Ah, the beach! The summer destination of numerous families across the land. We joined the coast-bound throngs this weekend, and visited the lovely St. Andrews State Park, near Panama City, Florida. Along with our own kids, we had our niece, Julie. And at the last minute, we convinced Julie’s parents, John and Melissa, to come along as well.
The trip down on Saturday was punctuated with thundershowers, but weren’t about to let them get us down. We spent some time shopping at Target and the Mall, picking up some last-minute necessities (beach toys for the kids and a couple of extra beach towels, just in case we needed them). Then we went to Captain Anderson’s Restaurant. It wasn’t cheap, but man oh man is the food good. Susan and I both had the Grouper Imperial (broiled grouper with lump crab meat), which was quite delicous. John had the Seafood Platter. We all shared bites, and we agreed that the Deviled Stuff Crabs were to die for! Next time we go, I think I might get the Grilled Churrasco Steak (which will melt in your mouth), with some shrimp or lobster on the side.
By Sunday morning, the storms were gone, and we headed St. Andrews, where we met our friend Tammy and her two kids. We all had a marvelous time playing in the sand and swimming in the area sheltered by the jetty. John had brought a couple of diving masks, so were were able to see lots of fishes, and even found a couple of hermit crabs. John saw a puffer fish, and I heard some other people say that they spotted a stingray in the deeper water near the jetty. There was a little bit of seaweed around (churned up by the storms in the previous days), but overall the water was pretty clear.
After a few hours of surf and sun, it was time to load up and head home. Of course, washing off the sand and packing everything up seemed like it took longer than the whole rest of the trip, but we finally managed to get back on the road. We stopped for a late lunch of pizza on the way out of town, and arrived home before sundown, exhausted but happy.
Fortunately, I seem to be the only one who got any appreciable amount of sunburn. My back is fairly lobsterized (despite all the sunscreen that we all slathered on). Susan got a small bit of burn, and Julie’s face was pretty red when we left, but our two kids fared much better (probably because they spent less time in the water).
Mainly it was just nice to get out the house for a while and do something fun with the kids. And, hey — it was fun for us, too! 🙂