DAY 10

FRI 20th OCT 2000

We lie in until 8:45. Breakfast in the room is accompanied by Scooby Doo on the TV. The ghost would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those pesky kids.

The first activity of the day is archery over by the lake. India is pretty good at this, she must have some Robin Hood in her blood. I have a go and my first few efforts fly way over the target and deep into the woods. I may not have scored anything but I bet I scared the local wildlife. Tremble at my name, for I am Kevin, slayer of racoons and frightener of small mammals.

Back at the pool I clamber to the top of the water slide with the various cameras, as you get an excellent view of the resort from here.

Another lazy day around the pool. The girls and Tam go off to do the potato sack race while I take it easy and read my book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Tammy and India have read all four so I have got to read them just to see what all the fuss is about. I can certainly see how this will translate onto film, the sets and special effects promise to be spectacular.

Tammy is reading Bill Bryson Down Under. She is telling me about some strange Australian place names such as Burrumbuttock (giggle) and Tittybong (even bigger giggle). She seems to think that I would like to spend some time in the latter of these. She's probably right, I've always been attracted to a nice pair of Bongs.

After a lunch of nachos the girls and I stroll down to the beach.

The beach chairs and umbrellas are out for the first time but the tide is in and there can't be much more than 15 feet of beach visible. I venture out into the ocean a little way and nearly get knocked off my feet a couple of times, so I scuttle back to the beach to dig holes in the sand with the girls. Our puny efforts are soon swept away by the mighty ocean so we slink back to the pool.

For the first time ever Georgia manages to swim a width and Tam goes off to buy her some goggles as a reward. She is soon ducking her head under the water and having great fun. It's amazing what a little bit of confidence can do for you.

It's bingo time again at 4:00. Don't let anyone tell you that the Stringers don't enjoy sophisticated entertainment on holiday.

Back to the room to shower then we are off to the Riverside Cafe in Vero Beach. We found this place in the book of restaurants that they keep in Guest Services. This is an excellent resource as they have photocopies of directions to the various places that you can take.
We chose the Riverside Cafe as it claims to be the only place in Vero Beach that you can watch the sunset. As it turns out it is a very good choice.
It is right by the waters edge with boats moored at the marina. We are seated at a water front table as there is a wedding party inside the restaurant. The bride is wearing a sparkly silver dress and the girls think she looks like a mermaid. Unusually for Florida, this is a covered but open sided restaurant which is a pleasant change from the glacial conditions often found in the air conditioned areas. There is a bar which is buzzing as people have congregated to watch the sunset. There is a warning on the menu that tells people that a bell will ring and everything will stop for 5 minutes to watch the sun go down. As the time approaches a waitress comes up and asks the girls if they want to ring the bell. Georgia is too shy but India leaps up on to the chair and rings for all she's worth. Sure enough, everyone focuses on the skyline as the huge red sun sinks slowly over the horizon. It all reminds me of Key West.

Out on the deck the wedding ceremony takes place and everyone claps as they walk back into the restaurant.
Our server is a young girl who tells us that it is her first night in the job. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Brittany Spears so will get a large tip on that basis alone!
We have an appetiser of Breaded Fried Shrimp with Tomato and Horseradish Dip (7.5) and salads. I have Salmon with Crab and Blue Cheese Mousse (9) and Tam has Grouper with a Lemon and Shrimp Sauce over rice (8.75). We then split a Key Lime Pie (9.5) which is delicious, very soft, just the right texture. Total including drinks and tip is $85. We all enjoy the meal here and rate it level with Shutters as the best meal we have had at Vero Beach. It is fun to find a place that has a really relaxed feel to it with plenty of people at the bar to create an almost party atmosphere. A definite recommendation.

Back to the resort where the girls want to watch Mulan downstairs on the large TV so Tam and I make our way to the Green Cabin Room to relax with a couple of beers. Well, you could at least try to look surprised.
The entertainment tonight is a couple of blokes called the River Rats. One plays guitar and sings while the other plucks a piece of string attached to an upturned washtub. I hope they don't split the takings evenly because the washtub guy seems to be getting much the better deal here.

All the entertainment provided in the Green Cabin Room is of a relaxing nature, either quiet jazz or acoustic music. Very laid back after a hard day around the pool.