20220215 – Pompano Beach Then Palm Coast


Drive down to Hillsboro lighthouse, but alas it’s a private estate so can’t get close up.

Try to go for a stroll along the beach at North Ocean park but no access due to mansions and construction work. So it’s plan B down to the pier at Lauderdale by the Sea. Have a pleasant stroll along the windswept shore watching the kite surfers, ideal weather for it. Was aiming to have a stroll along the Fishin Pier but too much of a skinflint to pay $2 each for the privaledge. Hardly worth the effort.

Settle down to an espresso in some lovely adirondacks.

Then it’s back home for afternoon tea with the new kettle kindly provided by our landlady. Can’t believe she paid $30 odd dollars for a stove top kettle when you can get an electric kettle for just $15. Chatting to her it seems she boils her water in a microwave, but is not aware of how dangerous this is with the risk of superheated water forming and exploding over you.

Want to know how to make tea the proper way then – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jZDBz0qVtM

Wow, this settee is so comfortable. Can we take it home with us?


Wow, there’s these purple balloons washed up on the beach. They’re beautiful and colourful. Turns out they are the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish. We named this one Putin. There are quite a few baby ones that you could easily tread on.

How lucky can you get to see these. The highlight of the day.

See trivia below for more details of this amazing creature.

trivia header


The Portuguese man o’ war, (Physalia physalis) is often called a jellyfish, but is actually a species of siphonophore, a group of animals that are closely related to jellyfish. A siphonophore is unusual in that it is comprised of a colony of specialized, genetically identical individuals called zooids — clones — with various forms and functions, all working together as one. Each of the four specialized parts of a man o’ war is responsible for a specific task, such as floating, capturing prey, feeding, and reproduction. Found mostly in tropical and subtropical seas, men o’ war are propelled by winds and ocean currents alone, and sometimes float in legions of 1,000 or more! 

Resembling an 18th-century Portuguese warship under full sail, the man o’ war is recognized by its balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and rises up to six inches above the waterline. Lurking below the float are long strands of tentacles and polyps that grow to an average of 30 feet and may extend by as much as 100 feet. The tentacles contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans. While the man o’ war’s sting is rarely deadly to people, it packs a painful punch and causes welts on exposed skin.

Beachcombers be warned: The stalwart man o’ war may still sting you even weeks after having washed ashore. 




Sadly Pompano Beach is a tad like Benidorm, with so many high rise buildings, more bars than black eyed virgins in jihadi heaven and very busy. Fortunately there’s no drunken Brits with “Kiss Me Quick” hats on, no bars selling Watneys draught red barrel or Worthington E, with 24 * 7 English football on big screen TV.


Rescued turtle.

After a very lazy start we set off to Gumbo Limbo nature centre where they rescue sea turtles. A pleasant Hammock walk then tour the aquarium and many turtles.

Drive across the road to visit Red Reef park for lunch by the sea. Can you believe they want $25 to park. No wonder the car park is empty. The greed and audacity is dumbfounding. All is not lost there’s a car park across the road, just $3 an hour.

Wendy has lunch by the coastal waterway, I settle for my Sumo orange. Like them they’re so easy to peal. Risk our lives to cross the road to the Red Reef park beach and have a stroll along the beach. Again lots of Portuguese Man of War have been washed up onto the beach.

Certainly not worth $25.

Back home for afternoon tea.

Dinner tonight is a takeaway of clams, followed by ribs and prawns. Can’t believe this Flannigans restaurant, you’d think they were giving it away. It’s choka, and they’re queuing outside for a table. It seems a very Americanthing that they’ll turn up at a restaurant and be told there’s a 30 minute wait for a table, instead of voting with your feet they just accept it and join the queue like dutiful Japanese.

Anyway meal was good, and I survived the clams, unlike last time when I had an overnight meeting with Hughie and Ruth. Ribs were ok but not as good as R&R BBQ in Salt Lake or the Wheatsheaf Inn at Edith Weston in Rutland uk.

trivia header


Strangler fig is the common name for a number of tropical and subtropical plant species, including some banyans and unrelated vines, including among many other species which all share a common “strangling” growth habit that is found in many tropical forest species, particularly of the genus Ficus. This growth habit is an adaptation for growing in dark forests where the competition for light is intense.

