TUES 17th OCT 2000

Up at 8:00 and off to the welcome meet in one of the beach front cottages. Now this place is really stunning. 3 bedrooms downstairs with 2 bathrooms, whirlpool bath, showers etc. while upstairs is the living area, kitchen and balconies both front and back. Unfortunately it costs a zillion points a night.

The meet itself provides free coffee and breakfast including fruit, croissants, muffins etc. It is split into two parts, one relating to DVC, which doesn't really tell me anything I don't already know, and the other telling you about the resort activities and surrounding area. This part of the presentation is done by Justin, a radical surfing dude, so everything is 'really cool'. He is very funny and makes the whole thing thoroughly entertaining. At the end they have a draw for a cool bag and a towel which first India and then Georgia get asked to take part in. They don't pull out our tickets (stupid children!) but they get offered something for helping out. They can choose from either a beach ball, a frisbee or a slinky each. They both choose the ball but then Justin gives them both a frisbee as well. Then he says you may as well have the slinky too! Not a bad haul for one morning.

The next few hours are spent relaxing around the pool while the children indulge in various activities. Firstly there is the water balloon toss. As the name suggests this involves a load of children attempting to catch balloons filled with water, usually without much success. The end result is wet, happy children.

Next is the water relay. Two teams of children are chosen and they race against each other from one side of the pool to the other whilst carrying a ball and cone. Some children are very fast, while others take longer than an African Olympic swimmer.

Lunch at Bleacher's (the pool bar) is followed by a walk along the beach for me, India and Georgia as Tammy relaxes by the pool.

When I say 'beach' I use the term loosely. There is very little sand to walk on as the tide roars in again. What sand there is, is liberally peppered with seaweed. You would not choose this resort for its beach facilities. It is probably just a rough time of the year as there are beach chairs and jet skis available for rent in more favourable conditions. Also British visitors that might expect to stroll the beach and drop into a taverna or beach bar (as in the Med) are going to be disappointed as there is nothing for miles in either direction. In fact the whole area surrounding the Vero Beach Resort is highly residential and you definitely need a car if you want to explore outside.

At 3:00 we sit on the back porch and listen to Unca Banjo for a few minutes before attending the open house in the beach front cottage. The lady there is not particularly talkative but we enjoy a glass of lemonade and a cookie.

Back to Community Hall as it is time for bingo! There are only two other players so the Stringer family reap another veritable treasure chest of prizes including chocolate for Tam and various knickknacks for the girls. Shame they don't have beer for a prize.
One thing about this family, we are always up for a freebie. In fact Tammy would probably walk across red hot coals if she thought that there was something free at the end of it.

Back to the room, showers and out by 5:30. We are going to eat in Captain Hirams, about 4 miles away in Sebastian. This is a pretty place by a marina.

We start with salads which are 99 cents with an entree. India has the smoked fish dip and crackers (8) with fries on the side (wow, don't I sound American!) while Georgia stretches her culinary boundaries with hot dog and fries (7).
My entree is Grilled Grouper (8) and Tammy has the Seafood Platter, which consists of scallops, mahi mahi and shrimp broiled in a white wine, butter and lemon sauce (8.5). We have a coupon from the web site for a free dessert and try the Captains Derby Pie, a nougat brownie covered in cream and choc chips (5.5). The total bill including tip is $70, very reasonable I thought. This is helped by the draft beer being $1 on special. As I am driving I cannot take advantage of this great deal. Life can be so cruel sometimes.

Back to the resort where we book Shutters restaurant for 7:00 PM tomorrow night for Georgia's birthday celebration.
As we are passing the TV room the Tigger Movie is just starting.. I want to go to the bar for a beer but we start to watch the film and once we are settled we have to watch the whole thing. Several people walk by on the way to or from Shutters and give us amused looks but we are all snuggled up on the sofa, so pay no attention.
There are not many things that can keep me from a beer but Tigger seems to be one of them.

We are back in the room by 9:30 to wrap up Georgia's presents. Tam has bought a birthday banner which we are going to put up when she is asleep.