Road Trip: I Dream of Jeannie Park

Barbara, my college roommate from Western Carolina University, and I took our first road trip nearly 40 years ago. In our freshman year, we took trips to Atlanta to shop and New Orleans for Mardi Gras. And of course, we had to come to Florida for Spring Break…Barbara’s first trip to the Sunshine State.

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This week our newest adventure took us to I Dream of Jeannie Park in Cocoa Beach. Well, actually, Lori Wilson Park located on I Dream of Jeanine Lane. Now that Barbara’s a Florida resident, it was her turn to introduce me to one of her favorite beaches. Lori Wilson Park, a Brevard County treasure, is a slice of paradise tucked in between the hotels to the north and south of the park. No buildings towering over beachgoers, just sand dunes, sea oats, and soft sugar-like sand.

Lori Wilson Park provides free parking, clean restrooms, two pavilions, a dog park, a playground, and a boardwalk that weaves through the hammock bordering the beach. Lifeguards are even stationed on the beach to watch over swimmers and surfers.

Fortunately, the daily thunderstorms stayed away permitting us to swim, enjoy the water and hang out on the beach for about three hours. Of course, we found a way to add some laughs to the trip as we battled a disagreeable sun umbrella, but I’m proud to say the two of us with the help of a pocket knife came out victorious.

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We concluded our Cocoa Beach road trip at Mambos, a beach side restaurant that borders the park, dining on Mahi Mahi sitting on the outside deck in the salt air.

Before leaving, Barbara was taking note of the surf board rentals and surfing lessons offered at Mambos since surfing’s on her bucket list.

I’ll pass on surfing, but I’m game for another road trip.