Panama City Beach

Before sending the Texas grandkids on a plane home we had one last hurrah at tourist-y Panama City Beach.

We strolled out on the pier and watched the ocean do its beautiful thing.

I asked a stranger to take a photo of the three of us:

We visited Ron Jon surf shop:


Then we had lunch at Dick's Last Resort where the wait staff is rude on purpose. These hats made great souvenirs and Jackson wore his until we got to the airport.

But they'll still take a photo of you if you ask politely:

After lunch we played a laser game that revealed my extreme lack of ninja skills. We shot zombies in a 3D shooting game that revealed my extreme lack of zombie hunting skills. Finally we ate ice cream at which I excelled. No photos, so you'll just have to take my word for all of the above.

All too soon it was time to send the kids home. Notice Jackson's travel pillow. It's all he really wanted as we shopped today.

Their dad texted to let me know they arrived safely in Dallas at almost the same time I arrived home to Doright Manor. I'll sleep well tonight–and late in the morning.

Peace, people!

Renaissance Kid

Our youngest grandson, Jackson, is something of an old soul. He's much more interested in shopping at vintage and antique stores than in shops selling toys. When he and his sister visited last summer Jackson found a knife for his collection at Planters Exchange in Havana, Florida. So yesterday morning he asked if we could check out their merchandise.



Dominique has almost no interest in shopping for vintage items, so she wandered and grumbled.

Although, at another shop she was tickled to find a wax apple with a bite mark on it.

And she wanted a picture of a funky door at Planters Exchange, but only if I'd pose with it.

Jackson came home with a new knife for his collection, so our trip was a success.

I'm exhausted, but at least everyone is happy.

Peace, people!

Almost Cher

On Tuesday evening my son took me to Lakewood Brewery in Dallas. I had already enjoyed their award winning Temptress imperial milk stout, and Jason wanted me to visit their tasting room.

Temptress is an outstanding ale, but it's not Lakewood's only brew. If you live in the Dallas area you should check them out. http://lakewoodbrewing.com.

My favorite part of the evening was a brush with greatness. Yes, that's almost Cher posing with me.

Here's a little taste of Cher-aoke.

We didn't get to stick around for karaoke, but I enjoyed myself. I even bought a tshirt.

Peace, people!

Toby or not Toby

I am visiting my son and his family in Dallas this week, so my posts are going to be brief glimpses into their lives. Jason and his lovely wife Liz adopted this amazing Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix dog about a year ago.

His name is Toby and he's approximately the size of a coffee table. I fell in love with Toby at first sight.

In the picture below Toby is telling my son that it's well past time to go for a ride in the car.

Studly Doright won't let me have a dog, but if he did, I'd want one just like Toby.

Above, Toby is charming a fellow canine. The little boy in the photo was enamored of both dogs, while they were so into each other that they didn't even notice there was a human in their midst.

Peace, people!

Thief with a Conscience

I am on a road trip from our home in Florida to our son's home in Texas. Studly Doright called me yesterday to say someone using my American Express card has been buying stuff all over the world including plane tickets to exotic destinations and a pinball machine.

This morning he called to ask if I'd just made a sizable donation to Doctors Without Borders. While I hadn't, I applauded the thief's social conscience. I just wish he/she had waited for a more convenient time to steal my card. Like never.


Irrelevant picture of an alligator.

The Artful Dodger

Yesterday I drove across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on my way to see my son and his family in Dallas. More than once I encountered torrential thunderstorms that reduced visibility to less than a handspan.

My knuckles are still bone white from holding the steering wheel in a death grip. At least most of my fellow travelers kept their speed in check; although, occasionally a hotshot would come barreling willy nilly through the downpour as if the roads were dry and the sun shining fiercely. I'd have flipped them the bird if I hadn't feared taking my hand off the wheel.

In addition to dodging the aforementioned would-be NASCAR drivers, I also had to avoid an odd variety of other objects, including, but not limited to the following:

1) a blue and orange striped beach chair
2) one canvas bag approximately three feet long.
3) an infant car seat (no baby, thank goodness!)
4) a tennis shoe

But the best thing I had to dodge was a large alligator. He was dead, thank goodness, but still gave me a fright as I saw him just in the nick of time. Apparently some other driver wasn't as fortunate as I'd been.

Hopefully today, as I head north and west away from the coast, the weather won't be as crazy, the drivers less aggressive, and the gators safely in their proper habitats. I'm tired of being the artful dodger.

Peace, people!

Irish Beer Retrospective 

If you're new to my blog you might've missed some of my greatest moments in Ireland. Studly Doright and I embarked on an eight day trip to the Emerald Isle with a group of golfing friends, and I became enamored of the beer. Yes, while Studly was sinking putts, I was downing pints.

I kicked off the beer tour quite by accident. We'd landed in Shannon around 8 a.m. their time. After going through customs and collecting our luggage we met up with members of our group and met our driver, Paul. We had a bit of a drive to our hotel in Killarney, but still arrived before our hotel had rooms ready. 

