Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Friday, November 5, 2021

Two Susans' Adventures in the Florida Storm - Friday, November 5, 2021.

What a day this has been! I'll start at the beginning.

We had to make a quick trip to the car to get a few things that we forgot last night. When we got to the car in the parking garage, i.e. covered parking, a waterfall was leaking down a pipe and directly onto the top of my Jeep. I moved my car to a dry spot.

Breakfast went well. We each had brought breakfast with us from home, except I had run out of cereal. Susan let me have some of her cereal.

At 9 am, we met in the Walk Around Florida registration room to help set up. Also, Susan and I set up a table with info about the 2022 Texas Trail Round-up (TTR) in San Antonio and the 2023 IML Olympiad along with the 2023 Texas Trail Round-up. It's a very nice display.

Walk Around Florida 30 registration 
is being set up by volunteers.

Susan Medlin showing off San 
Antonio's upcoming events table.

After helping set up, we looked around the hotel's public areas and I took photos.  The main attraction, though, was the storm outside. See photos below.

The Great Hall at the hotel.

A beautiful fireplace in
the Great Hall.

The storm whipped up the waves of the
Atlantic Ocean!

The Atlantic Ocean was very dramatic.

A photo of the pool 
through a rainy window.

This painting of the hotel "back in the 
day" is behind the lobby check-in desk.

The Volksmarch was not supposed to start until noon. At 10 am, Susan and I shopped at Walmart. 

My car needed windshield washer fluid. I needed a rain poncho and cereal for future breakfasts. Some peanut M&Ms found their way into the cart as well.

The day did not look inviting for walking; it was windy and rainy. We kept an open mind hoping that the weather would improve. On the way back to the hotel, we had lunch at Taco Bell. It was warm, windy, and misty. Not too bad. Maybe we could walk after all.

Back at the hotel, my room had heat! They fixed it as promised. 

Susan and I made our way to the walk start room in the hotel at noon. The wind was howling through the crack in the door to outside. The surf was violent. Hmm. 

Upon opening the door to the outside, we immediately made up our minds not to walk. Nope, not today. The volunteers at the start point told us the weather was only supposed to get worse over the course of the afternoon. That did it. Movie time!

We went to see Eternals. When we looked at showtimes online, it said 1:55 pm. After we got in the car, I entered the closest theater into Garmin and we went there. The weather was now horrible. The rain was dumping down AND going sideways. The car was shaking from the wind.

At the theater parking lot, we made sure we had on our coats and that our umbrellas could be extended immediately upon opening the car doors. When I got out, I tried to lock the car manually with the door lock, but it wouldn't lock. I tried about three times.

My hands were full because of the umbrella and my purse. The key to lock the car was in the bottom of the purse and I was trying to dig it out to lock the door. Finally, I got the car locked and we ran to the theater, both of us stepped in the same deep puddle and our shoes and socks got swampy. Our pants legs also got wet from the blowing rain. Yuck!

Furthermore, when we got into the theater, Eternals wasn't playing until 2:30 pm. I think we went to the wrong theater location. Soooo, we bought popcorn, drinks, and I had candy. We sat in the air-conditioned lobby with wet shoes and pant legs and ate popcorn until 2:20 pm.

The movie was enjoyable and very different from most Marvel movies. At the end, there are two extra scenes. The last one is after all the credits run.

When we got out of the movie and looked outside, the weather was worse than when we went in! We fastened our coats and put up our umbrellas. Then we ran to the car. Little waterfalls were cascading off the theater roof so we tried to avoid those. They splashed on a short wall and hit us sideways. 

Here's a short video of the storm outside. Sorry, some of it is sideways.

I got to the car first and dived in. Immediately, I noticed something was very wrong. The front passenger-side window was all the way down! At first, I thought someone had broken in, but there was no broken glass. Besides, who in their right mind would be out thieving in this weather?

My Jeep has leather seats so Susan dried them off as best she could with Kleenex. The worst water intrusion was on the floor mat. That had rubber on the bottom of it, so the carpet underneath the mat didn't get very wet. Thank goodness. The other lucky thing was, we had parked so the rain was blowing toward the driver side, not the passenger side. We didn't get near as much water in as we could have.

My guess as to how that happened is that when I was manually trying to lock the door, in my haste, I accidentally hit the control to lower the passenger-side window. That's probably why the door didn't lock because I was in a hurry and I wasn't hitting the door lock. Sigh. Water seems to be a problem on this trip.

To prove my point even more about water problems, the streets were flooded on the way back to the hotel. It was so bad at one major intersection (A1 at Mason Rd.) that a car coming through from the other direction had stalled in the lane next to us. I did a U-turn around it and went back a block. As Texans say, "Turn around, don't drown." 

We followed a local driver to another intersection that did not have such deep water and we made it across Hwy. A1. We went a block farther than A1 because A1 was a river back at the other intersection. One block farther, there was a small hill that didn't have standing water. The road was on a rise and we took it back to Mason Rd. so we could cross the bridge back to our hotel.

Back at the hotel, we got the very last parking spot in the hotel's garage. Yay!

When we entered the hotel near the elevators, three of the hotel staff were guarding a flooded area in the hallway just past the elevators. The water was probably 5" deep for about a length of four feet. One of the three elevators was out of order.

We had a few minutes to relax in our rooms before the 6 pm Meet 'n' Greet. Since our Meet 'n' Greet was supposed to be out on the pool deck, there was now a new plan. All of us met in the Great Hall. Each of us bought our own drinks from the bar or the little market in the hotel. 

The organizer, John McClellan, welcomed us all to Daytona Beach in his Dale Earnhardt coveralls. We had a Daytona 500 trivia contest and prizes were handed out. Also, a prize was given to the couple who had traveled the farthest to be here this weekend. They came from Mazatlán, Mexico! We also had travelers from New York, Maryland, and of course San Antonio (us). I'm sure more states are represented, but I don't know how many others.

John McClellan as
Dale Earnhardt.

Attendees at the Meet 'n' Greet.

John giving an AVA award to a couple
for their volunteer work.

It was revealed at the Meet 'n' Greet that about 15-20 people had actually done a complete walk today. I said, "They're storm troupers!" Some people related that they started the walk but only went a couple of blocks before they turned around and came back soaking wet. 

Attendees at the Meet 'n' Greet.

Attendees at the Meet 'n' Greet.

Costume change: John is now
an AVA walker with all his patches.

After the Meet 'n' Greet, we went back to our rooms. I finally removed my swampy shoes and socks. They are now sitting on a chair in front of the heater. After cheese, crackers, and M&Ms, I watched Wheel of Fortune and Magnum, P.I. 

Now that I have finished two blogs, I am finally going to get some sleep. Travel Bug out.


  1. Wow, what a day. Could you believe their garage area? It was all broken pipes and flooding, plus extra parking was blocked off. I can only imagine what the additional area must have looked like.
    Really cute story!

    1. DJ, The parking area that was blocked off had a barricade that said "Valet Only." I parked right across from that sign. And, yeah, the garage area on the main floor was a river. Crazy, stormy day!


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