Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh Vacation 2011

I'm not on drugs.  I just blinked when I snapped the picture.
Vacation was great, but this was the only picture I got of us together.  Most of the time, I was behind the camera; however, I didn't pick it up nearly as much as I probably should have.

Our first day at the beach.  See my pretty feet?
In addition, I'm not much with a camera.  I can tell a story, but illustrations are always going to be a problem.  Anyway...

We spent the first day on the beach.  It was awesome.  I love the water, and I love the sun.  Panama City has an overabundance of both.  For the sake of a cheaper hotel rate, we stayed in an adjoining city, but our drive over was simple.  Five minutes and we could sit on the beach as long as we wanted.

Favorite and I walked along the beach, jumped in the waves and spent an awesome day relaxing.  Water may not be for everyone, but I feel completely at home next to the ocean.

That evening, Favorite and I decided to go to a local place and eat fresh seafood.  The highest ratings went to a place called The Captain's Table, a small locally owned restaurant near the pier.

I should've put something next to it to show scale.  This plate was HUGE and FULL.
The wait staff was great and the portion sizes were ridiculous.  More than likely, two people could've eaten the portion I was given alone.

But it was DELICIOUS.  Since crab isn't caught locally, we didn't eat any that night.  What we had made up for it, though.  You can see in any picture I post on my blog that I have obviously never turned down a meal, but when this was over, my plate was still full.

The clean plate club is overrated.
The next day, Favorite wanted to go to a place called Shell Island.

The water was gorgeous.  Completely blue and warm.  I could see straight to the bottom.
Getting to Shell Island is a bit of an ordeal.  First, you have to load a school bus with all sorts of people you don't know, cram yourself into a seat you haven't fit since eighth grade and ride for a few minutes.  Then, you unload the bus, grab all of your gear and load up on a pontoon ferry to get to the island.

We had a little extra gear, because Favorite really wanted to snorkle.  So, of course, we rented snorkling stuff.

Previously, I had stated that I would not be snorkling.  The whole concept scares the beejeezus out of me.  I know that sounds weird, but my mind is a steel trap full of worst case scenarios.  I imagined that we would view things underwater, come face to face with a shark and then die.  Reasonable?  No.  Totally in my head?  Yep.

But I agreed to snorkle because I'm a good sport.  At least I am on vacation.  And it was seriously cool.  We spent a lot of time around the rocks in the picture above and I saw tons of cool fish and crabs, etc.

(OH..and come to find out, a man actually was killed by a bull shark while snorkling on Shell Island.  That happened in the eighties.  Thank God I didn't find out until the next day.)

It was a beautiful day...with one exception.  Shell Island has NO shade.  We brought an umbrella, but it was a poor substitute for actual shade.  Since my skin is the color of paper, constant reapplication of sunscreen and sitting under the umbrella didn't really help me much.  I was R.E.D. by the time we left.  So that meant the next day was going to require a lot of time OUT of the sun.  Even though I love it doesn't mean it loves me back.

The entrance to the swimsuit shop.  Clever, aren't they?
We spent our evenings shopping for a new swimsuit (TORTURE!) for me, and visiting a little putt-putt play area.  That's where Favorite decided to try his hand at the batting cages.

There he is:  Mr. MLB.
Since his manhood was at stake, he went into the fast pitch cage and proceeded to whiff the first few pitches.  (As his loving wife, I feel it's my duty to share these successes with you.)  After that, he hit his stride and got a few pretty impressive hits.

Arm wrestling requires intense concentration...and facial expressions.
The quest for manhood continued in the arcade area where he arm wrestled a machine, and felt it his manly duty to get the highest score possible.  Aren't I a lucky girl?

Then my oceanic cowboy decided to wrestle a wild dolphin and take a ride.

Ok.  That's a lie.  It's a kiddie ride.  But that doesn't really fit into all the other terrific manly feats he managed that evening.  (Fun fact:  Favorite didn't want to swim with the dolphins because dolphins "freak him out."  Who knew?)

The next day we went parasailing.  It was amazing, but I don't have any pictures for you, because I might be brave enough to go a few hundred feet in the air, but I am not brave enough to take my brand new digital camera on a banana boat in the ocean.

Once I was in the air, the world got really peaceful.  Things went much more slowly up there, and I could see the entire city.  Plus, the ocean was really clear out there so I could look down and see tons of stuff.  Favorite wasn't super excited about trying it out (he's not a fan of heights), but he agreed that it was an awesome experience.

We were in the boat with a family of five--a fifteen year old among them.  She was annoying and kept asking the guys running the boat if she could get out and swim.  One of the guys said he didn't even swim in this water and then proceeded to tell us about a 15 ft. shark that was spotted under the pier next to us in March.

Favorite and I thought he was blowing smoke, but turns out, it's a true story.  Google "shark under panama city pier" and see for yourself.  The good news is the shark was a harmless basking shark.  But if I were the guy in the kayak, it wouldn't have mattered if a fish that big was harmless or not.

After parasailing we spent some time at Ripley's Believe It or Not (you know, because it's indoors).  I won't bore you with those pictures with the exception of one:

Doesn't he look like a circus performer?
He's laying on a bed of nails.  It took me forever to convince him to do it, and he said it wasn't really comfortable.  But, manhood regained after the sad dolphin incident.

We got up the next day and drove a ridiculous amount of hours to get to Atlanta to go to the aquarium.  I didn't take pictures there because of the glass, but I do have two things to share with you that completely wrap up my personality:

Tell me that doesn't make you smile.

We had a great time, but I'm glad to be home.  I missed my dog.  And my bed.  But driving was awesome because we got through more than half of Game of Thrones.  So far?  Mesmerizing.

And now that I've updated you about vacation, I'll hopefully be able to get back to some sort of regular blogging schedule.  And I'll try to give you more pictures.


ktjane said...

Favorite riding the dolphin cracks me up! (Especially with the reveal that real ones freak him out!)

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

Looks like a wonderful trip!!!