Mon. June 17, 2013:
I slept in; there was no way I was going to get up at 7am to go running. I was tempted to have some Fudgey the Whale cake for ice cream, but I resisted. But the temptation got to me and eventually, having abandoned my book I found myself having a post-breakfast snack. I had been trying to get everyone to join me alas no one was interested- that is, until they saw me. Then I found myself having a second slice while we went over the agenda for the day.
It was a mad dash to the custom t-shirt making place at Hollywood Beach where we had an appointment to (finally) get our shirts for 2013 printed. We had decided to get them custom printed as it was too much of a hassle to find an inkjet printer. Matters were not helped when we got a bit lost. We ended up running to the place. Adding to the delay was the fact that our logo needed some re-doing as the white parts would just show yellow shirt (there is no white ink). The couple running the shop were super nice to us, even giving us a discount on the shirts. We ended up buying our souvenirs there (including a postcard with a recipe for key lime pie for me).
We changed into our shirts in the bathroom. We weren’t even out the door and already we were receiving compliments. We had our photo taken by Hollywood Beach in our matching shirts, looking like total tourists of course.
Swimming in the ocean was all fun and games until I got some in my eye. So not cool, and to make matters worse: I dunked my head under the water to cool down. My eyes were on fire when I opened them. The ocean had won this round, I retreated to land. Thankfully it was later in the day so it was not unbearably hot, and in total I felt only one rain drop! Lucy got stung by a jellyfish, thankfully it was just a mild sting, but it only added to my impression of the ocean being mean. And lucky for her the lifeguard spritzed it with vinegar (much better than the alternative of peeing on it, which when I mentioned it, she yelped and said she’d rather have the pain).
This was a really good beach, it had wi-fi. Ok fine, a hotel nearby had wi-fi that reached the beach, either way it was awesome, only I had realized it too late, when it came time to leave. I was trying to find walking directions to Hollywood Circle. We were going there for our dinner courtesy of a food truck festival. Google Maps said it would take an hour to walk there, claiming we could not walk along the driving route. As we drove we saw: Google Maps was wrong- again.
We met up with Marianne’s friend and proceeded to check out what the food trucks had to offer. There were so many good choices and I do wish I had either: a larger stomach (two or three times its current capacity) or a couple of extra stomachs. I was torn between grilled cheese from the hilariously named Miss Cheezious (also voted best food truck in previous years), grilled catfish, a donut burger or Dr Pepper jerk beef brisket. In the end I went with the brisket- I love Dr Pepper and I love brisket. Thankfully Marianne had the donut burger, so we swapped bites. It was surprisingly good (and thankfully it was one donut in half for the two buns, not two full donuts). The beef brisket was amazing! Only the caramel flavour had stayed from the Dr Pepper, it was nice and subtle. The sandwich also had a spicy kick to it. As usual with a messy, greasy, saucy bbq sandwich: the bun was disintegrating so I had to eat fast. Eating a giant messy bbq sandwich while walking around is no easy task and I soon found myself sitting in the grass with Lucy, Ela and Camilla. They had gotten a smoothie from a Caribbean food truck across the way, it was so good I half contemplated going over and getting one for myself, alas the line was too long. Thankfully the line at the cupcake truck next door was non-existent. After digesting and recuperating my sweet tooth got the better of me and I found myself ordering a lemon coconut snowball (weirdest cupcake on offer) from Clarabelle’s Cupcakes. The guy commented on my shirt and I said we were a cult. He even recognized that was had reappropriated the Nutella logo. The cupcake scored bonus points for having coconut baked into the batter. Nothing drives me more insane than a whole array of cupcakes with all different flavours on offer- only it is the flavour of the icing and the cake part comes in only vanilla or chocolate.
No sooner had I finished my cupcake, then Lucy caved and went back to get another. The guy at the truck recognized her as a member of our “clan”, except I had called us a cult. Earlier someone had asked Marianne if we owned a food truck. The 2nd cupcake was a chocolate ganache (or gnocchi if you asked Lucy) with marshmallow fluff, decorated to look like a Hostess Ding Dong. It was good, but nowhere near as good as the lemon coconut one. Plus it had a bit of a funny aftertaste to it, like a vegan/gluten-free cupcake (it is a taste that once you’ve had it, you will not forget it).
We drove back to Hollywood Beach to see the broadwalk. That is not a typo, it is broadwalk not boardwalk; it is paved path. Marianne went ahead with her friend and we tailed them. The Bluetooth in the car kept connecting with Marianne’s phone and we were far too amused by it. We called her phone, creating a loop of echoes. We stopped at a cheap ice cream place as recommended by Ela, but no one else was hungry for cheap soft serve! How can anyone not want ice cream?! A few stores down there was a Ben & Jerry’s shop, ice cream cone in hand I looked inside. There was a sticker in the window stating that one flavour had been reinconeated, as in brought back from the flavour graveyard. I was beside myself with joy, for I had been to that very graveyard last year! I spent the rest of the evening thinking about which flavour it could possibly be. We sat on a lifeguard tower, everyone else lost deep in conversation, me quietly swearing under my breath, unable to get my camera to focus in the dark on the beach or the broadwalk, my thoughts consumed by what flavour was reinconeated.
As we walked back, my willpower broke and I soon found myself ordering a scoop of zombie ice cream. I could not resist the combination of: ice cream, zombiedom, and linking back to a past vacation, topped off with Ben & Jerry’s quality. Thankfully the flavour was White Russian (coffee liqueur flavour) and not something gross like Sugar Plum. There was a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream lip balm by the register but it was too expensive, though it would have made a nice addition to my collection (can you call it that if you only have one item?) of Ben & Jerry’s stuff.
To cap off our night, some creepy guys came and walked right up behind us, breathing down our necks. It was really awkward and we said so, but they tried to make a scene of it. We told them that it is no way to start a conversation with people and we left.
In the garage I could not get my camera to white-balance so we ended up with an orange-yellow group portrait. I was exhausted; it had been a long day. Thankfully I had a cup of tea and some fellow writers at the table that evening. Eventually a discussion ensued about not being to put more complex emoticons such as 😛 in writing in a notebook, I argued that it could be done (and pointed to examples in my book) but no one agreed with me.