Thursday, May 6, 2010
Escaping for some oysters
Brief breaks can be almost as good as the long ones.
Last week, three members of the family (myself, Pam and Andy) escaped for a few days to Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
We were not even sure, until a day or two before we left, where we were going to end up. But Pam found a good deal on a room across from the beach at Fort Walton. And we had not been that far on the coastline in several years – usually stopping at Orange Beach, Ala.
We did not have any specific plans – other than getting our toes in the sand, relaxing and eating some oysters. We accomplished all three in a short amount of time.
It turns out we may have enjoyed one of our favorites, oysters on the half shell, for the last time in a while. That’s thanks to the oil slick threatening the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
We asked a nice gentleman at the Emerald Coast Inn and Suites in the late afternoon hours Thursday where the best place was to get oysters. And I requested a “laid back” spot. He quickly suggested the High Tide Restaurant and Oyster Bar just across the street.
His recommendation was right on target. It is now on our list of “favorite beach restaurants.”
We walked in and the kind lady asked, “Three for dinner?”
But instead, I told her, we just wanted some oysters on the half shell. She directed us to the oyster bar.
We sat down and the two men working behind the counter also got on our “best restaurant employees at the beach” list.
They were very entertaining. Andy and I got to talking sports with them, and they were almost as knowledgeable as the two of us about such topics as the Atlanta Braves, Alabama Crimson Tide and Ole Miss Rebels.
The three of us split a dozen oysters. They were fabulous.
We then drove to Destin, six miles away, for a little shopping – going after specific items and then doing a lot of browsing.
By then, we starting thinking about dinner.
We checked out menus at different restaurants. None of those really appealed to us so we chose to return to our new favorite, the High Tide, for a late dinner, too.
We walked in and the young lady did a double take.
“Yes,” I said, “you’ve seen us before today. We’re back for dinner this time.”
And once again, we were not disappointed. I switched from oysters to a mahi mahi sandwich. Andy got fried oysters and Pam went with the fried crab claws. Of course, we all sampled each other’s.
As we left, I laughed and told the young lady, “We will be back again about 3 a.m.”
She smiled and said, “OK, but I won’t be here.”
We walked on the beach some in the morning, in the afternoon and after dark. Andy and I also got in some frisbee tossing.
Emma was at college, and we had one request from Erin, who did not make the trip and stayed with a friend.
“More hermit crabs,” she said.
We made a stop at the souvenir shop right by the inn where we stayed. Our experience with customer service there wasn’t the best, but we bought the crabs anyway – not wanting to make another stop on our way out of town.
It was our shortest stay ever at the beach. But it was well worth the trip. I needed the brief break.
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