Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 31 Dec. 5 Panama City Beach, FL

I posted our trip across N. Florida at lunch, so this will be the second for today. Scroll down to see that one.

Both of us have a lot of history here in Panama City Beach and it feels so much like home, we just didn't want to come and go so quickly. We made the decision today to skip our plans of getting to New Orleans tonight and stay here for a full day and another night. New Orleans is a place to see, but this is a home to stay in.

If you come to Florida, it is a requirement that you play putt-putt. This is a family tradition and I have played these same courses since I was 5 years old.
So let the putt-putt wars begin...
One is a golf master and the other is a putt-putt master. Who will win?

Anne very carefully placed her ball to line it up on the T...
And gets ready for her starting shot...
She hits and lands only 1 inch from the hole...

Dana very carefully places her ball for a starting shot and smiles for the camera to bring good joo joo to her putt-putt game.
Her ball lands only 3 inches from the hole...
It's going to be a close game.

Halfway through the game, Dana takes a commanding lead with a score of 22 to 24. The pressure is on...

They reach hole 9 and Anne steps up the game by carefully lining herself up for a perfect shot. She examines the bumps, bricks, and curves and hangs the club to get just the right angle.

While Dana takes the pool stick approach... Anne comes within 2 feet of the hole...and Dana runs into trouble... Anne takes the lead...

but Dana comes back with a hole in one...

and Anne stops one inch away.
Hole 17 brings Anne a hole in one and they enter the 18th neck in neck.

You take the guess who won...

It wasn't her!!!

The ending score was 52 to 54 with Dana as the winner. (just a note-par for the course was 39.)

They shake hands and race to the re-match!!

We ended up playing 45 holes of putt-putt!! It was a blast!!!

After our putt-putt fun, it was time to continue family tradition and head for the maze. I have been running this maze since I could walk but they change it often so I had no advantage. We decided to do this one as a team.
The stairs you see in the foreground is a bridge and the 4 lookouts in the distance are the stops you have to stop at before finding the exit. Each of the lookouts in the distance have 2 staircases and you have to decide if you will go up one and down the other, or up and down the same.

There is a machine that you run a card through to clock in when you enter the race and one to clock out at the end of the race. Each lookout has a punch so you can prove you made it to all of them. Ahoy mate, it's time to enter.
Did you go to the bathroom? This course is the size of a football field and toilets are not included.

Where do we go?

Ahhh, such a sense of humor!!!

Howdy neighbor!! Welcome to the first stop!! The first stand was easy; it was after that that took some work.
HELP!!! LET US OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK- We have been in here for 45 minutes; we need a plan!!!

Dana, look over there, I think that is where we go...
An hour later...

Ahhh, what a pretty flower. So great to actually see flowers.

It's off to the white-sand beaches for the sunset. Oooo, if I knew I wouldn't end up flat on my face, I would have skipped down this path. It's my favorite beach in the world!!!

Ahhh, welcome to the white, flour-soft beaches of Panama City Beach!!! To share in this experience, all you have to do is take a kiddy pool, fill it with white flour, and sit in it. That's exactly what this feel like!!!

Ooooo... The sun is beginning to set and I found my spot!!! I don't think I have ever been as cold as I was during this sunset. The wind was blowing and since it was about 50 all day, I wasn't dressed for the wind chill of about 20. BUT there was no way I was going to miss the sunset and be warm. It was well worth the feel of frost bite. My aunt sat up on the patio for a while and then went into the sports bar to watch the Alabama vs. Florida football game. She really wanted to see this game and I really wanted to see the sunset, so this was perfect for both of us!!!

Hey, for the first time in my life, I'm actually tall!!!

Enjoy the view as I did!!!

Wasn't that wonderful!!! Good night Panama City Beach!!!
Every moment has been incredibly memorable on this trip but being here brought back so many memories. It was tearful at times and full of many laughs at others. I am so glad my aunt was here with me!!!

Tomorrow we will move onto another exciting stage and head for Lafayette, LA. I am so excited to see a great friend from high school. We haven't seen each other or talked in 11 years. So much has happened in that time and I wonder if we have changed after all these years.

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