Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Eustis New Years & Some Grateful Beach Time

Well, the Astrals checked out of Hollywood and did the boring boogie up the Florida Turnpike up to Eustis, home of Clark, my old college roommate and BFF. The drive up, for a $13.70 toll, offered only the perception that there's a lot of open land in Florida and the mildly amusing discovery that there's an interchange named Yeehaw Junction. You know you're in the South when you hear a name like that. Wendy did her best Rebel Yell, which shocked me and terrified Otis. I think she may be turning on us. Clark lives in Eustis with his lovely wife Stacey and two cool kids. His son, Dylan has an incredible sense of humor, which I find engaging, and a 4 handicap in golf, which I find annoying. His beautiful daughter, Madelaine, plays soccer and digs 'Lil Wayne.

If you're ever in Eustis, I highly recommend making reservations at Clark's. The lake-front view is amazing, the food, courtesy of Stacey, is to die for, and the towels are the plushest I've ever run across my bod.  Otis was sequestered in the East Wing, since Clark has two dachshunds that are pretty friendly to humans but we weren't sure if their rodent killing instincts would subordinate far enough to accept a coney as a member of the pack. Most likely not. We allowed a little nose touching through Otis's portable pen and an uneasy alliance seemed to form, but not enough to allow unsupervised interaction. Clark has a rescue kitten that one dachshund drags around gentlly by the neck but I doubt if Otis would tolerate that level of affectation..

Here's the view of the sunset looking out over Clark's dock, where his wake-board boat and jet-ski are housed. What can I say? Paradise found.

This is Gigi, the younger of the dachshiunds, and just about the coolest dog I've ever met. She has the athletic skills of Babe Didrikson, loves to be petted and coddled, and has eyes that stare into your soul and say "love me".

The stately manor. 

So, as a bonus, Clark and Stacey also have this tiny oceanfront shack down in New Smyrna Beach, which they insisted that the Astrals use for a little get away. Uh, sure. No arm twisting required on that score. Astrals. Beach. 'Nuff said.

Beach? The Astrals are all over that.

There's a cool little restaurant on the water down in New Smyrna Beach called JB's Fish Camp. Here's brave Astral Wendy chowing down on her first gator sandwich. She reports that it tastes like a cross between chicken and catfish. Me? I settled for the blackened grouper. I've had gator before but it's not something I would go out of my way to eat.

The view from the dock of JB's.

We stayed in Eustis through the New Year and Stacey's birthday also fell during our stay and our hosts were gracious enough to let us join the celebration at the Goblin Market, one of the finer dining establishments in Mt. Dora, Florida. They had a somewhat addled maitre'd, but eventually we got seated and the food was really good. I had some wasabi encrusted salmon that was quite righteous.

This is one of Clark's cats, named Samuel L. Jackson. This cat has major street cred and almost supernatural squirrel killing abilities. He also likes to lounge on the roof of Clark's 911 Carrera S, which I guess is appropriate for a cat with so much cool. I understand the attraction. There's a certain ego boost associated with hopping into a Porsche to run down to the grocery store, even for an Astral Nomad.

View of the manor house from the dock.

We arrived at New Smyrna today, buggy lugged some gear, and headed straight for the beach. It was around 78F, breezy, and the water was cold enough to create aches in places where you don't really want to ache. We just hung out on a mostly deserted beach for awhile.

This is our home for the next 5 days. Astrals are living large thanks
to the generosity of Clark and Stacey. 

-The usual suspects, reporting from NSB.


  1. Sounds like you are all having a beautiful time.
    Hope you didn't sample the fruit at Goblin Market!

    Happy New Year, Astrals.

  2. Thanks Megan. Yes, this is the antithesis of roughing it but, what the heck. Got the Rosetti ref, though I didn't think of it at the time. Props for the reminder.

  3. You nomads really know how to camp! Have a happy, safe and wondrous new year. Looks like you are off to a great start.

    Love to you both!

  4. Yes, Sandra, we do feel a smidgen of guilt at abandoning our road cred, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. Don't worry, we'll be roughing it again soon enough since we don't know anyone west of the east coast.

  5. except for Colin in San Diego but there's a lot a miles to get out there.