So I’m home and recovering from my vacation. We had so much fun, but let’s just say I slept a LOT yesterday!
Friday morning, I was at the airport at 4:30. The security line was WAY shorter than I expected, so I was at the gate WITH my doughnut by 5. The flight started boarding at about 5:45. So I played a LOT of Candy Crush. For some reason, the flight out seemed long, but when I got there, and walked the ten miles from the gate, Trish was waiting for me! We hit the car and hit the road down to Alabama. If I’d worried about awkward silences, well, there were NONE. We talked nonstop for hours.
And then we hit the monsoon. Just north of Birmingham, we hit rain so heavy we had to pull off the road. We ran into a McD’s to get lunch and took it to go, thinking we’d get back on the road as soon as the rain let up. Uhhhh….it let up long enough for us to go inside, but by the time we ran BACK to the car, our bags were disintegrating from the rain! AND no napkins. So we ate and waited, and by the time we got back on the road, there’d been an accident, so traffic was at a crawl. I DID get to see the statue of Vulcan on the side of the mountain. I’d wanted to see him since reading the Anne George Southern Sisters mysteries.
Finally we got up to speed, but we didn’t get out of the rain until south of Montgomery. From there it was downhill, and the beach was waiting at the end.
Y’all. The Condo. Was awesome. 3 bedrooms, one facing the beach, with sliding doors onto the patio. We took pictures from the balcony while we waited for Tanya. Once we got everything upstairs, we headed out for dinner at Bubba’s. It was good food after a long drive. Then we went back to the condo and sat on the balcony. Below us, we watched flashlight beams all over the beach, but had no idea what was going on. We stayed up until around 1, I think.
The next morning, I was the first one awake, naturally. It got bright by 5:30. I snuck into the kitchen, snagged some food and headed out to the balcony. I sat outside for a couple of hours before I started itching to go downstairs, but I didn’t have a key to get back in. I decided to get dressed anyway, leave a note, and hope they came to get me before they left. By the time I got dressed, though, Trish was awake, so I waited a bit. We decided to drive around doing research for our books. When we were driving, we saw an actual beach wedding, which Tanya is writing about, and so pulled off and walked around on that public beach. Then we stopped at a souvenir shop, then ate lunch, then went to the Welcome Center, where we loaded up on pamphlets and talked to the lady. Then we hit the grocery store for something to drink on the balcony and headed back to the condo to work.
After work, we headed out to dinner again, this time to Wolf Bay Lodge, where I met a kitty and gave her some of my flounder.
We planned to go back to the condo and walk on the beach to look for crabs (what all those people had been doing the night before with the flashlights) but there was a lot of lightning in the area, so we watched Warm Bodies, then sat on the balcony and watched the storm in the distance.
The next day, the storm wasn’t in the distance. Rain chased me off the balcony, so I went back to sleep, and woke up to find both Tanya and Trish were awake. We went down to the beach but were chased back in by the rain. We had to put our clothes in the dryer! We left the condo to eat, though we had to try 2 restaurants before we ended up at Hurricane, which was pretty good. We worked throughout the afternoon on different projects. Finally the rain let up around 4, so we went for a walk on the beach. It was still raining a bit, but no one cared–we’d come to the beach and we were going to walk on it, damn it! I got some cool shells.
We went out for Italian and watched the first half of the Spurs game, then went back and walked on the beach to see the crabs.
Guess how many we found? NONE. Of course, we were using our phone flashlights, lol. It was fun, though, being out on the beach that late.
The next morning, Tanya had to leave and we had to vacate the condo, but Trish and I decided to stay another day. Naturally, it POURED all morning. We ate breakfast, then drove around and ended up on the pier.
THAT was a whole new adventure. Trish had thought we’d walk to the end of the pier and back. We were there 3 hours! First, people kept saying there was a hammerhead shark around. THEN people started catching sharks, the black-tipped ones. They didn’t pull them in (well, one guy did, but apparently he wasn’t supposed to) but we got to see them thrashing around in the water. AND we saw the hammerhead swimming around. AND a stingray!
But here’s the thing. When we walked in, there were two flags flying–a red and a blue/purple. I had no idea what they meant, but Trish knew the red meant bad riptides, so we googled and saw blue/purple meant dangerous marine life. I would not have known this if Trish hadn’t mentioned the flags.
While we were on the pier, we heard sirens, and saw them pull onto the beach not far away. We saw a guy on a jet ski run up and down the coast, clearly looking for someone. It turned out an older gentleman had tried to save his granddaughter, who was caught in a riptide, and while he’d saved her, he’d gotten caught and drowned. They had rescue divers in the water, and a sonar boat, and finally they called in a helicopter, which spotted the man and hovered until the boats came. It was really a terrible thing to witness. I kept thinking, “He was alive when we walked out here.” They closed the water after that, and PEOPLE WERE STILL IN THE WATER! Yeesh.
So we went back to Wolf Bay for dinner, then checked into our hotel, also on the beach, but not nearly as nice. I think the whole room was as big as my bedroom in the condo! We watched a little TV, then went down to the beach to see the crabs. This time we DID! We saw 4. When we were walking out of the room, I saw a little kid with a net and asked him what he caught, and he said about 20! So 4 was a little disappointing, but at least we knew we weren’t being had, lol.
We left the beach the following morning, sadly, and had a LONG day driving. I kept dozing! We got to Nashville about 6, I FINALLY met Trish’s husband, and we went out to dinner. I was in bed by midnight.
The next morning, we went to The Hermitage, but it was HELLA hot, so we didn’t stay long. Still, very cool to see an old plantation. Then we met Trish’s friend Lara for lunch, then drove around Nashville in what I called the “see Nashville in 6 hours” tour, since I needed to be at the airport by 3:30.
So, a whirlwind trip, but very inspirational!