Friday, December 12, 2008

Never Say Never.

If it's one thing I've discovered about my time over here in the US, it's that I should NEVER visit somewhere and leave it declaring  "well I'll never be back here again."

Famous places are one thing, like Las Vegas, San Francisco, Yosemite Park, Grand Canyon and so on, but I mean when you leave a small family owned budget motel that wasn't much to write home about on its best day, saying you'll never be back there again, you really DON'T expect to ever see it again.

But over the years I've revisited so many places here that the phrase has become a personal joke.

"Oh look, here I am again in XXXXXXX.  I never thought I'd be here again"  Ho-ho.  

There isn't a third 'ho' (didn't have enough money !!) as it's not quite Christmas yet and anyway, this isn't a Christmas Story.

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised a couple of weeks ago when Daphne, Stephen and myself were driving down SR-699, Gulf  Blvd, over on the West Coast of Florida and we suddenly passed by the very motel I'd stayed at, way back in the early 1990's.

Back then I'd chosen the Ebb Tide motel for one reason only........price.  It was dirt cheap.  I'd driven up from the south of Florida and wanted a base for a few days so that I could unwind after touring down the East Coast, across from Miami to Naples and then up to the St. Petersburg area.  I still had to visit Disney World and as I needed to be prepared mentally and physically for that, I wanted to chill out at the beach for a while. I'd been in a different motel every night for about 10 nights and just wanted to be able to return to the same one for a change.

The owner did me a nice deal for 5 days as there are literally thousands of motels on this stretch of road and so the customer has the power. My parking bay was the one in front of the tallest palm tree on the right and then I'd scoot up that staircase and go left into my room.

To get to the beach, I just crossed the road and walked a few yards down a path and I was on the sparkling sand. Another 3 miles or so and I'd reach the water !!  The beaches on the West Coast can be REALLY wide.

The motel had it's own nice little heated pool and the other room occupants were a right mixed bunch of Europeans as the owner was German or Polish or some such nationality. A foreign 'Johnny' anyway who seemed to be well known and popular with many returning guests.

It was clean and friendly enough but I was really only in it at night to sleep. Each morning I'd be up and out exploring the vicinity and getting in lots of beach time. I've probably got some photos from back then but they're not to hand. I was heavily into video in the 90's and so most of my memories come from moving images and not stills.

The motel was on a sweeping bend in the road and so parking was a bit of an issue. I'd have to ensure that no one was close behind me as when approaching the motel, I'd have to brake and turn sharp right, so as to go up into my parking bay, inches from the road. A few times I'd get there only to find all the bays were full and so I'd be stuck in no mans land, twixt road and the bays, and causing grief behind me until I pulled back onto the road and drove around wondering what to do.

I can't remember what I DID do.  Another senior moment.

Actually that wasn't my first return to the Ebb Tide.  Oh no.  I was there a few years ago when in the area with Debby. I think I may have mentioned to her about my little phrase relating to never being back to a place again and we'd have laughed as I repeated it upon leaving. And now I was back AGAIN.

You'll be glad to know I said nothing as I left this time as to be honest, the place doesn't really deserve to be visited 4 times in one lifetime !

But who knows...............

So, dear reader, not counting locations in your own country, where have you ever been to and thought (even if you've never spoken it out loud) that you'd never be back to again, and then have been ?

(And no, Daphne, Tenby doesn't count as abroad !!!!!!)


Jay said...

Dewey Beach, Delaware.

I flew over mainly to meet and spend time with an online friend (who turned out to be just as lovely in person) to go to the Colombus weekend greyhound gathering. It was a GREAT long weekend, but I figured it was a one-off, after all, neither of us lived there ... but then we met up with others fro the same forum, who were all scattered across the US, and got to meet the dogs we'd only read about, and I ended up going back for four years running!

Your motel actually looks rather nice!

Daphne said...

Hmm - I think I always knew I was going to go back to Tenby! But the place I didn't expect to go back to was Muckross House, in Killarney National Park, Ireland - - I was there in 1981 and 1983, and loved it both times. It didn't have a website then - - it does now!

Debby said...

Speaking of senior moments....there have been so many places that you and I have been to and thought we'd NEVER be back...only to of course, find ourselves there again. The B&B in Scotland was one I can think of and that was a pure accident! We didn't even remember we'd been there before until we went into the restaurant. So many more, I just can't remember.

One I do remember, actually two, that I do hope we NEVER return to...running out of gas in the Mojave desert and being upside down in the ditch in the snow! I guess never say never...but let's make an exception in these cases OK?

Milo said...


I've been to the Hyatt Regency resort in Taba Heights, Egypt, 3 times now.

I never, ever normally go to the same holiday destination twice. But it's lovely and great for a week in the sun (especially winter sun holiday).

Went in September with 3 friends and had an enjoyable time, as we expected.

rhymeswithplague said...

I know exactly where the Ebb Tide Motel is.

Euroangel said...

Thanks for the the photos here!! I spent three weeks in England last month...visited different places there..might plan to come back next time to visit cambridge and oxford and other interesting places there..

wow wish to go to florida too..was only in vegas and california last may and june...the plan to go to florida did not materialize...hopefully next time again...happy blogging!! Leeds, nice city and has a lot to offer..

happy holidays!! guess your enjoying fully your life now!! good luck!!

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