IAfter our day exploring the gulf, we thought it would be fun to stay a night out there. Somehow we decided to camp instead of stay in a hotel. We found two campsites in the area: one near a sketchy looking gas station, the other a bit further west on the beach. It was cheaper and sounded a bit prettier, so we went for it. When Carson went to book it, after he gave in to book ahead of time instead of showing up and getting a site right there, there was only one site left. I may have used the "told you so" phrase.
As the week progressed, the predicted forecast of sun turned to one of clouds and possibly even rain. We didn't get effects of Hurricane Joaquin to the extent that many others did, but the cloudy skies, chillier weather and scant raindrops were from the storm.
Carson was pumped because it was about 75 degrees when we arrived, which came on the heels of 95 degree weather and to me wasn't so pleasant.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon just after our check-in time of 3pm, after a couple of stops that looked fun. Before we set up camp, we walked to the beach. It was mostly empty, but there was a family hanging in there in swimsuits, braving the wind and the lack of sunshine.
Then Carson set up camp, and I didn't really help because he said he didn't need it. So I stood on the picnic table in our campsite and sat in a tree.
And then I decided I could help by starting a fire. I'd never done this before so Carson found it appropriate to document the moment. That fire and the ensuing fires fizzled out because it was just a little windy but together we got one to stick.
We walked down a little trail near our campsite to this lake area. The dunes on the beach are just behind us here, if that gives you perspective.
It was nearly sunset, so we checked on our fire really quickly and then headed back to the beach. It was pretty, but I wish it hadn't been cloudy that night.
After rinsing the sand off my feet, I tried to hold on to the railing next to me while I put my shoes on with one hand... And accidentally grabbed the shower head nozzle and sprayed all my hair. It was funny, but cold.
The next few pictures have been lit by headlamp, so they are quality.
We had hot dogs, pasta salad that I made, chips, and grapes. We were going to roast asparagus too, but we left it in the fridge on accident.
For dessert, we had marshmallows. "S'mores?" I'd asked when we were in the store. "How about just marshmallows?" Carson replied, "the other stuff gets in the way". Okay then.
I like my marshmallows well toasted and I'm fine with burnt. Carson said he likes his raw, but allowed me to roast some for him anyway.
We'd brought along cards and books and a game, but when it came down to it, going to bed at 8:30 sounded really good, so we did. I made Carson take a tooth-brushing selfie, which I'm sure he just adored. We used the family bathroom because it was open, and I was impressed by how nice all the bathrooms were here... Clean and stocked and well-lit. For selfies, duh.
Even though it was cloudy and our chances were slim, we got up at 6:15 to see the sunrise. It was windy and about 60 degrees. I don't like wind!
The sunrise wasn't impressive, and although we thought we waited it out, we saw some pink appear in the sky as we returned to our campsite. Oh well. M
Our friends the Kipes happened to be making the very last stop in Panama City for the night, so after I saw a picture Jillian posted from the beach, I contacted her and made plans to get together for breakfast in the morning.
Although we were headed in to eat, Carson didn't want to resist this local donut place near Seaside. It was a 15 minute wait but worth it for coffee and donuts.
We met at Panera in Panama City. It was good to get to chat with Jillian and Gary, good to hear Graceanna tell little stories about her time at the beach so far, and good to hold baby Wren as she reached for everything on the table.
We took these as we were leaving the restaurant. Wren was a little under the weather and so she doesn't look as happy as usual, but she was actually fairly smile when her picture wasn't being taken.
We returned back to our campsite to pack up (and I took a nap in the tent while Carson was throwing our garbage away) and take one more look at the beach before heading home again. It was nice to get away and do something different and I think we'll try to camp again as much as possible in the future!