Redneck Riviera

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Well helloooooooo, it's been ages since we last chatted. What you been up to? How’s work? That bad huh? Oh well.

We’ve been taking some time out from our very busy schedule to do some serious relaxing. All this holidaying was putting strain on our relationship so we thought we’d make a conscious effort to stop having a brilliant time and enjoy ourselves for a bit. HA! I hate me too.

We hopped on a Greyhound bus in New Orleans bound for Pensacola Beach. It’s a relatively small sand bank community just off the Florida pan-handle in the Gulf of Mexico. I won’t dwell on the bus trip but I will remind you that talking on a mobile phone while driving is legal in this country, that goes for reading birthday cards and looking at photographs whilst engaged in conversation with the person sitting behind him. An un-eventful trip ultimately but I personally had a few butt clenching moments because Happy Harry the bus driver seemed to think he had an auto-pilot to guide this massive silver bullet down an 8 lane highway.

Trace and I made our way through Louisiana to Mississippi and Alabama then into Florida. We took a cab from the bus station in Pensacola, over a very long, unusually skinny bridge to the over-sized sandbank that is Pensacola Beach. It is a lovely place, once you get over the hurricane damage,....oh , and the rednecks,....but they’re pretty docile as long as there is a constant supply of cold beer, and there generally is .

The water in the Gulf is so calm that for 3 days there were no waves at all. It is also crystal clear so we were able to watch manta rays and various other fish swimming about. We even had the pleasure of having a Loggerhead Turtle pop up in the surf next to us when we were walking along the snow white beach one morning. And of course there were dolphin bobbin’ and a-weaving about all over the place. The calmness made it feel like being in a swimming with water that is perfect to live in. We actually spent more time in the water than out of it as it was so moderate in temperature. We bought li-lo’s and just floated about in the water sun-tanning for ages. Absolute perfection.

Our motel was called the Paradise Inn. The main beach was across the road from it and the other beach, on the other side of the island was in its back yard. The "yard" was actually a very cool bar that had live music every day and served Bushwackers.....these were their signature drinks. They looked exactly like wet beach sand and left you feeling numb inside. Customers were limited to two large Bushwackers or 5 small ones a day. Drinking more than the recommended dose is not wise and this was proved when a 50 year old redneck woman face planted into the sand after drinking 3 large ones. She made quite a thud as she hit the beach but her husband, who wasn’t drinking at all, made no effort to help her,...methinks it happens quite often to her. After chuckling quietly to ourselves for an hour or two about her misfortune, we opted for one large Bushwhacker each and an early night.

Our bar is so cool most of the customers arrive by boat.

Walking in the shallows, about 50 feet off-shore, one day we noticed large amounts of 3 to 4 inch long fish gathering around our feet. They were feeding off whatever we kicked up from the seabed. Some of these little guys were so eager they just didn’t get out of the way in time and were accidentally booted away by us,....and thus “Fish Kicking” was invented. PETA have tracked us down and are trying to stop people walking in the sea.......ever. PETA are pissed off. Trace, having the spirit of a three year old trapped inside her, referred to the fish scraping against our feet and legs as “Fish Tickles”. I put this down to over-excitement and/or sun-stroke.

I had a brief but satisfactory moment of Zen a couple of days ago. Trace and I were flip-flopping around in the water and I started messing about making “eeek eeek” sounds. Trace looked at me sternly and said “What the hell are you doing?” to which I replied “Calling the dolphins.” Not a word of a lie, as Trace said “You’re an idiot”, about two hundred meters away an all too familiar shaped dorsal fin broke the surface, followed by another, then two more. You wouldn’t flamin’ read about it. A suitable level of smugness came over me.

I can talk to marine animals!!! Well ,the dolphins anyway. The Manta’s are from a different social scene and they’re very clique-y. The Loggerheads are just plain rude, cute but rude. They just ignored me point blank and swam away. I did manage to bond with a jelly fish as well, but we couldn’t get up to bones or muscle structure you see, makes it hard to water-ski or bowl.

 A factoid : An American Battleship was sunk off the coast of Pensacola to create a fake reef. It is affectionately called “The Great Carrier Reef” ....I like that.

The good weather couldn’t last forever. A massive storm hit us yesterday. It was truly gigantic. If that’s just a big storm I really cannot begin to comprehend what power a hurricane must wield. The pool at the motel was over-flowing after 2 hours of relentless, driving rain.....amazing to see. We were in the Laundromat when it hit town, so we decided to make the dash back to our room with the clean laundry in our laundry bag. The room was a 25 meter dash away. We had to bring most of our washing back to get dried once the rain had stopped.

Time to leave the beach and head North now. Next stop Nashville Tennessee via Atlanta Georgia.
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David Mack on

For years ive been finding 50 caliber bullets on the beach in Perdido Key

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