Greetings from my happy place!

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Hello Panama City Beach! Have you missed me as much as I've missed you? :love:

This place is crawling with families and young adults - spring breakers - but our little nest is peaceful and serene. Tons of kids running around, of course, but camper kids tend to be well-behaved. Just playing and having fun, not stealing your stuff or screaming obscenities like other kids.

Last night, exhausted from our drive and the complications that arose, we went to dinner at Wicked Wheels. I had a burger without the bun, and Monello had...ready?...chicken tenders. :lol: I've never seen him eat a chicken tender in the four years we've been together until last night.

Today is my first of the month, so I'm glued to the computer. Hopefully I can get everything done in a timely manner and go play.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
We had the most lovely evening. I had a big work day and finally finished around 4:00, just in time for Monello to grill some steaks and corn on the cob, and sit outside enjoying the gorgeous weather while we ate. Like-minded people grilling their own dinner, kids riding around on bikes, people walking their dogs, fishermen over at the pond giving their arm a workout. After dinner we went for a bike ride and met some folks who live in one of the tiny houses onsite. They told us all about their experience (long story short, they're exceedingly happy).

This is my favorite campground in my favorite location.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
The weather was glorious today - high 70s. We had a swim and grilled steaks for dinner. The other day we went to the beach at St. Andrews SP and had a walk. That water was COLD. But it's a terrific park, with several beach areas, a pretty nice campground, bike rentals, kayak rentals, boat launch, gator sightings, etc.

I'm pretty sure this is where I want to settle when we're ready to come off the road. It's going to be awhile because we haven't been everywhere yet, but I can absolutely see myself here being happy until I fall off my Sharky's bar stool and die in the sand.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
We met some people in the pool who gave us an enormous list of restaurants we need to try. They're locals who don't do the tourist thing, so they know how to get off the beaten path and find those gems. Monello and I have worked off our year and a half of indulgence weight and are now trying to reduce from there, so we'll wait until Bann and FH get here to traipse them around and eat things that are bad for us.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
After I got my work done we had a swim, then went to Sharky's for margaritas and to watch Brooke Henderson smoke her opponents. After, we went to Shane's BBQ for dinner. It was really good - not Texas good, but good - and we have leftovers for days.

It was another stinking gorgeous day. Tomorrow we're going into Old Panama City to see what we can see.

I'm back down to my weight I was before we left for our adventure. So a year and a half to gain it; 6 months to get rid of it. Not too bad. It was worth it. :cheers:
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
Yesterday it was Florida cold and also extremely windy. So we did indoor things. First stop was Ripley's Believe It Or Not. It's a bunch of oddities and some trivial. Several floors of it. They had some very unique art work. Some that stand out are portraits of celebrities in things like lipstick, litebrites, cassette tape ribbon, push pins, broken record pieces and candle wax. There are some very creative and imaginative artists out there.

Then we went for some chow. Bayou Billy's is a name that sounds like it should be on the water. But seeing how this place was across the street from the beach and it being chilly & windy, it didn't matter anyway. Chatting with the barkeeper, we got a few more recommendations on places to visit down here.

3rd stop was a watering hole called Whisky Saloon. They had a 7 piece band playing. There was a guy at the bar next to us. He was drinking Pabst BR. He was also wearing a PBR hat and kept his beer cool in a PBR koozie. Turns out the guy is 69 years old but he really didn't look that old. Further along in conversation we discover that he's in America illegally. My impression of illegals is always somewhat younger men here for work. And guess where he's from originally.





Canada!




Yep, some canuck snuck over and never went back. Before 9/11 he said he could come and go at will but then the cracked down at the border so he didn't risk going back home. Somehow he's managed to make a life in Florida and on Sunday he can sit on a barstool and listen to music. And I have to say they have really comfortable bar stools there complete with back support.

Once when we were in Biloxi, MS we had breakfast at Waffle House. This place was located across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. There was no development on the other side of the street so they had an unobstructed view of the water. We asked the staff if they ever get tired of tha that amazing view and the all replied NO.

