Thursday, March 4, 2010

What vacation........




I think we should be back rested and tan but feeling like I ran a gauntlet and windburned.  Wednesday night I finished inventory and packing by 7 p.m.  Ran in the house, showered, packed and we were headed south by 8 p.m.   Butch had stopped and picked up a AAA trip tick but they are hard to read in the dark so it was shoved under the seat.  

Two hours into the trip I realized he was really sick and we hit a bummer of an ice storm in Cleveland. 
Off to a stellar start!  Thought the farther south we drove we would come out of it, I was still wondering on our way to Nashville.  Knuckle-busted through Columbus, Cincinnati and then Louisville.  At 3 a.m. Louisville looked like an abandoned demolition derby.  Butch slept on through the night by Nashville we needed gas and a break, I was toast.  Prying my cramped steel grip from the steering wheel,  Butch offered to jump out and pump gas.  Cool, I will un-wedge myself from the clown car and then I heard it.......

We had been in a mobile metal bubble for the last 8 hours, humming along to; The Doors, Black Sabbath and AC-DC.  I opened the door to wailing country music and two guys in pick up trucks with gun racks, confederate flags & matching coon hounds dancing in the window ...... and then I heard it.  "Hey Bubba, how's that dawg hunt?" "Hey Buford, that dawg don't hunt....."  WHOA!  is that banjo music I hear?  HONEY, USE THE CREDIT CARD & GET IN THE CAR!  I was thinking do they take American currency?  Butch took the wheel and we drove off into the dawn. 
What happens in the middle?  Folks are somewhat normal at home and even when we get to Florida they speak the same language, wear clothes I am familiar with and drive cars I recognize.  If you exit your vehicle between Cleveland and Pensecola you will find yourself in a foreign country.  One other example of the middle;  try and find a Starbucks in Alabama, an oxymoron if ever there was one!  
Read the billboards;  
GUNS, GOD AND CHRIST 
See you at the Baptist Church Sunday morning 9 am. 

GO TO CHURCH OR THE DEVIL WILL GET YOU!

and what is; "Whataburger"?  If I have to ask what it is do I want to eat it?  NO!
and what is up with "BOILED PEANUTS"?

We made it to our destination; Destin, Florida, LaQuinta by 11:30 am.  


Unloaded and off to the beach!  Yikes!  Cold and blustery but hey the sun was out!  First morning 28 degrees F.  Started looking for polar bears & penquins.  The beach was deserted, a bonus!!  




We wore our jackets, kicked off our shoes and waded in the surf.  We should have had tattoos on our foreheads; "WE ARE FROM CLEVELAND".  The dead give away; we found ourselves in a Walmart parking lot after buying sunglasses and a bigger digital camera card.  Soooooo easy to find our salt crusted car in the parking lot!


People would ask; why are you here, it's off season.  It's all relative.  Warm for us, from the land of frozen everything and sun, glorious sun we had not seen in weeks.  We looked like Punxsutawney Phil just jerked from his hole on Gobblers Knob and blinded by camera lights!  
We had made it and we were happy!  
The first night we rambled down RT. 98 and stumbled onto a great little restaurant called Goat Feathers. Great seafood, great beer and good prices.  I flipped the bill over and noticed we had consumed the "EARLY BIRD SPECIAL"!  We are doomed, just tint my hair blue and let's start looking for size 10 pink wedgies.  Happy Hour, YES, early bird special, NO! 
We took a leisurely drive back to the hotel and promptly crashed during Olympic downhill skiing.

Up the next morning and back to the beach. Still vacant and cold.
  

      
And this is why the kids call him Corky............ 

We walked and walked and walked until I finally figured out there would never be an end destination. 
The beaches start in Key West and go to Brownsville, TX.  Walking to see Nan and Marci!

I switched to my new macro lens and started shooting stuff I thought I could use in the studio.  
Wow I am one happy camper! 




       

Another sunny day and living large in the Sunshine State.  We toured campgrounds, scouting for our next trip.  Campgrounds were on a Mega-strip and $30 a night.  Not a tent to be seen!  Old people in giant land yachts that were bigger than Rhode Island and towing a Jeep behind. Our room at LaQuinta was $15 with Butch's bonus points and we got the free big breakfast bar!  

By the third day I was pining for a walk in the woods.  There is a National Forest just east of Destin but we could not bring ourselves to drive down RT 98 one more time.  We opted for the state park at Top Sail. 
*read the following blog post;  Our hike to Hell.

All in all three days in Destin and the surrounding area are more than enough, in fact two days would have been fine.   We ate fresh, fabulous seafood, walked miles of beaches, grew sick of strip malls, never really found a fine craft gallery, never found the Kick Ass coffee shop, never needed sunscreen, love bird watching and documented all Starbucks for future trips.  We had a great time exploring.

to be continued ......... 





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