Hot Cocoa Beach

I know you’re just dying to hear about the new cushions I’m making for the rattan dining set , but you’ll just have to wait…because after almost two weeks, they’re still only half done! Work and life has been a bit tough lately, so I grabbed a great friend and took off on a spontaneous road trip to explore Florida. St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville were all in the running but after some debating and a final ‘pick a number between 1 and 10’ game, the little surfing town of Cocoa Beach won out. No plans, no hotel (that’s what “spontaneous” means, correct?), no navigation – didn’t even bring up the GPS until I got to Orlando! We’d always been told it’s a 3-hour trip across the state, but it actually only took 2 hours and as we approached we could see the gigantic cruise ships at the docks waiting to launch. Not for me, but still neat to see.

It was supposed to rain non-stop that weekend, but heck, it’s been doing that for the past month anyway – so what if we’re in a different place while it monsoons? First, we went straight to the flagship Ron Jon Surf Shop – yep, the same one plastered all over at least half of the billboards all up and down the interstate highway system. Not as large as IKEA, but almost, and definitely “One of a Kind”.

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After buying myself just the right surf t-shirt, tropical flower skirt, and beach flip-flops – I was starving. We asked several people where the best tiki hut to chill and dine was, and were told (of course) the Ron Jon surf cafe, and the Sandbar Sports Grill.  Not wanting a chain, we chose the Sandbar. It end up being just the right beach vibe with some pretty awesome a) fish and chips (made with planko bread crumbs instead of heavy beer batter) b) seafood stew in bread bowl, c) guacamole (nom, nom, nom), and (wait for it…) d) “Floridarita”! Coconut tequila, orange juice, and I don’t remember what else except that it was delish!!

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After sitting awhile and observing the environment, we walked down the beach to the pier and watched some peeps trying to surf.

Soon it was getting closer to twilight, so it was time to find a hotel and got settled. Found out it’s twice as expensive to get a Starbucks in the Marriott cafe as it is in the outside world…but we got our afternoon jolt-a-caffeine down by the pool anyway. Hmmm, what do we do now?  We chose to drive across the bridge and take a nice little stroll at the Historic Cocoa downtown area with park/marina on the river. Did you know there are probably six ice cream/candy stores within a stones rock throw? You do now, and that alone is reason to make the trip! Downtown also contains what looked to be a hopping stage theatre – might check it out next time.

Next day — it was time to hit the beach!!! After dodging a few dark clouds and wondering whether to leave, I decided to stay and proved you’re never too old to boogie board in mediocre waves – had a blast! Said hello to the sand turtle crossing the boardwalk on the way out… Just what I needed for a relaxing weekend exploring my sunny Florida 🙂

boogie boarding    Why did the sand turtle cross the boardwalk?