Gardening Matters – Travels with Allie.
Today was Bob’s 73rd birthday! A much better day than last year, when we celebrated alone in strict lockdown….. A beautiful hot and sunny day, we spent the morning in Daytona. I made a brunch of various things we had in the fridge. We set off towards Jacksonville just before lunchtime. We were meeting Steven and Pamela at Saltwaters Shooting Club, deep in the boondocks between Jacksonville and St Augustine. http://www.saltwatersshootingclub.com/ Bob has always enjoyed clay pigeon shooting – his dad was a longtime club member and Steven had told us about a great day out he’d had at this one, so Bob chose it for his birthday activity. They have over 20 clay pigeon stands there (I think that’s the term) and the machines replicate different animal/bird flight patterns at each one ie duck, rabbit, pigeon, pheasant….. there was even one that bounced the clay off a small trampoline!!!!
Anyway, we girls left them to it and we headed up to the very fabulous leisure centre that is part of Steven and Pamela’s housing development.
Wow! If you found this place at a 5 star hotel, you would think you had struck gold, let alone have it as part of your local amenities. There was not only a fabulous freeform pool with beach entry but also a mini waterpark and a serious swim training pool with about 7 lanes. Not to mention all the indoor fitness facilities. We pegged out in the sun, chatted away for the rest of the afternoon and put the world to rights!!! It was a lovely afternoon.
Whilst we were doing that the boys shot the bejezzaz out of hundreds of small saucers and also had a whale of a time. Bob hadn’t shot in years but he did really well apparently. Stuart and Steven decided to never cross him after this display of eagle eyed firepower. When they finished up at the shooting range, they went to a British Pub that Steven knew about nearby. I know…… There they played darts, drank pints of beer and had a thoroughly good time. While this was going on, we ladies went and purchased pies: a Key Lime and a Lemon Meringue and some birthday balloons and smuggled them back to Steven and Pamela’s house.
We scooped up Euan, Steven and Pamela’s son, and the whole party met up at Cantina Louie’s Mexican restaurant nearby. Had an absolutely enormous meal of fajitas, chimichangas, burritos etc washed down by copious margaritas. Of course the main meal was preceded by baskets of freshly made tortilla chips served with bowls of salsa and a hot queso (cheese) dip. This is always my downfall. I always dig in with far too much enthusiasm and then can’t eat my dinner. And this was the case on this occasion too. I did eat all the shrimp fajita plate but only 2 tortillas and barely any of the refried beans, rice etc that accompanied them. All so good though….. and well priced.
We then went back to Steven and Pamela’s lovely house (did I mention the view of the lake ??? WOW) and chatted, forced some pie down (delicious), drank a dram or two and rounded off a lovely day with chat and laughter.
Stuart heroically had remained teetotal throughout and drove us the 90 minute drive back to Daytona around 1030. A birthday to remember and add to Bob’s collection of Birthdays Around the World. Thanks to Pamela, Steven, Euan, Stuart and Fi for helping to make it so special.