We’re on a week-long RV trip in Florida while we have a home exchange guest, Germán, staying in our house in the Keys. We stayed in Germán’s house in Bariloche, Argentina, during our recent trip to Patagonia.
Our ultimate destination is Gainesville to visit the kids, but we’ve also decided to make a vacation out of the drive, stopping at sites we normally don’t frequent.
Our first stop was overnight, Monday, a mere 10 miles from home at John Pennekamp State Park, where we kayaked around the mangroves before moving on north the next day.
Day two took us to the Seminole Indian Reservation in Hollywood where we parking lot camped at the Hard Rock Casino & Resort and saw my favorite comedienne, Kathleen Madigan, in concert.
We dropped a couple dollars in the one-armed bandits, but managed to get it all back (plus $10) at the 100% automated roulette wheel before calling it a night.
It was raining on Wednesday, but there was a lull in the weather at Sebastian Inlet where we had intended to spend our third night, so we stopped to walk the beach,…
…and admire the pelicans flying in tight formation above the breakers.
Since it looked like we were in for a full day of rain, we decided to continue north to Ormond Beach where we stayed directly on the ocean at the Coral Sands Oceanfront RV Resort (it’s called a “resort” because it’s owned and operated by the adjacent hotel, but it’s really just sand parking spaces on the beach). Here’s the view out the front window of the RV from our campsite:
We only had a few hours’ reprieve from the rain on Thursday, so we went for a walk along the hard-packed sand beach. Just south of Ormond Beach is Daytona Beach where you can drive on the sand at low tide. When the rain resumed, we decided to head down there to see the boardwalk. Unfortunately, we arrived at high tide so we couldn’t drive on the beach.
The Daytona Beach Boardwalk has dramatically changed from how I remembered it as a kid, visiting on a family vacation. Most of the old carnival game booths and rides have been demolished and replaced by new resort hotels and the boardwalk itself has been rebuilt and modernized.
But the pier is still there:
We saw a couple surfers near the end of the pier and a couple were using SUPs, stand-up paddleboards, so we walked out in the rain to the end of the pier to watch.
But the real spectacle was a crazy longboard surfer who took off on a wave directly in front of the pier!
He wiped out right after I took the photo, above, and was carried under the pier and into the pier pilings where his leash nearly got tangled around one of the pilings when his board went on one side while he went around the other side.
We were genuinely concerned as we strained to see him between the planks of the pier and I honestly don’t know how he managed to get out from under there without drowning, but I’m glad he did. I wouldn’t have wanted to have jumped in to help him, but there wasn’t anybody else out there to do so if he had needed it. And I was contemplating the dive when the ocean spat him out a little ways down the pier.
We saw him sitting on the beach as we left the pier, dazed, confused and a little scratched up from the barnacles on the pier pilings. Next time, go backside, buddy, that’s where the open water was.