TR Jan 30 - Feb 7, 2016: “Let’s Go Away!” (Updated February 10, 2016) - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
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Old 02-10-2016, 03:29 PM   #1
BJ Wanlund
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TR Jan 30 - Feb 7, 2016: “Let’s Go Away!” (COMPLETED January 12, 2017)

Apologies for the delay, I had (literally) 600+ photos to go through. But, I got it down to a manageable amount, but that does mean I still have to go through every single one after uploading them all to Photobucket and fiddling with its fiddly interface. SO… it’s going to be in parts. Sorry.

So… why the title, I hear you asking? Well… I went to Daytona Beach on my trip, so I figured why not reference one of my all time favourite arcade games, Sega’s Daytona USA? So yeah. Also, sorry if I slip and write a u in something like favourite, I’m so used to seeing it that way when I write it the other way, it looks quite wrong to me.

Anywho, who are the people who went on this trip?

BJ (me)


Nice PP picture with my own Nikon camera… apparently they’re the official Disney cameras now? I didn’t notice.

Mom


Cute pic!

And now… here goes nothing. How’d my trip go? Time to find out!

Saturday, January 30, 2016: Planes (Thankfully Not Trains), and Automobiles

I got up at a much too early hour, as in 5:00 am, and I managed to get a fast shower, some to-go coffee, got my bags pulled together, and got into my dad's car (as he drove me to the airport).

Then I checked in, checked my one bag, got thru TSA, and ran around the Philadelphia airport in search of a decent breakfast and got on board my one plane to Orlando. Meanwhile, my mom made her way to Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, got thru TSA, got to her gate, and flew to Atlanta before going on to Orlando International Airport. I had a few hours to kill on the flight so I listened to two of my favorite artists, Renaissance and Jimmy Buffett, played a little Soap Smash on my iPad (it's a fun little iOS game from the L'Occitane En Provence store), and updated my TR up to that point.

After touching down in Orlando, I got to have a tiny little bit of time to kill in the Orlando Airport, which almost never happens! So... I figured I'd take advantage of the opportunity and stroll through the airport so I could let my mom know as soon as she touched down in Orlando where (if any place) we could have lunch (and if not) where I'd be waiting for her.

While strolling through the airport I found many shops, including a Sanrio Surprises of all things, and BOTH Disney stores!!









Once she was down we went off to baggage claim, and... We both got our bags okay!! Yes! So, we got our rental car and rocked right up to St. Augustine! After a quick (and expensive, of course) trip to Walmart, we made it to our hotel, the Hampton Inn St. Augustine Beach! I have to say, I wasn't a big fan of the view at first but I grew to love that view madly.





After a short while, we walked down and over to the Sunset Grille (almost like the Don Henley song), which was just across the road from our hotel! After a minor problem (my mom can't deal with fans and light), we sat down, were in a good mood, and ordered Sunset Oysters as an appetizer, I ordered a blackened Mahi with coleslaw and a baked potato while my mom ordered a tuna that was practically sushi it was that rare.


My blackened Mahi (YUM!)


Mom’s tuna sushi


Those oysters were wonderful, trust me.

Boy was that meal wonderful! After that, we decided to crash and decide what all we were doing tomorrow and that was it for today!

NEXT TIME: Lucy, chocolate, wine, and spirits. How could it POSSIBLY get better than this??

BJ
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:01 PM   #2
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Great start to your trip!
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:40 PM   #3
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Good start. Waiting to read more
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:49 PM   #4
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Sounds like your trip was off to a great start!
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:59 PM   #5
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Off to a good start. Your meal looked good.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:33 AM   #6
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Great start BJ!
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:46 AM   #7
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Off to a great start!
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Great start to your trip!
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Good start. Waiting to read more
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Sounds like your trip was off to a great start!
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Off to a good start. Your meal looked good.
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Great start BJ!
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Off to a great start!
Yes, I was off to a great start! But there is most definitely more to come, including one post that should be coming your way shortly! Thanks everyone!

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Old 02-11-2016, 03:23 PM   #9
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Sunday, January 31, 2016: St. Augustine!
After getting a nice cup of coffee (better than the one I got later for sure!) and a few other things, Mom and I went off to explore St. Augustine.

First, the lighthouse museum.

The lighthouse! You can literally see it from almost anywhere in St. Augustine, it’s that tall!


Moss on the roof of the snack stand there, the pic is from the museum piece.

We didn't get to go into the lighthouse itself because my knee hasn't been ideal, but we got to briefly explore the gift shop and the museum piece, and it was... Interesting, to say the very least.

Next, we drove around St. Augustine and then went off to the Whetstone Chocolates Factory Tour.

First we got our tickets for the tour (the first of what would eventually be three factory/tasting tours we would tackle on this day). Then I got a coffee that... Didn't exactly tickle my fancy. After that ill-fated trip down Coffee Lane, the tour started in earnest.

First a discussion of how much the Whetstones have been involved in chocolate in the last few decades (including during Desert Storm 1), then a movie, and then we started our tour in earnest, going past "Employee Number One" (aka a mannequin of Lucy Ricardo from the "Job Switching" episode of I Love Lucy), and then we had various chocolates (including quite possibly the most oddly delicious chocolate treat ever, a milk chocolate / key lime hybrid), and then I went to get my picture taken with Lucy.



