Thursday, 21 February 2008

Mexico Beach

I haven't got too much to say today. I think I talked myself out with the death row blog post. Today is day 3 of our stop at Mexico Beach on the gulf of Mexico in Florida. We are staying at an RV park called 'Rustic Sands', which is 5 minutes walk from the beach. Its a nice enough park, although I get the feeling that most people staying here are here long term, whereas we are just passing through.

The drive from Thomasville in Georgia, to Mexico Beach in Florida was really lovely. Our satelite navigation system likes taking us cross country and missing out the freeways. It sometimes means it takes us longer to get places, but I'd much rather see the scenery than the interstate highways. The drive was 2.5 hours through logging countryside. We were one of the only cars on the road and we stopped to admire the views and stretch our legs at various points. We have now moved into another time zone and are 6 hours behind the UK, instead of 5.

Most of Tuesday and Wendesday (yesterday) were spent at the beach. We are staying in the least built up or touristy stretch of the coast, which suits us perfectly. There are a few small shops, and the beach is almost totally deserted. I just love deserted beaches. To be honest, as a child in England I hated going to the beach, probably because the beaches were always packed to capacity with every inch of sand space being filled. Because its still winter here the beaches are empty. But it feels like summer to us, so we enjoy having the place to ourselves. Don't empty beaches just feel so tropical and luxurious? The sand here on Mexico Beach is so white that you need sunglasses to look at it. The sea is really calm, no waves (much to the kids disappointement) which adds to the peacefulness of the place. Theres a lot of wildlife here, including the usual sea-gulls. The pelicans are particularly prevalent and Dan got some good photos of them.

I'm not sure what we will be doing today. Its almost 10am and Barney is still fast asleep. We are letting him sleep today as he is just so over tired. We are just chilling out in out PJ's and relaxing.

We discovered the cutest row of shops here on Mexico Beach, including an ice cream shop called 'Scoops Up'. (Where the kids had the bluest ice cream ever made, and ended up with blue poo's the next day!!!) Dan and I ordered a hot fudge brownie to share, which turned out to be a hot fudge brownie covered in ice cream, and cream, and walnuts and chocolate sauce. Wow, it was just heaven in a bowl!

We decided to take a drive to Apalachicola on Tuesday night. We wanted to get some seafood for dinner. Actually we didn't plan to drive that far but we missed a turning and ended up in Apalachicola, which had an area of restaurants which looked so pretty as they were all lit up with fairy lights. Barney thought it was still Christmas there. We went to a place called the Seafood Grill and had an absolute feast of a meal for half of what it would cost at home. The kids meals were as big as the adults meals, which was great for Jimmie who often eats more than the rest of us put together. He had fried oysters - yes oysters were on the kids menu! Annabelle had fried shrimp, Barney had fish, Dan also had the shrimp and I had a combo of fish, oysters and shrimp. Well, it was just delicious. I never knew oysters could be cooked (not that I've ever actually eaten oysters before). The woman serving us told us about some free educational places we could go to - we may actually do that today if Barney ever awakens.

On the way to Apalachicola though, I saw the sun was about to set and got Dan to drive the RV near to the beach. I had heard the sunsets on Mexico Beach were awesome, and thought it would be lovely to sit on the beach and watch it as a family. So we parked Thelma up under the moon, and headed onto the beach, where we all sat on a big fallen tree and watched the sun setting together. Barney was really mesmerized by it. I don' t think he's ever really understood why it gets dark at night before.

On the way back to the RV Jimmie saw a board with a big red button on it and just could resist pressing it. As we walked closer to him we heard the sound of a phone ringing and then "911 Emergency, which service do you require?" Well! The look of horror on Jimmies face as he realised that the big red button was an emergency button for anyone that may have been stranded on the beach! Dan raced over and appologised to the women on the other end of the call saying his "very young child had accidentally pressed the button" and she said "no problem sir". After a few minutes we all had a good laugh about it. The big red button looked so irresistable, and Jimmie had thought it would tell him something educational about the beach!

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