2017 Disney Cruise – A Day at Cocoa Beach

In the previous part of the 2017 Disney Cruise Trip Report, we had arrived at our destination to begin our cruise. Except that we were a couple of days early. Why not spend a little extra time at Cocoa Beach while we wait?

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June 6, 2017

We were up a little earlier than when we usually get up for a beach day, but we wanted to make sure that we had enough time to spend at the beach before the predicted rain arrived. It had actually already been raining earlier in the morning before we got up, but a quick check of the weather radar on our phones showed that there was at least a temporary break in the rain. Remember the old days of waiting around for the Weather Channel to show the local radar for a few brief moments every 10 minutes or so? I love the internet and smart phones.

It did not take us long to eat our breakfast and get ready to go. Either because I am optimistic or because I don’t want skin cancer, I went ahead and put on sunscreen, even though the clouds were pretty thick outside. Laura and Jaylin don’t burn as much as I do, so they didn’t bother with sunscreen. But I stuck the sunscreen bottle in our beach bag, just to be safe.

We would usually pack some sort of lunch for our time at the beach, because we usually stay out there all day, or for as much of the day as we can. But because of the forecast of rain most of the day, we hadn’t bothered getting anything for lunch. We did put a bottle of water for each of us in the beach bag, but we did not put them in the cooler, so that we would have one less thing to carry if the rain were to run us off. We did have some peanut M&Ms and some sour cream and onion Pringles with us, so we put those in the bag, just in case we needed a snack.

There were not many people heading out the beach as we were walking out. Of course, it was only about 7:45 in the morning, and I suppose most people are still sleeping at that time on a beach vacation. There were a couple of workers sweeping the sand off the boardwalk that leads from the beachside restaurant at the International Palms Resort, but that was about it. There were also a very small number of people that we could see up and down the beach, but not very many.

Needless to say, we did not have any trouble picking out our beach spot at all, because we could have any spot that we wanted. So we went closer to the water than where we usually go, almost to the dividing line between the wet sand and dry sand, and set our bags down there. We had brought our beach bag, my camera bag, and the body board that we bought the night before, so we were travelling light. No beach chairs or umbrellas for us. As with the cooler, I felt that the chairs would be one more thing to carry, and I also thought the wind would be too much of a problem for the umbrellas.

It was a shame, too, because this time around we had two beach umbrellas instead of one. A couple of months earlier, I had mistakenly thought that we had thrown our old beach umbrella away, so Jaylin and I gave Laura a new beach umbrella for Mother’s Day. However, that was apparently a couple of years back that we had thrown the old umbrella away, and we had gotten a new umbrella last year. No problem, I thought, we can just take them both. The new umbrella is even bigger than the small one, and if we put them both together, we can have a good bit of shade instead of all three trying to squeeze under one umbrella. But all of that did not matter now that the sun could not be seen.

Alone in the waves at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Laura takes the board out for a spin. From the previous post Alone in the Waves at Cocoa Beach, Florida – read more about it there.

We spent the sunny part of the day much as we had spent the cloudy part of the day, getting in and out of the water, riding the body board, sitting under the umbrella. Just a typical beach day for us. It did, however, feel warmer with the sun out than when it had been cloudy. The water was still relatively cold, but it felt better after we had been heated up by the sun. No complaints at all.

Jaylin in the waves at Cocoa Beach

Jaylin and his board brave the waves and the clouds at Cocoa Beach.

We were starting to think that the lifeguards at the public beach at nearby Lori Wilson Park were not going to show up, perhaps because of the weather. But as it turns out, they did show up after all. In fact, they were probably there at the same time that they always arrived, but it seemed much later due to the fact that we were there much earlier than before. It is funny how time seems to be different when you are at the beach. In some ways, the day goes by quickly, and in other ways it almost seems timeless somehow.

Clouds at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Laura and Jaylin walk along the shore at Cocoa Beach, as seen in the earlier post Clouds at Cocoa Beach, Florida – read more about it there.

As the day went on, the clouds started to go away. Even though they had looked so threatening when we first got there, the clouds eventually gave way to nice-looking skies. There were still some white, fluffy clouds up there, but you could also see a good bit of blue, too. We were glad we had decided to brave the weather for the day, because the weather was suddenly on our side.

