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2022 - October - Florida - Day 2

Well, it's one for the money two for the show Three to get ready now go, cat, go

This morning we were awake at 6.30am meaning I had slept for the best part of 10 hours. Hopefully for me that is the jet lag over with. Karen is still suffering though with disturbed nights as she finds it difficult to find a comfortable position with her arm. Good job she is so stoic with it all.

At breakfast we had a window seat very close to the sea below lapping over what was the car park and pool area. We took our time eating and drinking before heading back to the room before heading out.

Today we decided to head out Southerly in the car. We went initially just to the end of the ‘spit’ of land (if that is the correct term) that Daytona is situated upon. At the very end is the Ponce de Leon lighthouse. It was a nice-looking lighthouse that contained a museum and the chance to climb to the top. Now normally we would be out and up it like a rat up a drainpipe, but Karen was weary about all the steps with her knee and the fact she couldn’t use both arms on the rails to help herself. So instead, we looked at it from the car park and saved ourselves the $7 each senior admission.

Instead we drove back up to the nearest bridge to the mainland and headed further south to New Smyrna Beach passing through some beautiful waterways and some lovely houses. The side of the roads still had piles of carpets and ruined furniture from where the sea had got into some properties. There were also some house where the roofs had collapsed and nothing had yet been done with them.

Despite the lovely countryside the first ‘whoop’ of the day from Karen came when we saw a Starbucks. This was a sign for me to pull into its car park. It was a nice one and we sat for a while at one of the outside tables.

We then drove on to explore New Smyrna Beach which was obviously much more upmarket than Daytona. At a point with beach access, we parked and went and sat on the beach for a while. Karen even had a paddle – it’s marvellous what a caffeine injection can do. We then drove to Flagler Avenue which would have been an acceptable walk in the evening if we had have stayed here as originally planned.

It was then time to go back and have some lunch sitting on our balcony again and very pleasant it was too. Karen was itching to go for a ‘power’ walk on the beach so today we headed North. We walked for 15 minutes, had a small sit down before turning round and heading back. It is difficult to describe how lovely it is to walk on the firm damp sand in the lovely sunshine, with more birds for company than people. We did our usual of trying to work out where we would get to if we swam out to sea and were correct in our assumption of either Lanzarote or Western Sahara.

After Karen had a warm bath to try and help soothe her arm, we set off out again at 4.30pm. I had decided to return the rental car to the Dollar Rental car site at Daytona Airport as since we had picked it up, I had not been happy with the brakes. Today there was a definite judder I could feel through the steering wheel every time I touched the brakes. After googling the possible causes, I decided to be safe rather than sorry. It was a shame as I guessed we would not end up with such a high spec car as this one. I had set it all up with Apple Car Play and apart from the brakes it was very comfortable. I also reasoned it would be quicker to change it over in Daytona than wait in long queues again at Orlando Airport.

Daytona Airport was quite large and very quiet. We parked right outside the terminal and there was no wait at the desk. I explained the problem. They told me I should have called roadside assistance before coming here. I explained the car was still driveable and that I assumed I would be directed to the nearest outlet to do an exchange. I was told that wasn’t the process and they got me to call them from the desk in order to get an incident number so they could log it. I will be writing to them to tell them what is wrong with their stupid process.

Despite the problem being that their car obviously hadn’t been serviced for a while and this was all taking time out of my holiday I was then told I would have to return it full of ‘gas’. I was getting fed up now and should have asked what if the car had actually broken down but instead took the car to refuel just outside the airport. Apparently, they would have charged me $13 per gallon rather than the $3.26 I paid. Again, because that was the process.

Eventually I was given the keys to a Nissan Rogue, which although in the same vehicle class as the Ford Escape was nowhere near as ‘posh’. But at least it felt safer when driven.

On the exit road from the airport was an Outback so we pulled in for our evening meal. Although tasty it wasn’t great. The service was poor, Karen was given a cracked cup for her tea and her Steak was 30% fat. We pointed this out but didn’t even receive an apology. Being typically British we made no more fuss but really should have done. I made a note though and later sent a photo of her steak to their Head Office, but I am not expecting a response as my contact as now left the organisation.

Then we headed to Tanger Outlets. They were deserted. Sadly, though as were all the bargains. For possibly the first time ever we left from outlets with neither of making any purchases. The exchange rate has definitely not helped along with the realism that we have enough clothes etc and are only interested in what we really want/need at a good price.

I also nipped into a Five below store opposite to buy a new wireless phone charge for Karen.

We were back in our room by 8.45pm. Tonight Karen had hit the wall and she was asleep in bed by 9pm. I surfed the internet for about an hour catching up on the news before retiring as well.

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The last day blues. I am not sure how to prevent it. Once I am up, I just want to flick a switch and be home. Time travel is what I need. Sounds like a good idea as well for either a TV series or film

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