My daughter, Peyton, friend Griffin, and I started our Saturday road trip headed to Melbourne, Florida. With the top down on the convertible and the glorious sun shining on us, we knew it was going to be a great day. Located 45 minutes from our home in Vero Beach, Melbourne provides a beautiful drive taking A1A or US RT1. Our first stop was the Indialantic for a view of their lovely surfer populated beach.
The town of Indialantic has a spacious beach and it is always full of water enthusiasts. The biggest draw is surfers because of their decent sized waves. A women’s surfing competition was taking place during our visit. Though its not season yet, there was still a large crowd enjoying the beaches. It was nice to see both families and solo travelers enjoying the crisp salty air and rhythmic dancing of the waters. I never considered myself a beach person until I moved to Florida, but now I find myself enjoying the views and peacefulness that it offers.
We were parked in a public beach access area with lots of typical beach shops, local restaurants, and a huge surfwear clothing store. We chose the Beach Side Cafe for breakfast because it was totally packed, and in my mind, that means the food must be good. My assumption could not have been further from the truth; it was not good, it was fantastic!
Griffin and I shared the Luigi Sandwich: roast beef, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, cole slaw, horseradish, and Russian dressing rolled in fresh rye bread. Peyton opted for the fluffy Pancakes and perfectly cooked bacon. Our service was exemplary and all of the plates we saw going out to tables looked flawless. I definitely recommend anyone in the area to come to this family owned and operated restaurant for breakfast or lunch; you will not be disappointed.
There was an ornate and eye-catching SUV in the parking lot. It grabbed my attention immediately, so I headed over to see what it was all about. I was met by the owner of the car, Andres Ortiz, Jr, who embraced his Vietnam experience by displaying many artifacts and personal moments on and inside his car. He drives the car in many local parades and events. Andres is in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not and shared some of his Vietnam stories with us. It was so awesome getting to see his mobile Vietnam memorial and hearing this brave man’s story.
After breakfast, we took a short drive to the downtown historic district of Melbourne, East New Haven Street. As luck may have it, the 11th Annual “Vettes on the Avenue” car show was going on. I love visiting car shows, though classic or import cars are generally my favorite, but this one was nicely organized and kept our interest and apparently hundreds of others. In addition to this, there was a “Walking Dead” zombie walk going on. People of all ages were dressed up in scary make-up and it was really cool watching all this go on. After the walk, we strolled the pedestrian streets and did some window shopping.
Some of my favorite stores to visit on New Haven are Sendala’s (bath products and home fragrance items) as they carry Thymes, Archipelago Botanicals, Jack Black and Caldrea plus dozens of others) and the Chandlery, great for wind chimes, candles, gifts, and home decor. There are also many international based shops such as the Irish Shop, Russian House, and Julie’s British Shoppe. Kilwin’s wonderful ice cream store is located here and for a different treat, try locally made Grimaldi’s candies’ specialty, chocolate covered potato chips.
We had lunch on the patio at Matt’s Casbah with our choice of college football games on the big screens. Matt’s specializes in wine, sushi, and live music, as well as offer a menu with many American favorites as well. We shared the Basil Pesto Flatbread with garlic roasted ricotta and Yucca Fries, that came with 3 dipping sauces: sweet chili, chipotle BBQ, and smokey tomato, and yes, they spell it S-M-O-K-E-Y). It was tasty!
All in all, it was a great day. Isn’t it nice to have a day of unplanned surprises? Day trips around Florida, the Sunshine state, often include that as we must be THE state that is home to fairs and festivals of every kind all year long. Come visit Melbourne, Florida, and maybe venture down to my Vero Beach.
Melbourne, Florida Photo Gallery:
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