I have been lucky enough to spend a few weeks in Florida for the past three winters, thanks to the “Spamalot” tour. When you live in a cold climate, there is nothing like visiting some place warm to rejuvenate your soul. For reals. I am always happy with the cold and the snow through the holidays because it is pretty and cozy and season-appropriate. Come February though, and I’m ready for winter to move on. And since winter has a mind of its own, fleeing it is the next best thing.
So this year, our warm winter stint began in Melbourne, Florida. Where? I know, I had never heard of it either until it showed up on our itinerary. Turns out it is a town on the “Space Coast” – in other words, just down the road from Cape Canaveral. We just missed a space shuttle launch by a matter of days, in fact. Originally there was supposed to be a launch while we were in town, but it was postponed. Bummer! I did see the launch pad though, from afar, while I was on Cocoa Beach. I originally had planned on getting over to Kennedy Space Center for a tour during our stay, but then the sunshine lured me away and I decided I didn’t want to spend a whole day inside. I would rather be by the beach. So that’s pretty much what I did with my week. Spent it at the beach.
It basically took all day to get to Melbourne. We flew through Atlanta and after having to wait for a while for a rental car once we got into town, there was basically only enough time to go to the grocery store before dinner. Load-in the next day was really easy – the theater was big and everything fit – so I had some time in the afternoon to myself before coming back for the show. It was beautiful outside, so I decided to drive over to the beach. We were staying at a Candlewood right next to the causeway, and so it literally was only about a ten minute drive to get to the water.
The closest beach to us was Satellite Beach, and Patrick Air Force Base, which also has a stretch of beaches. I didn’t realize at the time that I was on the Air Force Base, so I ended up going to one of their beaches unknowingly. It was gorgeous – empty and clean. I only spent about a half an hour there – all the time I had on Tuesday, but it was still the best part of my day.
On Wednesday we had two shows, so no time for anything fun. Ryan and I had some good sushi between shows, but otherwise, it was work, work, work.
On Thursday I ran some errands in the morning, then drove out to Satellite Beach in the afternoon while Ryan went to play frisbee golf with Erik. Tallulah had been antsy all morning, so instead of leaving her at the hotel, I brought her with me. You might remember seeing photos of Tallulah on the beach in Fort Lauderdale two years ago. She had a repeat experience! People always ask me “aren’t you afraid she’s going to run away?”, but honestly, she’s been in so many different environments now, that she is more curious about new places than she is scared. She is a very careful, tentative cat, and so she tends to kind of creep around new environments rather than taking off. Plus she knows she has it good. Why would she want to run? On the first night in Melbourne, she accidentally got out into the hall at the hotel. I heard her meowing a few minutes later. When I opened the door, she hadn’t taken off running down the hall or anything, she was sitting outside the door, waiting to get back in. She knew I was on the other side of the door and she wanted to be with me. That’s my girl!
So that’s how she was on the beach, too. She didn’t stray far from me. I had my eye on her the whole time – there were dogs on the beach, too, and I didn’t want her to get too close to them. She enjoyed watching the birds. I took some photos and then after a little while it started to lightly rain, so we headed back to the hotel. Tallulah’s beach day!
On Friday Ryan and I drove up the A1A to Cocoa Beach. We took a long walk down the beach to the pier and back. We could see the shuttle launch pad from there. After our walk, we stopped by the ginormous Ron Jon Surf Shop before heading back to the hotel. I bought a bag and Ryan bought a ukelele!
On Saturday we had two shows, but the hotel was close enough that we could run back in between and get some grilling in. Ryan made some salmon and we also grilled some asparagus. So yum!
With the addition of the matinee on Wednesday, we only had one show on Sunday – such a luxury. We were done with the matinee by 4:30p and I had the rest of the evening off while the load-out started. I did a bit of shopping and then hung out and knit in my room, listened to podcasts and caught up on my TV shows. Bliss! Oh, and I packed. 🙂
On Monday morning, Ryan and I drove the two and a half hours to Tampa where we have rental condo a few miles north of downtown. I’m looking forward to one more week of sunny Florida with lots of backyard grilling. And then we are off to Texas for one more warm winter week before heading north again. Lucky me.