“Pick a place on the map we can get to fast, where the white sandy beach meets the water like glass.” – Easton Corbin
Miles Traveled: 134.4 miles
Today was the first of several beach days, so Alice and I headed over to St. George Island to check things out. St. George Island is a small island between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico about 15 minutes from Apalachicola. Nothin’ but a small, laid back beach town. Perfection. We stopped by Journeys of SGI to pick up a couple of paddleboards, and Simon, the seemingly under-some-influence paddle board guy who was determined to tackle my sarcasm with his own jokes, helped load the boards on the Jeep and gave us the lay of the land.
We selected the beach on the Gulf to tackle the paddleboarding versus the oyster bays…just seemed the less dangerous of the two options! It was a touch on the windy side at the beach so we relaxed on the beautiful white sand beach for a spell and went for a swim. Seaweed mania. Seaweed floating everywhere, seaweed getting caught on your legs, seaweed freakin’ Sarah out. Ok so the seaweed extravaganza was just where the waves broke, so once you got past that the water was awesome. Once we had the paddleboards out there it was a blast (and also quite the work-out, especially with the current)! There were even some dolphins not to far from where we were paddling…no sharks, just dolphins.
I did get a minor jellyfish sting (err attack), which is really no big deal. That damn jelly did remind me that many things in life can be tied back to a Friends episode. Remember ‘The One with the Jellyfish”? I do. Damn the jellyfish. Damn all the jellyfish! Hilarious episode from the greatest sitcom of all time…Anyways, I digress.
Jellyfish 1 – Sarah 0
After a few hours at the beach we got the boards back on the Jeep and headed back to Journey’s to drop them off so we could get back to Apalachicola to swing by Oysterbones (a pet store) to pick up some we-are-sorry-we-left-you-back-home gifts for the pupsters back home. We checked out the small fishing town for a bit, hit the snack bin something fierce, and then headed west-ish on highway 98 to Fort Walton Beach. Just a quick 2.5 hour drive away.
Holy horrendous traffic. We hit traffic in the not-so-stunning Panama City. Honestly, what an eye-sore that place is….not meaning to offend by saying that but after moving at a snails pace through Panama City, I cannot fathom why it’s such a popular place to go! Perhaps it is the copious amount of liquor stores with lounges in the back, tint shops, and/or lift-kits on pick-ups? Hey….whatever strikes your fancy, I suppose! Traffic cleared….or so we thought…and then we rolled in to Destin. Well, ‘rolled’ is a strong word. To say we were moving at a snails pace would be a massive falsification of the facts. It was glacial. By all means let’s move at a glacial pace; you know how that thrills me. 14 miles, 64 minutes. Glacial.
Side bar – Do you vape? Me neither, but if the vape trend eventually moves you…Florida seems to be the Vape center of the universe. It’s all the rage. Vape on and stay classy.
Finally in Fort Walton, we get to our hotel. Yes, another Best Western, and yes, doors are on the exterior – BUT, it is on the beach, with a beach view, porch, beach access with a friendly chap named Danny who will apparently set up an umbrella and chairs for us when we go out to the beach in the morning…so a step up from the last one! We hit Boshamps for dinner, where Alice embraced her addiction with the iPhone 6 Plus and its stunning extra large screen and I embraced my need for a tasty pina colada after that horrid traffic nearly put me 6 feet under.
So we have made it to the Emerald Coast! The beach is beautiful – white sand and emerald green water. Doesn’t get much better than that! Can’t wait to sit and relax on the beach for the next couple of days.
Until next time…