I wandered southwest and found a little recharge for my battery - exactly what I was looking for!
Friday night I drove down to Preston, Georgia from Macon to see my S.G. (for new followers, that translates to Sweet Guy.) I was a little taken a back, in a good way, by his daughters bouncing outside to greet and hug me once I got there. It seems we have crossed into that "bonded zone" and for someone who could very well one day be permanently in their life, it was nice to see.
He and I parted ways from his family and headed down to his family's beach house in Mexico Beach, Florida. It is a cute little beach bum stilt house, that is sort of a weathered blue/gray with two bedrooms and one bath. It is directly across the street from the beach, snuggled in a little neighborhood across from the infamous El Governor, the main beach hotel in MB. We got into town close to 9:30 that night, stopping only briefly, in Dothan, AL, to grab a quick burger from Mickey D's. Since his family does not rent the house out, it took a little while to do all of the pre-vacation things to get the house ready: turn on the a/c, turn on the water/water heater, air out the home. We had a quick drink and few laughs and decided to crash.
Saturday morning I got up around 8am, after a really good night's sleep, and decided to cook us a hearty breakfast. While he was snoozing, I snuck on out and drove up to the one little grocery store in town and go some provisions: Cheese, Pickles, Bread, Coffee Creamer, More Cheese, Eggs, a Hat for the beach, and of course, cheese.
After breakfast, we hopped across the street to the beach. If you aren't familiar with Florida geography, Mexico Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico, east of Panama City and west of Apalachicola.
S.G. rented us some chairs and an umbrella, and this s where we camped out all day. Sipping Bud Lite Limeritas, discussing Gilligan's Island politics, staring at the waves crashing in, and chomping on pickles. We talked for hours, swam a little, and sat and read Palate, Southern Living, and Garden & Gun together. It was truly a magical day. By around 3ish, I was a little tired and wanted to finally grab some lunch, so we headed back to the house for snacks and a shower.
That night we drove over to Port St. Joe to eat at a little dive called Three Tails Oyster Bar. I was thrilled to find they had fresh Sangria! We indulged in a little Oysters Rockefeller and I ordered some grilled shrimp with jalapeno hush puppies, corn on the cob, and onion rings. S.G. ordered a blackened Trout sandwich with onion rings.
We laughed, we talked, we truly just let ourselves unwind and enjoy the perfect weather - mid 80s and cool breezes. As we drove back over to Mexico Beach, we were mesmerized by the incredible sunset.
That evening, we decided to head over to the pier and order some ice cream cones
from this popular little shack called Tommy T's. I got a double scoop of strawberry shortcake on a cake cone, while he went for a double scoop of rocky road on a waffle cone.
We walked a little, then went back to his house and sat on the porch swing enjoying our frozen treats.
In classic "getting older" form, instead of hitting the karaoke bar (as intended,) we cuddled on the couch (I dozed off and on,) and watched crappy local television.
All in all the first official day was excellent. Well fed, well rested, and definitely well sunned.
On Sunday, I got up a little early and cooked another hearty breakfast for us. We ended up packing a lunch this time for an extended day at the beach. Of course we wanted to try something
a little different and take Gypsy, his border collie, to the dog beach with us. Salads, cheese, beer, and a pup - we headed out for another afternoon of sun, sand, and surf.
Gypsy was amazing on the beach - jumping in and out of the waves, chasing balls, and never once needing a leash. That dog is incredibly smart. When S.G. said sit - she sits. When he told her to stay on the blanket while we swam, she never once moved. Now that's a damn good dog. We sipped Bud Lite Limes, ate our salads, and relaxed the day away. I do believe HERE is where I got a little sun burned, but honestly, what's a trip without a little burn.
Between the sun, the tremendous amount of walking and swimming, as well as sipping beer in the sun, I needed to take a nap - so we headed back to the beach house and slept for almost 3 hours. Once we got up - it was time for dinner. We headed over to another dive, but this time stayed in Mexico Beach. We ended up at Mango Marley's. We ordered homemade potato chips with blue cheese crumbles, dressing, and scallions for an appetizer. I had a watermelon margarita with fresh watermelon inside of it. SG ordered a random sandwich of sorts, while I went for the yummy chicken wings. We chatted quit a bit about our future, and I am happy to report - we are going to take this as far as we possibly can. We work well together. And THAT is all that matters.
After dinner, we decided to go for a walk on the beach. There is nothing more relaxing that a little time together as the sun sets. It is always bitter sweet to be leaving vacation, but we knew this was it. All in all, it was a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. Yes, I know what the holiday represents. It represents one of the greatest sadnesses of all - losing someone you love in battle. But I think it says something to remember what these people were sacrificing - a way of life for the rest of us. By enjoying our lives and living our lives, we honor those who were protecting us. For that I thank everyone who serves, who has lost someone, and to those who will one day make the ultimate sacrifice.
I hope each and everyone of you had an excellent Memorial Day. Until Next time..