Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Hey! I'm back and somewhat revived and refreshed! It was an intersting and enlightening sojourn into a world that I have only seen occasionally. See, the deal was, Allen went to the Southeastern Homebuilder's Meeting in SanDestin, FL. It was held at the Hilton Resort there, a very expensive, exclusive place. As president of this county's homebuilder's group, he gets reimbursed for the trip and I got to go along for just a little extra. Very nice rooms with plush beds, spa services, and for the occasion, lots of free food and free booze. Lots. Alabama Power took us to dinner one night at a very nice seafood place so I stuck it to them for all I was worth. Give me the most expensive water heater to maintain will you?!! Ha! I cost them at least 2 months of water heating with that one! Oysters Rockefeller, calamari, whiskey.... actually, the appetizers were the AL Power lady's idea but they were so good. Yeah, that's me in a bikini but this is as close as it gets! It took me 2 days to get the nerve to take my shorts off.
The beaches are so beautiful in this area and the water was very clear. However, the jellyfish must have thought it was a nice place too because they were everywhere and yes, I got stung twice. And no, vinegar does not help much. While staying at this place, I found myself amused at the apparent common idea of luxury. Yeah, the rooms were nice, staff very friendly but when I went down to the beach in front of the hotel I was taken aback a little. It was very crowded, you had to rent their umbrellas and chairs and at $50/day for one of each I decided to pass. The water was fairly clear but not great and there was trash here and there. And noisy. People pay lots of money for this? Lots. And some kid pooped in one of the pools one day so that was shut down. Sorry, I just don't get it.
So, we decided to find a state park nearby and just so happens the TopSail Preserve was only 3 miles away. It is rated as one of the top two beaches on this side of Florida, I believe. I think Grayton Beach is top. Anyway, we packed a picnic lunch, lots of drinks and for $2 enjoyed one of the finest beaches I have ever seen. The photos really don't do it justice. The water was much clearer than at the Hilton and there were very few people there! The jellies had calmed down on this day so you could swim without much fear. We would just do an occasional "jelly check". Stand up in the water and look to the west(?). They only drifted from this direction and you could see them coming easily. Our few neighbors would point to any they spotted also and to the sharks. Yeah, we saw several small sharks. Once, we went out to a sand bar and was wading around in the knee deep water looking for shells or whatever. We looked around and there was one shark swimming between us and the shore. But he passed on by so we swam back until we were closer to the beach. We were not out very far anyway.
So, it was a nice trip and I didn't get bad suburned like somebody I know that ought to know better! Ha!! Wink, wink! We came back Saturday night so I had Sunday to flit around the house and clean and mow and water. I just wish I was able to take such trips a little more often. Maybe later I can. But they can keep their Hilton, I'll take the state parks.
Oh! You know how I like to see such symbolism in everything and so on, guess what washed up literally, at our feet one day on the beach! A doublehead nail! For those that don't know, a doublehead is a type nail that we form carpenters use daily. On a good day we can drive 3 or 4 pounds of these nails apiece. Ha! Ha! I just thought it was funny. But dang, I did kind of take it as a sign that they are just over building that area.
*Third Eye Blind