December 5 – New Smyrna Beach, FL


We left in the rain and arrived with sunshine and a high of 87. Oh what a change – get rid of these big boy pants and back into shorts. Didn’t have any rain on the ride down to Florida, just overcast and mid 60’s when we left. Took the Interstate 95 all the way, nothing too scenic.

Did stop at the Florida Welcome Center and gather information for the state. We do get rid of all that paper after we have completed our perusals and finished with that area.

We did see (first time) an RV off the road and in the ditch – not sure what happened to them (they did not roll or crash but the cops were there and they were stuck in the grass), we said a prayer as we passed them.

Arrived at New Smyrna Beach RV Park and got our coach set up. Good site and lots of snowbirds. Met a couple from Vermont who is here until the sap runs (they have a company that produces maple syrup) and have to return home to make the batch.img_2376

We do have SAT and wifi so all is happy. Weather was hot at 87.dsc_0002

Tuesday another warm day. We did visit the Visitor’s Center and gather local information. Then explored the beach area to find a place to watch the rocket launch. Stopped at Canaveral National Lake Shore and they indicated they would be closed when the launch happens – that would have been a really good location.

The water was so clear!

Some of the architecture in the area.

Stopped for lunch at the Treehouse Restaurant.

Since we are in a snowbird campground (they have to have activities for the campers to get them to keep coming back and to keep them busy while in the south) we played Bingo tonight. I won two games out of 20. Didn’t take any money home.

Wednesday I finally (after two weeks off) took off for a bike ride. Did 12 miles part way along the beach. Tried riding the beach but tires too thin.

Later we packed dinner and the dogs and headed to the beach to stake out a place to watch the rocket launch. No parking signs all over the place but finally we hid at the end of the road. I kind of felt guilty about disobeying the law and kept hoping the cops wouldn’t come along.dsc_0012

6:40 PM got out and walked to the parking area near Canaveral Shoreline. And waited.

6:53 PM a bright light along the water’s edge and then a flame upward. It was amazing seeing the blast and the rocket shooting upward. We followed it for a while into the sky and then it was gone. It was partly cloudy and the rocket disappeared. This was a satellite for military communications.

Note to self: Get closer to Canaveral next time for more noise effect and visual observation.

Back to the car and didn’t get caught. Years ago it would have never bothered me but now I want to avoid confrontation.

Thursday is smoking day. We are doing a brisket. And it turned out so tender and tasty. Didn’t do a whole lot today except I did add a shelf to one of my basement compartments. There is always reorganizing to be done.img_2394

That night we headed over to the rec hall and played bingo – no big money maker tonight – won 2 out of 20 games. Pays for the beer.

Friday woke up to cool weather. We walked the sidewalks along the beach area downtown (if you might call it that). A lot of stores with “beach” recreation stuff – surf boards, kites, swim suits etc. And many restaurants.

We then walked the official downtown area across the canal. We toured the local museum and learned about the history of the area. Did you know that in 1768 people from the Mediterranean area of Europe settled here as indentured slaves (they would eventually get a piece of land in trade for their work)? It was the largest group of settlers to come to America – I believe 14 ships.

We did see dolphins in the Intracoastal waterway but I was not able to get a picture.

We then walked and window shopped the many art stores and checked out menus at the local restaurants. Visited the Hub on Canal art gallery, which housed over 75 artists – quite impressive work! We eventually found the New Smyrna Beach Brewery and enjoyed a cold one for all our walking.

Saturday was a cool morning (50’s) and we took the dogs to the Smyrna Dunes Park. It’s a huge park ($10 to get in and 1.5 miles around the peninsula – 73 acres) but it is on the ocean and you can walk your dogs along the beach.

Nice walk including the wooden elevated walkways and lots of people out.

In the evening we went down to the canal and watched the Annual Christmas Boat Parade. Lots of boats and lights, nice evening for the parade.

Sunday there wasn’t a church in the immediate area (45 minute drive) so I rode the bike along the beach. Did 19 miles.

In the afternoon we visited the Canaveral National Lakeshore Park to see the Eldora State House built in 1910. They have preserved this house and area to reflect how the early Floridians in the turn of the century lived. There was a whole community here that fished and farmed etc. in this area along the Indian River. They had snacks and punch too.

We walked the beach for a while as it was 74 degrees outside.

OH how delicious – no not the snacks but the steak I cooked tonight – I did a “reverse sear”. I smoked it at 200 degrees to get an internal temp of 115 (we like it medium rare) and then cranked the grill up to 500 and seared it for 2 minutes each side. Turned out perfect.

We enjoyed New Smyrna Beach area as it was small, laid back (quaint and quiet) and the lots of beaches and nice weather.

Monday we are off to St. Augustine, Florida.

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