Wednesday, December 11, 2013

St. Andrew SP, FL - 12/11/13

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Wednesday – December 11, 2013
Panama City Beach, Florida
St. Andrew State Park

It was a cold and windy day here yesterday. The temperature was in the low 60’s with an overcast sky, making for a bone-chilling day outside. We still managed to get our 5-mile walk in, despite the cooler weather.

We had dinner last night with my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson at Pompano Joe’s Seafood restaurant on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, Florida. This is a relatively new restaurant at this location. The food was just okay and the service was horrible. It took a very long time for the food to be served after we had placed our order. We could understand it if the restaurant was busy, but we were the only diners there at 5:30 p.m. This restaurant desperately needs help from "Restaurant Impossible" on the Food Network. Needless to say, we will not be back!

The weather today is much better. It is a bright sunny day, with the temperature in the mid-60’s and no wind. It was nice to get our 5-mile walk in this morning with the bright sun providing its warmth during our walk. Our walk takes us two times around the State Park Circle Road. The road circles a wet marsh area filled with a vast variety of plants, trees, birds, alligators and marine life. It is a scene straight out of a rain forest environment. Absolutely beautiful!

We are surprised to see the number of empty campsites here. There are 176 campsites available at this state park and only 37 are occupied. My son told me that it’s very slow here during the winter months. Their busy months are in March (spring break) and during the summer when they get an influx of visitors from the surrounding states, with a large portion coming from Alabama.

We went to the beach twice today. In the afternoon there was a self-propelled hang-glider flying quite high over the water of the Gulf of Mexico. We marveled at how the pilot would maneuver his aircraft through the sky, descending and making frequent sharp turns. At times, the pilot would shut the engine off and glide his aircraft in a long arc, using its canopy for control. After a minute or so, he would restart the engine, gain altitude and then repeat the cycle of turning the engine off and gliding. It was quite a show the pilot put on for the viewing audience on the beach.

In the evening we returned to the beach to watch the sunset at 4:47 p.m. What a show this sun in our solar system puts on for all life forms inhabiting this rotating sphere called Earth. As this massive sphere of nuclear energy recedes over the horizon, the fading light reflects off of the gently drifting clouds, putting on a brilliant display of pink and red shades of color.

We will depart here on Thursday to continue on our five-month snowbird journey through Florida.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

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