afternoon sun at my back. Though I wasn't certain I'd have the strength to complete the full tour to the Daytona Pier I just kept pedalling along.  From time to time I stopped to rest or to take a photo. My endurance amazed me though naturally on a day such as this one wouldn't prefer to be elsewhere.

Once again the weather was ideal!  Oddly there were few people on the beach. I speculated that they were dissuaded by the grey skies earlier in the day.  When I eventually made it to Daytona Beach the crowds had thickened somewhat.

Meanwhile I plodded along.  Occasionally I exerted myself in an attempt to cover a portion of the distance in record time.  At last the sight of the Daytona Pier came into view.

Repeating this routine did not disappointment me.  It was a trifling undertaking by any standard but an enviable one to my thinking.  Spending time in the open air by the Ocean on a warm and sunny day is not something to deprecate. And as moderate as the exercise was, it was still exercise. When I think of the many routines to which I have been a slave throughout my life this one is hardly the worst.

At last I came to the Daytona Pier, the boundary of my journey.  There were fewer people lingering about the pier today than there had been yesterday.  I am guessing that if I return tomorrow I will discover an increase in the population - tomorrow is Saturday and the weather is supposed to be warm and bright.

The Daytona Pier is a massive structure.  From a distance it reminds me of the animated image of a Brighton Pier in England used in the movie "The Snowman" for which the song "Walking in the Air" is famous.  I consider it terribly significant to have the fortune of no less than two piers here within several miles of one another.  There is an undeniable allure to piers.

"Walking in the Air" is a song written by Howard Blake for the 1982 animated film of Raymond Briggs' 1978 children's book The Snowman. The song forms the centrepiece of The Snowman, which has become a seasonal favorite on British and Finnish television. The story relates the fleeting adventures of a young boy and a snowman who has come to life.

We're walking in the air
We're floating in the moonlit sky
The people far below are sleeping as we fly
I'm holding very tight
I'm riding in the midnight blue
I'm finding I can fly so high above with you
Far across the world
The villages go by like trees
The rivers and the hills
The forests and the streams

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