Leah and I just got back from our second annual trip to the beach with my youngest sister and her three children. We went to Panama City Beach, FL and stayed at a condo called Summerhouse. We had a great time and beautiful weather. The Summerhouse is really a nice place and I would definitely recommend it for families or anyone who wants to get away from the "wild" part of P.C. They have good security there and the pool area was really situated well for children and parents with lounge chairs all around both pools. It also had a hot tub, but it was pretty small and was always occupied at night. One thing I really loved was the large pavillion area where you could sit under cover and still see the beach and ocean, or have a picnic. It was nice and cool under there, though I mostly preferred being out on the beach in the sun. We had those little short beach chairs and we enjoyed putting them right at the shore so we could sit in the sun and get wet all at the same time.
Our first day there, we wanted to get out on the beach as soon as we could since we'd spent half of the day driving. So that's what we did, and the first thing that happened before we even set up our stuff was some people offered us their floats because they were leaving the next day. That was really nice of them and we could have enjoyed the floats in the water except for the fact that the water had the green slimy seaweed stuff in it. But we still needed to buy some groceries because we didn't have room to pack a large cooler in Angie's Yukon. We decided that would be the night we would go out to eat seafood, and then we'd go buy the groceries. So, after we enjoyed the beach as long as we wanted, we went inside, took showers and then tried to go to Pineapple Willie's. As soon as we drove in, we realized that would be a mistake because it was so crowded and we couldn't find a parking place in that tiny parking lot. So we left there and went to Captain Anderson's and put our name on the waiting list. It was 7:45 by this time and the wait was going to be 45 minutes. All I could think was how miserable it was going to be to wait for 45 minutes with an 8-year old, 4-year twins and a hungry 19-year old. So we walked around behind the restaurant to look at the water while we waited, and we spotted Mel's Dockside Restaurant which wasn't crowded at all. So, we got a table outside by the dock and listened to live music while we ate a delicious seafood meal and were finishing up about the time we would have gotten seated at Captain Anderson's. We decided that it was divine intervention and that God had provided a place to eat right when we needed it most! After that, I kept the twins at the condo while Angie, Leah and Bailee went to Wal Mart for our groceries. Not a good idea! Apparently, everyone who was visiting P.C. had exactly the same idea and were going to be eating exactly the same foods on our list because Angie said the only sandwich meat left was livercheese, and she had to fight for a jar of mayo. And the lines were absolutely ridiculous -- all the way into the clothing section. It took them forever, but they finally got back with some food for us, but they were really stressed.
The rest of the trip, we just enjoyed being out on the beach or out by the pool or under the beach tent (left by the same people who gave us their floats) or umbrella that someone else offered us. We ate our meals on our balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. One evening, Angie had to have her traditional "photo session" where she makes her kids dress up in cute outfits then takes them out on the sand and tortures them by trying to get them all to smile at the same time. I'm only kidding about the torture part, but I like to tease her about that. Alex, the boy twin, was just not in the mood to be cute for the camera this year. I tried to get Leah to put on something cute and let me take pictures of her, but she wasn't interested.
It was a great trip and since people were so nice to us and gave us things, we tried to "pay it forward" and gave away some stuff when we left. Actually we HAD to give away stuff because the thing we carried on top of the Yukon to pack stuff in had torn up during our trip down, so we didn't have enough space to take everything back with us.
Book: Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional
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