Friday, July 24, 2009

All things considered, I prefer Smucker’s

Wow, I missed an entry yesterday! I feel so ashamed. Okay, not really, but it was weird to not update! I intended to, but our friend Lee came down to visit from Jacksonville, and there just wasn't time.

He got here around noon, and after sitting on the balcony and getting caught up a bit, we headed down the beach to one of our yearly stops, Breakers. They make the best burgers I've ever had, and every year, I love them even more. (Debbie L., we had a basket of onion rings, too!) Q: How do you make a cheeseburger better? A: Add more cheese! Ken and I both got the Three Cheese Burger, with American, Swiss, and Provolone. The extra cheese was delicious, and it was great to sit by the open window and look out at the beach as we ate.

Manatee4 After lunch, we went out to the beach and yes, frolicked. Ken and I tried to get one of his stunt kites up and running with limited success. I decided to hop in the water while Ken and Lee worked with the other kite, and had a pleasant time bobbing in the waves. They were those gentle swells that let you just float along and I was thoroughly enjoying myself, even feeling a little brave and taking on some bigger waves. (I can't swim, so I stay in where it's not over my head, but sometimes the waves are big!) It was beautiful and sunny, and I was as happy as a little girl.

Then, WHAM! I felt a sharp pain on my back and the underside of my arm. I knew right away that it had to be a jellyfish, and when I looked down, I saw a blob of jelly on my board shorts. I tried to rinse it off in the ocean right away, but it slithered down and stung my leg, too. In all the years we've been coming down here, I've never gotten a jellyfish sting before, and wow, that initial Manatee5 impact is intense! I came up and put Benadryl spray on it, and that really seemed to help. The initial sting wore off quickly, and there were no ill side effects, but those babies pack a wallop. I can now say that I know what a jellyfish sting feels like, and I hope they leave me alone for another eight years! I really don't hate the jellyfish...he was bob-bob-bobbing along just like I was, and the waves smashed him into me. After all, I was invading his space, wasn't I? I also suspect that he perished in the impact. I'm still alive. So I don't hate the little gel guy.

In the evening, Ken cooked spaghetti (Lee has braces, so we tried to make something that he could eat easily) and then we played card games. It's always great to see Lee, and we had a fun time!

Today, we made a stop at the cove where the manatees hang out, and Jamie, we took two bottles of water! As you can see, they came right up to Ken and got a nice drink. It was so cool!

JB's Fish Camp After that, we went to JB's Fish Camp and had lunch. More fresh seafood (we had more raw oysters, and I had steamed rock shrimp--Ken had steamed clams), and all delicious. JB's has a very funky decor, with all kinds of fishing regalia, funny signs, and oddly, a lone snow ski. I noticed something up in the rafters and thought of our friend DB. (Check out the book!) On the way to JB's, I enjoyed looking at all the buildings and homes along the way. There are some impressive beach homes, but my favorite thing to see is the older, 50's-style homes, pastel stucco with flat roofs and louvered windows. I don't think I can describe how I feel when I see such buildings. It gives me a feeling of nostalgia that is almost palpable, and I can almost see and smell the interiors of such homes. The heat, the humidity, the still air in the yard, the sound of the cicadas in the trees, and the Spanish moss hanging from the trees. It reminds me so much of our trips down here when I was a kid, going to visit relatives, picking oranges from their trees, riding my bike down the road at Lemon Bluff and seeing the alligators at the side of the road, seeing the cottonmouths by the river, and the incredible lush verdancy of the countryside. The growth is almost frightening, and Stephen King alluded to that in his novel Duma Key. I understood immediately what he was trying to say, because that strange wild and violent growth seems almost sentient at times.

But I digress.

Then it was back "home," and after Lee left, we went back out to the ocean one last time (at least for this year). Happily, no jellyfish encounters, just a pleasant time enjoying the sun, waves, and sand! A storm rolled in this evening, but we've been so fortunate with having nice weather. Hard to believe that the week has gone by so quickly, and I know I'll feel sad when we leave tomorrow morning...but I'll look forward to next year!

Next stop...Asheville, North Carolina!


  1. My mom was stung a few years ago IN her bathing suit bottoms (it was but a wee fellow) and she said it sucked. Love the photos of the manatees! Sooooooo cute. ;). Sorry it's over so soon.

  2. Yikes, the jellyfish sting sounds awful. Glad it didn't ruin your day.

  3. Well, you managed to survive the week, so that is a good thing. Glad you are having such a great time!

  4. You have such a great attitude, I'd be SO MAD at that jellyfish!! LOL!!

    I'm sorry that week went so fast, it really did seem to fly, seems like you just got there!!

    Thanks for the virtual vacation, I really enjoyed every bit of it!! ESCPECIALLY seeing the Manatees!! That's SOOOO COOL!!!! I think that would have been the best part of the whole week!!!

  5. That was TRYING to say ESPECIALLY... LOL!!!!

  6. OUCH! Those things really hurt! Sorry your wonderful week is over, but on to the next stop. Be careful on those roads!

  7. Beth,

    I just read your week of posts... awesome! And, I am so jealous!! Wish I was frolicking too. Sans jellyfish sting!

    be well..

  8. Hi Beth,
    Wow ... I think I'd prefer Smuckers, too. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  9. I can't swim, so I stay in where it's not over my head, but sometimes the waves are big!)

    I could have used that advice when I was at Va. Beach!! Next time I will!!

    Seems like you guys are otherwise having a great time. Hope that the sting did not leave you with any ill effects.

  10. Glad that you two had such a great time. I once stepped on a jellyfish. Ouch! I don't think benadryl was even invented at that time. It stung for ages. Imagine giving a Maltese fresh water. Have a nice trip home. Helen

  11. Beth, excellent! I envy you! Well, not the jelly. The rest of it!

  12. Chad was stung by a jellyfish in the Gulf of Mexico 8 yrs ago and it was sorry you were stung but glad you are ok! I wish you two a safe drive home, so glad you were able to go and enjoy a nice time near the ocean. XO

  13. Holds up hand. Former Florida girl here and OUCH! Jellyfish stings do pack a wallop. Usually Baking soda and water made into a paste do the trick for taking the sting out. If all else fails, pee. Yep you heard me, digusting but trust me if it's a huge jellyfish it can leave more than a wallop.

    Glad to hear you've enjoyed your Fla. vacation once again. Love the manatee. (Hugs)Indigo

  14. Such wonderfully descriptive writing, I feel as if I were there!

  15. I love to hear you talk about the nostalgia ignited by seeing those old houses. I agree. I love "old" Florida, or what's left of it. Sorry about the jellyfish. Not fun! Have a safe trip home.

  16. have a safe trip on the next leg of your journey!



I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?