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2023 - April - Road trip - Day 6

Updated: May 29

Today the sun had got its hat on and we decided to head out early to play.

That is after we had breakfast in the spotless and empty breakfast room. The food was the usual fayre but very acceptable. The TV was showing the Boston Marathon. Some British guys were in the wheelchair top 10 places as we watched.

It struck me that there didn’t appear to be anyone running in silly costumes as is the custom in London. It might have been that the TV coverage didn’t show them but I am sure that I heard one commentator mention that you had to have a qualifying time in order to be able to enter.

As I get older, I know I get grumpier. One of my pet gripes now is when people say they are entering the marathon just to raise money for charity, or perhaps even jumping out of an aircraft. In my opinion most (not all) are not just doing it for charity. They are doing it because they want to. The raising money is normally the entrance fee charged by the charity. If the person wanted to, they could just pay the money themselves, rather than ask others to contribute towards paying for them to do something they want to do anyhow. Note I don’t blame the charities at all as they need to raise funds by whatever means they can.

I would much rather pay money towards getting someone to do something they really don’t want to do. Where they must conquer real fears or embarrassment. The only reason they consider doing is that it would genuinely raise loads of money for a charity and there is a actual chance that they will not overcome that fear.

For Karen for instance, it would be a parachute jump. The only way she would even maybe just maybe think about doing it for a split second is that it would raise millions for a charity she supports. I think anything less and she would point blank refuse (and probably still would). But for some to run a marathon when they already want to anyway – pay the entrance fee to the charity yourself.

I still admire all those who do run them though and it is a real achievement. I just choose to donate to charities in different ways.

Anyhow we set off in fabulous weather to St Andrews State Park about 11 miles away. The $8 entrance fee per car was reasonable and we parked up near the beach.

The beach itself was stunning. The sand was as white as any I have ever seen and in parts crunched like new snow as you walked over it. When we arrived it wasn’t too busy, apart from some people walking along the shoreline looking for shells that were plentiful. There were notices posted about Sand Dollars and throwing them back if they were still alive.

We found some rocks to sit on and chilled for a while. Then we decided to go for a longish walk with the very cold sea from the Gulf of Mexico lapping over our feet. It was beautiful.

By now we both needed a drink. I had a can of Vanilla Coke Zero in my rucksack but Karen as usual fancied a coffee of some description. We walked to the small shop on site and she got herself a bottle of Dunkin Donuts cold coffee which she drank on some picnic benches in the shade.

Then we went back to a vantage point at the top of the beach and found a conveniently situated bench where we perched for a while. The bench was quite tall and our legs dangled below. I was comfortable for a while until I realised the poor circulation in my right leg meant I had lost all feeling in it and had to stand for a while to try and get the blood flowing again. In doing so I leant over the bench and despite wearing my cap managed to get burnt on the back of my neck in just a few minutes.

We decided to explore more of the large state park and moved the car along into another car park next to the pier that we then walked out on. This was really beautiful as well and had some comfy benches long it to sit upon. The sea had different colour strips to it and looked lovely from this vantage point.

After a while we went back to the car and drove to find the Alligator Pool. It was pretty and quite serene. There were loads of large birds nesting all around it. You could walk round it as well, but it was called Alligator Pool for a reason as they also nest around it. Another idea for charity would be to challenge Karen to walk around it alone. That would also need to be for a very large amount of money as she was not keen when we only ventured a few yards around it together before she made us turn back. There was not an alligator in sight.

We thought we had got full value from our $8 admission and thought we would head to the nearest Publix to buy some food for lunch and snacks for later times.

Back in our room we ate our food before Karen headed to sit by the pool for a while. I stayed behind to catch up on some holiday admin. I had an email of apology from the Holiday Inn Express Customer Services regarding the leak in the ceiling. They gave me an additional 30000 reward points which was the equivalent of one night’s accommodation. I would have preferred cash but I know we will utilise the points soon so it didn’t matter too much to me.

We decided to head out to another Outback for dinner. En route again Karen decided that she wasn’t feeling too hungry again and instead said she would prefer a salad from Panera Bread. Before walking in we nipped in the close by Five Below shop as I wanted to pick up the $5 retractable table tennis net, they were advertising, except it was out of stock. At Panera Bread we both had the large Caesar Salad with Chicken which were pretty good and filling.

In our room we finally got to watch the last in the series of Blue Lights as I had managed to download it during the day. It caused us to have a debate afterwards about whether it was a just ending for the ‘grass’, and with that we retired for the night.

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