I decided I needed a quick getaway for 2 days.  Last year (2017) on this same date, I was still sitting in the dark after Hurricane Irma swept through my area six days early.  It was hot and dark with no electronics, nearly out of food and water and at that time, I didn't even have a smartphone. I decided to spend the remaining time at Daytona Beach until my power was back and I could resume work. It all worked out fine and I managed alright.

Now, one year later, after a 6 month unrelated medical leave, I've been back to work just 4 weeks. Hurricane Florence is 500 miles north, so overtime at work is required for those not affected by the hurricane. It was the same for my coworkers last year.  Already with several hours OT this week completed, I decided to make a trip to Daytona Beach for nothing more than to relax at the ocean and get out into the world.

I decided, although I liked the hotel I stayed at last year, I wanted to stay closer to the boardwalk.
There was a bit of a price difference, so I kept having an internal conversation trying to justify the expenditure, even though it was what I wanted and I felt it was worth the price, but was I deserving. Typically, I would talk myself out of the pricier hotel AND usually talk myself out of going in general.  I wasn't going to let that happen. I had the cash saved up, so I booked the nicer hotel and decided I would let the Universe send me a sign to let me know yea or nay on my decision. 

Sign one - They added Mandatory overtime to my schedule which would interfere with my trip. Each employee is required to work 7.5 hours overtime from Sept 13 - Sept 15. Was that the Universe telling me I shouldn't go? No, it turned out to be incompetent schedulers that can't count to 7.5 hours. I already scheduled 8 hours which met the requirement. The mandatory overtime was removed.

Sign two - Before I take a trip, I like to look at the actual route to minimize any surprises while I'm driving.  One thing in particular I like to find is the last road I see before I turn into my destination. This was a sure sign: 

Wisteria Rd and Nautilus Inn

Travelling south on S Atlantic Ave, Wisteria Rd is the last street before turning into the hotel. I walked across the street and took a picture of the actual sign.  Very sneaky Universe!
Wisteria is my Granddaughter's name

Sign three - I was suppose to leave as soon as I got through with work. That didn't happen. I just wasn't ready, but was determined to shower, pack and stop at the store on the way. Then a downpour came. I still didn't let that stop me. Then a car was broke down in the middle of the road. I finally got around it right before the police showed up, I wasn't going to let that stop me. Then I turned to soon, trying to get into the store. I had to back track and do a u-turn due to the median.  Made it in and out of the store, still determined to get there. Speed Limit 65.  Cars in front of me going 45 in both lanes for quite a few miles. Universe!!! Is that you trying to tell me something?? I took it as the Universe wanted me to relax, slow down, and enjoy.  

Sign four - I check in and there was an unexpected charge, but other than the poor answer to my question from the clerk, I took it in stride.  I get to my room and it's pretty nice, 9th floor, a little scary at first. Cannot find an outlet to plug in my computer and still see the ocean.  Really?? Am I going to have to rearrange the room!!? I figured out something, although not ideal, it's functional. 
Then there is no local information such as restaurants, delivery choices, nothing! Fine! No complimentary coffee, although you have a 4 cup coffee maker on the counter? Fine! Really Universe- 2 screws on the counter-- Is that your way of not so subtly letting me know?

Sign five - I went for a walk on the beach. When I was headed back, I wondered if I was going to recognize my hotel. None of the hotels had their logo or address on the back wall or visible from the beach. I thought it was very odd, but maybe there was an ordinance prohibiting it.  I enjoyed the walk very much, but I was still concerned about not knowing which hotel I was staying at from the back and started formalizing a plan in my head. When I got close, I could see MY HOTEL had the Name & Address on the back beach wall and their name and logo at the front/side of the building was visible!! Go Universe!

Then I saw the real sign. The purple flowers - a deeper purple than these pictures depict. People that know me will know the significance.  I didn't see any other flowers, purple or otherwise, during the walk and I took notice of a lot of things. I saw them and new this was the right hotel for me. Thank you Universe!

Friday morning, I woke hours before sunrise. I just have my phone with me, but decided to do some research on capturing a sunrise.  I found a compass app and messed around with it and a guide to locate where the exact spot the sun would be rising, so I could focus there. I did an acceptable job, except I think I stopped to soon.  Sunrise was slated for 7:09 am - 7:12 am 

7:09 am - 7:11 am  
I guess I should have waited a bit longer. 
With all the clouds, I just didn't think I was going to be able to see anything. 

6:59 am

7:11 am 

7:36 am

I met some people as I was headed down to breakfast. They were going to hold the elevator. I told them I'd wait. I decided to take the 9 flights of stairs down. I ran into the same people again and they struck up a conversation.  We had a nice chat while we were filling our plates. I sat alone near a window.  After breakfast, I went for a 1 mile walk on the beach. Cars and trucks can drive on the beach, but I just saw a few. I smiled and said hello to everyone I met along the way - whether they were walking, jogging, riding bikes, or in a car.  

One nice man stopped and started talking to me. We had a good chat, shook hands, and continued on our separate ways.  His parting words as he reluctantly released his grip were, "maybe I'll see you again, I hope so." I saw a lot of little birds, looked for shells or any other wildlife, but didn't see too much. Got my feet wet a few times. 

When I got back to the hotel, I decided to climb the 9 flights. It was a long way up!  Looking through the pictures and videos from my cellphone, although not terrible, has made me want a camera.  I have a point and shoot camera, but really have wanted more for some years.  I started looking online while I rested from my outing. I found one I like and I would also get a discount off the price shown.  I hope I can save up the money while it is still this price. 

So far this vacation has been just what I've needed to clear my thoughts!

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