Chocolate football, both wrapped and unwrapped


Pretty decent likeness of Lucille Ball from that episode

Then it was on to the San Sebastian Winery. After sampling some excellent wines (including some most excellent mulled wine) and doing a little bit of shopping, it was on to the St. Augustine Distillery Company.

I must say, I was not expecting that much of this one. But our tour guide was just spectacular, the distillery company not only uses local agriculture and made in America products, they also saved a hundred-year-old building from the wrecking ball. That gets bonus points in my book.












Only pic of St. Augustine proper I took

After that, we went back and took a walk on the beach.





After that we decided to stay in the room, eat snacks, and that was all for today.

NEXT TIME: A decent food discovery, and we get into our condo!
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:04 PM   #10
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Those tours look fascinating. I have to confess to not knowing much about St. Augustine, so it's really interesting to learn more about the place.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:58 PM   #11
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All your tours in St. Augustine look like a lot of fun!
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:39 AM   #12
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Great day in St. Augustine!
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:50 PM   #13
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Looks like a fun place.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:28 PM   #14
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Those tours look fascinating. I have to confess to not knowing much about St. Augustine, so it's really interesting to learn more about the place.
It's really a fascinating place, lots of history, and not a place that can really be crammed into one day.
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All your tours in St. Augustine look like a lot of fun!
Oh they were, believe me!
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Great day in St. Augustine!
Thanks! It was, totally!
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Looks like a fun place.
Yes, it is. I will warn you though, it does have a lot of areas that one would consider "trashy". The downtown area with all the gorgeous Spanish style architecture isn't that bad thankfully.

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Old 02-15-2016, 12:30 PM   #15
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Monday, February 1, 2016: A1A and... DAAAAYTOOOOOONAA!
I got up, managed to be ready to rock and roll, went down to the breakfast area to get my coffee and a decent breakfast, and then it was on down A1A for our reasonably slow mosey down A1A to our condo in Daytona Beach. We first stopped in Flagler Beach, and walked on the beach there for a few minutes before we went to the Oceanside Beach Bar and Grill.


Definitely want to come back here!











We got a "flaming cheese" to start, and it literally WAS a hunk of cheese set on fire and quenched (mostly) by lemon juice. I had chips and salsa as well (which helped mop up the cheese part), while my mother ate the pita bread pieces.

For the main course I had a gyro plate with gyro meat (not the best gyro meat I've had by any stretch but it was up there) and a baby Greek salad (that was excellent), while my mom had a standard chicken sandwich.

Then I got a picture up close of a particular sign that tickled my fancy and we were off to Daytona Beach.


I thought that was pretty silly

Then we drove through Daytona Beach (which reminded me in parts of Ocean City, Maryland and Myrtle Beach, SC, both places I have been to) to the Publix in Daytona Beach Shores which was maybe a mile away from the condo we're staying in here in Daytona Beach (Shores). The main point person on the cleanup crew met us there, and we got checked in relatively early.

I got some excellent pictures of the view and my room and bathroom, and then went back to Publix for the rest of our supplies for the next day or so, and then came back to the condominium.











After that, basically we decided to eat and crash (and I to write up what we'd all done to this point). Thus ends Night One in Daytona Beach.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016: Segs, Sand and Shopping with Chocolate
Today we both got up and had coffee alongside bagels with cream cheese (one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast on vacation... I tend to eat gluten free whenever possible, though with the Udi's bagels they tend to be really close to normal bagels, so it's not terrible by any stretch of the imagination).

After breakfast, we both got showers and then we basically got ourselves ready for the one thing in Daytona Beach that I wanted to keep set in stone: a "tour" of Daytona Beach on Segways!

Our appointment was at noon but we decided to get there a little early.



We told the lady that we knew basically how to ride Segways and we got a solid hour and a half on Segways instead of the normal tours that give you a lot of training, so we got a good bang for our buck there.

After that we had lunch at the Bay Street Seafood Market and Deli (which was quite delicious but no food pics... Sorry...), and then we went to the Daytona Books and Metaphysics store, which was... Interesting.

Then we just managed to get in just under the wire for yet another chocolate factory tour at the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory. The tour guide kinda sounded like Forrest Gump, was absolutely hysterical, and the free samples weren't terrible (although I think I can do without ever again sampling a chocolate covered potato chip again ever in my life, thank you very much).

After that we drove around Daytona Beach a bit and then went back to Publix, and then back to our condo where we just about crashed, but not before we got a general idea of what we were going to be doing the rest of the week (and checking into the Contemporary online... I love that we can do that now). Thus ends our first full day in Daytona.

NEXT TIME: The Speedway Awaits!
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(Finally) Complete Non-Disney part of my TR!
(Finally) Complete Disney part of my TR!
My Countdown Counting down to: My First Trip Down to WDW in 3 and a Half Years!
I'm going to Disney World!!!
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My Previous TripsWDW/US/SW/KSC March/April 1991, MGM July 1997, EPCOT 1999, MGM 2001, WDW Feb 2003, WDW Feb 2004, WDW Jan 2006, WDW Jan 2007, WDW/IOA Oct 2010
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