…and I’m ready to talk.
You already know that I went to the landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis this morning, but what about the rest of my time here in Cocoa Beach?
Well, it really started yesterday, when I could have had a free adult beverage on Virgin America if I’d been wielding a lollipop for National Lollipop Day. I eyed the candy store next to the gate, but didn’t venture in. I know you are disappointed in me, but I didn’t really want to start drinking before the driving part of my trains, planes, and automobiles adventure. Besides, as much as you all grant me a reputation I don’t really earn, I am not really big on drinking before noon. Actually, before 5pm on most days. Not really my thing. I know you are questioning that, as I do occasionally break it, but I’ve realized that doing so really ruins my productivity for the day so I’ve stopped. Sorry.
As I boarded the plane, I realized I should have asked for an upgrade if available. But, as luck would have it, the middle seat was empty! No upgrade was required, although it would have been a pleasant surprise. (Wink, wink, nod, nod, know what I mean, Virgin America.)
The take-off was another story. It felt to me as though we were about to take off, but then slammed on the brakes. Maybe I’m imagining things, but it felt like a false start. After stopping abruptly, I saw two planes land directly in front of us. Maybe my luck was continuing.
Arriving safely at MCO, I went to Thrifty to see what I had won in the Hotwire Car Special Lottery. I was told that I’d most likely find Grand Marquis in that section. The attendant was correct. Mostly big Grandpa-type cars. But I did find a little Nissan Altima from Louisiana. So I put on a fake Cajun accent and hopped in, leaving the Grand Marquis to the three families of five I’d seen at the counter.
Upon arrival at the Four Points Sheraton in Cocoa Beach, I checked out my room on the fourth floor overlooking the retail outlet and bar. It wasn’t really what I had expected, even though I’d seen photos. I was thinking more of the lovely Desmond in Albany, NY with a lush courtyard. My view is of people drinking and shopping. C’est la vie, all I’ll be doing in my room is sleeping.
I went back downstairs to the Shark Pit which I could see from my room. I sat at the bar and put the free beer tasting card on the table like it was a game of poker and I was showing my hand. Jacob gave me a pour of the local brew. It wasn’t my favorite, but I told Jacob it had grown on me, so he gave me a full pint.
I ordered a taco salad. A little while later, @jyarmis showed up with his son. As most of you know, I’m very protective of my real identity, as if I were some sort of internet superhero. Sadly, I’m not, but that would be wicked cool! NASA had asked that we all carpool to the site, so I sucked it up and introduced myself to these other internet personalities so we could share a ride and a meal. Yes, me, the same person who does evasive maneuvers on the way home after a date to make sure that no one is following me—I met up with complete strangers and rode in their car. Of course, I had given Meine Schwester all the information I’d Googled, and we all know that her wrath would be worse than what any mere mortal could inflict on me, so I knew that if I ended up in a swamp, my death would be severely avenged.
Lucky for @jyarmis, he and his son are, as a coworker says, “good people”. We had a pleasant dinner and conversation, and they still offered to give me a ride after meeting me. I was kind of worried about that.
The next part, as I’ve said, is already history, so let me continue with what happened after. I got back to the hotel five hours after I’d left. I tried to go to sleep, but realized that I should write the blog post before the landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis became just another weird dream. I finally fell asleep for another four hours. It was much needed, as it is now as well, but I have so much more to say!
I woke up for the second time today and started my day over. As I suspected, my adventure in the morning seemed like one of my lucid dreams. Maybe I sleep walked through it all. I gathered myself together and meant to go to lunch, but ended up shopping in the store I can see from my room.
There I bought a super cute dress and a new bathing suit. I stopped in my room and washed the bathing suit in the sink and left it to dry. I put on the dress, cleavage and all.
I went to the front desk to ask for a recommendation for lunch. The desk attendant was more than helpful. Really, truly helpful. I can’t imagine why. But he told me about The Village over in Cocoa. Since it was nearing two in the afternoon, I figured it was best to stay out of the sun, so I drove over there for a little more shopping.
