A DFAIT colleague had rented a condo in New Smyrna Beach [NSB] for two months and invited us to spend a couple of days with them either before of after the cruise. We decided that the best time would be after the cruise. Consequently after departing the ship it was a leisurely drive from the Tampa Bay, on the west coast to NSB on the east coast of Florida.
Wendy messaged Eve when we left and gave her an approximate time (thanks to the GPS) on when we would be arriving. As we neared their condo we could see Barrie standing in the parking lot waiting for us. We were quickly made to home and then it was to wait for Roly and Bev to arrive. After Roly made a couple of wrong turns he arrived about a half hour after us. After lunch and a bit of relaxing it was off to a Craft Fair in the town. The ladies made there way while we boys went our separate way to meet up in one of the numerous watering holes. Most of the crafts were more female related than male but there was one garden ornament that I would not have minded purchasing. Perhaps on the next visit.
We met up with the girls and eventually we made our way for a sea food supper (photo above).
15 February 2015
After a morning walk on the beach and a bit of lunch Barrie and Eve suggested that we take a drive to Merritt Island for a bit of bird watching. Both Wendy and I were all of this but Roly and Bev decided to stay back and go for a bike ride. They are both avid bikers and did bring their bikes with them so they could to some touring.
As you can see from the photos we did see quit a number of shore birds. On the way out of the park we came across a small armadillo right beside the road.
Coming back from an interesting afternoon in the outdoors it was to pick up Roly and Bev and off for another sea food supper.
16 February 2015
An all day bird watching day today. We started bright and early ss there was very little wind and bright skies it gave optimal conditions for catching reflections in the water. Once again did a very slow full circle of Merritt Island plus venturing up several side roads. As it was still only mid day Barrie and Eve suggested to try a trip to Lake Woodruff National Refuge to see if there was anything different there. Sadly the Refuge only proved to be a pleasant walk. But while there were no birds we did get to see another alligator and a couple of turtles. The walk through the forested are was invigorating and quite relaxing.
When we got back Rolly and Bev had supper waiting for us.
17 February 2015
New Smyrna Beach Departure day
After breakfast and another walk on the beach we loaded up the car and set off about an hour later than we had planned on. This was not a problem because it was spent with friends. Put the co-ordinates into the GPS and away we went.