Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Destin 2010

"I get ten vacation days a year, and I try to hold off from taking them as long as possible. This year I got to the third week in January." ~ Pam Beasley, The Office.

It's time now for a special Wednesday edition of Thursdays with Bone. Don't think of it as six days late. Think of it as a day early. Work was a malicious, spiteful, complaining woman last week. So even though I've only been back from the beach for ten days, I'm already in need of another vacation.

Day one at the beach included quite a scare for our hero. I was in the ocean when I heard some people yelling. I turned to see they were all looking my way and appeared to be very interested in something swimming in the water. Well, I swear it sounded like they were saying "Shark!" So naturally, I started splashing towards the shore like a frightened little girl.

Then I heard someone yelling "No!" When I looked, they appeared to be motioning for me to stay still. I'm sorry, but if there's a shark in the water, I'm getting out of the water. I might not be able to outrun it but it sure won't be for lack of trying. Finally, I glanced over in the direction they'd been looking and saw a school of stingrays passing just a few yards from where I was standing. Fine, so it wasn't a shark. I'm still getting out of the water.

I did, however, manage to redeem myself -- at least in my own mind -- a bit later when I rescued a girl's sunglasses from the surf. Despite her repeated assurances of "don't worry about it, they were only like ten dollars" I donned my goggles and dove into the water time and again, fearlessly. (The stingrays were long gone by this time.)

I should probably mention here that I have to hold my nose when I'm underwater. That really detracts from the whole Aquaman superhero image. Nevertheless, at long last I emerged, hoisting the glasses -- once thought lost forever -- into the air and returning them to their rightful owner. Another damsel in (slight) distress left... un...distressed.

In addition to visiting all my favorite places -- as listed in the post below -- we tried a new restaurant for dinner one night, an Italian joint called Graffiti. Your classic hole-in-the-wall, it didn't look like much from the outside. I may have even been a little afraid. (Despite what you might think, I don't have that much street cred. I'm more of a internet-message-board cred kind of guy.)

But it turned out to be a really neat place. The walls were covered with all this funky art, and every piece was for sale. The food turned out to be phenomenal. Having had my fill of seafood the previous two nights, I ordered the Greek pizza. And I tell you this, I nearly wept it was so good. It was like a full-body massage for the palate.

Finally, no recap of this Destin trip would be complete without mentioning the odd individual we came across while playing putt-putt one evening. Let's call him Master Putter.

He was a couple of groups ahead of us. Things kept getting backed up and we were having to wait a couple of minutes to start every hole. That's when I began to notice Master Putter.

He'd brought his own putter to the course, as well as his own golf ball. And he had a golf glove hanging out of his pocket. As if that wasn't enough, he was taking exactly four practice strokes before every. single. shot. Also, he was kneeling down attempting to read the green before every putt.

So even though it's taking forever to play, I'm thinking this guy must be really good, right?

Oh no.

We get to a place where the course sort of doubles back and I can see him putting. He hits an excellent first putt, leaving himself about 18 inches for a 2. He blows that about four feet by, misses the come-backer and ends up taking a 4.

Then I overhear him saying to one of his buddies (he was in a threesome... with two other guys, just in case I needed to clarify that), "Man, par would be a really good score on this course."

Par was 54. I shot a 45. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the course's difficulty or lack thereof. Apparently, super putting was not one of Master P's super powers. Maybe he is invulnerable to women?

He was both hilarious and incredibly annoying at the same time. Then again, the same has probably been said about me a time or two.

On a much more serious note, the Destin beaches were in their usual pristine condition. Although with British Petroleum's continuing devastation of the ecosystem, who knows how long that will be the case. I realize the beaches are just one small part of the damage that is being done. Anytime they show oil-covered animals being pulled from the water, I can't even bear to watch.

But I love the beach. To think that it might not be there next year saddens me more than I am able to say.

"Are we losing the human race? Do we ever really learn from our mistakes? Who's ahead? Who's behind? Will there be a finish line?"


  1. I had the experience with a school of stingrays the last time we were at the beach. I was standing in the water and they were circling the area. They came right at me once, and their little school broke up and they swam AROUND me, and then fell back into formation on the other side. It was really cool, even though I was a bit of a basket case :)
    One thing about being makes one quite unafraid in the water. If you don't hear the warnings, they don't unnerve you at all ;)
    I'm glad you got to enjoy your time at the beach. We are doing the beach thing this week...I am about to hit the water in an hour or so :)

  2. I had something I was going to say until I read your final quote. I know it from one of my daughter's books written by Jamie Lee Curtis. Is that where you got it?

    I've been to some really hole-in-the-wall dives to eat that I would have never gone in by myself without my wife insisting. Yeah, I have more cred on an internet message board too.

  3. We have our beach trip planed in a few weeks...I'm thinking that we probably won't be able to hit the beach too much thanks to BP. I sure hope I'm wrong though cuz DD really wants to see some sea life. I know the dolphin tour folks won't be happy. sigh

    glad that you had a good time (oil free) and it did my heart good to know that you helped a girl out.

  4. That's one of my favorite Pam quotes :) I feel like that this year.
    That line about work may be one of your best. Love it.