As Paul drove us through his home town of Killarney he pointed out several pubs where we might wile away the hours before checking into the hotel. One pub was very near the Malton Hotel, so several of us left our luggage with the concierge and walked a couple of blocks in search of a pint. 

Of course I had to have a Guinness and when the barkeep offered to take my picture I proudly held up my glass for posterity's sake. Some women are born to greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them, and then there's me.

On day two of our trip I asked about local brews, and as it happened the pub we stopped at after touring Muckross House had a local pilsner from Killarney Brewing Company. One of the ladies I was with suggested that we take a photo of me and this lovely beer, and someone (maybe me) suggested I go for a different beer a day. I eagerly accepted the challenge.

My day three beer was a Murphy's, and I have developed a genuine affection for this beer. It's got a sweetness to it that Guinness doesn't have, and while it isn't carried in any of my local grocery stores like Guinness is, I have found it at World Market in Tallahassee. I cheered when I came across it, startling a rather conservative looking gentleman in the world beers section!

Day four's featured beer was a Smithwick's (pronounced "Smittick's," which confused me for a minute or two). Smithwick's is another thoroughly enjoyable ale. I believe it's a match for Guinness, with Murphy's being my favorite of the dark beers. I have yet to locate Smithwick's in the states. Perhaps another trip to Ireland is in order?

On our last day in Killarney, Studly Doright and I had dinner at the pub in our hotel, and I sampled a Crean's lager, brewed in Dingle. I enjoyed my Crean's. It had a clean, crisp taste and paired well with my order of fish and chips.  


A Black and Tan combo was in order for my sixth day. That's a half Guinness and half Smithwick's for all you novices (that was me ten minutes before I ordered one). The Black and Tan combo is in my Guinness glass, while a Smithwick's drinker let me borrow his glass for demonstration purposes. Superb mixing of flavors in this drink, but unless I can get my hands on Smithwick's I will have to wait to enjoy it again. 


On the seventh day I did not rest. Nope, instead I had a White Gypsy beer, brewed in Tipperary. It was pleasant. I liked it even more when I learned that the company uses only malt and hops grown near Tipperary, and their logo might be my favorite. I felt as dainty as a 5'8" tall, 164 lb., pint swilling woman could possibly feel.


Day eight brought the only beer I wasn't crazy about, or maybe I was just tired of beer. Naw, that can't be it. This Hop House 13 Lager just missed the mark. It wasn't awful, just left me wishing I'd had a Murphy's!


Finally, I made it to the last day of our trip, finishing with an O'Hara's IPA. We'd stopped for lunch near the Burren's, that wild, forlorn area dotted with limestone outcroppings and ancient relics. It seemed fitting to hoist a pint in tribute to our adventure. And because I wanted one.


So what's next? I need to find another niche to explore. Scotch in Scotland? Wine in France? Rum in Barbados? Tequila in… nope. Someone else has to taste test tequila. Of course until I replenish the funds in my bank account I'll most likely be reduced to sampling the burgers in Tallahassee.

Peace, and drink responsibly, people!

Fungie, the Dolphin of Dingle 

“The Dingle Dolphin — or Fungie, the name given to him by the fishermen — is a fully grown, possibly middle aged, male bottlenose, Tursiops Truncatus. He weighs in at around one-quarter ton (500 lbs.) and measures in the region of four metres (13 feet).”

We didn’t see Fungie, but we posed for pictures on a statue of the dolphin whilst visiting the town of Dingle, County Kerry. That surely counts for something!

Visit https://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/home/fungie-the-dingle-dolphin.html for additional information on Fungie. Better yet, visit the Dingle Peninsula!

An Uncommon Memorial

When we toured the Ring of Kerry in County Kerry, Ireland, our bus driver pointed out a lovely church and told us it was the only Catholic Church in all of Ireland to bear the name of a person who was neither Saint, nor deity. 


This church in Cahersiveen, was named with special papal permission, after the statesman Daniel O’Connell, a lay person, who worked for Catholic emancipation in Ireland in the 17th and 18th century.


According to Wikipedia, “Daniel O’Connell (Irish: Dónall Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), often referred to as The Liberator[1] or The Emancipator,[2] was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He campaigned for Catholic emancipation—including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years—and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.”

Unfortunately, we only were able to drive by the church without going inside. More and more I’m realizing how much I need to return to Ireland. It’s almost as if I only purchased postcards without savoring the experience. 

Peace, people. 

Snapshot #198

Four years ago when our group of intrepid golfers and their spouses visited Scotland several of us became enamored of a dessert called Sticky Toffee Pudding. I remember enjoying it after almost every meal, then promptly forgetting about it once we were back stateside.

To our delight, sticky toffee pudding was served at many restaurants in Ireland, and I quickly renewed my acquaintance with this fabulous food. I thought I’d left it far behind after our vacation, but while shopping at Whole Foods in Tallahassee today, I came across a surprise in the beer aisle.

I’m calling this picture, “I Haven’t Tried This Brew, but Some Flavors Shouldn’t be Found in Ale Form.” If any of you have tried this ale and lived to tell about it, let me know.