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September 3, 2012

Daytona Beach Shores

by Brendan

Had a magical trip to Daytona Beach Shores this Labor Day weekend.   We drove over on Saturday, September 1st, and went to our usual place, SeaScape Inn on South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores (which, if you’re not local to the area, is contiguous to and right south of the more-famous Daytona Beach).   The SeaScape is a little bit older, not a high rise (3 stories), and right on the Atlantic Ocean — you can see the area, ocean and motels\condos, rather generically, below.

Daytona Beachfront Hotels, Beach, Ocean

We arrived to find quite a big crowd there, which we attributed to Labor Day weekend.  However, after we came back from dinner at D. J.’s Deck (more about that later), a woman introduced herself in the parking lot as Judy and offered us dinner from a buffet that was set out.  Turns out that she comes to SeaScape every Labor Day weekend, that the event started with family, expanded to family and friends, and then further expanded to people from her church, family, and friends.

We had to turn down dinner, having just come from D. J.’s Deck (right under the north side of the Port Orange Bridge on the beachside).  D.J.’s is right on a dock, and in the 2 dozen times I’ve gone there, I’ve often seen boats unloading shrimp or other fish right to the restaurant.  So it’s oh-so-fresh fish, well prepared, excellent hush puppies, fries, and cole slaw, out at picnic tables on a deck on the Halifax River (aka The Intracoastal Waterway,  but given various other names in specific locales — e.g., the Indian River in New Smyrna Beach).  I often tell people that D. J.’s is the best restaurant in the Daytona Beach area, but let’s keep it our secret.

Anyway, Judy and her people were excellent fun to watch  and interact with all weekend, and their party never got out of hand, thankfully, so we got plenty of rest.

And needed rest — I went surfing, Pam and I both went bodysurfing (I even wore fins!).  The ocean was 83 degrees, the waves were 3-4 feet, and on Sunday after church we rented a beach umbrella and chair and just watched the waves, the birds, and the world go by without a care in the world.

Ran 5 miles this morning (Monday, Labor Day), half on the beach and half down by the river (the peninsula is narrow enough in Daytona Beach Shores to easily walk or run from ocean to river and back).

Oh, yeah, I began with the words “magical trip” — well, everything just fell together perfectly.  It was fun being around Judy’s crew, it was fun surfing and bodysurfing, we enjoyed driving around looking at houses, the weather was beautiful, and we ate dinner twice at D.J.’s deck. And, oh yes, church service Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Orange Ave. was most excellent, as well.

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