Monday, July 04, 2011

The Sandy Bottom Girls

A couple of weeks ago Bradley spent a week with his Grandma Ann and Dad in Florida, so Laura and I spent the week at the beach, trying to enjoy our first ever vacation with just us sisters.  College roomie Stephanie came down for the week too, so Laura and Steph did a good job of distracting me from what was a very long week for me.  I am glad Bradley had time with his Grandma and dad, but this was our first experience with visitation, and I missed B like crazy, having never been away from him for that long before. 
Ready for the road trip
Sacked out with Buzz Lightyear
I've decided to recap the events of the week and mainly the beach and cuisine of the week in this post because this post is gonna be way too long as it is.  Stay tuned for a "Behind the Music" look at the random events of the week...

Now I love the beach, but it was very surreal being back in Florida as a vacationer because everywhere we went I had some sort of negative association with a place.  It took me most of the week before I could relax enough to enjoy myself.  The first night Laura and I went and got sushi at a great place called the Slippery Mermaid.  For this DIVA who doesn't eat fish or seafood of any kind really, I love that I can get a chicken teriaki roll or a steak roll besides a veggie roll that any sushi place will have.

Sunday morning, I got to go to church at my old church, Midway Baptist, which was bittersweet.  I do love and miss the people there and Brother Dennis.  After church I zipped over to pick up Steph, and then the Sandy Bottom Girls hit the beach!

Steph stole some kid's bucket and made sandcastles
We dubbed ourselves the Sandy Bottom Girls because there was a beach store down the road called Sandy Bottoms that we stopped in for supplies.  Furthermore,  the waves were so strong at the beach all week that we each suffered sandy bottoms more than once, and we also thought it sounded similar to the "O Brother Where Art Thou," Soggy Bottom Boys. 
I have never seen so many crabs at the beach- they were everywhere!
Sunday night we went to Flounder's in Pensacola Beach to eat so-so food, hear the band Lektrik Mullet and watch old people dance!  This was a highlight of the week for sure.  See the upcoming Behind the Music Beach Post, coming soon, complete with video footage of said old people dancing!
2/3 of the former Sugar Shack residents, waiting on their table
Stephanie at Flounder's- a note to future Flounders patrons- according to both Steph and Laura, do NOT order the crab stuffed Flounder au gratin. 
Sipping nice cool beverages- can you see the family resemblance?
Watching drunk old people dance makes us smile!
Nicknames from the UK years: Steppie & Da
Laura, our photographer, was kind enough to get our yacht pictured in the background!
Pretty much all we did was eat, sleep, go to the beach (and have sno cones, of course).  Steph and I were content with this routine.  Laura on the other hand was a little irritable by day 4 or 5.  She was a trooper though for my sake!
Another stolen bucket leads to the Queen's castle (Steph's) and the carriage houses for the two stepsisters!
Laura playing in the waves
How does that Zac Brown Band song go? I got my toes in the sand... or something like that!
More crabs!  I was obsessed with watching them.
At one point, one popped up near my beach chair. "Look at my new friend," I exclaimed happily. "What's his name?" Asked Steph. "Stephanie," I replied without missing a beat.

