sunrise. midnight.

You’re looking at our view from the 5th floor of the Ocean Walk Resort at Daytona Beach this past week.

FirstHusband called me from the road (actually, from the airport) on Monday to tell me he had unexpectedly gotten some time off this week – could I book a hotel somewhere for Wednesday night through Saturday night. Not so easy. We wanted to go to the east coast (of Florida) just in case our boat repair was completed this week. (Didn’t happen.) We wanted a one bedroom suite overlooking the ocean in a hotel with a better than good pool – and we wanted it for less than $200 a night. We could have used FirstHusband’s hotel points, but all the pools were . . . boring.

My first choice was Ron Jon’s Cape Caribe because it overlooks Cape Canaveral and if the boat was ready, we would be minutes away. Booked. We could only get Wednesday and Thursday night. I started looking at the choices for our hotel points. Again. Boring. And booked. (After all, I was trying to get a room for four nights – in peak season – with less than 36 hours notice.) Then I remembered Ocean Walk at Daytona Beach. I had taken the kids there with a bunch of moms and kids two years ago. We went the day school got out and stayed 3 nights. It was great! Two pools, one with a water slide, a separate lazy river, two hot tubs and a kiddie pool, right on the ocean. The resort is attached to the Ocean Walk Shoppes which is 3 stories of restaurants, a movie theater and shopping. Across the street is Daytona Lagoon – which has a water park, go carts, arcade and mini-golf and laser tag. Perfect.

I called to make the reservation and this time, I got Wednesday, Thursday ($167 each) and Friday ($172) night. But not Saturday night. Probably better, this way we have Sunday as a “down day” before regular life begins again on Monday. (and THAT is why I do NOT understand the benefit of a timeshare. We can book a weeks vacation for nearly the same as the annual maintenance fee for a time share.)

We ended up on the 7th floor, in a one bedroom with a balcony overlooking the ocean. (I loaded more photos on KeepandShare. Click HERE to take a look!).

Unfortunately, the air conditioning wasn’t working and the room hadn’t been cleaned yet. ewww.

Justin, at the front desk moved us in a matter of minutes and we ended up on the 5th floor. Again, the air wasn’t working properly. The thermostat said it was 72 degrees, but FirstHusband’s travel alarm clock thermostat read 80 degrees. We called guest services and asked if they would send someone to check it out. We got unpacked and changed into bathing suits, but before we could even get out the door to the pool, maintenance knocked on it. In minutes, he had “flushed the system” and it was blowing cold air. Sweet. You know, I don’t care about problems like this if they are fixed. Quickly. Great service so far.

Now, down to the pool and looking for the pool towels. And looking. FirstHusband went to the front desk to find them and Justin immediately asked him how the room worked out. Very nice. We were told the place to get the towels was closed for the day but that we could use our room towels. FirstHuband and FavoriteSon went up to our room to get our own beach towels (just take them, you won’t be sorry). It was already 76 degrees. They came back down and we spent some time in the lazy river and hot tub. When we went up to get dressed for dinner there was a bag of towels at our door and the phone was ringing as we came inside. It was Janet at the front desk, asking if we got our extra towels. Very nice.

We went to dinner at Johnny Rockets and, again – GREAT service. Our server was friendly, attentive and didn’t treat the kids like they were “just kids” if you know what I mean. He already had a good tip before he explained that he had only been working there two weeks, just moved from Kentucky with his wife and daughter to be near his wife’s elderly father. He was a landscaper by trade, but had a little bit of a learning curve because the plants were so different here than in Kentucky. hmmm. The story was good, delivered in a friendly way, but he told it while cleaning an already clean table next to us. It felt a little contrived. Plus, he skipped the standard question resort servers always open with when they want to chat. “So, where you from?” Still, he already had a good tip because he was so attentive and, just GOOD at his job. His ketchup smiley face for PinkGirl’s fries was just a bonus.

We went back to the room and I thought I’d check my blog, even though Ocean Walk advertised that wireless internet was available in the lobby, I thought I’d try. yep. Room 506 gets wireless internet. Low signal at the kitchen counter, fair signal on the balcony and great signal from the bedroom.

Let me take a break and mention the room. Clean. Pleasantly decorated. Full size fridge with an ice maker. We forgot to turn it on when got into the room, but we brought an ice chest, so we had a bag of ice. The curtains in the bedroom were strange. The window looked out into the hallway. It was a full pane of glass, so it didn’t open, but the curtains didn’t cover the entire window. Check out the photo of the bedroom, above. The curtains didn’t close. Luckily, we had a chip clip.

Some “positives” about the room?
Overall, it was not the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in, but it was clean.
The pools were great.
It was close to everything we wanted to do (we didn’t use the van once).
Equipped with a washer/dryer, a blowdryer, two televisions, a dvd player, a vacuum, an iron, a (no fee) combination safe and well equipped kitchen with a full size fridge with an ice maker, coffee maker, toaster, microwave, oven, stove and a dishwasher.

Some things you might want to consider before staying at Ocean Walk Daytona Beach?
Unfortunately, the mattresses were NOT comfortable.
And the pillows ranged from rock hard to lumpy soft.
Keep in mind, this is timeshare resort, so no daily maid service.
That means no daily shampoo/soap/conditioner replenishment.
Water pressure ranged from fair to almost non-existent. (We tried to shower at “off peak” shower times.)

