Thursday, August 25, 2016

Be With Those Who Help Your Being

And that brings us to the last day.  There was rain in the forecast again but the weather gods smiled upon us and spared our last day!  For the most part, anyway.

We woke up to this gorgeous sight.  Look at that blue sky!!  We went straight down to take full advantage.  I ended up coming back to the room a little bit later for a cup of coffee and to grab the sand toys: you bet I was going to build another sandcastle!  When I returned, the umbrellas were all set up and we were ready for a lovely last day.

I thought it would be cool to do a two pile, figure eight configuration.  It meant a little more digging, but I started so early in the day, (and had calluses already formed from the previous castle! (Gross, I know)) that it wasn't too bad.  Mom and I decided to try a big tunnel.  Last summer we did it with a five gallon bucket, although I wasn't really involved in that process so we had to kindof guess how to do it.

While I was getting shovelfuls of wet sand and walking it up to the castle, and Mom was forming the bridge around the bucket, Debby came over and dug a tunnel through the lefthand mountain!  It was fun to all three be working on it at the same time.  And our bridge worked!!

After a sandwich and beer break, we continued on with more forms and stairs.  The clouds were starting to pick up so we were trying to hurry at this point.

And then the rain came.  At first, it was just drizzling.  Enough that the beach guy came over to close the umbrellas and most people abandoned hope and went back to their rooms.  Not us!  The drizzle felt kindof nice while carving stairs, but then it picked up slightly, so Mom and Debby went up.  I waited a little longer before it started actually raining and I couldn't see through my rainy contacts and had to go up to the room.

It rained for about an hour.  Mom and Debby decided that they had had enough for one day and wanted to check out one more shopping area, while I waited for the rain to pass and went back down. The castle survived, and the bridge did too!  We think it's because the mountains on either side blocked the wind.

I went stair crazy!  The beach guy had put away all the umbrellas so I just kept carving away.  My new experiment was to try two sets of spiral staircases going down a form and they turned out pretty good.  It was Mom's idea to round the tops of the forms; I think they look a little Southwest/Tatooine-inspired.

After covering most free spaces with stairs, I sat on my towel for a while before heading up to the room.  A few people walked by and asked about the castle, but the beach was mostly deserted.  A while later I rinsed off the sand toys and made one final trek up the boardwalk.

Turned out to the a pretty awesome last day.  But it's not over yet!  After dinner Mom and I went and got tattoos!  We found a place that had good reviews and set up an appointment for the last night because you can't get new tattoos sunburned or submerged in water.  Mom and I had been talking about going together to get them for several months and we decided it would be a better story if we got them at the beach.  Pretty cool, hunh?

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Under the Persistent Drizzle

The next day was rainy as well, so we went on another road trip, this time to Rosemary Beach.  It's a little further down the way than Seaside, but worth the drive.  We found it last year while driving to St. George Island: it's the planned European-looking community with all the awesome architecture!

It stopped raining for a bit so we walked out to the boardwalk and perused a few of the shops.  It's very inspiring walking around the little streets and alleyways.  It's clean, but lived-in, and the flora and fauna accentuates the amazing detail of the houses.

We made our way up the main cobblestone street and across 30a to the Parkside, an area that we did not get to explore last year.  Mom and Debby went to the shops while I explored the neighborhood.  Everywhere I looked was something beautiful enough for a picture.

It started sprinkling while I was out and about, but I didn't really think much of it because it was still a little squinty-sunny.  I should have though.  Not five minutes later, it started absolutely pouring.  Luckily, there were many overhangs and covered walkways that I could take cover under, but I still got soaked running from one to the next.  Mom and Debby had made their way back to the car before the downpour started so they were able to come pick me up from where I was.  Another rain day well spent!

(photos by e.hunt)

Monday, August 22, 2016

"In Case I Don't See Ya, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Goodnight"

-Jim Carrey, The Truman Show

The next day it rained... all day.  A little disappointing, but we didn't let it ruin our fun.  We all hopped in the car and started driving east along 30a, the scenic beach road that goes through Grayton Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, and other rustic little beach towns.

Our first stop was this lovely little interior decorating shop that Mom found when she was here in the winter for Dad's show.  They had a lot of really nice furniture and pillows, but what really caught my attention was the artwork.  I'm sensing a new chalk pastel project coming up, and I'll definitely use these as inspiration.

The next stop was Grayton Beach.  It wasn't raining at this particular spot along the coast, so we thought it would be perfect to get out and check out the famous beach.  It was a little windy, as you can see in the pictures, but very picturesque.

The next stop was Seaside.  We drove around for a while trying to find a parking spot, then battled the sheets of rain to get to the shops.  Seaside is a very cute little tourist town.  In fact, The Truman Show, with Jim Carrey, was filmed here for its charming, small-town vibe.

The rain started to clear as we were driving home that evening, and made for a pretty spectacular sky outside our balcony.  Debby whipped up a delicious pasta dish for dinner, we each had a couple glasses of wine, and watched a movie before going to bed.  For a rainy day, it turned out to be pretty fun.

(photos by e.hunt)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Salty Eyelashes and the Endless Ocean

The next day was uneventful.  We followed the same schedule as before; coffee on the veranda, sunscreen in the room, and claiming the end umbrella set.  We were both in a more relaxed state and decided to not do a castle that day.

Around mid-afternoon, the sky was starting to get really cloudy with big, dark storm clouds.  We decided to call it a day and go to Destin for a little shopping before picking Debby up at the airport later that evening.

The next day was a stunner.  After coffee and sandwich-making, we headed down to the beach.  It was another lovely day.  The water was a little more choppy, with a slight undercurrent to the left, so it was a bit more of an adventure going into the water.  After a few beachy beverages, and a lot of sun, we were ready to go up and get cleaned up for dinner.

We decided to go out for seafood at one of our old favorites, Pompano Joe's.  It's a big house that sits right on the beach, so we got drinks and headed out to one of the boardwalks while waiting for our table.

The wait was only about thirty or forty minutes, surprisingly.  Usually at those kinds of places it's so packed the wait can be upwards of two hours!  We were lucky and got a table in one of the windows. We each decided on something a little different, and all plates were delicious.  It was a fun night, and always nice to drive on Old 98, the old highway that goes along the beach.  There are a lot of cool old houses and newer resorts, and we even spotted the Tranquility House where the big Hunt family used to stay when we first started coming to Destin way back in 1994.

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