Sunday, July 30, 2006

A beach getaway

I've just returned from a beach weekend with friends at St. George's Island on the Panhandle, an area that calls itself "The Forgotten Coast". And that's a darn good thing. SGI has strict zoning laws so all of the beachfront homes are moderately sized, not 20 story condos. Our spot was a delightful waterside retreat, a narrow house with four split levels, offering all of us privacy. We didn't go anywhere except out into the water to swim, and I was reminded again why I love the Gulf of Mexico. On the Florida side it's calm, serene, warm and inviting. The sand is like white sugar up past the Big Bend, and the entire experience was a soothing getaway. Our hosts even did all the cooking, which made me feel wonderfully pampered and lazy.

We took the convertible to drive top down and stayed to back roads--US 19, Alternate 27, not the Interstate. Yes, it was a longer trip, but it was infinitely more enjoyable, rolling through Old Town and Fanning Springs and Sopchoppy and Carabelle.

On the way back we stopped for lunch at Suwannee Gables on US 19 in Old Town and I had a perfect Florida coastal meal--lightly breaded fish, hushpuppies and sides of lima beans and green beans. I was slightly disappointed there wasn't any mullet today, but the other menu items more than made up for that lack.

I also stopped by Pink Porch Books in Alachua and dropped off a copy of Captain Sinister's Lady, doing my part to spread pirate romance across the state. One could say I'm a Florida romance version of Johnny Appleseed.

A beach house. *Sigh* Maybe after a few more sales.

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