My first stop was a cute little boutique, and bought another super cute dress. I think this one is a little less revealing, but I’ll have to try it on again in the morning to make sure. Meine Schwester has been wearing these super cute dresses and I feel kind of left out. Also, I’ve realized they make it really easy to get dressed in the morning, I look good in them, and if I get the right material then they don’t wrinkle and are great for throwing in a camera bag for a three-day vacation to Florida.
I asked the sales woman for a lunch recommendation. She suggested the same place as the hotel attendant. So off I went down the street to Ossorio. It was everything I’d been promised. I had a salad with strawberries and bacon. I think @lzucke02 said it best when she said, “Disgusted and slightly aroused all at once.”
Wandering around the shopping area, I realized that it is probably suited best for retirees hopping off the cruise ships. I wasn’t particularly interested in most of the stores, and it was really sad and lonely on a Thursday afternoon. I’m hoping that it is hopping on the weekends. It made me worried about what the local economy will do without the space shuttle launches. Hopefully it won’t affect them too much.
I stopped by the hotel and put on my clean, new bathing suit and headed to the hotel pool. I was disappointed to realize how small it was. The waterfall was a cute touch, but loud. I’d brought my book and if it had been a quiet place to read, then I would have stayed. Luckily, the ocean was less than a block away, so I ventured down there. Besides, it was after 5 pm, so I was safe from burning.
The ocean was so inviting, so I awkwardly placed my hotel key into the top of my swimsuit and ventured into the waves. I had this need to go back to my towel, as if there was something important I needed to do, but I successfully fought the urge and stayed in the warm ocean water. This is what everyone thinks of as beaches. Milky white sand that goes for miles in either direction. The soft silt slips between my toes as the undertow pulls gently while the waves crash in. Blue sky and blue water. Florida beaches really ruin it for all other locations with beaches.
Back on my towel, I napped for a few minutes and enjoyed the sun. My stomach started to rumble, so by 7 pm I came back to the hotel to change. I was out the door an hour later.
Using Yelp, I decided to go to The Fat Snook, but then I looked it up on the map and realized it wasn’t really walking distance. I should have gone anyways. I ended up going to the Sandbar Sports Grill. While it was not exactly the prime dining location, it was exactly what you would expect from a beach bar. Two bars, one inside and one serving the deck customers. The view is obstructed by the parking lot and some trees, but you can imagine it being on the beach. Tonight, I was graced with karaoke. Luckily, most of the people could actually sing, and I stayed off the stage.
There were two groups of cute guys, probably military. I couldn’t seem to get any of their attention, even with the new magic dress. There were no good opportunities to break into their conversation. And knowing I’m only here for one more night, it wasn’t really worth pressing the issue. The only guy who stopped by my table to talk was probably seventy. I fail miserably at this dating thing.
Since I was unsuccessful, I retreated back to the Shark Pit Bar & Grill. Jacob was working again tonight and remembered what I was drinking last night. He was in the middle of making a mojito, and since The Sandbar was out of mojitos tonight, I had Jacob make me a dragonberry mojito.
I then proceeded to fail at hitting on a cute Australian. He paid his bill and ran away before I could figure out what to say to him. Then two couples arrived. They were chatty and more than happy to involve me in their conversations. From Chicago, they were here for a wedding. When one couple left for a few moments, I asked if they were related and then heard the real story about how they aren’t and actually, they were kind of tired of them. Sadly, the other couple returned. And then the newlyweds arrived. Jacob remembered all of their drinks from the night before. And they all remembered me from the bar from the night before. Turns out, I’m the forgetful one.
They were all headed to The Sandbar since it is open until 2 am and our little hotel bar closes at 11 pm. I warned them about the karaoke and lack of mojitos. They left, trying one last time to get me to join them. I declined and Jacob made me one last mojito before I retired to my room. Alone.