Friday, July 2, 2010

We travelled to St. George Island for the middle of our vacation tour across the southern states. It's interesting to absorb the flavor of this environment; for us, it's "beach vacation". For some, it's home.

We caught a quick shot of this guy as we cruised down Highway 319. Brought back memories of a coastal highway in the Dominican Republic that offered great views of the Caribbean coastline.

We're here with my brother and sister-in-law, their two kids and all of us. This is the extent of my immediate family - one brother. My parents are usually around for these summer reunions, but they're in North Carolina this year and not with us.

We divvy up our preparations, plan meals, eat well, experiment a bit. This year everyone got their own can of Pringles. Why? Well, just because. We only had two kids deviate from the original flavor. Kudos to Daniel and Levi for wanting something a little different.

We play games. We do puzzles. Daniel and Sydni are the king and queen of puzzle-doing.

We also play Bananagrams, an odd cousin of Scrabble that is infinitely more fun (in my opinion). We invented a new word; solo Bananagram playing is "wording". At any random time, you'll find somebody at the table, spelling words.

Yes. In our family, we spell for fun.

We also play a bizarre game called "Zombie Fluxx". It drives me insane; with every turn, all of the rules of the game can completely change. Completely. That's just too much change for me. In between groaning like a zombie (which is a rule - but not always a rule) I spend a lot of time whining about how I hate Zombie Fluxx. Too much change, all the time. It's a blessed event when the game ends.

Because it's rained so much, we decided to go out to Apalachicola (say that ten times fast. We did. And we've rhymed it with everything possible.) We checked out this quirky small town, a blend of southern hospitality, inventive artists and oystermen. It's quite unlike any place I've ever been. Lots of small shops, a very nice photography gallery and some pretty friendly people.

I met a fellow - a former architect - who bought a retirement house here at the coast and then decided to buy a building in downtown Apalachicola. He taught himself how to turn wooden bowls on a lathe and set up a shop with his crafts, along with some products from his friends. Interesting guy; he laughed as he told me about living in this small, coastal town. "The gene pool's pretty small, so the town leadership is...well.....interesting...." Looked like he was living his dream. I didn't buy anything, but I'm considering driving back into town today and picking up one of his creations.

Having lived in Texas, I know this to be true:  BLUE BELL IS THE BEST ICE CREAM IN THE COUNTRY. In Virginia, we can only find it at Carraba's Restaurant, where they fly it in to create desserts. We skipped the banana splits offered at this local joint, but we found a Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) and bought some Blue Bell deliciousness. Hope to take Tony out this afternoon (if he ever stops studying) and get him a treat.

There were many, many abandoned and empty buildings in the few blocks around the town center.  This was one; attached to a chocolate shop, this space was expansive, gritty and gorgeous.  David flitted through the photo like a ghost as Sarah and Emily talked.

David and Levi



Bill said...

Way to get the most out of bad weather days! Interesting places and interesting people is what vacation allows you to explore. Hope Tony's able to get his nose out from that book leanin to hit the beach!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome vacation so far, by the way, I believe they sell Blue Bell ice cream at the new BiRite in Tobaccoville.