Day 051 – New Smyrna Beach, FL > Melbourne Beach, FL

A little more about New Smyrna Beach before moving on to today’s ride. It has the distinction of being the shark bite capital of the world with four of them recorded last year (2013). Apparently no one has ever been killed so it’s an inconvenience and a good story rather than a matter of life and death. The area was the site of the largest attempted British Colony lead by the Scottish physician Andrew Turnbull in 1677 and he named it after the birthplace of his Turkish wife. Dr. Turnbull was able to persuade around 1300 people to live the dream with him in New Smyrna raising plantation crops until insect born diseases, Indian raids and mismanagement culled the population down to 600. They survivors decide to ditch the doctor and head up north to St. Augustine, where their descendants live today.

While on the road in the morning I got an update from my Aunt Helen that my Uncle Pino was moved from the rehabilitation center back to the hospital ER because of an elevated heart rate. She offered to come and pick me up in their van, but it’s really important to me that I do all the route miles under my own power so I politely declined. The riding wasn’t too bad. I stuck to US 1 for almost the entire route and there was a bicycle lane for a lot of the way.

I ended up riding straight to the Hospital which is a little south of my Aunt and Uncle’s house. The security guard was really nice and let me take my fully loaded bicycle and trailer inside and park it in the security office. Thanks so much! My Uncle was still in an ER room, but awake. As soon as I walked in he greeted me and said, “Adam I’m so sorry that I can’t cook for you.” Classic Uncle Pino – he was an award wining chef for 50 years, the majority of the time in Manhattan and he still loves to cook, when he’s not in the hospital. His friend Dominic was also there along with my Aunt of course.

After an hour he was moved up to the 5th floor into a nice private corner room. We stayed at the hospital for another couple of hours visiting before my Aunt Helen took me back to her house so I could take a shower and change. I could tell it has been a tiring 40+ days for her and my Uncle – especially since they thought they would lose him earlier in June. It got to the point where all of my cousins living up north came down to be by his bedside along with my cousin Lynn who lives about an hour away near Orlando.

We stopped at the store for some steaks and had a nice dinner complete with pesto covered pasta before my Aunt headed back to the hospital to stay the night with my Uncle. It was really nice to be with family again and I hope I can help out while I’m here.