Monday, August 30, 2010

Cocoa Beach - Land of Surf and Beach Bars

Well we are back to living for weekends like most people I guess - we work during the week (Doug in his office and me at the gym and on the boat - I actually had a two day legal project this past week for a former client and it was a total blast. Guess I forgot how much fun legal stuff can be - did I just say that??? who am I???) We enjoy our cocktail hour and some pretty amazing sunsets each night but let's be real - we love our weekends!! and we are sure making the most of them!!!
A Beautiful Sunset Over Harbortown Marina
We hit the Thunder on the Water Power Boat races at Cocoa Beach the other weekend - man what a blast. Of course we had to search for the perfect venue at which to watch the races - thinking (correctly as it turned out) that the Cocoa Beach Pier would be jamming and not in a good way, we drove further down the beach in search of more local color and great beach bars. Never fear - we sniffed out a couple awesome joints (yes Stephanie - these are real joints!!) The first and probably our favorite is the Sandbar Grill - I can see many, many, many afternoons spent here!!! How can a place be bad when it's slogan is "we don't run from hurricanes, we drink 'um!!!
We Haven't Tried to Weather the Category 5 Hurricane Yet
They serve category 1 through 5 hurricanes - the cat 5 is unbelievable!!!! We're talking white rum, spiced rum, coconut rum, triple sec, a dark rum floater and a shot of 151 down the straw for good measure (oh yeah - forgot to throw in a little fruit juice) - and no I have not had one yet, but can only imagine what one of those puppies would do to you. Actually we saw a couple "lovely ladies" who had had more than one from the looks of them - yikes - hurricanes are destructive!! Maybe we'll try and make them in the safety of our own boat - we do have all the fixings!!
The Back Patio at the Sandbar
The Front Door at the Sandbar

The Sandbar has a pool table with an old sofa in the front - reminiscent a little of a well used frat basement (boy do I miss my Dartmouth days sometimes) - with it's own bar. As you follow through there are lots of TVs for us sports hounds and then a bar and open patio out back leading to the ..... parking lot (which is right in front of the beach - so it's real close to being a beach bar!!) Doesn't seem to matter as this is clearly a locals joint and the place everyone comes for lunch and after a long hot day at the beach. It is filled with all those wonderful things that make a bar so kewl - very cold beer, sports on tvs, tan, ripped surfer dudes many sporting no shorts (sorry typo or freudian slip - I meant shirts), great fish tacos, cat 1-5 hurricanes, sand on the floor, live music and did I mention very cold beer?

For the boat races we wanted a little more elevation though so chose to head to the roof deck next door at Capt J's where we had a great vantage point to see all the kewl speed boats racing up and down the beach
Doug at Captain J's
- they all have such awesome, testosterone driven names!!! It looked like a parade route out there on the water with the thousands of anchored boats forming the sidelines of the race track - ya think there was some fun happening out there??

The beach was packed with people watching from the sand and the water - I don't know but from our vantage point it looked like the boats were coming awfully close to those idiots actually swimming in the water!!!

While the beach was jammin' there sure was some fun happening up on the deck where we were - it was packed with people who had seemingly been there quite some time (a couple "gentlemen" and I use that term loosely appeared to have been there since the day before!!!) We were all betting on how soon it would be before one of them fell over the railing....does that make us bad people? What a great day - lots of sun, fun company, great food, boating entertainment and did I mention cold beer?

This past weekend we spent Saturday hanging out and boogie boarding on Cocoa Beach (with of course some refreshments at the Sandbar in the late afternoon). Is there any better feeling than that sun kissed, salty, sandy I've been at the beach all day and am now drinking a cold beer listening to live music feeling??? Cocoa Beach is known as the surfing capital of FL (who makes this up?) and with Hurricane Danielle off the coast, the waves were immense!!! Unfortunately we were having so much fun that we failed to take pictures - our bad. Sounds like we will have a few more opportunities with Earl and Fiona coming along on Danielle's heels - what's the best kind of hurricane (besides the ones at the Sandbar?) - ones that don't hit you or do any damage but kick up the waves so the boogie boarding is huge!!! We missed you and your slick lizard 41 Bob - when you come down in the Fall we'll get out there since the waves are supposed to be great year-round down here - yippeee!!

Yesterday we spent exploring the town of Cocoa which is off the ICW - very cute little town with lots of shops including Whatnots General Store,
Whatnots General Store
a beautiful playhouse,
The Village Playhouse in Cocoa
and a great waterfront park with an amphitheater, wading pool and everything.
The Amphitheater
In fact the first weekend in October is TropStock in the Village - a whole weekend of TropRock musicians including our own friends from Key West, Scott Kirby and Dave Edmisten - also playing are Peter and Jim Mayer and Nadira Shakoor from Buffetts Coral Reefer Band and a whole bunch of other cool folks. We already have our three day pass, have scoped out the venue which is awesome and have been told by Dave that we will have a blast - are you kidding me, of course we all will!!! So if anyone loves good music, that would be a great weekend to visit!!!

As cute as Cocoa is, it lacks one of the things that we consider essential to a great town - cool bars. There was The Dog and Bone British Pub (do you think the door was a dead giveaway? it looks like Austin Powers' car for pete's sake) which we made a beeline for and attempted to go in for a warm pint of British beer but we only made it about 3 feet inside the door before the accumulated smoke from the 3 people at the bar (at least we think there were only 3 although it was hard to see through the purple haze) drove us out in in search of oxygen. Now as most of you who know me can attest to, there's rarely a bar I can't be comfortable in no matter how much a dive - but I gotta tell you this was so bad my eyes were watering and my throat closed up within seconds of walking in the door. No beer (and I don't say this lightly) is worth that!!!
The Dog and Bone
Being the only real bar we found in town, it was time for us to move on - so of course we headed back over to Cocoa Beach and our favorite dives!!!

Before hitting our local favorite watering holes though we just had to walk through Ron Jon Surf Shop which is by far the largest and kewlest surf store I have ever been in - it's open 24 hours a la LL Bean and is just knarly dude! It's brightly colored (some might call it gaudy)
The Entrance to Ron Jon
with huge surfer sculptures and an old woody (get your mind out of the gutter and think surfing) outside
The Woody
- on the inside it is a veritable fun house of surf gear, clothes and more flip flops than I've ever seen in one place!!! Despite the fact I could have done some serious damage there, we walked out with only a surfboard shaped rug for our galley - we'll be back. I'm also thinking seriously of taking some surfing lessons - might as well take advantage of our location here and learn something new and kewl!!!

Next week we'll have lots to talk about and lots of pictures (some of which I may not be able to post I'm sure - hopefully!!) since we are heading up to St Augustine by land yacht to meet up with Stephanie and Bob from September Song. Yup - the four of us together again with nothing but decadence on our minds - we'll let you know if the city is still standing when we leave!!! Word to the wise - next weekend would not be a good weekend to visit St A's, there may be a run on beer and Captain Morgan!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm soooo out of practice - the coast of Georgia ain't exactly a happening place! Go easy on me, guys!