It all began with a girl’s weekend…
Every Tuesday afternoon Helen (adorable wife) attends a pottery class at our church with a group of delightful ladies. I envision it as more of a social gathering with artistic overtones, but I have seen some really great works created by the students. The class is led by Janet, an extremely gifted potter and artist, who is generous with both her time and talent. Recently she extended her generosity a bit further when she invited class members to come to her beach home in the Destin, Florida area for a bit of down time in a warmer clime. I don’t think anyone turned her down…certainly not Helen.
Easin’ Along was also eager for a road trip, so we began looking for a place nearby in order to add few more days at the end of Helen’s pottery party and I could have some time to thaw out as well. As we do in planning most of our retirement road trips, we scanned the Temporary Military Lodging catalogue published by Military Living Publications and located a waterfront cabin at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Panama City. Within a few minutes of placing a call to the reservation desk, a room was booked for four nights and plans were made.
Helen and crew left town on a Wednesday morning. A few hours later I departed for Charleston to help out my son with a construction project before driving on to Florida. There will be more on that portion of the trip in a later post. I arrived in Panama City on Sunday in time to watch the Super Bowl in our cute and cozy cabin and went on to Destin the next morning to rescue my lovely wife from all the laughter and chatter amongst her pottery pals.
Destin weather was glorious so we borrowed two of the bicycles from Janet’s house and rode to the beach for a walk. The picture below above gives an idea of the morning it was and, considering that temperatures at home were in the mid – 30° range, we reveled in our good fortune. The beach was only sparsely populated with a few walkers–surprising since there was just a light breeze and mid 70° temps. Oh well, I’m glad I was there.
Walking spurred on an appetite so we rode over to the Great Southern Café for a light seafood lunch followed by another walk through the shops in the area where the beach communities of Watercolor and Seaside come together. All of the shops were inviting, but we spent way too much time in one of them. I learned enough about essential oils to last me a lifetime. It was time for more bike riding.
The homes in the area are all charming and the landscaping is well done throughout the neighborhood. The scenery made for pleasant riding which is exactly what I needed after eight hours of driving the previous day. Our bike trails led to an area around a small lake and when we arrived the view was perfect for picture taking. I was able to get this shot from a small bridge at the end of a cove.
By now it was time to load up all of Helen’s gear and make the 45 minute drive to Panama City. I wanted Helen to see the cabin and the waterfront before dark and she had a lot of stuff to organize before we could leave. Nevertheless, we got it all in our car and made it to NSA Panama City in the late afternoon and in time for her to rearrange everything in our cabin–just like I knew she would. “What would you do without me?” she always asks.
I have to cut this post short for now. We just arrived home last night and I still have pictures to organize before delving into the details of our stay in Panama City. In the next post I will tell readers about our visit to St. Andrews State Park and our side trip to Appalachicola, Florida. I also want to share some information about NSA Panama City with our Military Living readers. We had some great oysters and wonderful seafood on this outstanding retirement road trip. Please come back and let us tell you about it.
We’re rested, thawed out and happy so we’ll continue…Easin’ Along.