Ah yes it was 4th of July weekend and I was going to be kickin’ it in Cocoa with the rents. We hit the Florida Coast on Saturday and set up camp at the Hilton. The weather was perfect for my fair skin, the company, pleasant, and the schedule, non stressful – heaven. I had my fair share of partying the previous week and I figured why not spend a quiet, carefree weekend with mom and dad? We had good, clean, relaxing fun – both on the beach, and at the pool bar. We even made an appearance at the Cocoa Beach Pier and some crazy bar near the port I can’t recall the name of. I did however, consume my weight’s worth of delicious tropical drinks – mainly margaritas, but there were a few other drinks worth mentioning – they were delightful and definitely worth having one or two or… whatever, I don’t judge.
- # 3 The Paloma – Refreshing and thirst quenching – (if you can call an alcoholic beverage thirst quenching) It’s made with Herradura Tequila, grapefruit juice, a splash of soda, lime juice, Agave Nectar and a salted rim……….
- #2 Italian Spritzer – a glorified white Sangria with lots of fresh fruit
and…. My new signature drink (drum roll please)
- #1 Cool As A Cucumber also refered to as The Helen of Troy (so good I will probably buy the exotic ingredients and attempt to recreate it at home….
This gem of a cocktail consists of: Hendrick’s Gin (made with cucumber), St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Fresh Cucumber and awesomeness.
On our first night at the beach, after having dinner, drinks, and dancing to a live band on the Pier, my mom and I (much to wired to retire for the evening) hit the bar at our hotel and ended up chatting with a lovely young couple. She was a cute tan blonde and he was a very handsome Jersey boy of Palestinian heritage. I liked them so much I invited them to hang at the pool the next day… and well at least one half of the couple did. Ha ha! There I was sitting at the pool bar with my dad when ‘cute ethnic guy – who shall remain nameless’ walks over alone!?! Obviously not the kind of guy you would want to be in a long-term relationship with, but I thought it was sort of funny, because he seemed super nervous and confused…. Probably more so than I, probably because he was not counting on my Dad being in the mix. Needless to say he left after about 15 minutes of small talk… but it didn’t stop him from texting me later… gee, I wonder where his blonde girlfriend went?
For our 4th of July, Sunday evening we grabbed dinner at a BBQ joint I would never revisit, headed back to the hotel thinking there might be some kind of festivities for the holiday, but found the place crawling with little kids and their families, so I opted to go up stairs and charge my phone, missing the pier fireworks show completely. My mom of course made a big deal out of the fact that both my Dad and I missed the fireworks (which I honestly could care less about) but calmed down again once we told her we would find something else entertaining to do for the evening.
And we found it! We were told to head towards Port Canaveral because there is a strip of bars and restaurants… so we headed that way, and everything was dead except for the last restaurant with outdoor tiki bar included, Milliken’s Reef Tiki Bar (I just remembered the name). It was a “happenin’ place” according to my mom, Dad was happy to be hanging out with the “young crowd” and I was happy because every drink was $2. Not just wells, or domestics, but everything. My eyes lit up when the cute bartender said, “I’ll make you whatever you want sweetheart.”, so I asked, “May I have a top shelf Margarita on the rocks with Patron Silver for $2?” and then my heart melted, when he sad, “you got it! salt?” mmmmmm hmmmm. “I love You” was my next response. I had a few really good drinks that night, met a couple of guys (who were surprisingly not afraid to approach me as a sat with my parents at a high-top), ran into a blast from the past , someone I hadn’t seen in over a decade, hit the dance floor, and was asked the following from a man who had to be at least 65, “Would you mind dancing with an older gentleman?” – Not at all! and besides the DJ was playing my favorite new ghetto hip-hop track “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris. Oh yes, and I specifically requested it.
It was a fun weekend followed by a chill week that lead into a very random Saturday. And by random, I mean awesome. I live for random experiences, especially when friends and funny photos are involved. That day my friend Nick and I gathered a group of friends together to check out the Audubon Park Society’s 2nd Annual Bastille Day in the Garden District located off Corrine Drive near Stardust Coffee and Video. The event though small in both size and numbers, consisted of a few points of interest and a fair amount of hippies. It was also incredibly hot that day, but I am not a stranger to florida hot and humid summers, so I was a trooper.
There was live fencing, fashion and jewelry booths, a poodle race, french wine and beer, a medieval reenactment courtesy of a large group of players from the Society of Creative Anachronism – Barony of Darkwater, and my personal favorite, hippie mime dunking. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and even ran into a few people I know. This event definitely has potential, but next year I want to see a reenactment of an execution via guillotine. Je plaisante!
After our Bastille Day experience, we did what most sensible people would have done and went for Vietnamese food at Little Saigon. It was soooo good, and now I can cross off another to do on my “foodie bucket list” for Downtown Orlando. I had the Pho Ga, which is basically Vietnamese chicken noodle, but better, and healthier tasting for sure. I think next time I’m sick, I will order some, yeah, something to look forward to when I get sick. I have to say, I was so proud of myself for nailing the pronunciation of the delicious dish, that I must have said it at least five times that night, “Pho Ga” (fo ga).
After that we went for a glass of wine at Aroma in Thornton Park. We sat outside enjoying the warm breeze, good wine (I had the Jam Jar, and it’s excellent if you like a hint of berries), live music, good conversation, and good friends. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday.