Posted by: bree1972 | February 21, 2012

Sandy Shoes and Paws 2/22/2012

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.

The House

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!

The Restaurants

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!



  1. What a great vacation! I love that picture of the rough surf, but I’m glad the weather co-operated in general!!

  2. Sounds like ya’ll had a great time, and you got to take Bear and Maddie with too! I bet they loved it as much as you did. What a cute little house to stay in . Hmmm, I might have to check that webpage out. 😉

  3. Beautiful pictures and I’m glad you left your computer at home….that’s what vacation is all about….getting away from the everyday happenings. Glad to see you and Ted sporting your Mackinac Island sweatshirts too.

  4. Wow, what a great trip. I’ve been to Florida twice, both times in November. Someday I’ll see it when things are growing. Your little house was very nice, perfect for the fuzzy kids. Looks like a very relaxing time.

  5. Oh, I LOVE these pictures, especially the one of Ted and the dogs in/near the swing!!!!!!! Feel free to swing any time you are visiting the beach! Lots of my neighbors tell me they enjoy it too. I like for there to “look” like someone is at the house. My dog sits in that swing with me for hours. I am so glad y’all got to enjoy it too.

    Strange, but my dog also can NOT read those, “No Dogs Allowed” signs on the beach!!!!!!!!!! Beach patrol has had to remind me many times to get my dogs eyes checked. I take her down real early or real late in the afternoon. She also loves to run, run, RUN in the sand!!!!!!

    The cottage you rented is adorable. Is it in the first block of El Reposo in that courtyard of several cottages????

    You and Ted and both looking GREAT and very happy. You will be packing for Mackinac Island soon. I want to visit there one day. I truly enjoy checking in on your blog, even though I don’t respond as often as I should. It takes me to another, exciting world. I feel I could easily find my way around Mackinac Island, thanks to YOU!!!!!! You are such a gifted writer and photographer. Thanks for being so generous and sharing your many talents with all of us.

    • LOL! Loved your comments, Nancy, especially about getting your dog’s eyesight checked. Wish I’d thought of that! The house we rented is in the second block off Front Beach Road – a little past that courtyard you mentioned. Come on up to visit anytime – in Georgia or in Michigan. Our door always swings open for friends – old and new.

  6. What a great, relaxing vacation. Such great pictures! It is nice to look back at all the great memories. Good for you guys! A new experience for Bear and Maddie…..Look like they had a great time too! 2 thumbs up!

  7. Great idea, Ted! The beach looks wonderful, and I agree about going off-season. Love those walks on the beach! There’s nothing like walking and talking with your special one. So glad you had decent weather and a good time!

    We wear our Mackinac Island (and Mullet Lake/Indian River) gear when we travel, too. It makes for some fun conversations!

  8. Ted’s got the same Mackinac sweatshirt that I do! How cool.

  9. Oh those beach shots! I so needed that! Glad you all had fun.

  10. Well, Brenda, you, Ted, Maddie and Bear had a few days of vacation in a spotlessly clean house on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, walks in the sunshine, wonderful temperatures, great food and other blessings. Meanwhile, as I sit here typing this, I’m green (maybe that should be Greene) with envy because we are waiting for 4-7 inches of wet snow. I promise you, I’m not looking forward to it. It really would be nice of you to come up and shovel the stuff. I’ll even supply the shovel and I’ll give you a bowl of the homemade vegetable beef soup I have simmering on the stove at this moment. I think you only have about 5 or 6 hours before the roads start to get slick, so you better get started.

    PS: I’m really not envious at all, but I would have enjoyed walking on the beach. I’m glad you got to enjoy the short time away from home. By the way, did Bear tell you what he thought of it?

    • Lowell, Bear said he loved the big, open space to run in. Maddie, on the other hand, was more interested in the new creatures she could dig up. Gee, Lowell, if I thought I could make it to your house before the snow flies, I’d jump in the car right now and come up and shovel for you. But alas, I just don’t think I’d make it in time.

  11. Another great one….keep them coming.

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