Beach memory, June 2010, Marco Island. Gorgeous sunset. A man with a destiny with his water.
Having lived in the South for more than half my life, summer vacations were always spent along the Gulf Shoreline. Panama City Beach, Destin, Clearwater, Naples, Marco Island just to name a few places.
My fondest memories of the white sandy beaches were spending time with my family and friends. We went so far as to purchase a time share at Landmark Holiday Beach Resort just to insure we would always have a fun place to vacation.
In all the years we owned there, we were only evacuated once for an impending hurricane. This year being the one we took our in laws alone, it was quite an experience for them. Granted, the hurricane was hundreds of miles away, so we took our time to get one last dip in the Gulf before even packing. However, my in laws, God Bless Them, were packed and ready to go, waiting for us in the lobby for a good 2 hours! Imagine how shocked they were when we finally did show up only to tell them we were going to eat at a local restaurant before hitting the road!
Then there was our friend's little guy who must have been around 9 years old, who was also so frightened of the hurricane that wasn't even here yet, she gave him a half of a xanax to calm him down. Believe me, it was much needed for him!
Many years, the Gulf only produced the slightest of waves for our kids to enjoy. These waves, mind you, were at best a swell of water, but our kids quickly named them as "Woop-dee-doo Waves". When the "Woop-dee-doo" waves were amiss, the Gulf was as flat as glass.
Everyday, we would spot a group of dolphins playing out about 100 yards off shore. Some years the Gulf was filled with jelly fish. Other years, algae patches were nasty, but that didn't keep us out of the water.
Doing our job to promote the local economy, we would visit The Boars Head restaurant and Captain Anderson's on the waterfront and also the now closed due to a hurricane a few years ago, Hamilton's Seafood.
But my best memory of the Gulf was my undying attempt to find a sand dollar while walking the beach. Everyone around me would find them as if they were pieces of sand on the beach. Me? Never found one and I do not count the time when my friend tossed one just a few feet in front of me and said, "Oh Deb, look!". No, that time doesn't count.
These are just a few of the Panama City Beach memories, believe me I have a million more to share.
I desperately hope beyond all hope that not only I can continue to make more memories at the Gulf's beaches, but also my children and grandchildren.
SAVE THE GULF! SAVE THE GULF! SAVE THE GULF! SAVE THE GULF! SAVE THE GULF!
SAVE THE GULF NOW!