Monday, July 12, 2010

Florida Highpoint

Pensacola Tuesday, Jul 5th, cont.
We cleaned the beach from our hands and feet and beach toys just as the rain started. It didn’t really make much sense to dry off from an outdoor shower. Watching the storm roll in from the Gulf was really something. The sky clouded up, then darkened, then turned black. The workers along the beach were long packed up and gone before the first drops fell. They were an unsmiling bunch.
The kids were sorry to have no shells, though Noah did find a tiny, perfect white one for his Dad. When we got to a gift shop, Jack wanted to buy some of the really impressive spiky ones to – his words – remember the beach by. I thought the more accurate memory would be one of no shells. He quickly moved on to wanting a pet hermit crab. Believe me, I seriously considered it. Would it be able to live in the same aquarium as Speedy, the (desert) leopard gecko? No, it would not. Okay then. No crab. We’re a one-pet family, and even that pet is about as low-maintenance as you can get.
We drove to the Florida Highpoint under overcast skies and off-and-on rain, sometimes very heavy rain. Our biggest accomplishment on the Highpoint was not stepping in red ant beds and not getting stung by the wasps flying in and out of the multiple nests that Henry discovered over our picnic table.
Hopefully, we were not breaking any laws by setting off a few fireworks from the parking lot.
Happy Independence Day! A little late.
We drove through Destin on the way back to Pensacola, stopping at the Hard Rock Café for dinner. Destin was a neat community, though one end of it reminded me uncomfortably of that area in the Smoky Mountains – Gatlinburg, I think – or Branson. Those elaborate miniature golf places and water slides alongside the highway, lots of touristy places that seem more to do with separating you from your money than sharing a culture. But still, I had a brief moment of regret that I had not pushed on the extra hour to Destin instead of stopping in the more-corporate Pensacola.
Hard Rock was fun, and a nice break from the now-constant rain outside. Henry wants to visit every Hard Rock Café in the US, and we’ll hit a few this trip if we can. The Destin HRC is small, but they managed to get a healthy crew of employees together to sing the YMCA. I couldn’t get any of my kids to join in the Conga line. Huh, no dessert for them.
Tomorrow: on to Mobile, then Biloxi

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