“Florida for Thanksgiving” is one of those fun, family ideas that surfaced periodically. A change of scenery to a place with beaches and warm weather, freedom from cooking and cleaning up afterward, a nice tan to show on return. But the boardwalk, pier, and beaches were deserted at warm sunset, only a few strolling couples with dogs and a flock of wheeling seagulls.
Kind of lovely in its unexpected stillness, actually.
The whole trip arose from a misunderstanding. I was closing out project accounts and had given a US auditor open access to my Dutch accountant. They found the VAT Refund line, with 200K next to it. There was immediate concern that the money had been skimmed, when it had, in fact, circulated back into the project. But there was nothing to be done but to go demonstrate the fact, tracking the cash flows from starting to ending balances.
I keep exhaustive accounts for the business, going back years, and everything has a paper trail. So it only took a day to crosstab the information, then hop a plane. It was a interesting to see how the 21 months of spending break out, taxes and legal take more than expected, while travel and salary were pretty low.
By the end of the full-day’s walk-through, I needed a ‘real’ break. So I headed down the coast to Daytona Beach for two days. The town is mainly mainly for the huge motor speedway outside town, but I thought it would also have good coastal kitsch, shops and restaurants.
The developed strip turned out to be retro and sleepy, pastel art-deco towers alternating with and low spanish-style homes. Daytona discouraged spring break crowds decades ago, and now crowds ebb and flow with the race schedules, February through September. During the winter, folks go elsewhere.
That leaves the broad beaches, balconied rooms, and and poolside bars empty, even at Thanksgiving. The locals seem to prefer it that way: there is an authentic life to it and a nice pace to the day.
Thanksgiving will be a UK work day.