Thursday, July 1, 2010
Day 12 - Second Day at St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, FL
Had a decent sleep in spite of the fact that it was, once again, stiflingly hot. Woke up, made coffee and tried to figure out where we were going to go after this. So far, my morning ritual has been to get up before Dylan, make coffee, get the atlas and my glasses and sit down to plot the days course while I drink my coffee. I figure out approximately 300 miles and start looking for parks within that distance on the course that we're going. I usually try to get 3 or so just in case one looks nasty or is completely full. So far, we've been fairly successful with this strategy.
I got Dylan up and we drove into town to the local Walmart giganticenter to stock up on groceries. Things I notice at Walmarts across the nation...and we've been to at least 6 of them for supplies...some food is dirt cheap and some about normal. The generic Walmart brand is every bit as good as the nationwide brand. Their strawberries are from Watsonville, CA and are significantly cheaper than I can get them from Ralph's down the street from my house AND they are better! Seriously, they send the best produce out of California! So...anyways, we stocked up and Dylan bought himself a skimboard for some fun at the beach.
We drove back to the park and went straight out onto the beach. The beach at St. Andrews State Park was rated by Conde Naste Traveler Magazine a few years back as the number 1 beach in the entire world!!! It's fantastic!!! We hung out on the beach for hours. Being the responsible adult I am, I put on sunblock knowing full well that you can still get a bad burn even though it was completely overcast. I even shared my wisdom with my wonderful son who, in his 16 years of life, seems to have much more wisdom than I because he informed me that he wasn't going to burn. Uh huh. What a great time we had until it started raining at about 1PM. We stayed out in the rain and enjoyed the warm Gulf waters. BTW, nobody here refers to it as the ocean....it is the Gulf.
Remember that rain that I mentioned? Well the light rain progressed to somewhat heavy rain by about 5PM. Dylan and I were still dressed in only our swim trunks and were doing fine by this time. During a little respite, we made some dinner and were quite happy. I made a little lean-to off the back of the truck with an extra tarp we had. Dylan and I sat back there with our Citronella candle burning and enjoyed the rain. Well, the rain turned to blithering downpour and we took shelter inside the car. We sat there for about two hours waiting for it to let up. It never did! After dark, we just took our chances and ran for the tent with a couple towels and our brand new battery powered fan that we had just purchased at the Walmart giganticenter.
We were soaked by the time we ran the 35 feet to the tent! Once inside, we found that the great tarp that we had put up could only do so much with the torrential downpour that had been going on for the last 4 hours. There was water pooling at the sides and the corner of the tent, some of bedding had gotten wet and we were in for an uncomfortable night. The noise was deafening from the rain hitting the tarp...there was a consolation prize....we were going to get to sleep with a very enjoyable tent fan!! We couldn't wait to get it set up because, with the humidity at 100%, it was ungodly hot in the tent. Oh, and did I mention that my very wise son had a kick-ass sunburn too? Hehehehe Dylan put together the fan and......it didn't work. At all. Nada. Zilch. Shit!
Happy day. Well, I've been very aware lately about the balance in life and the fact that we had driven across the country to one of the best beaches in the world so a little (LOT) rain wasn't going to ruin my spirits too much.