After a late night that involved many cocktails and shots (thank you Lorenzo), the only thing that could coax us out of bed the next morning was the thought of massages at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort’s Serenity by the Sea Spa (www.HiltonSandestinBeach.com). I arrived a bit hung over, but was looking forward to laying on a table with someone (anyone) rubbing oil all over me. It was just what I needed after our crazy night at the Village; many thanks to Joann for a wonderful treatment.
Although there were so many things for us to do and see after the massages, we all agreed to drive back to Seaside for lunch, beachtime and some shopping. We ate lunch at Bud & Alley’s Taco Bar, then walked just a few steps to the beach for some R&R. As we arrived on the beach, the sand, weather and water was absolutely gorgeous, and I fell asleep in our cabana chair. As I woke up (a few hours later), I overheard a conversation about tarballs on the beach. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself....small tarballs from the recent Gulf oil spill had started coming ashore while I was sleeping. The area officials were aware this may be an issue, so they had clean up crews ready and waiting. The clean up started immediately, and most people didn’t even realize what had happened. It was heartbreaking to listen to the locals tell us how devastated they are and how this will undoubtedly impact their beloved beaches.
As my friends know, I love to eat and I had spent a few hours without food, so it was time to get dinner. However, this dinner was going to be a very special one as we were celebrating Rooster’s birthday. We arrived at The Culinary Gallery (www.CulinaryGallery.com) and met Chef Scott Nelson who explained we would be learning to cook a fabulous Gulf Coast Seafood meal. My motto is “I am better at eating than cooking,” but I thought I’d give it a try. With Chef Scott’s great tips (and tasty wine), the cooking wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. Plus, everything tasted amazing! We made Thai Shrimp, Blanched Asparagus, Roasted Vegetables, Mahi Mahi, Grilled Steak (only seasoned with salt and pepper) and Bananas Foster. Plus, we had birthday cupcakes just for Rooster. I cannot believe I ate all this food!
We ended the night and trip with a visit to The Red Bar in Grayton Beach. As I drank my last Beaches of South Walton cocktail, the Marianna girls invited me to some of their favorite outings, which include the Annual Possum Festival & Funday (Wausau, FL) , Rattlesnake Round Up (Op, AL) and Mule Day (Calvery, GA). Guess I will have to add these places to my list! Given the fact that I grew up on a cattle ranch, I assured them I would fit in just fine.