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Friday, February 22, 2013

Destin To Tallahassee In The Pouring Rain

Notice the ground is dry in front of the Dixie Theatre on Main Street in Apalachicola. We were ahead the storm but not by much. Many people from Tallahassee go to the Dixie Theatre for a show - rent a room at the old Gibson Hotel - then drive the 78 miles home the next day.

Lulu loves to take food pictures - I guess because it does not move. This is her oyster salad. 

Lulu's meeting was in Panama City Beach right by these two landmarks on US Route 98.

In the rain - I did not even leave the car to take these pictures of Wonderworks and Ripley's. Notice how busy the highway was.

We have gotten so jaded living in Florida - we complain about driving in the rain. 

Today we left Destin Beach at 8 AM and drove 2 hours through the pouring rain to Panama City - where Lulu's library meeting was held today. The town was desolate - I just watched the rain and stick lightning. When Lulu was done we started the long drive home. 

When we got to Apalachicola - we got ahead of the eastward moving storm. We had just enough time for a walk through the historic district and to find a nice oyster house. Apalachicola is the oyster capital of the world - again according to the sign entering town. Something was different about this town form the last time we visited it - 3 years ago. I figured it out - there was a ton of oil spill money all around. There were many many more businesses open. It was not as busy or big as New Orleans - but it was similar with all the double porches raised sidewalks and people shopping. It was very nice. 

Apalachicola was one time a bussling port. The super wide Apalachicola River comes south from Georgia creating a natural water highway. It was a center of the slave trade - and thousands of paddle wheel boats brought cotton here to be loaded on ocean going ships. You could almost hear the echoes of the slave traders auctioning off workers. 

We found The Seafood Grill right on the corner of downtown's two main streets - and had lunch. Lulu ordered the Oyster Salad. I had chicken. Lulu loved her dish - and I am seldom a food bragger - but my fried chicken ranked among the top 5 I have ever had. You could really tell it was made fresh from scratch. We ignored our normal diet and split a piece of freshly made carmel pie - yes carmel - 2 forks. As we left the cafe and strolled thru town - the wind whipped up and it got black so quickly. We hopped in the Prius and two hours laters we were home. 

The locals said that Spring Break starts next week - for the next 6 weeks the beaches will be flooded with college kids. The kids spend lots of money - and hotel room prices triple.

Mileage adds up quickly - we covered 465 miles on the trip - Destin - Navarre - Niceville - Valparaiso - Panama City Beach - Panama City - Apalachicola - and finally Tallahassee. The Prius performed beautifully. On the westbound leg with Lulu driving - she got 60 miles per gallon. On the way home - I only got 47 miles per gallon. I blame the difference on the rain. The Prius is a great rain car - honestly - even if it were not a hybrid - it is a very nice car. I bought it on Craigslist - actually traded our Honda van for it and cash.

Because of the rain - we never took the folding bikes out of the Prius trunk. 

The weather man said that it rained 4 inches in that area. To give you an idea how much that is - our old home in Tamaqua PA averaged under 40 inches a year. Thank goodness it was not the frozen stuff. 

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