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!

Last Day

Today I'm driving the Texas grandkids to the airport in Panama City, Florida, for their flight home to Dallas, Texas. Neither of have them have ever flown unaccompanied, and there are some jitters. Not on their parts, mind you, but underneath this calm exterior I'm going a little nuts.

We've had a good time these past two weeks spoiling these kiddos. Doright Manor will be awfully quiet once they leave.

Color Me Tired

My two Texas grandkids and I headed towards Florida yesterday morning in hopes of stopping for the night in time to swim and enjoy our hotel's happy hour. Unfortunately, due to a terrible accident on Interstate 20, we sat in stalled traffic for over an hour.

This was me last night after we finally got into our hotel room. Too many hours behind the wheel of my car have rendered me cranky and exhausted. And we missed our hotel's happy hour by five minutes. Damn it.

Tomorrow we'll push on to Doright Manor.

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!

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.

Snapshot #197

We encountered some friendly motorcyclists when our coach driver stopped to allow us to take photos on the Dingle Peninsula. These gentlemen were from England. I’ll call this, “Watch for Motorcycles.” I’m sure my motorcycling friends will know what bikes the guys were riding.