Some things about the room that didn’t bother us, but might annoy someone else?
There was NO shelf in the bathroom to hold ANYTHING.
The bathroom was missing one drawer.
The floor lamp in the living room was missing a light bulb.
Some hooks on the balcony curtains had come off the rod.
The safe was too small to fit the laptop computer.
The alarm clock was broken.

As for the uncomfortable mattress? I had a $50 Spa Finder gift certificate burning a hole in my purse and was very happy to discover that the resort’s spa, Vacation Therapy Spa, accepted it! I supplemented the gift certificate a little and opted for a 50 minute full body Swedish massage. I supplemented it $10 more for a “firm” Swedish massage. Wonderful experience!

On Thursday around 11:30 am, I called to make an appointment for a massage and got an appointment for 12:30 – just one hour later! I arrived 15 minutes early, as requested. The brochure said to arrive 30 minutes prior to an appointment, but the person I spoke with on the phone ended the conversation by saying, “I’ll see you around 12:15.” I walked in and was immediately taken back to the locker room, given a big white robe to wear and a key for a locker. I changed, locked up my stuff and went into this little waiting area. Soft music, dim lighting, a beaded metal curtain surrounding the little room. I picked up a magazine (dated 2 days before) and someone asked me if I wanted water (I did) and then even asked me if I wanted lemon (I didn’t). (As someone who doesn’t like lemon in their water, I always appreciate it when I’m asked.) The massage therapist, Kathleen came to get me and took me back to the therapy room. Again, soft music, dim lighting, candles, and a fountain just outside the door – which you could hear from inside the room. One full body massage later, I’m feeling very relaxed. She did a GREAT job. After the massage, she took me back to the little room with the beaded metal curtain and gave me more water (came with the lemon this time, but I didn’t even care). She even came back after a few minutes to explain some stretching exercises I could do to help the arthritis in my neck. I knew most of them, but learned two more. (Chin to shoulder and the “backstroke.”) Overall WONDERFUL experience!

We spent the rest of the day Thursday just hanging around the pool and ocean. I even read a FICTION book! (Dream When You’re Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg) FirstHusband was reading Cold Sassy Tree (recommended by Lisa Writes) and he really liked it. Thanks AGAIN, Lisa! We ended the day with dinner at R.J. Gators (for some reason, it was called Backwater Fresh Grill, but the ticket and Ocean Walk signs referred to it as R.J. Gators). Whatever the name, it was GOOD. Great service and great food!

Friday, we went to Daytona Lagoon (Florida residents, don’t forget your drivers licenses for an $8 discount per ticket). The food wasn’t all that good and, at around $8 per person, we blew the money we saved on the discount. Better to eat before you go, because outside food and drinks are not allowed. At the very least, there’s a Burger King next to the parking garage. Great little water park! PinkGirl’s favorite part was this giant structure with 3 water slides, water spurting out everywhere and at the very top, a GIANT bucket that tipped when it filled up – sending water everywhere. Plenty of seating surrounding this area and what I liked best was the fact that the chairs were low and right at the edge of the water, so I could dangle my feet and legs in the water and see the entire structure. PinkGirl lasted about an hour and a half and then had a complete breakdown – a combination of over excitement, low blood sugar, lack of sleep and (we think) sunscreen and sweat in her eyes. FirstHusband took her back to the room and I stayed with FavoriteSon to ride the slides and hang out in the lazy river. The lazy river was nice, but there were very Very VERY few tubes. It was after 3:00 p.m. and not that crowded – but I would say that for every three people in the lazy river, only one person had a tube. That said, I probably only went around 2 or 3 times before I got one. The music was classic rock, but you could only hear it in certain parts of the river. I love me a lazy river and FavoriteSon and I must have floated for over an hour. Maybe an hour and a half.

We went back to Daytona Lagoon that night so FirstHusband and FavoriteSon rode the go carts and they had a GREAT time! Dinner at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company and then back to Daytona Lagoon for laser tag. FavoriteSon scored only 25 points below the winner! After we bought the tickets, PinkGirl refused to wear the big, heavy jacket. She finally relented after I promised to stay right with her. After about a minute inside, she was off on her own and didn’t want my help. I was just another target.

Saturday, we went deep sea fishing on a party boat, but this post is already L O N G, so I’ll post about that later.

(By the way, I didn’t post while on vacation because I just don’t think it’s a good idea to announce on the internet: “My house is empty!” I know none of you are going to trek on down to Florida and break in, but I just think it’s more prudent to mention travel AFTER it is complete and we’re back home. Many of my fellow bloggers talk about trips and preparation and blogging while on vacation and I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I wish everyone would post after they get home. Especially if they post their real name and what city they live in. So. I’m paranoid. In this case, what can it hurt?)

Back to life. Back to reality.

5 thoughts on “sunrise. midnight.

  1. Oh Fun! I used to live in Daytona. I know every inch of the places you spoke about. I forgot that the Ocean Walk was a timeshare place – those are really touch and go as to whether or not you get a good room. My favorite part of the Ocean Walk area was the Movie Theater and the Cold Stone Creamery LOL That used to be our date night.

    I’m one of those that posts that I’m gone….but if someone wants to break into our gated community, card key entry into the condo building, deal with the impossible elevator to the 5th floor and then break down the door – they were going to do that when I was home, too. LOL

    I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a tourist in Daytona – Thanks for the guide 🙂

    Kristin

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  2. What a great trip for you! A beach trip is out of our pocket this year. We’re looking at it during an off season time. Your tips are great, as usual.

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  3. Loved the pictures. 🙂 And I agree with you I never post about vacations until we get back. 🙂
    The massage sounded so wonderful…… wish I was there!

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