I know... I know... I should be working. Really. I should be. WORKING. But, alas, I am not. I am blaming it on the sand between my toes. Not literally, but figuratively. It is not physically there, but if I close my eyes for the briefest of moments, I can certainly picture the sand.
I just returned from vacation with Amykins and LouLou and we had a great time! I am typically very anal about the traveling time of my vacations, but even this was thrown out the window on the first day. We got a bit of a late start and IT WAS ALL MY FAULT! That usually wigs me out, but Amykins and LouLou are just the best traveling partners a girl can have, and there was no irritability or derision at all. We just piled in the 'Vous, and set off on 65South to Exit 69!!!
Our first stop was before we hit the Alabama state line for some breakfast for Amykins and LouLou. I didn't even complain, and since I was driving, their very hunger pangs were in my hands. I could have been the Driving Nazi and refused to stop, but we were ON VACATION with no plans other than to arrive safely at the Dean house and enjoy the company of good friends! And enjoy them we did! Crazy Amy made a great impression on the Dean tripletts, who were horrified for the safety of their personal effects. Amy Dean was not feeling well, so we packed up the kiddos, and hit the nicest nature reserve smack dab in the middle of Niceville, Florida.
Turkey Creek is a lovely park that has been developed in Niceville with picnic tables under a pavillion and bridged walkways that traverse the length of Turkey Creek. The kids were able to get in the creek and swim around while we swatted at mosquitos and took copious amount of digitals photos! It was a blast! Sunday morning found us worshipping with our friends. Lou and I were in the choir while Amykins sang with Carey and did the special music as well. After a wonderful lunch that Amy Dean prepared (minus a few scorched green beans) we headed west to Panama City Beach and the fulfillment of Operation Surprise-the-Bell-family.
Yeah, I know. I surprised someone. How novel of me, right? I love to surprise people. I don't know why... but I like it and I'm pretty good at it, and so I take the opportunity to do it when I can. The parental units thought that the three Amigos were heading to the mountains for our annual trip to Pigeon Forge. But, alas... we booked a condo in the same place and arrived there a day after they had checked in. My aunt and uncle were also in PCB, but down at the other end of town.
We went to the grocery store and stocked up on food. Then we unpacked all our belongings, just a couple of buildings away from the parentals and then headed down the road to eat at Pineapple Willy's... one of my favorite places to eat on the beach! We kept missing our "Surprise" moment with the parents, so we opted to do that on Monday.
Monday morning, our scout Amykins, walked in front of the condo unit that my parents were staying in to do some recon. She found our objectives sitting in their space and gave the nod... then We Went In! Walked right up to the sliding glass door and knocked. When older people are confused, they take on that toddler/puppy dog look. They know what they are looking at and you can see the gears turning, but something is missing. My mother and father had those looks on their faces. Staring unseeingly at me. Knowing they gave birth to me but not understanding how I came to be standing in front of them since I am supposed to be in the mountains. We waltzed right in like we owned the place and laughed at our surprise. My aunt and uncle gave similar looks later that afternoon when I arrived at their condo too. The operation was a success!
We spent the rest of the week lying about in the sun either by the pool or on the beach. We slept late and read books (Lou getting the reader award for the most books read in a short amount of time) watched movies and ate great food! We hit Montego Bay, Sharkeys, Pineapple Willy's and Angelo's Steakhouse (my least favorite) before the aunt and uncle cooked boiled shrimp and crab legs for us the night before we returned home.
LJ, the cabana boy, took a liking to Amykins (as most men do...) and was very attentive to our every need. Amykins rented beach chairs for the week from LJ and whenever the sun began to creep onto flesh, LJ was right there to rearrange the beach umbrella. What a guy! He took Amykins out on a wave runner Thursday morning to show her the mating habits of the local dolphins (Amykins was rightly awed) and later took her on the ride of her life out to Shell Island (some miles away) and was so busy impressing her that he lost track of the time. When his boss sent a minion out to fetch him back, Amykins had to hold on to the wave runner for dear life as LJ sped back over some choppy seas to return to home base. Amykins arrived safe and sound!
So now, we have returned to the real world. It is not as wonderful here. It is okay... but it is not the beach. It is not the relaxing world of sand and surf that encompassed our lives for a brief, shining moment. We have returned to the grind and are currently looking for the Mr. Right who will sweep us off our collective feet and pamper us to the extent to which we find ourselves willing to become accustomed to!
Patiently waiting for my knight in shining armor...