Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Florida still exists! Who knew?

Last week I had to go to Florida for a work trip. We flew down Tuesday night, had meetings all day Wednesday and Thursday, then flew back to Raleigh Thursday night. It was a quick trip, but we managed to squeeze in some fun times as well as a couple of great runs.

Clouds from the plane

Florida from the plane!

After we got in Tuesday we all did walk down to the ocean just to check it out. We flew into Orlando, then drove to Cocoa Beach and found the hotel. I've never been to Cocoa Beach before, so I was looking forward to it and trying to keep an open mind about the place.

So the first thing we do is walk to a Denny's to get something to eat. These drunk chicks come in, and a few minutes later a white BMW shows up. They proceed to quickly exit the restaurant and dance on that car like it was a stripper pole! They were really trying to earn that dollar too. I mean, it went on for a while. Part of me expects this kind of thing when I'm at a Denny's in Florida at midnight, but it was still a surprise.

Wednesday morning I got up and ran 8 miles on the beach heading north. The sunrise was unreal. There were a few old people with metal detectors, but in Florida Skin Years that means they were about 42. I saw a few other runners out there too, but it was pretty deserted. Perfect!

After a nice hard morning in the office down there, we all went to lunch at a place near our hotel. This place had the best fish tacos I've ever had. insanely good fish tacos. Then it was back to the office for a few more hours of meetings. Nothing like a 2 hour lunch on the beach to make you feel good about going back to work, I guess.

After work we all went down to the beach. Now I don't know if you normally get into swimsuits with the people you work with, but as a software developer, I don't. Of course the co-workers that didn't go on this trip wanted me to bring a speedo just in case. While normally I'm game to do that, just to embarrass the people I'm out on the beach with, it just didn't seem right. There could be repercussions this time.

Nobody else I work with has tattoos
Then we all went out to Coconuts On the Beach for dinner. There was pitchers of beer and lots of seafood, it was a blast. We got a table right next to the beach, and there was a couple of guys playing guitar and singing Southern Rock. So that works for me. Even the guy who came down from Ohio was into it. So that rocked.

Nice place!

They do love their trash cans in Florida
After dinner we went to Ron Jon Surf Shop, the original and one of a kind place in Cocoa Beach. Ron Jon is legendary, so I had to get some souvenirs for Kelley and the kids. That store was huge, and I went through it kind of buzzed. Really cool place.

Thursday morning I got up early again and ran 7 miles on the beach, but this time I went south instead of north. The beach was much cleaner going this direction, and it turns out the Coconuts Restaurant was exactly 1 mile from the hotel. The sand got more steep at the waters edge the farther away I got, so it set off my tendonitis pretty bad. Made the rest of the day a bit uncomfortable.
Quick selfie before the morning run
 I do enjoy watching the sun come up over the ocean while I'm getting some miles in.

After a morning filled with meetings we headed out for the "team building activity". Turned out to be a blast! They found this airboat tour place with a restaurant that was inland, between the Cocoa office and the Orlando airport. We ate lunch at the restaurant, and I had fried gator and french fries. it was really good.

Then we got on the airboat. The guide was hilarious. It was hot, and this time of year the gators stay in the water to stay cool, but we still saw a few swimming around. The river was really wide and about 3' deep. So these airboats were perfect.

12 man airboat

that thing was loud

Big river, not deep

Cows and gators in the water

That black soil has to be so rich.

The last thing we had to do was fly home. I got in about 9 pm, and it was a nice flight. I was happy to be home, and so was everyone else. This was a great trip! We all had a lot of fun and got to learn and share a lot with the office down there.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Sounds like a fun work trip with a good mix of meetings and social events. And way to go on fitting workouts in. That is something I tend to struggle with when traveling! I haven't spent much time in Florida, but your Denny's story is pretty much in line with what I think about the east side of the state. I've been to the gulf side a few times and I think things are a little different (and people are more affluent) over there.

Yasmeen Elsayed said...

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