The Traveling Steve's

Birthday Week at Daytona Beach Shores

Steve (DOS) and I celebrated my 59th birthday week on another summer Stay-Cation, this time at Daytona Beach Shores, only an hour from our house. We stayed once again at the Residence Inn Oceanfront, and had a wonderful and relaxing week of relaxing, wining, and dining!

We stayed in a very nice one bedroom oceanfront King Suite on the 5th floor. The suite had a living room, dining table, kitchen with full size fridge, stove, microwave and dishwasher, plus a separate bedroom and bath.

We had stayed in one of these oceanfront rooms before (there are only two oceanfront-facing rooms per floor,) and we really enjoyed the extra space as well as two balconies and end corner view with side window. The side window was especially nice as it made the room nice and bright, and you could see the ocean from the bed, as well as the sunrise from the balcony straight ahead.

There was a walk out balcony from both he bedroom and living room, which we would use frequently during our stay. We opened the curtain and checked out the balcony right after I took this photo, and somehow in our excitement we got locked out on the 5th floor balcony!

Fortunately we had our cell phones with us so we could call the hotel, or otherwise we would be yelling down to other guests in the pool to alert the front desk to our predicament! Here DOS calls the hotel front desk, and fortunately they sent two maintenance men up to help us within 3 minutes.

The suite also had a large and standalone jacuzzi adjacent to the bathroom, which had a large walk-in shower.

It was summer-time hot in early August, so beach time was limited to mostly daily walks. The resorts along the beach were filled with families enjoying the beach and water, but we were content just taking a leisurely walk along the shoreline (with our caps and shirts to protect us from the sun).

Plus with the daily thunderstorms, it was much more comfortable inside the room or relaxing on the balcony and watching the beach below, and the storms outside the room.

Our stay was from Sunday thru Friday, while my birthday was on Monday. DOS took me out to a different restaurant each night, so we were definitely well fed!

On our first night (Sunday), we had a casual dinner at Portofino’s Italian Restaurant, just down the street from the hotel. We’ve eaten there a couple times, and this family-owned eatery has been there for years. Portofino’s was a short walk from the hotel, and on the way I captured a photo of the sun setting over the drive-thru Church steeple.

Yes, it’s actually a drive thru Church, similar to a drive-in movie theater. Here’s a photo of it from a previous trip.

At Portofino’s, we had our usual dinner when we come there: a small pizza for appetizer, salad, and then chicken parmigiana for our main course. For dessert we shared a slice of Key Lime pie. Portofino’s is one of the few restaurants in the area open until 11pm, and it actually got quite busy by 9:30 when we left, no doubt due to the large amounts of families rapping up their summer vacation before school starts (at least in Florida) next week.

On Monday, DOS gave me a Happy Birthday bag, with a nice handmade card showing a couple nice trips we had been on. The bag looked fresh but re-used (but of course! LOL!) and he said he stuffed it with tissue paper, as I always like tissue paper in gift bags. As I opened it, the tissue paper was Kleenex tissue paper, not fancy colored gift like tissue paper! This was his romantic and funny way of being practical!

I did open one of the gifts inside, and saved the others for later after dinner. Again, being the practical guy that he is, I got what I had mentioned recently when were shopping at Macy’s. Yes, my first birthday gift was a package of colored Polo socks! It was kind of a joke as I always seem to lose socks, or at least one of them per pair, and I have so many mis-matched pairs of socks at home – wonder why?

I actually wore the yellow pair of the polo socks when we next went to lunch. The bright yellow neon-socks matched my yellow T-shirt as you’ll see further down in this post.

For lunch, we went to the Shores Hotel and Spa, a beautiful oceanfront resort a couple miles up the road from our hotel. We had not been there before, and we ventured around the lobby area before heading to the restaurant. It was definitely a four star resort and had an upscale, classy feel to it. (They even let me in with my bright yellow Polo socks! LOL!)

We had lunch at the hotel restaurant, but ate outdoors on the covered patio area which overlooked the beach and ocean. We both had burgers, fries, and a soda, and enjoyed the leisurely lunch with a view.

