In spite of the uncertainty of flying, Daughter and I flew to Florida for three day of reading on the beach. Our fights out were all on time and very smooth. Our rented condo on the beach was exactly what we wanted and very comfortable. What we didn’t expect was two days of unfavorable weather; however, adjustments were made and objectives were achieved.
We got our rental car and went looking for a place to eat. By happenstance, we found McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin about 2 o’clock in the afternoon so it wasn’t very busy. In the interior is covered with autographed dollar bills that hang from the ceiling and cover the walls. The place seemed very strange, but the food was fabulous. We’re glad we stopped there.
The first day we were there was sunny and warm. The condo unit sets out beach chairs and umbrellas, and we quickly claimed two of them. Big hats, pints of sunscreen, and thick books let us spend the whole day out there. We played in the surf, enjoying the waves until we saw an eel enjoying them with us. We quickly returned to our chairs and our books. Walks along the beach were fun.
The next day was very windy and came with warnings of bad riptides. We went out to the beach chairs, covered in sunscreen, and tried to read there. In case you don’t know, sand in strong winds hurts! It stings and sticks to sunscreen. In less than half an hour, we looked like we were covered in sandpaper. After rinsing off at the outdoor shower, we retreated to the safety of the balcony of our condo where several very comfortable chairs faced the crashing waves. It was better reading there than out in the exfoliating wind. My head started running while we were out there and we found out later that the red tide had been washed close to shore. I must be allergic to it.
That night we went to the restaurant Lousiana Lagniappe for seafood. I don’t like seafood food, but Daughter does. I had Grouper Almondine which sounded like dried fish and nuts, safe enough for this non-seafood eater. It was very good and the twice-baked potato that came with it was fabulous. Daughter had something called seafood in a bag which she said was good, but not as great as the waiter made it sound. Still, it was an excellent place to eat. We went very early, about four o’clock, and were set at a corner table overlooking the boat piers. When we left, every table was full and a line was forming.
Being on the very eastern side of the Central Time Zone, the sunset was very early, with dark coming around five. Microwave popcorn with lots of butter and we were set for watching for watching a couple of movies every night on a large TV. Even then, we had lots of time for talking.
The final day was less windy so Daughter took a long walk on the beach. The beach chairs weren’t out that day so we sat on the balcony to read and listen to the waves. I finished one book and started another. Few people were on the beach. Waves can be mesmerizing so I didn’t get much reading done. The red tide must have gone out farther because breathing the fresh sea air was wonderful.
We left early the next morning. Our flight to Dallas was nice and only about half full. Upon landing, I got a text from Southwest Airlines saying our flight to Amarillo was cancelled, and we were rebooked on another flight eleven hours later. Daughter said that wouldn’t do and immediately tried to book a rental car to drive the rest of the way. It took a couple of attempts but we finally found a car we could get in Dallas and drop off in Amarillo.
Off we went, but before going too far, we made a stop at Buck-ees. For those who don’t know, Buck-ees is like a superstore truck stop. It’s HUGE! They have food of all kinds, hot and cold, merchandise galore, and big, clean bathrooms. I’d heard about them so it was fun to actually go in one. We grabbed some sandwiches and chips, some drinks and dessert, and hit the road (our family motto: we’re on the road, let’s eat). I had a wonderful BBQ brisket sandwich that I’d go back for, plus banana pudding that was pretty good too. It was well worth the stop.
It takes five or six hours to drive from Dallas to Amarillo. I’m not sure because it was such a pleasant drive. We talked and listened to Daughter’s awesome playlist. The time and the miles went by fast. We got home at least two hours before our rebooked flight even took off. Daughter returned the car when our luggage arrived that night. The car rental people said at least fifteen vehicles had come from Dallas that day. People arriving on the flight said it was full of unhappy people so it couldn’t have been very pleasant. I’m thankful Daughter got us alternate transportation.
We hope to have another reading retreat on a beach next year. We both love to sit for hours reading and looking at the ocean. No guilt. No place to go. Nothing to do other than what we want to. It’s great and very rejuvenating. We don’t have to go to a beach to enjoy a reading retreat, but it’s a happy place for both of us.