This morning we had a very pleasant surprise. This hotel room comes with a 'complimentary continental' breakfast. Now to me, those two words mean a breakfast that we're not necessarily going to want to take advantage of. We've had free breakfasts before so experience tells us not to expect a great deal. We thought we'd go and have a look though so we wandered down at 7.30 as we were up, dressed and hungry. Well, I should have realised that this is the Crowne Plaza 'Dahling'. This was not your average free breakfast. I mean, it's not the norm to get an orchid on your plate, now is it.
And yes, it all tasted just as good as it looked. My muffin was blueberry, Stephen's was Choc chip. My danish was lemon cheese, Stephen's was raisin. I made him walk them off later, mind. All that sugar!
The hotel lobby is lovely. This is by far the most beautiful hotel I've ever stayed in so we took some photos on the way down to breakfast as there weren't many people about. There's an open air pool on a huge balcony on the second floor, a sitting area with a bookcase and a ceiling fan shaped like palm leaves, and all mismatched seating that just looks fab. Oh and the palm trees. Mustn't forget them.
After breakfast we popped out to one of my favourite shops which was just a few doors up. Fresh Produce - I always pick up some clothing from one of their branches when we're in the US and as there was a store so close it seemed rude not to pop in. I came out with some lovely crop trousers that roll up to become shorts, in a lovely sludge green. Also a peach and a stone t-shirt and some pink shorts off the sale rail. We deposited those back in the hotel room, picked up the cameras and set off on our walk.
The plan was to walk the length of Duval Street to The Southernmost Point, head over to West Martello Fort as it has some lovely gardens to explore and then back down Duval Street. All went well until we got to the fort just as it was closing. It's run by volunteers apparently and there weren't enough today so it had to close. We might try again tomorrow but it was a very long walk and it was very hot. We had enjoyed our walk down Duval Street so it wasn't a complete loss. And of course we had to pose for the obligatory photos at the Southernmost point.
There were several other places we'd fancied visiting but they were all indoors and it seemed a shame with the weather being so nice. We'd taken the scenic route to the fort and admired the sea view while we walked.
We walked back to Duval Street and stopped at the Banana Cafe for some lunch. All that fresh sea air and walking had made us hungry. We both had omelettes. Mine was bacon, caramelised onions and cheddar. Stephen's was sausage and caramelised onion and swiss cheese. Both came with some lovely thick wholemeal toast. No photos – y'all know what an omelette looks like. Just over $20 and it was delicious. Really fluffy omelettes, the bacon wasn't at all greasy, just enough cheese, the onions were sweet. Perfect in fact.
We continued to stroll down Duval Street, on the other side of the road this time, looking in the store windows and generally chilling. I spotted an icecream place with both Key lime pie and Pumpkin flavours. Tempting. There was also a shop selling not only Key lime pie (I adore Key lime pie in case you hadn't realised) but also chocolate dipped Key lime pie ON A STICK. Not much you can say to that is there. Should I try some?
Starbucks was calling so we stopped off and got coffee and headed back to our room for a break from the heat and to rest our legs before exploring the last bit of Duval Street. We were going to have just a short break but Stephen nodded off and was soon flat out. I settled down with a book and waited for him to wake up. And waited. And waited. Eventually I gave him a nudge or he may have still been there now. I think I really did walk his legs off.
Once I'd got him moving we headed off down the other end of Duval Street to Mallory Square. By now the sun was setting and the city was waking up. We walked down to the harbour and looked round all the stalls. I bought a couple of glass pendants from one stall. We were still full from lunch otherwise there would have been plenty of choice of places to eat. We took a few photos, strolled round, explored – you get the idea.
That's the sponge shop and Stephen is about to be attacked by sponge guy. Then we took a slow stroll back dropping into the Hard Rock Cafe, which is just by our hotel, to get my bears and a t-shirt each. I'm really happy with the bears. The classic bear design has changed to a softer bear wearing a hoodie and the other bear is dressed as a parrot. Plus, I got one of the Punk Beara bears. I'm hoping to get the other colours at the other cafes we'll be visiting this trip. I'll take a photo of them all together once we've been to Miami cafe and Hollywood cafe and hotel.
So at least we managed to stay out after dark today and it's now 9.30pm and we're still awake. The jet lag must be wearing off a bit. Just as well as we have a wee excursion planned for tomorrow evening if all goes well. Whoooooooo.