We’re home from the beach, and we had such a good time!
We enjoyed some good weather (even though the weatherman said we’d be experiencing flooding rains and high winds and surf, it was mostly a lot of bluster over nothing), ate some of our favorite food at some of our favorite restaurants, and got to see Maddie and Bear run on the beach for the first time.
The blog tonight is going to be mostly photos. We didn’t get in until late this afternoon, and (you know me) I’m trying to unpack, get clothes washed and dried and put up, AND catch up on what’s been happening while we’ve been away.
I remember now what it was like to be on vacation when I was working. I’d come back to stacks of work on my desk and an email box filled with messages. Same thing tonight. I didn’t take the laptop, and Ted and I don’t have one of those Smart Phone things that allows you to keep up with the world without carrying a computer around with you. So . . . I’ve just finished reading 84 (really) emails. I opened Facebook, read a couple of messages from friends, and immediately closed it again. Facebook will have to wait until tomorrow.
So – here’s our little beach trip – in pics.
When we decided to take this spur-of-the-moment trip, I went online to VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) and searched for something very inexpensive, fairly close to the ocean, and pet friendly. Since it's still February and not time for everyone to hike up the prices for the spring breakers, we got lucky with this little house only a couple of blocks from the beach. It was in a neighborhood close to where our townhouse used to be (Laguna Beach - which is part of Panama City Beach), and truly an "old Florida" home that has been spruced up by the owner. Perfect for us.
We loved that the entire house had tile floors - great for dog visitors! There was a little kitchen, one bedroom, one bath, a living room, and . . . . .
. . . my favorite part, a sleeping porch! I've always loved the idea of a porch with beds, and Ted and I (and a couple of four-legged buddies) napped out here every afternoon.
We didn't know it when we booked the house, but on our first walk down to the beach, we discovered we were on the same block as Nancy's (a WAY "back in the day" friend of Ted's who reads this blog) house. We helped ourselves to your swing, Nancy!
At Captain Anderson's we got really lucky and "almost" got a marina-window table (but, hey, we only had to look past this one couple).
Captain Anderson's is huge (only part of the restaurant is open during the winter). Besides selling some of the best "cooked" seafood on the gulf coast, they also have a fresh seafood market, yummy desserts to take home, and a gift shop with tons of souvenirs and fun gift ideas (something to do while you're waiting for your number to be called). In the summer your wait can be over an hour (we've waited that long on many occasions), but Saturday night we only had to wait 15 minutes to be seated and order the meal we came to the beach to eat . . .
. . . fresh from the ocean, stuffed-with-crabmeat, whole flounder AND Captain Anderson's famous Greek salad - and baked potato - and fresh bread. Yep, we were stuffed ourselves when we left.
This isn't a very good shot, but I wanted to show you the Lady Anderson. Back in the day, which is roiughly from 1989, when Ted and I married, until 1995, when we sold the house at the beach and moved to Lake Blackshear, Ted and I (and whoever might be with us at the time) would go out on the Lady Anderson dinner-boat cruise nearly every Fourth of July. We'd have a great dinner and watch the fireworks from the boat out in the bay. Such good memories!
No food photo here, but on Sunday night we went to one of our all-time favorite "back in the day" fun places - Pineapple Willie's. It had changed so much we hardly recognized it, but one of our good friends, Rick, was still working there (he was a bartender when we knew him years ago, and now he is a manager). We talked to him for a long time, ate what we came to eat (Pineapple Willie's spareribs) and couldn't believe it when Rick told our waitress, "Don't take a penny from these folks, it's on the house." Thank you, Rick! So good to see you!
Sunday morning we ate at our favorite breakfast restaurant, Another Broken Egg. Our daughter Julie introduced us to the one in Grayton Beach several years ago, and now there is also one in Panama City Beach. On Monday morning we drove to the one in Grayton Beach and found it was closed on Mondays. So we checked out The Donut Hole, a place we had passed a gazillion times in years past, but never tried. Another long line, which always means good food. Yes it was!
Back to Another Broken Egg on Tuesday morning, before we left for home. I was really good and had this parfait of yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. Ted . . . . well, that's his plate on the right. I can't say a lot though because on Sunday morning I ate French Toast smothered in Bananas Foster sauce and whipped cream. On Monday night we ate at our favorite beach Italian restaurant, Angelino's, which is close to the world-famous SEASIDE community. They make a killer antipasto salad!
Maddie and Bear on the Beach
Ok. Dogs are NOT allowed on Laguna Beach. There are signs saying that everywhere. So . . .
. . . . this is as close as Maddie and Bear got . . . during the day. BUT. Ted got up early both mornings and took them down on the beach when chances of getting caught and fined were greatly reduced.
No - that's not a tornado forming behind Ted. The clouds looked bad most of the day Saturday, but it only rained during our first night there.
"Hey, DAD! What IS this stuff? It's like dirt, but it's white! It's like sugar, but it's salty!"
"Do they have moles here, dad? Crabs? What's a crab? They could pinch my nose? Bummer."
"This is a really, really big pond!"
The Beach, the Ocean, and the Great Big Sky
The weatherman did get the "rough surf" part of his forecast right. The ocean was churning up some mighty big waves Saturday and Sunday.
Two perfect reasons why winter is the best time to go to the beach: 1) Temperatures are usually at least in the 60's during the day - perfect for beach walking. 2) There are no crowds.
A beautiful sunrise shot. Thank you, Ted, for getting up early!
Late afternoon . . .
. . . and a few minutes later.
We had such a good time reminiscing for the last few days. Getting away from the routine once in a while is a good idea for everyone, and sharing time together with someone you love makes it even more special. We had such fun talking about the years just after we married, going back to places where we spent so much time in our “younger” days, and seeing some friends we knew back then. Being around the water has always been important to both of us, and the ocean brings back really sweet memories. Great idea and great trip, Ted, – let’s do it again!