Daytona Beach For Dummies

vacation photo

Vacation with the family…

We’ve had this trip booked for six months. Three days in Daytona Beach followed up with seven days in Orlando. The place where kids’ dreams come true, while draining their parents’ pocket books. Sounds legit.

The issue with this spectacular sun soaked three days of paradise before falling into the $5,000 Universal Studios tickets tourist trap, where you spend your life savings on $25 Cokes and temporary tattoos of Marvel Heroes…is the fact it has been raining since we arrived.

The closest thing I’ve seen to the glorious sun is the flashes of lightening off in the distance as I wrap my arms around me, chilled to the bone in shorts and a tank top. You expect 90 degree days this time of year here. Instead, the high was 67 degrees yesterday. Freezing. It sucks. Like whales being chased by sharks. Except I’m not out there with the whales and the sharks. I’m inside, sitting at the deserted hotel bar with my husband, and some guy in a Jimmy Buffet concert tee with a naked lady tattoo on his right arm, drinking $10 Bloody Mary’s while the kids argue over who used the iPad last. It’s been fantastic so far. Cheers.

Perhaps I should back up to Thursday during the flight. Little A and I had to sit three rows behind my husband and older two boys. Why? Because we booked these flights before Christmas and all the seats were (ahem) SOLD OUT at that time. In other words, if you want to SIT with your family you have to pay an extra $40 to rub elbows with them. Thank you airline companies, I appreciate your desire to steal take my hard earned money to sit with the ones I love.

The entire row in front of us were five over-perfumed, spray tanned, middle aged women who were flying to Florida for a girl’s trip! Yay! They were drinking rum and Coke as soon as the flight took off. Within half an hour, I began taking notes on my phone. Literally. I’m an author! Are you surprised? Here is my compiled list of lady talk and activities that occurred during the flight after alcoholic beverages began flowing:

a) Lisa insisted on taking “selfies” with the others. Before the pics were taken, the other women needed to know…

– “Do my bangs look okay? Are they separated?”

– “We are HOT! Right? We are, right?! RIGHT? RIIIIGGGHHHTTT?”

– “My teeth feel weird, like, I need to brush them. I’m not going to do a “teeth smile”. Only closed lips. So, okay everyone, closed lip smile ladies!”

b) “Rick…you know him, Jan. The one with the nice cheek bones and great a$$? Yeah, well, he’s getting a divorce. So, I’m newly single, and you know…” Wink, wink…long sip of her 2nd rum and Coke. Message received. You are an…interesting human being, and I’m glad we’re not friends. The End.

c) Several women took off their shoes mid-flight, feet on the back of the chairs, to compare toenail polish and dry heel issues. Gross. I found refuge in a book, and by making fun of them in my mind. Carry on, weirdos…

d) The one with the “separated bangs” looked through all 1,300 photos on her iPhone the entire flight. She spoke very LOUDLY about each photograph. I especially enjoyed the one of her laying topless, face down on a beach towel from last summer in St. Croix. Instead of focusing on her nudity, she enjoyed sharing her love of the floppy hat she wears on EVERY beach trip with Dan. That floppy hat has seen a lot of beaches. And other things, apparently. Yikes.

Thrifty Rental Car – They hire idiots. <— That should be their new slogan. Because it’s true.

Let me give you one piece of advice before I share my story. Do your research online like I did. There have been a TON of complaints in regards to the rental car companies in the Orlando International Airport lately. Not just Thrifty…almost all of them. The complaint is, you get a stellar price online, but once you return your vehicle, the TOTAL amount doubled because you didn’t realize what you were checking “yes” on in the lengthy paperwork at the counter where the idiots employees work.

So, I decided I would get the car instead of hubby since I went over my rental car counter speech on the plane numerous times to keep from having to listen to the cackling ladies in front of me. I said what I wanted and didn’t want immediately to the rep behind the desk, and I got the car for WHAT I knew I was told I’d pay when I made the original reservation. She was peeved with me when I told her that “homey don’t play like that” <—- (that’s my best 1982 saying). Not to mention, I was first in line to get the car. Go Val!

We grab our “Loser Cruiser” or minivan, as my husband calls it, and head to the exit. I hand the lady in the rental car booth my paperwork, and she starts typing a novel on her computer.

“What’s up? Is there a problem?”

She clicks her tongue. “Yeah, well your driver’s license information doesn’t match the car reservation info.”

My cheeks grow hot. I can feel my husband begin to sweat in the seat next to me.

“And what exactly does that mean?”

She hands me back my paperwork. “It means you need to turn around and go back to the desk to have them fix the information. Sorry. Have a good day.”

We may have exchanged a few other words after this. I am usually a very civilized human being, but after this incident, and the very unhelpful individual in the rental car booth who seemed to sense she was a rental car god of some sort, we chatted. I got the information sorted out before the cops arrived to arrest me. Moving on…

It’s 8:30am on Saturday. The lifeguard in a snazzy pickup truck just drove down the beach and told everyone to get inside because of another storm moving through the area with lightening. Super. I’m truly excited about sitting on the balcony of my hotel room again to watch it rain while the neighbors above us smoke cigars and talk about deep sea fishing. They spit off the side of the balcony every now and then as well. I like them. If only spit flew upwards, we’d be in great shape.

“Oh waiter? Can I have shot of Jagermeister, please? Make it a double, will you darling?”

A Miffed Beach Tourist ~


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