These plants are hemiepiphytes, spending the first part of their life without rooting into the ground. Their seeds, often bird-dispersed, germinate in crevices atop other trees. These seedlings grow their roots downward and envelop the host tree while also growing upward to reach into the sunlight zone above the canopy.

An original support tree can sometimes die, so that the strangler fig becomes a “columnar tree” with a hollow central core. However, it is also believed that the strangler fig can help the support tree survive storms.

Strangler trees are able to colonize the difficult building-wall habitat in urban areas. Strangler figs in the tropics are pre-adapted to adopt an aerophytic as well as acrobatic urban life by clinging onto building envelopes.




Hot, sunny and humid. I sit out on the patio for morning coffee and have to surrender to the humidity.

Drive up to Target to get two identical, unicorn, winking, talking handbags for the grandkids. Jasper doesn’t get one.

Then drive onto Deerfield beach. Amazed how easy it is to find parking and ONLY $2 an hour. The beach is crowded but it’s one of the nicest beaches we’ve been to. Sit and eat lunch, such a pity we forgot the beach chairs. Mind you we rarely tolerate more than 30 minutes sat on a beach.

Back home for afternoon tea, indoors, it’s way to hot and humid on the patio, plus we seem to be inundated with blood sucking insects.





Takes me back some years to this adult program.

There’s a lot of roundabouts in our neighbourhood. Survival tactics for these in America is to drive very slowly, assume there are no rules and assume American drivers haven’t a clue how they work. Turns out to be true, they’re clueless, but my survival tactics save us.


I guess he’s trying to escape the gridlock too.

Hot and sunny, let’s go down to that nice Deerfield beach with our beach chairs and sit and have lunch. Easy parking there, says he.

How wrong can you be. All the promenade parking has been taken over by yet another gay pride event. How many gays are there in Florida? Is it mandatory in this state? You never see an old unwoke, unsnowflake, unlibtard old geezers having an event to celebrate common sense. Even a giant multi-story car park is ALLEGEDLY full. We’re stuck in a traffic jam for 20 minutes, yes 20 minutes, waiting for the lights to change. An hour later we escape and try our luck down at Pompano Beach. Just typical of the daily dose of shit that descends these days. All we want to do is sit on the beach and have our lunch, doubt it we’ll even stay long.

After 1.5 hours of driving through hell we find a spot and lug our beach chairs onto the beach. Set a new world record as we last 45 minutes sat on a beach. Then off for a stroll down to the pier and an espresso to calm jangled nerves.

Drive back home for afternoon tea. Wow, it’s hot.

An American sized portion of cracked conch for starters – whatever that is, see trivia below – and some awesome crab cakes for tea from the fish shack.

trivia header

Conch is a common name of a number of different medium-to-large-sized sea snails. Conch shells typically have a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal (in other words, the shell comes to a noticeable point at both ends).

In North America, a conch is often identified as a queen conch, indigenous to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Queen conchs are valued for seafood and are also used as fish bait.



It’s a 4 hour drive up Interstate 95 to our next VRBO at Palm Coast, just South of St Augustine. It’s the usual mayhem. But I’ve got a new defensive driving strategy. Sit in the middle lane at the speed limit and remember your rear view mirror is your best friend. If anyones unhappy about that then they can alway undertake or overtake. Whilst not exactly the best of lane discipline it minimises risky lane changes. I notice quite a few heavy lorry drivers use the same tactic.


Arrive and unload. Remind me to never book a place on the first floor (2nd floor in America) lugging suitcases upstairs is no fun.

Deck chairs on the lawn.

VRBO rental is spacious, clean, very comfortable, with a great deck and views of the coastal waterway, old style Florida. It’s a tad quirky to say the least. Like an antique shop cluttered with weird collection of antiques such as collections of rolling pins; Delft ware; blue bottles, fortunately not the flies; 13 old style enamel coffee pots; 5 tea pots; a giant merry go round horse and two baby ones; a plastic bottle full of small bits of broken shells; tinfoil on top of the radio aerial are just a fraction of the assorted junk. All mod cons and at least it has a stove top kettle, alas it’s whistle less. Incongrously the washing machine cost $2 to use, good news the dishwasher, fridge and stove are free to use.

