Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summer Is Here and Here Is Summer

The next morning we ventured out once again, this time to Rosemary Beach.  I wanted to explore the European-like streets and alleyways, and Mom wanted to check out a few of the shops so we got there and, of course, got coffee first.

We sat outside, enjoying our lattes and breakfast treats when I noticed their sign board was Game of Thrones themed!  Coffee is here, indeed.

We parted ways and I wandered down across 30A to the oceanside part of town.

What a beautiful little town.  Like Seaside, Rosemary is a planned community, where all the houses follow a set of rules and style outlines so they all fit together and it looks amazing.  It simultaneously feels like you're walking through an ancient Spanish-Italian town and a really well-done movie set.  It's all in the details.

I saw several cute little doorway entrances, lots of flora and fauna, and quite a bit of construction, actually.  Being founded in 1995, I guess a lot of the homes need updates now and then.  Not to mention the wear and tear that vacationers (and the Florida weather) put on the properties.

One of my favorite houses was this beige colored one with a sunken doorway.  Want to guess why?  It reminded me of a Hobbit hole door!

I had so much fun walking around, although there wasn't a lot of breeze up beyond the boardwalk, so it made for a hot and sweaty morning.  Oh well, I got some great pictures so it was worth it!  I ran into Taylor when I was about finished with my loop so we wandered around a bit before heading back to meet up with everyone else.

(photos by e.hunt) 

Nuptial Events

The next day was wedding dress day!  Juliana's mom arrived the night before and since they aren't together too often, they wanted to check out a dress shop in Panama City.  Mom and I were invited to join in the outing, so we woke up and hopped in the car to make it to the appointment.

I have never been a part of wedding dress shopping before so it was kindof fun to see what it's like.  On the way there Juliana showed us a few dresses that she liked for inspiration and we talked about the overall style that she wanted.  It really helped when we were going through the racks so I could pull one out and be able to tell if it was something that she would like or not.  After gathering several options, we moved back towards the fitting rooms where there was a couch and a few chairs for guests to sit on and view the dresses once they were on.

It was a fun day, and Juliana found a dress!!  We stopped by The Donut Hole on the way back for a little lunch and then went out to join the boys on the beach.  The water was a little brown, but once you made it past that first section, it was quite lovely and refreshing.  I even made a friend while I was out there!

(photos by e.hunt, and g.hunt)

Contact Survivor

We got back and went right out to the beach.  The waves were pretty rough that day.  So rough that even my fancy new goggles couldn't stop one of my contacts from falling out.  Luckily, I caught it and was able to make it ashore without losing it.

After dousing it in fresh water, Mom held up the phone camera so I could put it back in.  I guess it's a good thing I have had fifteen or so years of practice putting them in because it was tough out in the elements!  It took a few minutes for it to settle back in my eye but before long I was back to enjoying (and seeing!) the beach.

I got some good shots of Dad that day.

That last one, Farmer Beach Man, takes the prize, no?  After hauling everything back up, which wasn't so bad now that the Root Beer River wasn't as deep, we started getting ready for dinner.  Dad made an awesome selection of shrimp, risotto, and veggies.  Mmmmmmm.

(photos by e.hunt)

In the Town Called Seaside

The next morning we decided to venture down the road to Seaside.  It's a planned community, which means that it was designed from the ground up with a "look" in mind that every building fits into.  It's famous for the fact that The Truman Show (1998) was filmed there.

This was one of the reasons we chose to stay in Grayton Beach this year instead of heading back to the older, more isolated Saint George Island.  We wanted to be able to explore Seaside, and other similar towns along 30A, like Rosemary Beach and Alyse Beach.  And explore, we did.

Mom and I split up from the rest of the group and went back into a little courtyard surrounded by shops and houses.  It had an almost New Orleans look to it.

I found some great little statues outside a few of the shops.  Look at the flower bears!

After a bit we headed back towards the main road and stopped for some gelato.  By that time the sun was starting to come back out (one of the reasons we decided to venture out that day was that it was supposed to be cloudy and rainy) so we figured it was time to head home and get a few hours on the beach before dinner time.

(photos by e.hunt, and r.hunt)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thirteen Miles East

We got to the house mid-afternoon, put on our swimsuits, and went right out to the beach.  The house was nice; two stories, with parking underneath, lots of seating, and some great views.  It was a little set back from the water, but that just meant we got to keep an eye on Alligator Lake right next door, and the line of houses in the main part of Grayton Beach.

We were surprised by another river structure dividing the beach into two sections, although this one was much more unpleasant to walk through.  It was eventually dubbed The Root Beer River.  The first few days it went up to your knees but after that it slowly got lower.  We tried a few creative solutions for hauling out all the gear, including the Bataan Death March.

We made up a new game using bocce balls and the natural curve where the tide runs up and down the beach.

One time someone had a rogue toss and it went up into the root beer!

It was a good first day.  That night, after packing everything up and trudging back up to the house, we all got dressed up and went to Ocean Club for dinner.  Dad, Andrew, and Taylor hadn't been for four or five years, and Juliana had never been before at all, so it was fun to go with everyone.  We even saw a family of deer on the way out of our place!

(photos by e.hunt)