We all partook in the relaxing beach past time of reading. I finally finished my book on kids food allergies, and then flew through my Tori Spelling book, and several magazines. I wished I had packed another novel by day 4 when I ran out of stuff to read!Along with crabs, I have never in all my years, seen so many seashells at the beach.  Steph was the ultimate sheller, and found all of these in one afternoon!
Along with crabs, I have never in all my years, seen so many seashells at the beach.  Steph was the ultimate sheller, and found all of these in one afternoon!
Our sandcastle masterpiece- it's all about creating a base for height and presentation!
Laura with one of her many grotesque seafood buckets. 
(Yes, I have a thing with food that looks like the actual animal you're consuming.) This was at the Beach Monkey. And yes, Laura got crabs. That joke, along with "That's what she said," was worn out!
Wednesday we went down to the Navarre Pier, newly re-opened last year, which is now the longest pier in the Gulf of New Mexico. We were thinking about fishing, but after observing the stoic seamen, and the skill necessary for casting our lines that high up without snaring a tourist, we gave up the dream!
Laura, walking down the pier
While we didn't fish, we did see plenty of fish, a few dolphins, and my very first sea turtle. What can I say? I'm a Delta Zeta for life, and our mascot is the turtle. I was beyond thrilled to see the large amphibian swimming in the wild, and highly disappointed he didn't resurface so I could snap a picture.
Navarre beach from the pier.
After our sightseeing at the pier, we had lunch at the pier bar right there on the ocean.  Laura and I each had cheeseburgers, and oh my gosh, they were so tasty!  By this day, Laura decided it was acceptable to not eat seafood for every meal.  I decided this a long time ago when I vowed not to eat seafood ever. 
The Sandy Bottom Girls
As a belated Father's day present for dad since we were in Florida, Laura & I took a picture together in the requisite beach attire of khaki and white (totally impromptu, I might add), developed a good one, and purchased a beachy frame to give to dad when we got back.
Steph and I picked on each other all week, and it certainly helped me to keep laughing.  Steph dubbed me the "drill sergeant" for apparently forcing her to maintain a strenuous pace on our beach walks!
To Helenback's Again for pizza on our last night with Steph
Mmmmm, I could eat this whole thing!
After pizza, we splurged for some ice cream at the Twist.  I got some mocha-chocolatey creation, and Laura & Steph got variations of banana ice cream with frozen chocolate bananas. 
The upside of dropping Steph off at the airport at the butt crack of dawn Thursday morning:
On Friday, it actually rained that morning, so Laura & I drove over to the outlet mall. I scored several new clothes for Bradley, and a cute one-piece at the Gap for 6 bucks! On our way back, we were looking for a place to eat, and simultaneously suggested the Hog's Breath Saloon. Practically every place we ate we dined outdoors, and can I just say, I think this is one of life's simple pleasures?! You'd think in Florida it would be too hot to eat outside, but there was always a breeze blowing to make things pleasant.

I'm hungry just looking at this- it was a fantastic Southwestern Chicken Sandwich with avacado, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and bacon (which make everything more delicious) and a spicy mayo sauce. Hands down, the best thing I ate all week.
We also ate at the East Bay Crabhouse during the week, where I did actually order sauteed tilapia, and devoured it since it neither looked nor tasted like fish, and we visited my old favorite restaurant in Navarre, the Cactus Flower Cafe, and had some amazing Mexican food that rivaled the above sandwich and fries.  We definitely ate well this week!
It was the weirdest thing- we didn't see any seagulls until our last day, and then, they only appeared because a school of fish had drifted close to the beach, and were visibly jumping out of the water. The birds migrated over appropriately.
Saturday morning, we said goodbye to the beach, and hello to Bradley! He was a cranky worn out mess, but I didn't care! We stopped in Alabama on the way home at aunt Peggy's for lunch and to see our cousin Heather, her husband Bob, and kids Ana and Larkin. Bradley ran around playing with his cousins for a while and worked out some of his pent-up energy!

Aunt Peggy pulling B around in the wagon
At this point, it was very late in the afternoon, and Bradley had yet to take a nap, so he wasn't exactly cooperative when it came time for pictures, so this is the best one I got of him and Peggy. He fell asleep soon after getting back on the road though.

At this point, it was very late in the afternoon, and Bradley had yet to take a nap, so he wasn't exactly cooperative when it came time for pictures, so this is the best one I got of him and Peggy.  He fell asleep soon after getting back on the road though. 
If you have made it this far reading/skimming/only looking at the pictures, and you are not my mother, then I commend you.  It was a long week, and we are glad to be home, although not happy to be back at work, and I am certainly missing the lazy days at the beach.  I'll be looking for takers for next summer because I doubt Laura will ever go with me to the beach again!  Seven days on the beach for her was about four days too many!  We took a tough situation, and made the best of it, and for that, I am so thankful for friends & family like Laura and Steph. 
Next up:  the Beach: BTM...


Bethany said...

I made it through!! Enjoyed hearing about your week. So glad you made it through. Love you,

Karisa said...

I'm going to de-lurk...

Your post made me miss FL, which is rare! We've lived in the DC area since last fall, and I was so excited to move up here, but the longer I'm here, the more I miss FL!

Anyway! We have technically met; I remember seeing you at a few of Jessica's Mommy and Me classes at the park. I'm sorry about all that you've gone through since then.

I enjoy your blog - great pictures of Navarre Beach! :-)