Friday morning started with a repeat of Wednesday, a quick in room breakfast followed by a jaunt down to the sea with only beach stuff, and melting proof snacks.
There was a massive crowd waiting at the elevator, something we didn’t see in the Havana Tower. We weren’t sure if it was a capacity (less cars) or a timing (checkout) thing. What we were sure of is listening to the guy who suggested riding the car up first, instead of waiting for room in one going down was a brilliant idea.
This was especially true when we noticed the same crowd of soullessly sad eyed individuals staring at us in a full car when the doors opened on the floor we started on as it passed on the way down.
Supplies brought from home for the beach were Anabelle’s boogie board, and a beach chair.
Both turned out to be broken, without impacting our fun.
The Styrofoam inside the board’s cover was clearly cracked. This didn’t prevent floating and allowed Anabelle many a wave powered slide towards the shore.
Once the way was clear of lettuce, of course.
The chair had slightly more interesting problems, as the reclining part would fall backwards due to a disconnect of a rivet and some overly bendy supports. Rosa and I took turns VEEEEERY gingerly tanning or reading in it, respectively, when we were out of the surf.
Mostly, it served to weigh down the towels in the increasing wind.
Anabelle continued to play Chopped in the sand, pulling me in to either give her ingredient lists, or come up with something based on hers.
While Rosa napped at one point, she made a dessert containing a chicken brittle, and mine somehow involved mashing pulled pork into an ice cream machine.
It may have been safer and healthier to eat the sand than what we pretended it was.
I went back in to get a phone so we could take some pictures before we left on the possible last ocean day. Hurricane Hermine was getting unctuous as she worked her way north, dimming the probabilities of a final dip before leaving the next day.
It occurred to me when I was coming back out of the Tropicana that it was about the time I would just be arriving if I was able to get out of work as early as possible that day.
Clearly this was a well-used day off.
The storm down south warmed up the water, without roughening it to Anabelle frightening proportions. (A soft breeze gets it past “me frightening” proportions.)
However, there was a chilled wind coming over the waves that meant the McGinley ladies were back on the sand when I got back, having completed their frolicking.
I stepped on a venomous sea monster as I crossed the beach.
OK, perhaps I panicked a bit.
I stepped on a small barbed thing that stuck into my foot. The Oompa Loompa hued life guards informed me was a dune grass seed. I buried it deep in the sand next to their tide adjustable seat, and hopped back to our location.
After just enough faux frolicking for photos, we packed up. Back in the room we rinsed, changed, and dumped enough sand from the beach chair onto the nice hardwood floor to start a Zen garden.
Dinner (chosen by them) was Cuba Libre again!
Anabelle had the steak she liked before, Rosa had the rice she liked before, and I had the fish I liked before. There were also tasty appetizers and desserts!
Reminder: Daddy was right on vacation!!! (Or anywhere!) Wooo! Momentous occasion here!
After dinner, I took Anabelle back to the kid’s arcade. No jackpots this trip, but enough decent hits on the two trips to net her some slightly higher quality crap.
She and her Mother made the educated decision to change shoes before the night stroll on the Boardwalk.
Seeing all the rescue boats and Oompa Loompa chairs firmly lashed down to the railings like Pintel and Raghetti in the titular part of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End rather than left on the beach had me wondering more seriously if Hermine was going to cause some shifting of our final day early morning ocean plan.
Seeing the torn pants and various form fitting and minimal outfits New Jersey women on a Boardwalk night out chose to wear had me wondering why the Hooters near the exit of the Tropicana bothered.
We only walked down to the mall that time, stopping again at IT’SUGAR for a Swedish fish refill for me before going home the next day.
Then we took the bridge over to Caesar’s. The Tropicana has a small gelato stand in one market in the Quarter, and a big frozen yogurt place with an insane rainbow of topping varieties that’s a favorite of ours.
However, I’d been told (by the relatives with me that evening) that the Caesar’s gelato was deserving of its Imperial location.
One might think I’d be surprised when Anabelle ordered a fruit tart, but I’ve been a parent long enough to expect this sort of behavior.
We took in the sights of the impressive lobby, while I tried to impart some Roman history to my daughter via a connection to the version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar she read in Language Arts. Most of it involved, “Wait, if that’s not Julius Caesar, why isn’t the casino called Octavian’s Palace?
With a smidge of educational progress made, we went back to the Tropicana. For the first time we caught the “multimedia show” outside. It consisted of some cool electronic music, flashing strobe lights and video screens with digital Tron like images. Not a replacement for the long missing laminar flow fountain show in the mall, but nifty none the less.
On the way up to the room, I stopped again in the little wine store, since spilling much of my “weird vacation beer” allowed me a replacement.
It’s in the manual, trust me.
I had my Ghost Rider shirt on, and the guy behind the counter was a huge fan. We had a pretty awesome conversation while he pulled out the herb rye ale from the “weird vacation beer” fridge. Anabelle had some awesome eye rolling while we were there as well.
We took the “secret hallway” she’d discovered on this trip back to the West Tower. It passed by the “Boogie Nights” Seventies nightclub. The time was early enough that the crowd was small and disinterested. The stage dancer with the hula hoop seemed to sense Anabelle was also a dancer when their eyes met. Either that or she was just thrilled to have someone not completely ignoring her and they shared a moment.
Because of our earlier viewing of Wayne’s World, Anabelle was able to identify the boor in the elevator as not only being drunk and inappropriate when he quoted the lame Chinese food “joke” from that film, but also unoriginal.
We played some Uno amidst packing on our last night.
Being far too tired to go down and gamble yet again still did not let me sleep with the impending Hermine-ness. Instead I woke up continually to check the weather both at home (due to the door water saturation earlier in the ad-veeeeen-tures! *Jazz Hands*) and where we were. (Due to being there.)
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