On the way back we passed 2 WHs and we reminisced about the Mississippi establishment. Somehow the car got turned around and we ended up in WH having coffee. It was at shift change time and we were the only customers. We find out from the employees that they all like working at Waffle House. They have profit sharing and 401Ks. The cook mentioned that he gets a percent of everything that we are eating. All the restaurants are owned by the same family and they take care of their employees. So if Waffle House can do it, I wonder why more fast food places don't have similar policies.

Then it was back to the campground. It's all littered with pine cones and palm fronds that got blown down from the last 2 days of gale force winds. It's a bit nippy today but the sun is out. Hopefully it warms up enough where we can get in the pool. All in all, it's been an interesting 2 weeks so far in Panama City Beach.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
I've been craving Tally-Ho for a week now so today we went for a nice long bike ride at St. Andrews Park so I could eat corndog and onion rings with a clear conscience. Oh, and I had a burger, too. Oink.

Tally-Ho is a drive-in joint that's a throwback from the 50s. There's no inside - you either sit in your car or at one of their picnic tables and the carhop comes to you. It's one of those iconic places that a local has to tell you about or you just get lucky and find; TA and Yelp aren't going to tell you it exists. There is nothing healthy on the menu. Like, at all.

We've eaten at so many different places in so many different cities that we're fairly jaded when it comes to food. Now we look for atmosphere and uniqueness. So many of these restaurants are pretty much the same, with the same decor and the same menu, that unless it's completely unique like Xiao Bao Biscuit we'd rather have a dive with kitsch. Our next food excursion will be to Muy Wayne Os, just to give you an idea. There's also a hot dog stand on Back Beach that we may or may not get to, but downtown Panama City has Tom's Hot Dogs, which was delicious and throwback cool.
 

Bann

Doris Day meets Lady Gaga
PREMO Member
Only 12 more days! :yahoo:

I'm pretty much packed with what I'm taking to wear, since I wear work clothes during the weekdays and there's pretty much only 3 more weekend days until we leave. I highly doubt our weather will be warm enough to need many of my warmer weather clothes! :lol:
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Only 12 more days! :yahoo:

I'm pretty much packed with what I'm taking to wear, since I wear work clothes during the weekdays and there's pretty much only 3 more weekend days until we leave. I highly doubt our weather will be warm enough to need many of my warmer weather clothes! :lol:
You will need no warm clothing. Bring a light jacket and you'll be good, maybe a sweatshirt if you want to walk on the beach early in the morning. I live in shorts, tank tops, and a swimsuit.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
I've been craving Tally-Ho
I think the real story of Tally-Ho was our waitress or I believe they refer to them as carhops. First off she mentions that her wrist is hurting her and how she almost dropped her grandson. Jamie runs off to get our drinks. Vrai mentions to me that she appears too young to be a grandmother. So doing the math, you figure it's possible for someone to become a granny at the ripe young age of 36-38.

Jamie is back with our liquids and Vrai casually asks her how old she is. She replies 38. She gets our food order and off she goes. After we got our food we are chit chatting and Jamie mentions something that I wasn't really paying attention to until she said the magic words you don't hear everyday. "Since I got out of prison".

And then the floodgates were opened wide. For the next several minutes we got a down and dirty of Jamie's life of crime. Her latest stint was 22 months for drug dealing. Until that time, her longest incarceration was for 6 months. She has 25 arrests and there is a warrant out for her from Texas. Normally random people don't share this sort of intimate details with me, but it isn't such a rare event for Vrai. So is it a male/female thing? Maybe I have an unsympathetic face. Who knows. Just another afternoon in Panama City, FL, I guess.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Normally random people don't share this sort of intimate details with me, but it isn't such a rare event for Vrai.
Happens all the time. If someone needs to tell their life story, complete with embarrassing or socially unacceptable details that one wouldn't normally tell a random stranger, they will end up sitting next to me at the bar or at the doctor's waiting room or in line for the ladies bathroom.

