Thursday, July 12, 2012
Convention and family
This was not our typical trip south for the annual summer press convention.
We headed to Florida this time around – for a five-state convention. State press associations participating were Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana. The three-day event was held at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort.
The Burlesons left a couple of days early in order to get in a bit of vacation time.
A lot of the long-time journalists in our association have talked over the years about the summer conventions of many years ago – always held in Biloxi.
Those trips were typically their family vacations, too, because that was the only week they could leave their newspaper businesses for an extended period of time during the year.
Entire families do not attend like they once did. But it’s always a big, happy reunion with good friends in the Mississippi Press Association.
Pam, Andy, Erin and myself dropped our dog, Daisy, off at my mother’s house in Hamilton, Ala., Tuesday morning of last week and then took the Interstate 65 to Highway 31 route to the Florida coast.
Emma drove from Hattiesburg and met us in Sandestin.
Getting close to the coast, we saw something we had not witnessed in I guess a month in our hometown of Holly Springs. It was called rain.
It proceeded to rain some every day of our vacation. But honestly, I enjoyed walking in the rain.
Usually, on family trips to the coast, we stay beachside. But this time, our rooms were near the convention center, which was on the other side of Highway 98.
When Pam originally made the reservations, we were unsure how many, if any, of our children were going. She reserved a small room, so with five of us there, we enjoyed some true family bonding.
Emma, Erin and I took the shuttle to the resort beach on July 4. To say it was crowded would be a big-time understatement. Beach chairs were lined up for probably half a mile and about 10 rows deep.
Typically, we go to the coast during the not-so-crowded times – like Thanksgiving or late May.
I had never seen such a packed beach.
But we had fun – for an hour and a half – before a thunderstorm arrived. The water was beautiful and just the right temperature, too.
When the thunder and lightning arrived, hundreds of people were quickly exiting the beach. We decided to call Pam and Andy for a ride (they were shopping), instead of waiting in line to catch the shuttle.
As usual, we enjoyed outstanding seafood on the trip – like Acme Oyster House and Rum Runners – both located in the Village at the resort. All sorts of restaurants and family activities were available just outside our hotel. Erin even rode the zip line. The fireworks on the nights of July 3 and July 4 were wonderful.
The Southeastern Press Convention kicked off with an address by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Sessions included “The Future of Newspapers” and “Technology’s Latest.”
Our drive home Saturday took much longer than our drive down – lots of bumper-to-bumper traffic.
For me, it was a great week of fun and learning. But I need another trip to the beach.
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