Seaside epitomizes everything people crave about summertime: scorching sunshine, white picket fences lining the sandy beaches, whicker baskets propped in front of all the pastel bicycles cruising the sidewalks and sno-cones as a standard snack.
Upon my arrival into the Panama City airport, I was saddened to find out I missed one of chef Jimmy's gourmet meals of roasted grouper (the local favorite fish around these parts) with a brown butter lemon sauce, wild mushroom risotto and toasted pine nut pancetta and shallot roasted brussels sprouts.
I made it in town just in time to finish the remains of his second meal: yellow curry brown sugar slow-roasted pulled pork with a rainbow pepper medley jalapeno lime cilantro slaw. For all the sauce lovers out there, it came alongside a North Carolina vinegar sauce and a Tennessee white horseradish sauce. Finally, there were poblano smoked gouda grits.
My first full day here we did a little bit of everything, starting with a game of Cecilia pool, a variety of the classic game in which my 9-year-old niece makes her own special rules and Sam and I follow.
We spent the rest of the morning in the pool, as many folk were still recovering from the sunburns they had built over the first few days.
The boys scattered for a round of golf at the Jack Nicklaus course nearby, so the girls seized the opportunity to go shop in the town.
I was here several years ago with friends and the town has maintained the same charm--with the food trailers framing the post office which has become a local landmark and popular spot for a photo opp for vacationers like us.
The outdoor stall shops make for a shopping experience unlike any mundane trip to the mall.
Each stall is color coordinated, making the clothing all the more aesthetically pleasing and tempting to buy.
As the ideal family vacation spot, kid stores are a plenty.
But, it was the famous Frostbites snow cones more than any toy shop that bribed the little ones into coming into town with us.
Throughout the year, I'm always in and out of town, barely squeezing in a visit with my little nieces and nephews. It's been a treat to all be under one roof in just the small amount of time I've been here so far.
They've put my former gymnast to good use as a pool handstand judge. Today, we'll spend a full day at the beach and then celebrate Lindsey's birthday at dinner in the town.
Just like we celebrated baby Emily's 1st yesterday. Happy birthday to you both!