Birthday Beach Trip Photo Gallery & Stories

Toes in the water, booty in the sand...

A beachcomber hunting for these tiny, white clam-like thingys.
The Gulf's sugar sand is gorgeous, but it is HOT. Also, I'm hiding the toenail where the polish chipped.
I came across a few random feathers! Most were black and gray, which symbolize angel protection, spiritual wisdom, and returning to peace.
This sweet little gull was following me up the beach. I felt terrible as it hobbled on a hurt foot.
Barbie was at the beach, but she was giving BIG shade...
A few sandpipers. These birds were so cute!
There was a guy with a garbage bag full of seashells who approached me. He asked if I was collecting shells and offered me some. "I come out here every morning with these shells that I buy, and I leave them here and there for kids to find." I thought that gesture was so sweet. It was like an Easter shell hunt.
More gulls. Hey, gull.
Another feather. I promise these were random enough that they were NOT part of a seagull massacre.
The water was so clear that you could easily see every grain of sand on the bottom. This was a sand bar that jutted off the beach like a small peninsula.
This crab was under the water! That's how clear it was. He was spinning in circles. The little girl who stopped beside me yelled to her grandpa, "Look, Grandpa! This crab is dancing. He's showing off his smooth moves."
This is one of those clam-like thingys I was talking about. I captured one and put it inside a shell with some water. Its slimy foot came out and was poking around. It was so cool! (I released him back into the water)
Our friend group and my menfolk out in the water close to sunset. This was our last night there, so this swim was bittersweet.

Hatchet Throwing

The night before we left for the beach, we all went hatchet throwing. As you can see, my husband and Devan were pretty good.

I, on the other hand, cannot be trusted wielding a hatchet.
Jalan got so close! I didn't realize until after taking this photo which finger he was using to point. Jalan's always full of jokes.
Big Dev hit the bullseye more than anyone!
My boys playing Giant Jenga.
This was the block that toppled the tower.
Little ol' me

Devan and Shederal stopped to take a photo with GreenMachine, one of their gamer friends from Wisconsin. He's a really great kid.

Family, Friends, Food, and Fun

The main photo here was taken outside of Lambert's Cafe in Foley, AL. This restaurant serves homestyle Southern food, and their claim to fame is their "throwed rolls." A server pushes around a cart of yeast rolls the size of a shotput, and if you raise your hand, they will throw one across the dining room.

Lambert's was my family's favorite restaurant to visit when we used to vacation in that area many years ago. The boys were excited to share the experience with their friends. Many rolls were thrown and caught. And devoured.

Gamer Tags from left to right: JayZombie, Tenacious-D, GreenMachine, and Disturbed
The night we arrived, we had dinner at a local '50s-style diner. The ambience and food were both terrific!
One of the booths was inside an old car. So cool.
The menus were like old school newspapers dated back to 1958.
They served THE BEST fried green tomatoes I have ever had in my life. They were covered in feta, green and red peppers, bacon, and hollandaise sauce on a bed of spinach. Mmm mmm mmm. On the right, you can see Shederal's milkshake and my Irish coffee.
Jalan and me! I can't believe he's 23, the same age as I was when I had him!
Devan turned 21! This was his very first drink order: a hurricane. The espresso martini on the right was mine and those nasty, gross oysters were Eric's. Yuck.
Savannah and me. Savannah is Disturbed's girlfriend and also a part of the gamer group. I think her tag is the same as her name.
Left side, front to back: Me, Jalan, Devan, and Eric (a friend of Jalan's who does not play video games); Right side, front to back: My hubby (Shederal), GreenMachine, Disturbed, Savannah, and Ten-D.
Sunrise outside of our condo one morning. The beach was on the other side of that pool!

They all tried to see who could make the biggest cannonball splash. The winner: Devan.

Tacky Jack's

I thought this was the coolest place! Tacky Jack's was one of those inlet seafood restaurants and bar that looked like an art installation.

All the colors appealed to my inner five-year-old.
People could write their names or messages on colorful duct tape and then stick them to the walls.
The tape was everywhere.
I thought this scene looked cool. It reminded me of a Keith Haring mural.
Found my name!
Devan makes every photo op a fashion show.

"Sittin' here at the Flora-Bama..."

Years ago, we used to end up at the Flora-Bama where I would order my favorite drink, the bushwhacker. It's a creamy, coffee-like drink full of flavor and spirits.

The Flora-Bama is a bar made of several bars that sits right on the Florida-Alabama line, hence its name. It's a local legend and several musical stars have frequented it since it opened in the '60s.

One of those stars is country music icon Kenny Chesney, who wrote a song about the place, and I used it as a muse for the Jolly Roger's Bar and Grill in my book, THE SCARS WE CHOOSE.

My boys were so excited to come back here as adults. We had a ball! Here are some pics...

The bushwhacker!
Bras were strung along clotheslines throughout the place. None of them belong to me, thank you very much.
Some of the graffiti belongs to me, though. I've written on these walls for several years.
Just not this one. But, okay. Thank you?
Big Dev posing at the entrance.
The calmer bar where the old heads like Shederal and I sat.
Devan and Disturbed kicking their heels.

Devan may have had a little too much to drink. I was the DD, though, so we were all safe. We ended the night at the Waffle House, because how else do you end a night of 21st birthday partying until 2 A.M.?

I hope you've enjoyed my photo album. We cannot wait to get back to the beach next year, as our group is planning on making this trip an annual event.

In fact, Shederal and I discussed moving back to Florida next year, and we believe it's finally time to make that jump again. We've been talking about going back ever since we moved back to Georgia in 2016, but the time was never right, what with Jalan and Devan being in high school, me caring for my Gran, and the pandemic. But now, the pandemic is over (maybe?), the boys are grown, my Gran has passed, and my job can travel anywhere.

Although we used to live in the Tampa Bay area, this time around we are looking at a more affordable spot on the Gulf Coast between Pensacola and Destin. This will put us much closer to our friends down in Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Pete, and it will allow us to afford a decent-sized home comparable to the one we are in here in Georgia, right on the water.

I cannot wait to have coffee and my afternoon walks again by the sea.

More to come on these plans! Stay tuned to Instagram and my monthly Haint Bluesletters.