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Day 24 – Florida 2016

There are worse places to wake up to than New Smyrna Beach. But that’s all I’m going to say about this place, as I don’t want it spoilt by you Brits. It’s quite nice being the only tourists in town, as were still a bit of a novelty. We still get asked questions like, “do you know the queen?”, and, “Why do you tie that handkerchief around your head? Why not just get a hat?”. And for some reason, a lot of women love to just sit and listen to the accent. In a bar yesterday, I got two free beers and a t shirt for just reciting Mary had a little Lamb. Oh, and pronouncing bodl as bottle.

Nothing much to report from yesterday…Sharon walked into a mesh screen door thinking it was fresh air, leaving a pattern on her face resembling a massive noughts and crosses game, and once again, another American pastime of fleecing you for parking took place. We ventured north to St Augustine, which, from previous blogs you will note I hold in high regard, due to its very brick built and English lay out. It was established 450 years ago by Charles III and still holds a lot of its history, being proud to say it was the first city in the USA. Prices have gone up a tad since then….we ate in an old traditional English pub, and had traditional English food – spinach and artichoke dip with French toast, chicken wings in a Texan sauce, and a Reuben Deli sandwich. I did request cheesy oatcakes but was asked to leave….we wandered around for a bit then revisited the newest and proudest distillery in Florida, that makes its own Gin and Vodka. A free tour shows you around this garage industry, before allowing you to sample their wares. Our tour started at 2pm, and at about 6pm we managed to solve the combination on the lock that was securing Nikki to the sample bar. After explaining to security that I was her helper, and that the tour guide didn’t need emotional counselling, we left and returned home for a welcome refresh and off to Merks. As most readers will remember, this is a bar in NSB owned by a Scotsman, that has karaoke night on a Thursday. This Thursday. My birthday Thursday. “Table for 15 please?”. Took a bit of re-jigging, but we managed it. I did the traditional ditty of Mack the Knife, followed by a few modern country classics, Knee Deep, If you break down Lurleen on Route 66 (Don’t come a cryin’ to me) and I Love ma Gun. Nikki absolutely mastered the Tracey Bird classic, “Watermelon Crawl”. So much so that people were covering there ears as they didn’t want to hear anything else, in case it spoilt their enjoyment. Some even left the bar, saying that it can’t get any better than this. I even saw a few people crying with emotion and enjoyment. For the second time in one day she was asked to leave a licenced premises…

A beer, several free samples, a cocktail, another beer, a jack n coke, more beer, wine, more wine and then more wine. Oh and a beer. Plus, a Miller light which somehow arrived at our table. Home at midnight. Here I am at 7am writing a blog, and contemplating going to buy ingredients, so I can make a traditional English meal tonight for our American hosts. Will they even sell a balti mix paste at the local store?

No crying at Space Shuttles today, and no Nikkisms. Sorry to disappoint….I was spoilt on my birthday though, as usual, and can now tell you what the weather is like in Istanbul, pass my blood pressure onto my daughter, and check the Dow Jones index simply by looking at my watch….all essential need to know things I think you’ll agree

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