Hi Everyone....As promised here's a trip report for our visit last week. Sorry but it will be long!
Friday 7/24--up late washing clothes, packing, cleaning etc and finally in bed by 11:30.
Sat 7/25--overslept and didn't get up until 3:20 am!! In years past we have actually left at 3 am!! Rushed to take a shower, finished packing all the toiletries, loaded the van, double checked all the locks, kissed the dogs and cats good bye (we're crazy about our pets) DH and DDs 13 and 9 in the van but as I was coming out the door, DD said the van wouldn't start!! REALLY??? Apparently the doors of the van were left open and ran down the battery....
pulled DH's truck to the side, jump started the van and finally pulling out of the driveway at 4:50 am!!! Holy COW!! Our oldest daughter will be 18 8/18 and was allowed to take her boyfriend of almost 2 yrs w/her so they had already left in her car and was going to meet us at an exit near the interstate after they stopped at Steak & Shake. Wires got crossed, they didn't meet us at desginated area so got lost going through Nashville. We pulled over at an exit in Brentwood, they caught up w/us and smooth sailing rest of the way...until we got to Troy, AL. We had already decided we'd take 231 to Troy and then for a change take 167 to Enterprise and then 79 to Ebro. So as we were coming through Troy, we were in the right hand lane to turn right on 167, turn signal on and this lady pulled right out in front of us!! Hit the front side panel of our van putting a huge dent and scratch from the headlight all the way to the door. The force of the hit apparently pushed the fender back some b/c it now rubs against the door and has cracked the molding along side the pax door and in addition my pax window won't roll back up...it comes slowly down but not back up!! GEZ Louise!! Called the police, filed a report, blessings that no one was hurt or nothing seriously wrong w/the van that kept us from driving it, 45 mins later and we're on our way again. By this time it was almost 12 so we decided to stop and get a bite of lunch at Wendy's. 30 mins later we're back on the road heading down 167 toward PC!! Very pretty scenery, 2 lane road, some traffic but areas where you can pass if needed. Not sure if it was any faster but it was very pretty. FINALLY rolled into the condo around 3. Latest we've ever arrived.
Our room was ready, so we unloaded the van, got situated, DD13 and 9 put on their suits and hit the pool!! DD18, BF and I decided to go ahead and go get groceries so went to Publix and bought a few things then made the HUGE mistake of going to Wal-Mart!! We knew what to expect but figured since we were already out we might as well go as opposed to having to go back later that night or the next day. 3 hrs and $200 later we were back from Publix and WM and started fixing dinner. Steaks on the grill, sauted mushrooms, salad and baked potatoes....yum. Sat nt sat around the pool visiting old friends that we get to see only once a year at the condo.
Sunday, woke up to bright and sunny skies. Hit the beach and stayed on it most of the day. Water was perfect...a little seaweed but not too bad. Dinner again in the condo--cheeseburgers. Yum.
Monday, another beautiful day in PCB!! Kids on the beach and at the pool all day. Tacos in the room for dinner.
Tuesday, blessings again w/sunny skies!! By this time DD and BF was a little tired of the sun (are you kidding??) so they decided to head down to Pier Park around 3. We came in around 4 and started getting ready for a dinner out at Angelo's. Met them there around 6:30. Wait time was 30 mins or so--not bad for a family of 6. AWESOME food. I'm really picky about my steak and like it a true med rare--not med and not rare but in the middle and Angelo's has the wonderful talent of fixing it perfectly. $102 w/tax for 5 meals, drinks and tip. Afterwards we went to the Arcade center next door, Golden Gate I think, so the kiddos could ride go carts. We met 3 other families and their kids from our condo there and had a great time. Some of the younger kids wanted to ride the smaller go carts so we waited on them, but as we were waiting the wind really kicked up, the lightening and thunder started so we decided to skip more rides and headed to our cars. Before we could get back to the condo the bottom dropped and it was POURING!! When we got to the condo, the wind had blown over all our chairs and the bathing suits and towels I had laid out were soaking wet and covered in sand and our floats were MIA! When it stopped raining DH and I went out in the parking lot and found 2 of our floats in the pool area and 2 other floats on the beach that weren't ours. Plus 2 of the families that stayed at our condo lost their tents b/c the wind was so strong. So...word of advise, if u put up an awning, make sure you take the canopy off when you leave the beach--even if you leave the frame up, take the canopy off.
Wed, few clouds but they burned off and ended up being another nice sunny day. DD18 and BF went to Gulf World and had a great time. After they got home the 3 of us went to Treasure Island Fish Market and bought a pound and half of large shrimp and a Talipa fillet for DH then went to Publix and bought more mushrooms, peppers and onions, some pasta and alfredo sauce, came back to the condo, grilled the shrimp and fish and made the pasta. It was pretty good but cost us more to buy the fresh fish and fixings than it would have if we had gone out to eat! Especially considering I had to do all the cooking and cleaning. Not worth it in my opinion.
Thursday was another day on the beach. My friend from Tallahassee came over so we were able to spend much needed "girl time" and catch up w/all the things going on in our lives. DH and I had promised the girls we'd take them somewhere for all you can eat crab legs so ended up going to Capt Jack's for dinner. Was VERY expensive...$23.99 for the 4 of us plus $11.99 for my 9 yr old. Of course we ate till we were miserable but for $127 we better! I teased my oldest daughter that she'll start walking side ways like a crab w/all she ate! She doesn't weigh much more than 120 lbs and probably ate 5 or 6 clusters of legs. Was very good! Afterwards we met our friends from the condo again and went back to let the kids ride the go carts again. This time they rode on the Cobra track. Then went back to the Golden Gate area and several of them rode the Sky Flyer. Not me...tummy too full!!
Friday--last day on the beach :( Woke up to thunder, lightening and high winds. Finally cleared off around 11 but stayed at the pool instead of going to the beach b/c of the forecast and big clouds hanging around. Around 2 it started raining again but wasn't and thunder or lightening so let the girls stay in the pool and by 4 my friend from Tally and I got cleaned up and went to Pier Park and hung out for a couple hours. Stopped at Chick Fillet for dinner and then back to the condo to start packing. Said our goodbyes to most everyone Fri nt and in bed by 11.
Sat up and finally ready to hit the road at 8:30. This is when we discovered the window on the van won't roll back up. DH rolled it down as we were leaving and since it wouldn't go back up, I had to ride all the way to the state line w/it half way down --including through a couple of rain patches!
We stopped in Troy to get the police report, ate lunch, got gas, headed on home, stopped again for potty break, stopped at Durbin Farms for THE BEST peaches anywhere! and 20 mins later, got caught in a traffic accident on 65 that had traffic stopped on 65 North for 45 mins to an hour! More rain north of B-ham, then stopped and rained in BUCKETS from the TN state line all the way to Columbia (a good hour) but finally quit and no more delays. We got home about 7:30 Sat nt...10 hrs that should have been only 8. totally exhausted but a great trip despite the accident in Troy and the drive home.
Hope we get to go back next year!!