The bed. It’s a wonder we don’t get nose bleeds it’s that high up.

The grandfather clock has to be the worst feature, chiming every half hour. It’ll be amazing if it survives the week.

Of special mention has to be the bed. It’s so high you need a step ladder to get in it. I get all the daily exercise I need just climbing into it. Fallout of it and your dead. At least it’s very comfortable.

Publix is less than half a mile away so it’s a quick visit for tonight’s tea. I’ll suffer the full blown punishment tomorrow. Back for a Publix style subway and a cool beer with a bottle of Carmenera.


It’s goodbye to Pompano Beach, AKA Benidorm by the sea – high rise after high rise; traffic galore; draw bridge queues wherever you go; it’s a wonder the National grid can support all the traffic lights; crowded. It’s only saving grace was no bars selling Watneys Red Barrel or Worthington E; no bars with 24 * 7 big screen football replays; no “Kiss me quick hats”; no funfair; no Brit lager louts. All the resorts North and South of it seem the same.

Not really our sort of place.

Our rental was good though.


Our lounge.

Lazy day planned to recover from the trauma of driving up I95. Hot and sunny. Sadly I have to endure Publix.

Turns out this VRBO is not in St Augustine but in Palm Coast 20 miles south of St Augustine. Prefer this location to St Augustine, not as busy and lacks an infestation of tourists.

Just part of our awesome deck.

Then it’s the afternoon sat on this awesome deck watching the boats go by. It’s really old style Florida here, full of trees and Spanish moss. There’s more dead leaves than good bacteria in a healthy gut and yet our next door neighbour disturbs the tranquility and provides entertainment as we watch him using his hi-tech blower to blow the leaves off his paths and driveways. 30 minutes later he’s finished. Has he not figured that they’ll blow back tomorrow, just an exercise in futility.>



Wendy off on her travels.




Lazy start then off to St Augustine for the day. It’s a 20 mile drive up a coastal A1A road hardly any traffic lights or even traffic, very pleasant for a change. Call in at Home Depot to pick up Kurt’s video doorbell. ABC wine store is very convienantly on the same trading estate. We walk to it. Alas no pavements and of course no one else is walking.

Then it’s a walk around St Augustine. Lovely town spoilt by us tourists and the struggle to park. We park down a remote side street and having the benefit of legs walk into town, oh so very un-American. Wendy finally finds somewhere to have lunch, then it’s a stroll around the castle, but at $15 a person to go in we’re still as tight fisted as we were back in 2015 – not worth it.

Back home for afternoon tea sat on this awesome deck.

It’s a pepperoni croissant base pizza for tea tonight. Cruelty to croissants, if Macron finds out he’ll be having a submarine hissy fit no doubt. One of the best pizza’s ever – only in America no doubt.



Deluded but dedicated. Apparently she parades down the street in St Augustine every day.


How come the daily slaughter and persecution of Christian’s hardly ever gets a mention in the press? Could it be because the woke, snowflakes and libtards don’t want to offend the main culprit. Yes, you’ve probably guessed it by now its that world famous barbaric, 7th century, pernicious ideology posing as a religion of pieces and permanent offence and seeking world domination. Let’s wake up before it’s too late.

A report which was commissioned by the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and published in May 2019 stated that the level and nature of persecution of Christians in the Middle East “is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.” The report cited Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia where “the situation of Christians and other minorities has reached an alarming stage.” The report attributed the sources of persecution to extremist groups and the failure of state institutions – https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/02/persecution-driving-christians-out-of-middle-east-report


Wendy’s turn for a rant today. What choice and quality of American vitals she’s ranting about – tea, coffee, bread, cheese, beer (that’s me) and cereal (all too much sugar in them). As for most other things she thinks they great over here, but a trip to the supermarket does seem more expensive these days.
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