Thursday, January 06, 2011

Panama City Beach Redux

Yep, that was our pride and joy, our first motorhome. A 1993 Winnebago Vectra and for our maiden voyage we shanghaied our youngest, Darby, and took off for Panama City Beach the first week of April, 1993. We had no tow dolly so we couldn't tow my little Mazda truck behind the Vectra so we just drove the motorhome down, figuring we could walk to the beach and tourist attractions. We were such innocents then. Luckily our campground was only a block north of the beach. It was there that Denny and I met our first sets of "full timers" who introduced us to the concept of the 4 o'clock happy hour and who managed to plant the seed of our eventual choice to go fulltiming ourselves. This on our very first trip out in our shiny new motorhome.

Of course Denny and I drove down to the beach not realizing it was spring break and that at the time, Panama City was one of the hottest places to go. Also I did not stop to think that a soon-to-be 16 year old would NOT want to be seen with his parents, as evidenced by him walking 30 feet behind us wherever we went that week. Yeah.

We did drag him out to dinner at the Sunset Restaurant on the beach where the manager came up with a little birthday cake for Darb and embarrassed him with a souvenir photograph of the event. Which was a keyring that has shattered a bit over the years so the picture is a little tough to see. I'm almost afraid to break open the keyring for fear it would destroy the picture. So here it is in its fuzzy, cracked glory.
Today, just three months short of eighteen years later, Denny and I drove down to Panama City Beach just to see what changes have occurred. The Sunset Restaurant is now something else, some of the tacky tee shirt shops are gone, replaced by soaring condominiums. What surprised us was the fact that the streets were empty and all the restaurants were closed. It seems the tourist season for this area doesn't start until almost the beginning of March when the Canadians and the spring breakers arrive. The beach was nearly deserted, but I think that was also because it was cold and blustery today even though the sun was shining brightly. The water is still clear, the sands are still white, but the town is a little more tired and worn. But then so are we.


These seagulls were hunkered down in the sand looking for warmth. They barely moved when I walked within four feet of them.

I hate these take-your-own-picture pictures but I forgot to grab the tripod from the truck. Excuse the hair, I said it was windy! And did I mention cold?
It was fun wandering the beach, although it would have been nicer to have the kiddo with us. The nicest part is that now he'd walk along side of us once more.
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4 comments:

SkippyMom said...

Neat post. I love the pictures - especially the three of you [Denny still looks the same, so cute!] and you and Denny are so cute.

If it is cold Momma - zip up your coat. Jeesh.

Arkansas Patti said...

Things just insist on changing don't they? Sorry it is cold, for you and my brother who is also down there.
Self pictures are good when you have long arms like Denny. Cute shot.

BIGDAWG AND FREEWAY* said...

how strange..my parents are the proud owner of the very same rig today!!..1993 Vectra..named 'oscar'..looks exactly the same as your first RV!!!

simplycol.com said...

Loved this post! Isn't it amazing how quickly 18 years zip on by. The photo of the three of you is a treasure. And I like the hand held one too. :-)

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