Friday, March 10, 2017

Seaside, FL (3/10/2017)

Friday, March 10, 2017
Early in the morning we walked down to Blue Mountain Beach.
Sugar white sand and turquoise waters at Blue Mountain Beach;
the yellow flag means a medium hazard level with
moderate surf and potential for rip tides
The beach below the dunes; Blue Mountain Beach is located
along the highest point along Florida's gulf coast, at 64 feet
Old Blue Mountain Beach neighborhood in a coastal scrub hammock
 Oh, my! A great Southern breakfast this morning: biscuits and sausage gravy!  Somehow I was compelled to have two and a half biscuits!  Thanks, Cindy (and Ken)!
Afterwards, Cindy took us on a ride in her Polaris Global Electric Motorcar/GEM. We headed east on FL-30A, which has become a brand with T-shirts, and even a beer, bearing the name 30A.
Big Redfish Lake, one of the unique coastal dune lakes
There are 15 coastal dune lakes in this area and they are found no where else in the U.S.  These lakes are freshwater lakes separated from the saltwater gulf by natural sand berms, which occasionally have "outfalls" where they breach the sand and flow into the gulf with  saltwater flowing back into the lake to create a rare brackish ecosystem.
We tootled around the cute little town of Grayton Beach.
The popular Red Bar, known for its funky bohemian vibe
where the Bloody Mary is the "house salad"
The large Western Lake, another coastal dune lake, surrounded
by Pinus elliottii/Slash Pines, sometimes called umbrella trees
The long sand berm separating Western Lake from the Gulf of Mexico
Clock tower in WaterColor
Passed the resort of WaterColor (who comes up with these names?!) and entered Seaside, an example of New Urbanism, a planned community, founded in 1981 by Robert and Daryl Davis, assisted by urban designer Mark Schnell. There are multiple architectural styles designed by multiple architects.
Forest Street with a Walker Candler designed house (1996-1997)
Ooh La La (every house has a name and a house sign
lists the owners/occupants) designed by Dennis Searcy
Leeward and Windward designed by Monica Chian
Amphitheater in Central Square
One of several food trucks on "Airstream Row,"
and the very first one opened in 1996
Folks enjoying BBQ Nachos
Tamiko & Kent at the Seaside Post Office,
designed by Robert Davis (photo by Cindy B)
Wild Bill's Beach Dogs (2011) specializes in grass-fed beef hot dogs
Modica Market (c. 1989)
Modica Market is known for its cakes; the Rainbow Cake has
five layers in the flavors of strawberry, cherry, lemon, lime, and grape!
Sundog Books was featuring an author signing with
John Hollan (left) and his book, The Adventures of the Starfish Family
Seaside Transit Authority sign
Seaside Transit Authority vehicles
Great Southern Café, featuring "new-fashioned southern cuisine"
Seaside Beach
Kent and Cindy at a Seaside Obe (Obelisk) Beach Pavilion
(1991-1996, by David Coleman), one of nine beach
pavilions at entrances to the beach designed to protect
the dunes and make an architectural statement
We headed back west on FL-30A, stopping at the D's house to pick up a growler and Donna D. We continued to Santa Rosa Beach to the Growler Garage for Kent to pick out a beer from 40 varieties on tap.
Growler Garage line-up of beer taps
Growler Garage had rival college
surfboards side-by-side!
Kent tried a few IPAs and chose Resin, a craft beer from Brooklyn, NY. The price quoted was double what he expected to pay, but it was because the half-gallon growler was actually a full gallon!  He stopped the guy who was dispensing the beer, who emptied the gallon growler into a cup (half a cup's worth). They then decided they could fill the gallon growler just half full.  However, the dispenserer (?!) started filling it with the wrong brand! He had to pour out a cup-and-a-half, and start over.  Kent got a half gallon of beer in the growler, and the half cup. The two employees got to drink the one-and-a-half cups!
Back in the Polaris GEM to check out some monster homes in Santa Rosa Beach.
This monster under construction was a monstrosity
This monster has an indoor basketball court
behind those monster garage doors!
Uh, oh! We started running out of power and made a beeline for Cindy's house. Three of us got out of the GEM to allow it to go up the hill, but then we had to push it up the steep driveway! Whew!
After that adventure, we walked with Donna D to her house to sit back and not lift a finger as Steve D slaved away making dinner.
Kent on the Ds' front deck of their 3rd floor bar for the sunset,
cocktails, and nacho and pita chips with a luscious 
spinach-and-artichoke dip, and a shrimp guacamole dip
brought by neighbors Breanne and Joe
We were joined by Ken B, and Cindy B's sister, Donna. Later we headed downstairs to the open kitchen, dining, great room area. After watching Steve D do some grilling (flatbread, romaine lettuce, and steak!), we went in to have a wilted romaine lettuce Caesar salad and flatbread, all sitting around a round table. Cindy joined us in time for the surf 'n'turf, stuffed shrimp and steak, plus grilled veggies. We weren't allowed to be finished until we had a slice of chocolate cream pie! We haven't eaten so well in ages: many thanks to Steve and Donna D! (P.S. Thank you also for the jacket!)
Thankfully Ken B drove us back to his place, even though we should have burned off a few of the calories by walking. Again, many thanks to Ken and Cindy B for putting up with us/putting us up in their B&B (where we had homemade bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches before leaving the next day)!

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