It's A Kean World


DESTIN BEACH VACATION



When mountains call we put the dogs in the pickup and go to Gatlinburg.  The ocean beckons and that means a trip to Destin.  Such is the life of many Southern sons and daughters.  The best time for a visit to the Emerald Coast (The Chamber of Commerce offers a small reward to anyone who can get those words mentioned in the paper.) is spring so we packed up and drove through parts of Alabama that I never want to see again.   


Sadly we are not “on the beach” people, but have to survive as lowly “across the street” people.  What in the world am I talking about?  Let me explain, in Destin there are three classes of people.  First there are “on the beach” people who sit proudly atop the social hierarchy.  Then there are “across the street” people who can’t afford to actually stay on the beach, but with some imagination and a long neck can glimpse the water from their very own hovels.  At the bottom of the hierarchy is the “general public” or to put it another way, the common people.    

 

“On the beach” people look out their windows to unobstructed views of the Gulf and sugary white sands.  They sit on balconies sipping cold beverages and enjoying the gulf breezes.  They have someone place umbrellas and chairs on the beach each morning, a kind of reservation for when or if they venture out.  Woe be unto any unauthorized individuals who sit in their chairs.

 

We “across the street” people are easily spotted carrying umbrellas, chairs, towels, and various other gear while standing by the street hoping a car will slow down and let us cross.  We find our clearly marked and dedicated entryway and move toward the sand.   “On the beach” people spot us and look down their noses ever so slightly.  Our best efforts at fitting in on the beach fail since the umbrellas and beach chairs we carry scream Wal-Mart. 

 

Every trip to Destin begins with the thought that it would be fun to live there all the time.  This leads me to pick up tons of real estate magazines.  Within minutes the reason I only spend a couple of weeks here every year comes rushing back.  “Affordable luxury” the advertisement said right below the drawing of a small New Orleans style home.  This seemed perfect and then I noted the selling price, $1,100,000.

 

When did million dollar property become “affordable” housing?  The rich clearly use a different dictionary than this country boy.  Sure you can buy thirty miles north of the beach, but why?

 

A few odds and ends from Destin:  To the man wearing black socks on the beach; don’t do that.  Either wear shoes or go barefoot.  While strolling along the beach I was often reminded of my grandmother’s bathing suit, the one that started on the shoulder and went down below the knee.  No, I didn’t see one like that, but there were several ladies who should have been wearing one.  I hate to ruin it for men everywhere, but beer bellies look only marginally better with a tan.

Finally, a travel question for you:  On a really hot day how far inland does the cool breeze blow?  Answer: 18 feet.



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