Daytona Beach - Cathy & Bill's

Trip Start Feb 19, 2011
Trip End Mar 08, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, Feb. 27 evening we arrived in Daytona Beach in time to have dinner with Cathy and Bill.  Although it had been over a decade since I have seen them I feel right at home.  We spent a while just catching up on everyone and looking through some pictures and finally went to bed after watching some of the Academy Awards.

Monday, Feb. 28 we got up and went for a run through the neighborhood.  They live in a golfing community with lots of greenery, ponds, and friendly people everywhere.  Everyone we passed said hello.  We then went for a quick dip in the pool, and headed out.  Our day entailed of lunch at a restaurant on the beach, a walk on the beach, then a boatride/ecotour.

The boat trip was amazing!  We got to see pelicans, ibises, learn about how red and black mangroves filter water, learn about oyster beds (who also filter water), watch some freshwater dolphins swimming around, and handle all sorts of mollusks.  After this everyone was a bit drowsy so we went home and had a relaxing evening.  Cathy & Bill taught us a couple new card games, one of which we will be playing Tuesday night during one of their monthly card games.  Luckily that one is Gin 13, one of the more simple games to learn.  They also taught us Kanasta, which left me confusted at first but I think I got the hang of it by the end of the game.  It is quite complex and a good night's sleep will likely wipe away any understanding I thought I had.

Tuesday, March 1:  While Cathy had a dentist appointment Bill, John and I went to the Daytona 500 track for a tour.  Given that neither of us were fans we were blown away by the track and had a great time on the tour.  They recently redid the asphalt which is 7.5 inches thick and on the turns there is a 33.4% grade.  To stay up on this a car needs to be going no less than 95 mph.  This doesn't sound like much until you see it up close.  If I had tried to walk up it I would probably have had to be on my hands and knees.  The entire track is 2.5 miles long and seats 147,000 people, which is a decent sized city.  It sounds less impressive writing it than seeing it, but believe me it was worth the trip.

Afterwards we met up with Cathy for a great seafood lunch/dinner and went home to relax a bit.  The evening festivities included a fun night of playing poker with Cathy & Bill's normal poker group.  There were a total of 9 of us and we played Gin 13.  The whole time we were laughing and talking with fun people.  Somehow I can in second during the first game and John won the game of dice.  We walked away with a bunch of quarters which will be quite useful for tolls and coin laundry.  I can see why they love getting together for cards so often.

Overall it was a great (and much overdue) visit!   

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