Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Melbourne to Daytona Beach, FL

Thursday, February 28 - Anxious to get settled in again somewhere, we left Melbourne at around 7:30 and made it all the way to Adventure Yacht Harbor in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, FL, just south of South Daytona Beach and adjacent to Port Orange. Traveling 85 miles in one day meant we sped up to 20 mph in some spots...but we had enough slow spells to enjoy the change in scenery. The section through Indian River reminded us of our trips down to Florida in the 1970's to visit fish camps....

We were docked by 5 o'clock with the help of Jim, the harbormaster. This would be the boat's home for at least 3 weeks now while we went back to Tennessee for a visit.

On the way up to Daytona I called Dana to tell her our plans. Dana and Jeff had kindly offered to drive us back to Knoxville as they went. Dana said her brother just reminded her that this was the beginning of Bike Week in Daytona. Since I didn't think the extra traffic would trouble us, I was more concerned about the traffic Jeff and Dana might face. Turns out we were docked a good bit south of the main goings-on and they felt it wouldn't be so bad.

Bike Week, huh? So I called my Knoxville friend Connie Littleton (knowing she and her husband John had been biking a good bit over the past couple of years since they bought a Harley) and told her she should be down here. We chatted a while and hang up. A little while later my cell phone rang and I saw the call was coming from Connie. "You're coming, aren't you!!??," I said as I answered the call. That was all they needed to firm up their plans! They had found a way to get their son, John Clay, to school the next day and were headed our way!

February 29 - At around 8 o'clock the next evening Connie and John rolled in on the Rattler...their Harley. I'm now convinced they are about as crazy as we are! 600+ miles in one day!! Connie could barely move her legs enough to step over our dock lines. After a little refreshment (they were thirsty!) we went to dinner at Boondocks, the marina restaurant. The food was good...and the company was wonderful!

March 1 - The next morning we put John to work right away. We'd pulled out the salon bed...but couldn't get it "back on track." John helped us get it back together .

After that we had a leisurely morning including a walk for Connie and me on beautiful Daytona Beach. Lunch was carry out from Boondocks, followed by naps. That afternoon Connie and John went down to Bike Week central and rode down Main Street. They came back with t-shirts...shrimp and oysters!

We had a great evening on the boat and talked about everything from biking to politics.

March 2 - Being quick learners, Connie and John decided to make the trip home in two days. After John helped Connie into her chaps...

(Connie calls the fringe "tassles" leading to many a mistaken idea about what she wears on these trips...) they left Adventure Yacht Harbor with a back-road route in mind. We hated to see them go! What a great, spontaneous weekend!!

Later that morning our friends Jeff and Dana joined us again for one final day aboard Segue before leaving for Knoxville. We lunched at Boondocks, then read and sunned most of the afternoon. Jeff and I did take a ride down "Bike Week" way to see what was going on. While we couldn't go on Main Street (it was open only to motorcyles) we did get a feel for the event:

That evening we dined at DJ's for some good seafood. Yes...we had seafood for lunch. But, you see, Dana eats fish whenever she can. She says she wants to come back as a cormorant: just swim and eat fish!

March 3 - The next morning we all packed up and left for Knoxville.

On the trip back, Lucy took the opportunity to bond with Dana....

600+ miles later that day we pulled into Knoxville. It was really strange to be back in the house again. Was it always this big??? We had a great, packed two weeks at home before we drove back to Daytona on March 17.

We celebrated Mom Prichard's birthday...
89 on March 11! Here she is with her two youngest
great-grandchildren, Alex and Callie.

Just about the whole family was there. From the back, left: Me, Wayne, Matthew, Linda, Kaleb, Mitch, Wendi, Callie and Andrea. First row from the left: Dave, (Heather and Alex in front), Josh, and Mom (Mamaw) Prichard.

Heather, Dave and Alex came for a long weekend visit and we thoroughly enjoyed that! Alex got a real kick out of feeding Lucy...and, needless to say, he made a lifelong friend.

I had two days of painting with friends while home. The first week was the Thursday Maryville painting group, aptly named after our founder and hostess, Merle Stair.

We visited family, enjoyed dinner with friends, and tried to catch up with as many people as we could while home. Locking up the house on March 17 we said goodbye to Choto Marina Way until October or November when we complete the trip. We rented a car (turned out to be a Grand Marquis) and brought back a BUNCH of STUFF: bike, toaster oven, boat supplies, etc.

We kept the car an extra day to do some running around and reprovisioning...then turned it in at the Daytona airport Tuesday afternoon. We're staying here for a while longer...we'll probably leave the first of next week. During that time we'll find a place to store all the stuff we brought back and we'll catch up on some boat maintenance we've put off until now. Next move? Up the Florida coast to St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach, then to St. Mary's, GA, and Cumberland Island. Our plans are to end up the next leg of the trip at Beaufort, SC, where we'll pick up our friends Jay and Carla Livingston for a cruise up to Charleston.

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