    Oh man, someone made me think there was a shark in the water and I would be GONE! How'd those people see the rays when you didn't?

    I loved the damsel in distress story: lol. I plug my nose constantly in the water. A wave comes my way - plugged. Going off the diving board - plugged. Coming down a slide - plugged. So your behavior seems totally normal :)

    I hate this oil disaster. I get both pissed off and very depressed every time I start to think about it :-/

  5. Jennifer - Well, I guess that's what those people were trying to convey to me -- just to be still and they'd swim around. It is a pretty cool thing in hindsight.

    Yeah, I saw your pictures on Facebook :) Glad you guys are having a good time.

    Ed - No, I got those lyrics from an old Randy Travis song :)

    I'll definitely be putting Graffiti in the regular restaurant rotation for future trips.

    Renee - It was pretty crowded when we went for a pre-Memorial Day weekend. We surmised a lot of people had pushed up their vacations to try and avoid the oil.

    What beach are you guys going to?

    TC - Thanks!

    Um, I don't know. Perhaps they had x-RAY vision :) Ooo, that was bad.

    I've been feeling the same way. It's heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.

  6. So Jamie Lee Curtis lifted old song lyrics for her children's book? Interesting....

  7. I saw stingrays too! But, I was a little further down the beach in Seagrove!
    I'm not sure how I feel about the fact that you had Italian while at the beach, but I'll let it go since I had chicken at the Red Bar. Well, I had a crabcake too, but the chicken was def there.
    Glad you had a good time!

  8. I had to look those lyrics up I should ave just read the comments first.
    The post was hilarious Bone. I'm sorry the Gulf is going to suck soon. I thank BP because it was them and Shell buying up the green building suppliers and virtually closing them down, in the early 80's, consequentlyraising the cost so high that no one would build green or build to save the environment, so my fathers' a green engineer and architect moved us to to Australia - where he build some bridges. lol

  9. Wow, you're a real putt-putt champ! Congratulations on saving the girl's sunglasses and being hero for a few minutes... And don't you know, string rays are fun to swim, with, you can lay on top of them, just ask that guy from Oz... Oh, that's right, he's no longer with us (I'm sorry if my jokes are pushing the tastelessness)

  10. The beach was great wasn't it??

  11. We had the same stingray experience in Panama City. They are graceful creatures and beautiful to watch! The shark on the other hand was a little unnerving. I've been swimming in those waters all my life and that's the first shark I've seen that close to shore and in such a populated area. I'm sure he got caught on the wrong side of the sandbar and was searching for deeper waters. He was a baby (3-4’) but momma/daddy was probably close by…YIKES!

  12. "It was like a full-body massage for the palate". Bone this was by far my favorite line.

    The BP disaster makes me heart-sick, when I see the animals it makes me so sad.

    I am glad your beach has not been touched.

    Wonderful post.

  13. I could have sworn I checked your blog--not using a meter--I'm worse than BP. Well nobody's worse then BP but.....

    I didn't get to be the first to say this was a hilarious post with some nerd stuff and social conscious thrown in. Though if you're not you've been sleeping under a rock

    Like Renee it did my heart good....

  14. Nice post. I've never had a random encounter with Sting Rays, but I paid for one! Cool.

    I love love the beach, too, and this is indeed heartbreaking.

  15. The school of stingrays sounds scary. I knew there was a good reason for not venturing off the sand... I hope your beach is still there next year. The BP disaster is horrifying.

    Oh, and I loved your description of the pizza.

  16. Ed - I know, when I saw her in Halloween, I never thought she'd turn out to be a Randy Travis fan.

    Cami - I know. I do love seafood! They had some seafood pasta dishes. But I'd had seafood the previous two nights, so I went for the pizza.

    I had to google Seagrove. That's not too far. Did you also eat at the Donut Hole?

    Cooper - Thank you, Miss Cooper. I didn't know that about BP, but I'm not the least bit surprised.

    Sage - Oh, that's right, that was a stingray that killed him! I forgot about that. I'm glad I didn't remember that as they were attacking, er, swimming around me.

    Also, no representation is made that the quality of my real golf game is better than or anywhere near as good as the quality of my putt-putt game.

    Daily Panic - It was. Selfishly, I'm glad I at least got one more trip in before the oil.

    Small Town Girl - Wow! I've never seen a shark, either. I'd probably be a little more hesitant about rescuing lost sunglasses if I had.

    PennyCandy - Why, thank you. I'm afraid my beach will be covered soon, if it hasn't been by now :-/

    Heart-sick, that's a good word, for a terrible feeling.

    Pia - Thanks. My aim is to be the funniest of all the superheros. Also, to ensure that this never happens again, feel free to set my blog as your default home page :)

    Actonbell - Haha. My theory is, why pay when you can get it for free? OK, really that just now became my theory when I read your comment :)

    J Adamthwaite - Thanks! No words could possibly do that pizza justice.

  17. No way, I'm sure you looked cool rescuing her sunglasses. Don't worry about the holding your nose thing. It's fine. Everyone does it. You have nothing to be ashamed of. No I'm for real. :)

    Great post!

  18. I gave you a creative writer award. Claim it on my blog.