I walked back to the car to get our umbrellas, because we needed them once the sun came out. How interesting to see what a difference in temperature a little bit of sun can make. Soon, we were enjoying some shade as well as some sun, and we had plenty of room under our two umbrellas, too.

Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida

We did put our umbrellas up once the sun came out. From the earlier post Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida – read more about it there.

It was funny how many people showed up as soon as the sun started coming out, too. Actually, I think a bus with a group of some sort arrived, because all at once there were lots of people streaming to the beach. Maybe it was a church group on a trip of some kind, because most of the people seemed to be in their late teens or so. As close as we had put our stuff to the edge of the dry sand, some of them came and put their stuff in front of our stuff. The nerve! Oh well, it isn’t like it was our private beach or anything. They had a right to be there just like we did. It was just interesting to see how many more people came with the sun.

I called my parents, because I knew they were on the way to the Cocoa Beach area, and I let them know where we were if they wanted to join us on the beach when they got there. They were getting close, but they were not there yet, and they thought about trying to get a hotel room for the night before coming to the beach, too, so we would talk to them later to update where everyone was.

Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Because of the wind, we kept our umbrellas folded down when we weren’t under them, just in case. From the previous post Dueling Umbrellas at Cocoa Beach, Florida – read more about it there.

But I hadn’t given up watching the skies, even with the sun out, because there were still several clouds covering parts of the sky. While most of the darkest clouds had gone around us for most of the morning, there was a large black cloud that appeared to be coming our way. Quickly. Laura was out in the water with the board, and Jaylin and I were under the umbrellas. I decided we better start putting down the umbrellas, because clouds like that usually bring a good bit of wind with them.

About the time the wind was starting to pick up, Laura came up from the water because she had noticed that we were putting things away. I pointed out the big, dark cloud heading our way, and she reluctantly agreed that we should leave. So we finished packing up and started heading to our hotel room.

Just before we got to the room, the cloud let loose with all of the rain it was holding. It was not a heavy downpour, but it was not a light sprinkle, either. Once we got to the room, Laura and Jaylin went over to the pool area to try to rinse some of the sand off of their feet at the foot shower there, but then the rain really started coming down hard, so they ran back and rinsed their feet in the rain dripping off the building as best as they could.

But we were not complaining any. We had only expected to be out there on the beach for an hour or two, and we had ended up staying out for over five and a half ours. Not bad at all for a “rainy” day! We decided to shower and change and start looking for something to do.

While we were getting cleaned up, I called my parents to let them know that we were not on the beach any more. They had guessed that, based on the rain that was falling on them, too. They stopped at a hotel and were trying to get a room, but the hotel people were having trouble with their computer system. We had decided to go to the mall for a while, and they said they would meet us there once they had gotten a room.

The rain had let up some by the time we headed out to the mall, but it was still enough rain that we were glad we had left the beach. So we were happy with the choices that we had made.
Our first stop at the mall was Chick-Fil-A. We still had not had any lunch besides M&Ms and Pringles, so we decided to balance all of that out with a peach milkshake. Nothing like eating right while you are on vacation. The milkshakes hit the spot for a while, although we knew we would need something more later on.

We looked around in the bookstore for a while, and that is when my parents joined us. The hotel people had still been having computer problems, but they eventually did get a room for my parents, so we were all good for the night for places to stay. We spent some time looking in the various stores in the mall, mainly looking at books and shoes.

Once we had exhausted our shopping options at the mall, we decided to go on and eat a substantial meal, because we were all hungry. So we went to Molly’s Seafood Shack, another one of our favorite Cocoa Beach places, and we all enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner there. Everything was as good as it always has been in our previous visits, so once again we were glad to have gone there. Except for the fact that we were really, really full.

We decided to walk off our meal a bit at Ron Jon Surf Shop. Yes, we had just been the night before, but my parents had not been yet. And somehow, we always find more to look at there, even right after we have been. When we had finished there, we went across the street to the Cocoa Beach Surf Company store to look around there as well. I always enjoy seeing the small sharks in their aquarium, as well as all their merchandise.

After all of that shopping fun, it was starting to get late. We decided to go back to our hotel rooms and rest up for the next day. After all, that was the day we were to board the ship for our cruise, so we did not want to be too tired for that.

In the next installment, our cruise actually begins. Really. Seriously. I promise. Stick around and keep reading, because it is going to be good.

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