Reflections on Florida – The Calm after the Storm (or Oppressive Humidity Fogs Glasses)

We drove from Charleston, SC to Mexico Beach, FL (near Panama City Beach in north Florida), our longest driving stretch on this trip so far. Sad we couldn’t spend more in beautiful Savannah, GA, we stopped for lunch at the Sentient Bean Café. We tend to gravitate to dining and coffee spots where we like the name or sign or storefront. Instead of numbers or steel markers to identify your order, The Sentient Bean hands you a trophy, making each customer feel like “a winner” (and recycling all of those trophies that none of us know what to do with in the process!).  A little later, we passed the Hooterville Diner (for those of us who watched Green Acres!!!), stopped at a roadside stand in Georgia to sample (and buy) boiled peanuts, drove through at least ten thousand black lovebugs (they stick to windshields, car bumpers and everything else they come into contact with!!), and, finally, arrived at Kurt and Chelsea’s in Mexico Beach. Hurricane Isaac had moved north, the waters were receded and calm and we had a relaxing few days with the kids and their cats, Dog and Panda.

Though we visited PCB in April for Kurt and Chelsea’s wedding and enjoyed the warm spring temps, we were both reminded this time of the weather term “Heat Index” and many summer days of our youths. If the outside temperature is 82 degrees but the humidity is 97%, it actually FEELS like it is 95 degrees (basically 24 hrs a day, every day in August and early September in north Florida) so when you say “let’s do that when it cools off a little”, what it translates to is “let’s do that next time we visit when it isn’t so hot and humid!”.  The local news forecast in PCB includes perfectly described admonitions of “oppressive humidity”.  Oh how I’ve acclimated to the dry climate of southern Oregon.

Our one daytime outing to a place other than the beach was a visit to The Man and the Sea Museum, a small treasure of a museum devoted to the history of diving and home to the U.S. Navy’s SEALAB-1, 
the world’s first underwater living facility. Packed into a relatively small space is a fascinating accumulation of exhibits and equipment all related to the history and progress of man’s exploration of the sea.

We taught Chelsea to play the card game Hearts (and she kicked us all to the curb the second time we played!) and, one night, we headed into PCB for dinner at the Mellow Mushroom and a very competitive game of Miniature Golf (Kurt prevailed that night!). Weather doesn’t matter, though, when spending time with people you love. This notion proves itself over and over in life. We are so thankful to have had several days with our kids, their cats, the beautiful beaches, and, even the north Florida summertime weather.

 

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