Daytona is famous for the beach, racing, and Bike Week . Water in shades of blue turquoise continue to roll across the flat beach front that initially attracted John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford to race cars here and Bike Week is now world famous however, Daytona is simply a nice small town where I discovered and fell in love with Mr. Mouse.
My sister, Mel and her friend, Ellen, came to escape single digit temperatures in the North and had visited Flagler Beach, New Smyrna, and CiCi and Hyatt Browns Art Museum, so I suggested lunch at the Dancing Avocado on Beach Street in Daytona. Having been there before, I knew there was shaded outdoor seating.
Although reports that Homeless plague the area discouraging shopping, I frequently attend a writers group at The City Island Library and have not experienced problems. Beach Street is quite nice and home of the famous Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, as well as my favorite Used Book Store, Abraxas.
Parking is easy to find, and free.
A recent Daytona Beach News Journal article by Mark Lane reminisces about the area in the 1960s and details his family’s arrival in 1962 as engineers for General Electronics Apollo Support Program. Lane talks about the music scene, segregation (“He didn’t share a classroom with black kids until seventh grade”), and Beach Street as the place to shop.
So we headed to Beach Street and the Dancing Avocado.
As we drove, I explained to Mel and Ellen that although we were driving on Beach Street they would not be looking at the Atlantic Ocean. The view was of the Halifax River.
Mel asks, “So where is River Road?”
I responded, “ The east side of the Halifax is called River Road, lots of big expensive houses and part of The Loop. My guess is Floridians went to the beach along the river because back then, there was no bridge to the Oceanside.”
“Really?” Mel was amazed.
It was a cool fifty-five degrees so we sat inside at the Dancing Avocado and selected Veggie Burgers and Symphony salads made with carrot curls, sprouts and sunflower seeds.
Afterwards, we perused the shops and I confessed my search for a vintage cookie jar. Something to fill in an empty counter top space, as we entered “Sisters Décor & More.”
The store was stacked with floor to ceiling shelving and cluttered with previously owned items. Ellen spotted an Old Mother Hubbard jar and drew my attention saying, “She’s kind of nice.”
I moved closer for a better view, and responded lackadaisically, “She doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t know what I’m looking, I’ll know when I see it,” and turned around.
In the corner, his nose pointing towards me was Mr. Mouse.
There was no discussion, no debate. He was perfect I loved his extremely large ears, his small beady eyes and spidery whiskers.
At home, Mr. Wonderful was unimpressed with my new purchase, not even the $19 price tag! He thought his ears too big, I thought them just right, although he believed an open stack of saltines would nestle easily in its long snout.
I love Mr. Mouse’s small beady eyes and spidery whiskers, and the way he sits on the counter oozing personality. Mr. Wonderful . . . not so much and roams the house saying, “Eek, eek! I see a mouse.”
. . . . just saying
Mr. Wonderful, aka, Bob is my husband of 46 years.