Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Old Daytona Ain't What She Used To Be

Daytona Beach, Fl. My home for almost 20 years. (Well, Daytona and two other Florida towns that is.) I took a four hour direct flight to Sanford, Florida from Fargo, N.D. last week. Left on Thursday and came back on Sunday. (We only had two and a half days as our Sunday flight back was at 7:00 A.M.!) I was meeting one of my oldest and best friends, Theresa in Daytona. She was flying in from Delaware. 23 years ago Theresa and I lived in Daytona, a block off the ocean, on the same street. We were both single. You can imagine the trouble we got into! We used to walk or cab it to all the hot spots and some not so hot spots too. Supper (Dinner in Fl.) was usually whatever club was offering free appetizers at happy hour. But, then I met my (Ex) husband Charlie, and Theresa moved back to Delaware where she is from, but we kept in touch over the years. Seeing Daytona was a little sad and a little scary! In 2004 they had three hurricanes and a lot of the buildings/hotels were totaled or just damaged so bad they never re-opened. There have always been homeless/druggies on the beachside, but without the tourists they really stood out! (That was the scary part!) On Thursday, we met with my mom and her husband for supper/dinner. She looked great and it was so wonderful to see her. She is hoping to retire in a year or so. She is going back and forth with the thought of selling their house/land after retirement and moving back to Mn. She hates the cold weather and I don't blame her for wanting to stay in Florida. Time will tell. Later that night, Theresa and I checked out a few of our old favorite spots. (The ones that were still there anyway.) We took a cab, had a few drinks, and were both happy to be in bed at a "reasonable" hour. (That NEVER would have happened 23 years ago!) Friday, we met Charlie and his friend Carlos, at a little restaurant. I rarely talk about Charlie. Mostly out of respect for Tim and because those years are private and between Charlie and I. While my marriage to Charlie didn't last, we did have 7 years together and most of those years were great! I wouldn't trade those years for anything. I was very happy to see him and very happy that he had remarried too, and had a great wife. I wish him nothing but the best! After dinner, Theresa and I went and checked out the Daytona Flea Market. As a teen, I worked at one of the booths selling socks. Don't laugh. There were many days where I sold over $1,000 in socks!! Too bad the socks didn't belong to me though. (Hmmm....got another business idea brewing here...lol) Theresa decided she wanted to take a nap and I wanted to finish my book that I had started on the plane. We stopped at Krispy Kream (The same KK that didn't make it in Fargo! That was a sad day for me as I LOVE KK!) and I got one of my favorite doughnuts (Cream filled!) and a cup of coffee to go with my book. So at 5:00 we were in our p.j.'s napping and reading. (That NEVER would have happened 23 years ago!) Around 7:00 we got up and got dressed and headed out to a little place by our hotel for wings and beer. Once again, we were back in bed at a reasonable hour. (NOT 23 years ago!) Sat. morning, I went to visit with one of my oldest and sweetest classmates, Michael Kelly. I hadn't seen him since the 80's when we would carpool to school together. My favorite memory of Michael was when he and I would ride up to the convenience store at lunch time in his little blue VW beetle for hotdogs and pop. (Micheal, weren't those the best dogs ever!?!?!) We had a wonderful visit and his Aunt Kathy made the best crumb cake! (I'll share that with you in another post.) We had a great visit and I was so happy I had the opportunity to see them both. That afternoon we headed over to Deland, where I used to live and work. I was going to surprise my old boss, George and a friend Tara. Boy, was he ever surprised!! (With a ton of Tara's help!!) I love moments like that. We had a great visit and the time just wizzed by. That night we checked out the boardwalk and then headed to Boot Hill to buy Theresa's boyfriend a T-shirt. Boot Hill is a famous biker bar in Daytona on Main St. It's across the street from a cemetery. Their motto is, "Come on in, pull up a seat. You're better off here than across the street!" They had remodeled and it looked really good in there. Years ago, the women would throw their bras up on the ceiling with a thumbtack and a quarter. They were hanging everywhere! (I never did that. I needed mine!) This time there was just a single file of them hanging over the bar. Guess times have changed. Theresa and I used to go to Boot Hill during the day (Night crowd is a little rough!) on Tuesday's for nickle draft beers. Sometimes we drank a whole dollars worth! Ha! This time we had one beer and headed out. (That NEVER would have happened 23 years ago!) We had to get up at 3:30 in the morning, so we were in bed early that night!! (23 years ago, we would have just stayed up!) So, while we weren't the wild and crazy kids we used to be, it still was so worth it. To see my mom, Theresa and the people who were such a huge special part of my life was just fabulous!!! Last week when I commented to one of my dc girls how she was getting so big, she replied to me, "Yep. I growed up."
So like her, I guess I too, "growed up." Kinda bittersweet it is.