This year, I took my second annual trip to Ft. Walton beach with my husband's family. Last year only CJ and I could attend as the Army had other plans for Jerry, but this year we loaded up the car and made the family trip down to the gulf. It. Was. Marvelous! The sand was beautiful, the waves were amazing, and despite a bit of seaweed in the water, the overall presentation of the beach was flawless.
A few things I learned while there.
1. When you open the toilet in a beach condo sitting literally on the beach, a whoosh of warm air greets you. It's odd, I admit, to notice something like this; however, each time I went to the little girls room I was greeted with a warm hello. I must say, this is nicer than the frigid greetings of winter in Tennessee.
2. Apparently, size does not matter, nor coverage. While at the beach I viewed many violations of the scantily clad including a woman sporting a circa 1980's G-string bikini. She was probably mid-forties in the 1980's when she bought this atrocity of fashion...feel free to do the math on this and by all means do note that she insisted upon bending over SEVERAL times to be sure her towel and chair were just right. Several. Times. We are all still recovering. Makes you miss the swimsuit attire of the 1950's.
3. Restaurants on the beach open and close faster than any business I've ever seen - it's like a snap trap for mice, it's open and ready for pickin' and then SLAM - it's dead. This is my third trip to Ft. Walton and I don't think I've eaten at the same restaurant every trip. And if I have, the quality has tanked - note to all...DO NOT eat at Fish Lipz!
4. If you weigh more than 50lbs, a standard boogie board will not hold you up. You will, quite effectively, ride the wave for all of 1 second before you are simply floating in sea foam. However, if you are under 50 lbs you can ride that bad boy all the way into the sand.
5. Sand. There is an abundance of sand. And just in case you run out of sand, just flip your swimsuit inside out and you will find more sand. Still not enough...shower. There is sand where sand should never EVER be!
6. Riding the Seablaster is a great adventure; however, and listen carefully here, trying to pee in an underwater bathroom while the boat is moving along a solid clip because you decided to drink too much beer is a seasickness like none other. Add to that sweltering heat, sticky skin, and a way over bleached toilet area and it's just pure heaven. Dramamine and Bonine should create a product that could withstand those particular conditions. No doubt it would be a best seller! And I went TWICE (to pee that is)!
7. When you are as white as I am, SPF 4 is not going to get it with reflective beach sun. It is fine for your backyard pool, but break out the 70 if you want to be a beach babe that is NOT red hot. Pun absolutely intended.
8. Beach life is better than any other experience I've known. Yet, to live this life day in and day out, you must win the PowerBall or have some freakishly rich people in your family that have bequeathed all funds to you. And I'm still not sure that would cover it. $3,000,000.00 yacht anyone?
10. Dolphins. Dolphins are beautiful creatures, cunning, too. On our dolphin cruise we saw one dolphin. And my guess is he drew the short straw to entertain the people. I picture this group of dolphins below the water playing a vivid game of coral, seaweed, and sand where sand beats all because it can go ANYWHERE (note #5) and the poor guy we oohed and ahhed over lost the game. He took one for the team, and like adoring fans at a rock concert, we jumped and hollered for him or her. Admittedly beautiful, do you think the dolphins get a kick out of how easily we are impressed by them? I personally, think they do.
With all that said, the beach really is my favorite destination. I look forward to returning soon and should I win the lottery, you all know where to find me because seriously, what in the world beats this view?
"I find myself at the extremity of a long beach. How gladly does the spirit leap forth, and suddenly enlarge its sense of being to the full extent of the broad, blue, sunny deep! A greeting and a homage to the Sea! I descend over its margin, and dip my hand into the wave that meets me, and bathe my brow. That far-resounding roar is the Ocean's voice of welcome. His salt breath brings a blessing along with it." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne (Foot-prints on the Sea-shore).