Back from vacation and wondering when the next one is. We first went down to St. Augustine, FL for our daughter-in-laws graduation -well, we stayed in St. Augustine but graduation was an hour south. We drove about 8 hours that day and afterwards when pulling back into St. Augustine, Bernita texted us asking where we were. We were so tired from driving we just parked the car on some random street (which, we were worried we’d forget later) and walked to the first bar we saw which was Scarlett O’Hara’s . A few minutes later her and Ralph walked in and joined us for a drink. The next day the kids came up and visited before we all headed south to a post graduation BBQ for the new graduate. I dreaded this to be honest. I knew that Charlies ex husband would be there and his looney-bin wife. We both vowed to just put on a calm face, be polite and endure for the sake of the kids. Endure or no I was still packing.
The shin-ding went well except for the point of ex and looney heading our way to extend the olive branch of “can’t we all get along”. I was introduced to them both and actually shook Charlie’s ex’s hand. Weird. The looney was going on about inviting us to come down and stay with them during the holidays to be with them and the kids. (Just for reference – the kids are both grown men now – one married, the other in his early 20’s with a steady girl – both living on their own so it’s not like they’re going to be in matching jammies with footies to open presents on Christmas day or anything). Charlie replied that we had the kids up for holidays all the time and politely declined but thanked them all the same.
The next day we drove to Pensacola Beach, FL all the way up I-10 which we both thought would never.end. Finally there I couldn’t believe the traffic on the island. We checked in to our hotel and decided to hoof it across the street to the beach and then hit a little bar there. There was a guy playing guitar, we ordered drinks and were enjoying the atmosphere – until some guy just decided to sit down at our table and start talking. I had to remind myself where I was before reacting. We went with it and his buddy came over and was introduced. I wanted to just say, “We’re together, see the ring?” but I decided that I didn’t want to stir up trouble our first day in P’cola. Finally, they got the hint and left to go horn in on this other table of women adjacent to us.
The next day we woke to construction trucks pulling up on the street in front of our hotel. They had decided that day to repave the road on the island. Greeeeeat. So, we went to the beach and sat until the sun was fully out and then decided to drive down the street (in the one lane they provided) to Peg Leg Pete’s. When we pulled up there was a line outside that we joined. Turned out the electricity had been out and they delayed opening. The lights flickered on and we went straight to the downstairs bar where they only served cold drinks and fresh oysters. We had the bar to ourselves and our bartender, John, took care of us – even when the electricity went off again and we sat drinking beers throughout the afternoon. We finally closed out and headed back to the hotel with the paving crew just finishing up. We walked across the other direction and went to Flounder’s which, if we lived there we’d be regulars. Our bartender there – Larry, served up a drink of cucumber/lime vodka with soda and sour mix which was a nice change to the Diesel Fuels of the previous night.
We headed to Destin the next day where neither of us had been previously. I’d always heard great things about Destin but never got up that way. As we crossed the bridge and saw the blue/green water on either side with boats lining the harbor we agreed it was gorgeous. We checked into a slightly run-down hotel (I insisted on because it faced the bay) and went to go rent a boat for a few hours. That was probably the highlight of the whole trip. We drove the boat out to this place called Crab Island where everyone was parked. We dropped anchor and jumped in only to be swept back by a strong current. We literally jumped off the front of the boat and seconds later grabbed the ladder at the back of the boat. We swam and hung out before cruising around and going back in. That night we ended up at AJ’s for drinks and dinner. We definitely go back – just with more money next time because it was an expensive place – probably a good thing we were only there a day/night.
The next day we made it home by early afternoon. The dogs were ecstatic to see us despite long naps with their nanny while we were gone. It was good to be home but not back to work. In fact, I doubt anyone even noticed I was gone until I got back and they said, Oh hey, didn’t you go on vacation? How was that? But, as my friend Tate says, Better neglect than abuse – I’ll take it.