Beach Weekend Revisiting College Town!

Here is an end to all the wishy washy fluffy bits on personal growth and back into the beautiful photos.  I needed to get away.  I was not writing, no yoga, no photography.  For whatever reason I was in a slump.  However, for Cinco de Mayo I went to the beach with my friend S and her friend C. I went to college in Melbourne and revisited a few places and just enjoyed resetting my clock on the beach.

Last Saturday I left for Melbourne, Florida at a not so early in the morning hour.  I was very nervous because the hotel I had booked was a mom and pop hotel that did not have a lot of information on it.  Plus it was more expensive than I was used to.  I usually can get a nice hotel on Priceline for cheap.  This hotel was not very expensive ($134 after taxes) but was not cheap as I am used to.  It also looked a little old.  But, after being told my five or six other hotels there was NO availability I was a little desperate.  I eventually asked one of the full up motels what was going on.  Apparently there was a country music festival with Alan Jackson.  The lady said Alan Jackson’s name like a teenager girl might say Justin Bieber’s name.

So Ocean Front Paradise Resort it was.  They are actually older one bedroom apartments.  It looked very odd from a street view because on each side were 5-6 story motels or condos.  It was made up of about 8 or 10 one story units total with a main house that the owners lived in.  The woman who owned it is a bit strict about not having any guests other than those registered on the property (cannot invite people to the beach who are not paying customers) and to not open your windows at all.  I actually appreciated the empty beach the most, not a lot of noise or litter and I understand they do not want the humid salty air ruining the apartments.

When you arrive (and check in time is flexible, I showed up at 2) and get checked in there are two side walks, one in front of the two rows of apartments.  We got the unit right next to the beach on the right.  I have no idea what number it is, but ask for it.  The windows overlooked the dunes and it was beautiful. And this might be the most amazing part, instead of having concrete built up to the boardwalk, there was actually a grassy lawn that overlooked the dunes and beach and lots of available chairs and loungers.  There was even a kayak to borrow (we didn’t).

The apartments are fully stocked with silverware and plates and kitchen ware.  The mini fridge did not seem to get things too cold, but that could have been a setting.  I did not pay too much attention since the first thing I did was go sit on the beach.  When I got to warm I got up and splashed around in the surf.  I have not been to the beach in years, it’s a pity, I used to live so close and the expense of gas to get there seems somewhat prohibitive, but I need to balance out costs and benefits.  There was a huge benefit of going. However, after trying to figure out why my sunscreen would not absorb I looked at the bottle and realized it was two years expired.  Oops.

So, I decided I would walk down to the surf shops about three-quarters of a mile away and get sunscreen.  It was a wonderful walk.  I tried to be conservative taking pictures because I only had one fully charged and one partially charged battery.  All the moving around finally caught up with me, I left the charger and 2 spare batteries at the apartment I house sat for the week before which I could not get back until the next week.  I did still get a lot of awesome pictures.

When I walked up to the Indialantic (get it, get it no really it is a town) surf shops I found some sunscreen and a really cute skirt and Coldstone coconut ice cream with almond joy in it.  Then I sat on the beach and sat on the beach some more.  When my friends called me to come get dinner I might have blown them off and sat some more. I was hoping to snap some of the moon rise, but it did not work out, hunger won.

We ate at a little restaurant in historic downtown Melbourne  called Island Pasta Company where I had the seafood coconut curry – yum).  The Mahi and shrimp were perfect and I love coconut curry.  In fact, I have been on a never-ending coconut kick lately.  I love sitting outside at this restaurant because it has a cute out-door corridor with nice lighting and ambiance and a sort of European cafe feel only with Island music.

After a nice night revisiting downtown Melbourne and seeing all the craziness in the clubs down there for Cinco de Mayo (and did not participate), we headed back to the hotel.  When S asked what I did all day other than sit on beach I gave a look that conveyed all I was feeling, “why would I need to do anything else?”  S and C pretty much collapsed onto the pull out couch while I stayed out in a beach chair for most of the night.  After brushing off the third roach (or maybe it was the same roach) from my hair I decided I should get some sleep in the softy comfy bed with springs in it.  You have no idea how much I miss a spring bed.  Sigh…

S and I got up to watch the sunrise and it was amazing.  Dolphins jumping and all.  We went to Blue Berry Muffin Restaurant which happened to be across the road, where we all ate too much and enjoyed some really good muffins.  I had the Chocolate Chip instead of Blueberry but they were both made of a corn muffin base that was so crispy on top but without so much sugar.  It was awesome.  I had corned beef hash which was just ok.  I make much, much better.

Then we all went and cleared out the apartment and laid on the beach while the lady cleaned the apartment for her next guest.  Checkout was a non negotiable 11 AM.  That was okay as by 12 we were already sunburned and dehydrated and C had to leave to go to work.  S and I stayed and walked around downtown Melbourne, I took her to Holmes Park and Promenade Park which are on Cranes Creek near where it meets the intercoastal water way.  S had not seen manatees before.  There were no manatees but there were lots of jumping fish and even another dolphin.