Jamie seemed like a nice gal so I hope she really is on the path to getting her life together.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
So today I had to run errands - because Ulta is a necessary errand, ya'll - and it started getting cloudy and threatening. To us that means we need to find a waterfront bar and get a drink. So after a couple of attempts where they were closed because of impending tornado - chickens - we ended up at Sister of the Sea - aka Dive Bar - where they're not scared. Drank a few beers and chatted with our bartender Shanna - rhymes with banana - and watched the storm come through.

Their menu is amazing - very unique - so when Bann and FH get here we'll have to take them to dinner,

BUT!

We didn't eat there. Instead we went to Muy Wayne O's (see above). I thought it would be a glorified taco truck, but no. It's a Tex-Mex cantina with displaced Houstonites for owners. Super cute, personality to spare, and the food was ridiculous. We just had tacos and mix, but everything was just like you find in TX holes in the wall - flavorful and fresh. Of course I had a Shiner, because....Texas, right? The chips were light and crispy, and the hot salsa was not playing - that chit lit me up. They also had a smoked jalapeno salsa that was really good and a mild that I didn't try but Monello said was good.

See, these are the finds. Not the schmincy TA and Yelp places, and certainly not the steak houses. It's the holes in the wall off the beaten path that are the stars of pretty much every place we've been. Stop and get a drink somewhere and ask your bartender where you should eat. They'll tell you about places like Muy Wayne O's.
 
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vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
:yahoo:

Both places sound fun. Did you see mermaids and pirates?
Girl, in PCB you are either a mermaid or a pirate. It's so casual and laid back here that you won't ever want to go back. I know you're going to love it here as much as I do.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Wicked Wheel, which is a local restaurant, touts itself as the best fried chicken on the beach. I haven't tried fried chicken anywhere else in PCB, but WW is indeed pretty good. Light crispy crust, meat tender and flavorful. Served with tots, which is always a plus.

It's bike week here - Thunder Beach, to be specific - so there are a ton of bikers here. Mostly older folks on Harleys, Triumphs, and Indians - a few shameful crotch rockets dotted about.

There are biker villages set up all over Front Beach, with vendors and bands, food and beer tents. I've never been to bike week anywhere, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It appears that it's mostly partying and hanging out, with buying stuff as a side activity. They're adults, not a bunch of 20-somethings, so the drunken behavior isn't a problem - no amateur alcoholics, these are professionals, baybee!

PCB caters to them like crazy, with VIP parking in front of most bars and restaurants, and welcoming signs all over the place. It's a highly biker-friendly town anyway, but they really roll out the red carpet for Thunder Beach. So you all biker types who have never come to PCB for this event, put it on your list.
 

Kyle

Imagine No Democrats
PREMO Member
Loved PCB when the ex and I were there.

There was a seafood place we found, don't remember the name, they did a loaded steamer bucket.

Filled with Lobsters, Crab Claws, 1lb Shrimp, 1lb Crayfish, ?? Oysters, ?? Clams, Mussels, Potatoes and Corn on the cob.

Far, far more than the two of us could eat.
 

Ken King

A little rusty but not crusty
PREMO Member
Loved PCB when the ex and I were there.

There was a seafood place we found, don't remember the name, they did a loaded steamer bucket.

Filled with Lobsters, Crab Claws, 1lb Shrimp, 1lb Crayfish, ?? Oysters, ?? Clams, Mussels, Potatoes and Corn on the cob.

Far, far more than the two of us could eat.
Sounds like a Joe's Crab Shack specialty. :yay:
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
So you all biker types who have never come to PCB for this event, put it on your list.
Old friend of mine lives in PC and is a ship chief engineer; he and his wife are avid Harley riders. Every time I'm down there working with him, he tries to get me to show up for their bike week. Long ride down though...
 
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