After lunch we took a short walk outdoors around the resort. They were doing some maintenance on the balconies on one part of the buildings, but otherwise the oceanfront property looked fresh and well kept.

We didn’t stay very long after lunch though, as it looked like the afternoon thundershowers would be rolling in before long, and we wanted to drive by our dinner restaurant to see where it was located.

We drove back past our hotel, but continued on for 20 minutes or so to New Smyrna Beach, where we spotted Blackbeard’s Inn, where we were going later that evening for dinner.

And boy did those thundershowers move in quickly! On our return drive to the Residence Inn, the storm clouds quickly built up into a dark sky before letting loose the torrential rain.

it stormed so heavily it was nearly impossible to see out the windshield as shown in the short video clip below.

We made it back to the hotel safely; soaking wet but glad to be out of the storm’s way.

Back at the hotel we had a few hours to relax and even take a nap before heading back out for dinner. The weather slowly started to clear up a bit within an hour of getting home, and stayed that way the rest of the day.

I got a few birthday calls and wishes on Face Book, and even took a jacuzzi bubble bath! I remembered to bring a couple of those “Lush” company’s fancy bath dissolving balls, and between those and the hotels body wash I had quite some suds to relax in!

For dinner, we drove back to Blackbeard’s Inn in New Smyrna Beach. Blackbeard’s Inn was also a family run business that had been there for years. Blackbeard’s doesn’t take reservations, and it was very busy inside. Fortunately we got what looked to be the last table in the restaurant when we got there around 7:30pm.

We had a nice birthday dinner together; not a fancy place, but nautically themed with good food, and Prime Rib being the house specialty.

I had shrimp cocktail while DOS had a seafood chowder for appetizer. We also had their best wine, which was a $45 bottle of Ruffino Italian Chianti, while good and very reasonably priced; Blackbeard’s obviously does not have a huge market for vintage vinos in this family style restaurant, which is fine; they do very well as it is.

The food was served quickly and in large portions. We thought the service was a bit too quick actually; it seemed like the other nearby diners wanted to eat and go quickly. We asked the server to slow the pace a bit which she did – just a bit. (We hate getting our salads while we still have our appetizers, and like a bit of a breather before the main course.)

The prime rib was especially delicious, and we followed that up with Key Lime pie for dessert.

We had a nice dinner, and I had a nice birthday, and fortunately we didn’t have any rain or thunderstorms heading back to the hotel.

After we got back to our hotel, DOS presented me with the rest of my “practical” gifts. Yep, more Polo socks, and some fancy underwear! And oh yeah, he did make me a custom card showing a couple of our fun trips to South Africa, China, and Singapore.

In the morning, like the rest of our stay, we woke up early as the sun was rising out over the ocean. Even with a bit of cloud cover, it was a beautiful site. Here are a few photos of the daily sunrises around 6:45am to 7am or so.

We occasionally had a few birds admiring the view from our 5th floor balcony as well!

After breakfast we would take a daily walk on the beach before it got to hot, or the afternoon thundershowers rolled in. Unlike our teenage and early 20 years, neither one of us cares to lay out on the beach anymore, much less rub on the Hawaiian Tropic oil of yesteryear in the attempt to get a glorious tan! Today’s beach scene for us requires a cap and heavy sunscreen for protection!

We enjoyed the rest of our Daytona Shores staycation with a different restaurant each night ranging from Red Lobster (which was conveniently located just across the street) to Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse.

We wanted to go to Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse on my birthday, but it was closed on Monday night, so we went later on during the week. We’ve been to Hyde Park Prime several times, and this fine dining establishment in Daytona Beach never disappoints us. My brother Andy (in Virginia) even surprised us with a nice bottle of Trefethen Cabernet he had sent to our table via a call-in order.

We even met a nice couple originally from France, now living in the US, at the bar area after dinner and enjoyed a drink and conversation with them on the way out.

On Friday, we checked out of our hotel, and headed back home to Orlando. I had a wonderful birthday week, and we both had a wonderful stay-cation at Daytona Beach Shores. Until next time; we look forward to returning again soon!

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