I needed a break! I found myself in need of resting my mind and restoring my spirit. So, one afternoon I told Randy that I would like to go away. Good guy that he is, the only question he asked was, “Where do you want to go?”
“I want to go to the beach and for just a few days and not be responsible to anyone or anything,” I replied.
The next day Randy told me he had made arrangements for us to stay at the Best
Western Castillo del Sol in Ormond Beach. But, he said, “There is just one little catch. We have to listen to a 45 minute spiel about a vacation club. Evidently, while he was on line something popped up offering $79 to stay at this at the Best Western. Now, Randy was thinking, $79 per night but when he called he discovered that was the price for the whole three days. Now, really, could anyone pass that up? “I promise you,” I said to Randy, “I can definitely sit through a sales pitch for that price”.
It rained most of the way to the beach only letting up now and then. We arrived at the vacation office to pick up our paperwork and make an appointment for the talk and headed for the hotel. Before leaving the vacation office the very nice gentleman at the front desk gave us a map and marked some restaurants that might be of interest. I had mentioned that I did not want to go to any chain restaurants while there but places the locals or repeating visitors frequented.
The Best Western Castillo de Sol was a very nice hotel. The rooms were very clean, the bathroom, while small, was very clean, the beds were wonderfully comfortable and we had a balcony. I had to laugh though. Randy mentioned that we would have an ocean view. Well, we did. We were on the side of the building and could indeed see a small portion of the ocean.
We dropped off our luggage, freshened up a bit and left to find a restaurant called, High Tides at Snack Jack in Flagler Beach. The restaurant was about 12 ½ miles north from the hotel but well worth the drive. The drive up AIA was very pleasant passing sand dunes covered in Florida vegetation and periodically getting a glimpse of the water.
The restaurant was just as I pictured a wooden shack right on the beach. The funniest thing was pulling up to see a sign that said, “Valet parking”. Randy and I looked around and wondered where they were going to park the cars. There was no parking lot and the area in front of the restaurant was very small. There was absolutely no way Randy was going to pay to park so he asked the young man who approached our car where there was public parking.
Randy let me out and I wandered toward the front door. Right outside the front door was a very small, intimate outside eating area with several picnic tables and benches with a beautiful view of the ocean.
I went inside and the first thing I noticed was all the license plates all over the walls and ceiling. Immediately I knew it would be a fun place to come after a hot day on the beach to meet fun people and enjoy good food.
I kept walking out into a wonderful screened patio with a beautiful view of the beach and ocean. I spent my time reading a little history of the restaurant that was written on the back of the menu while waiting for Randy to park the car.
It had been a long day and, frankly, we were not that hungry so we decided to order from the appetizer menu. We both chose the Coconut shrimp with raspberry pepper sauce. Randy ordered a side of coleslaw and I ordered a side of French fries. What a great choice! The shrimp was perfectly fried. The shrimp was tender, the coating crisp and non-greasy. The raspberry pepper sauce was beyond great. The first sensation my mouth enjoyed was a wonderful sweet, fruity taste and just a few moments later the back of your throat was sensing some heat. Wonderful!
We lingered over dinner watching the waves gently rolling towards the shore then took a walk along the dunes so I could get a good picture of the restaurant. We planned on taking a long walk along the beach before nightfall so we headed back to the hotel.
I love the beach because it is the one place where I can walk and loose all awareness of time and space and lose myself in the sheer pleasure of walking and taking in my surroundings. I love the surf rolling over my feet as it come up to shore and then a moment later feeling the sand from beneath my feet being pulled away as as the surf retreats away from the shore. I love watching as squadrons of pelicans glide just above the waves in search of food. I love watching young and old alike running from one small hole in the sand to another in hopes that a sand crab will come to the surface. In short, I love everything there is about walking along the beach.
A storm was rolling in so we headed back to the hotel. Along the way I found a shiny penny, we watched as a sand crab scurried into a hole much too fast for me to get a picture. We decided to take a dip in the hotel’s pool and watched as day became night.
It was a wonderful day.