It doesn't feel like I just typed that last post yesterday morning. While traveling, it is almost like I'm not even part of the world anymore. Days blur together and I hardly think about anything other than my present moment at any given time. If only we never ever had to work. Life could be a permanent vacation. Someday I will figure out how to financially support permanent fun, but for now I will just enjoy my highly fulfilling and essential days of new experiences, until I need to go clean some more houses back up north. My busy summer cleaning tourist-season awaits me, come June - September.
After washing my load of laundry yesterday in Brandon, Florida, I believe it was, I spent several hours back at Lithia Springs Park, sunbathing next to a tiny toad who was cooling off down in the sand, floating on my back around the crystal clear spring, and snorkeling around with lots and lots of fish. It was so relaxing I could have stayed there forever. But, it is hard for me to stay in one place for long (unless I'm working), so I only swam until 2:00 and then headed northeast across the state, thru Orlando, and ended up in Daytona Beach. The last time I was in Daytona Beach it was because I was having van trouble and getting a AAA tow from Ormond Beach to New Smyrna Beach. It seems like I got towed right thru Daytona during the middle of bike week, or perhaps it was right as it was starting. On this Florida trip, however, I have had no van trouble what-so-ever. :-) Knock on wood! My van is finally giving me plenty of love back, after years of me pouring so much love into her. So this time, instead of being towed, I purposely headed to Daytona, popped a few dollars worth of quarters into a parking meter, and spent several hours metal detecting on the beach and just enjoying the cooler evening hours. I really like the feel of Daytona Beach - very laid back atmosphere, extremely soft sand, and a very nice, welcoming beach area. I ate some mahi-mahi, rice, and steamed broccoli at the Big Kahuna Bar & Grill off Atlantic Boulevard/A1A, and also took a ferris wheel ride to catch a spectacular night-time lit-up view of Daytona.
Sometimes I wonder if people realize that you can have an amazing trip without pouring money into hotel rooms, expensive paid parking lots, and super-duper dining reservations. My time spent at Daytona Beach was extremely relaxing and well worth every bit of pocket change that I put into that meter. I feel like I got a steal! Once it got dark around 9pm, I just hopped into my van and drove up to St. Augustine, Florida, where I spent the night at a Flying J truckstop, next to two other obvious travelers in their little RVs.
Today I'm in Jacksonville, Florida, and I'm pretty darn hot. Going to have to get a shower soon, probably tomorrow. The Lithia Springs campground had nice bathhouses, so that is where I showered last, early yesterday morning. Today I basically drove around Jacksonville and stopped at several thrift stores, trying to find myself a new article of clothing. I ended up with a pair of striped pants and a nice red, sleeveless top. I really didn't buy much today, but I definitely enjoyed browsing thru air-conditioned stores. And I also really enjoyed dinner at Qdoba - I love their naked taco salad and chicken quesadilla. I could probably eat there every single day.... and although I wore sunscreen throughout the week, I got quite a bit of a sunburn on the tops of my shoulders, so I've really tried to stay completely OUT of the sun today.