Then we went and windowed shopped and ate lunch at Meg O’Malley’s Irish Pub.  I love this place because it has the best corned beef sandwich I have ever had.  Even better than mine. They use real corned beef roast.  It is amazing.  After being sufficiently stuffed we walked back toward the car and stopped in a new agey sort of store.  S bought a new peacock stone and I bought a fuschite and a couple aquamarines to make a necklace out of.  I am not sure if I believe in crystal power, but I like my stones.

On our way back to the express way we got some frozen yogurt and I tried to stay awake for the drive back.  I was very happy for a bed and shower that night back into the house sitting gig.  I made sure I charged all my camera batteries and put them back in the case.

So here are the pictures (click on the link to see all of them):

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New Purchases for Trip

I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff and getting a few things here and there for the trip so I can break them in before I go.  My first purchase was a pair of Merrell sandals and my second and third were a couple pair of cargo pants from old navy, which I will probably only bring one with me, I just need pants for work because I ripped my last pair of pants last week.  The one pair is dressy enough to be business casual so I can wear it to work.  The other is not as nice but much more durable feeling.  It is great for walking on the trail with my dog.

However, I bought a pair of pants I really love at Columbia Sportswear Outlet at Premium Outlets Orlando (the ones near Disney World).  They line is called Omni-Shield Blood and Guts and I was actually looking for a shirt, which I also bought.  After Ni and I laughed a bit at this, I had to look up why they are called Blood and Guts.  It does make sense for me to wear something stain resistant and that releases stains easily because I tend to get dirty sitting on a bench twiddling my thumbs.  I am not sure how it happens, but stains find me.  This line is actually a fishing line of clothes, makes sense for cleaning all those fish or messing around with the bait.

I really like these because they are roomier (yes a little baggier not as “cute”) so that when I am trying to lift my leg climbing up steps, or hopefully boulders and rocks in my future, there is enough give that I am not worried about tearing something.  I could have gotten away with a size smaller, but I like them at this size.  Also because it is looser they are much cooler.  It is only in the upper 70s and low 80s here and it is already a nice relief to have breathable pants.  They are also super light weight and plenty long and will pack nicely.  The pants are convertible and have a nice length.  They are not too long and not hot pants short, hard to find in women’s shorts sometimes.  The legs zip on and off easily and there are two normal pockets in the front of the pants that are mesh and one zip pocket on the left leg about mid thigh and one button clasp pocket on the other side.  I really like the position of the pockets because they are not too low and they are a bit lower than normal pockets so they are not pulled as snug when I am squatting down or sitting. I bought the like khaki color.

The shirt is also super light weight, which I was particularly looking for so that when I go to India I have a cool light weight shirt that has long sleeves.  Don’t want to be that trampy girl with the short sleeves.  Also, long sleeves are required at some of the Ashrams I want to stay at.  The sleeves roll up and have a clasp that clasps just above the elbows for a shorter look.  The back has a mesh ventilation panel.  It is dual tone and I bought the orange and grey version which is not on the website in women’s sizes.  If they had the turquoise I would have bought it, but the outlet store only had orange and white in long sleeve.  I was so happy to find this line runs a little bigger because I have a need for wider shoulders and a bigger bust.  However the reviews for the shirt are very unhappy about this because people buying size xs were swimming in it.  Take from that what you want.  My favorite part, out of pure humor, is that there is horizontal zippered pocket right over each breast.  It am not sure what I am supposed to put there, but at least I will know if someone tries to steal anything out of it ;-).

I have only wore then for two days.  I will let you know if my view changes.  If I lose much more weight I might need to get a size smaller on the pants.  I would never fit in a size smaller on the shirt because of my shoulders. The outlet mall is cheaper than I think every link I checked online also.

The only big things left are a pair of hiking shoes, if I buy them now, I might just bring my running shoes and get buy with those until I need a pair of hiking boots and can get more opinions from people, and a pack.

Things I would like but I am waiting on garage sale $s to come back because they are not necessary:

  • Wifi Memory card
  • Tablet or book reader (I am thinking nook tablet with an SD card that can boot full Android though with ICS coming out maybe I should wait)
  • A new computer (I probably will not right now but maybe instead of a tablet or reader especially if I could get one of the ultrabooks).
  • A new unlocked phone (which is getting closer and closer to the necessity list)
  • New DSLR camera.  I still shoot with a point and shoot.  I am not sure I want to travel with tons of stuff for the camera though.I have even thought I might want to get a smaller point and shoot. I saw someone with a nice small point and shoot Olympus that also had detachable lenses the other day though…

Any other thoughts on what I should pack?

–Edit to Fix Link–