Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Rest and Relaxation?

Last weekend I had a 2 1/2 day mini-vacation planned (this also included 12 hours RT of driving time), to go down to my hometown (Panama City) to visit the family and get a little R&R. So, as you can imagine, I needed to find a facility to board my four Greyhounds. I hate splitting them up into private homes and thought they would do best if kept together.

I consulted a few of my Greyhound friends and was immediately told about this most wonderful place that I call "Camp Why Not". I called and thank goodness, there was room at the inn for my four. I was all set and they were all set. The night before, I packed up their food and treats and gathered muzzles - they tend to eat things in the yard which shouldn't be consumed so the muzzles help eliminate that.

Friday morning I packed the car with my gear, their overnight bag loaded with food and treats, and them, of course. We headed to Camp Why Not in what appeared to me to be a monsoon. Thank God, it was just drizzling when we made it to the camp, so everyone bounded out of the SUV for a run around the grounds. They seemed happy and the camp counselor took a moment to get to know each of the dogs. I left, feeling very comforted that they would be well taken care of.

Then it was Southbound to PC. It rained a hard rain all the way to Columbus which made for miserable driving but then the clouds parted and blue skies could be seen. The weather continued to improve during the drive through Alabama and was absolutely beautiful when I arrived in Panama City and during the entire weekend.

Here's a shot from my balcony at the Bay Point Marriott. Beautiful, huh? I wish I could live in Panama City and make a living as well but I don't think I could without taking a $40,000 a year pay cut and that would be very painful!

Friday night the entire family (brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew, Daddy and girlfriend, Ms. Pat) all met at my favorite restaurant, Capt. Anderson's for a very nice dinner. I had Greek salad, 1/2 Florida lobster stuffed with crabmeat dressing and new potatoes. Umm, my most favorite meal!

I remember when our birthday's rolled around when we were children and we were asked which restaurant we wanted to go to and my sister, who has a March birthday, and my brother, who has an April birthday, always suggested Capt. Anderson's so that's where we always went for theirs. Capt. Anderson's is always closed during the winter months so when it was my birthday, December 15, I was out of luck. I had to choose somewhere else but it was never my favorite but merely a substitute because I had no choice!

The next day after our family dinner, my sister, brother-in-law, niece and myself went kayaking. Around 9 a.m., we launched our boats somewhere off the base (Tyndall AFB) and paddled across to Crooked Island Sound. It was about a 5-mile hike across the bay but we eventually made it! This little slice of heaven is part of the Air Force Base but is open to civilians unless they are doing military exercises. They weren't this weekend so we did get to go onto the beach and explore. My sister went sea shell collecting while my niece and myself enjoyed swimming in the Gulf. The water was beautiful despite a bit of seaweed here and there. As you can see from the picture of the beach, it's a very unspoiled stretch of land that very few folks know about. We used to snorkel and scallop along this bay but the State has since mandated certain areas where scallops can be harvested and this is not one of them.

My Dad and Ms. Pat soon joined us on their motorboat and we sat beachside enjoying chicken salad sandwiches, chips, and grapes for lunch. Very nice.

We didn't leave until well past 4 p.m. because my BIL and Dad were mullet fishing. Yes, my family does enjoy a fried mullet every now and then, complete with cheese grits and hush puppies. Actually, when we were younger, we had mullet quite often. My Mom used to joke that she was afraid we would all be born with scales, fins and gills!

On our way back, my BIL and sister tried out their new sails they purchased for their kayaks. It was the oddest looking thing but quite effective when there was wind going the right direction. And, of course, totally ineffective when the wind died or changed directions. But pretty cool, nonetheless.

We finally made it back to the landing at about 7:30 p.m. My, what a fun-filled day! I was sunburned, exhausted, hungry for dinner, and thirsty for a Margarita. I headed back to the Marriott and showered, ordered some fried shrimp for take-out, and poured myself a Margarita. I spent the rest of the night just enjoying and relaxing.

The next morning I ordered a ham, onion, spinach, and cheddar cheese omelet through room service, savoring every bite while doing some last minute computer work. Then, it was time to load the SUV and head home.

Another six hour drive back and I was in Atlanta. Again, driving in torrential rain. Seemed it did stop on Saturday but kicked back up just in time for my drive in. Figures, huh?

I drove directly to Camp Why Not to gather the girls. On my way there, I decided to call the camp counselor to alert her that I'd be there directly. She told me they had quite a few "adventures" over the weekend. When I asked her to elaborate, she said that Sami jumped a fence into her backyard in an attempt to kill one of her Jack Russells.

She was muzzled, thank God, and all was well when she was able to break them apart. No harm done. Sami sustained a pretty bad bruise on the inside of a back leg but she'll be okay. Secondly, she said that Lucy and Sami got into a brawl in their run. She was sure one of them had been injured badly, especially with the ruckus they were making. But again, just a scrape here and a bruise there on Sami - none on Lucy.

Before leaving, she shared these photos with me. From the expressions on their faces, I see they did have an excellent time at Camp Why Not, especially playing dress up. Who knew?
Needless to say, they were exhausted puppies when we did finally get home. They barely moved that night and all of yesterday, finally acting like themselves last night. I, too, felt pretty much the same and finally think I've recovered from the whirlwind weekend although I honestly feel as if I need another vacation so I can truly rest and relax! Oh well, fun does come at a price, doesn't it? And fun was had all around by everyone!

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Cool Coty said...

Such cute pictures of The Girls, you wouldn't know they are the brawling sort ;-)

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