Thursday, April 20, 2017

A last Vacation before retirement
St George Island and lots of food and drink!

When you tell people you are retiring most people think you are leaving the work force.  That's a valid assumption.  I am a Government Drone in Florida and we have this program called D.R.O.P.  This means I actually retire on May 1st  but continue to work in my same position and receive my same salary.  My retirement check isn't paid to me, it is invested.  So this is a good deal for folks who want to work a little longer for benefits and saving for cool trips.  Or land somewhere.  Or whatever you want. I am planning to participate in this program for 2 or 3 years maximum. Then it's gone-gone for retirement.

Participating in this program means you cash out your leave time.  For the last of my leave time we are spending a week having fun. We stayed at a condo on St George Island for the last several days. Oh bliss.  Seafood, sea breezes and relaxation.

Our first night in the condo we stayed in and I prepared this old favorite, North African Couscous with shrimp.  Our elderly dog isn't a fan of change and we decided we best stay in and keep her company.  So I made this (below).  It went well with Dreaming Tree Chardonnay and freshly sliced avocado.  Everyone was happy.


Sunday we drove to Apalachicola for a lunch and to get supplies.  We forgot it was Easter and so many places were closed.  That was a bit of a drag as we wanted to get Coconut patties and eat at this one particular restaurant.  We did find Boss Oyster open and had enormous raw oysters and a grouper sandwich.

Take a look at these oysters.  So fat and salty, you will need to floss afterwards!

IMG_9394 IMG_9395

On a walk down the beach we saw this large Blue Heron wading about in the water. Then we saw another one, begging off a man fishing.


 The fisherman said he caught some pompano but when he caught smaller fish he'd toss it to the heron.  What a beautiful beggar.


 Doug was able to get very close to snap photos of this beauty.


Someone with talent built this sandcastle, complete with a moat and turrets and designs.


When we had our last night's dinner on the island we ate at The Blue Parrot.  Doug had a grouper fillet stuffed with crab meat and I had large shrimp stuffed with crab meat.  Incredibly good.  So were the cocktails - a Rum Runner for him and a Mai Tai for me.


Ok....see this cat?  He lived on the deck, I guess.  He would make his rounds to the tables and stare.  He was picky too.  Wouldn't eat a hush puppy or baked potato.  He did accept a small offering of shrimp.  He looked like he needed medical attention and you know his diet isn't good.
 But, there he is.


Right....we also went to The Blue Parrot for appetizers one afternoon and took Aja.  Jalapeno Poppers and beer.  And no, I am not wondering why I gained a few pounds :-)


B.J.'s Pizza is excellent pizza.  I know someone from work who gets one when she visits the island and takes it home, despite a 2 hour drive and it being, obviously, cold.  Great pizza.  We took that back to the condo and watched The Huntsman.  Not a great movie but the pizza was good and so was the Dreaming Tree Crush.


 Island life...I think we could adapt to it. It was very pleasant sitting on our tiny deck and listening to the surf, sipping a drink and enjoying the sea breeze.


A view of the lighthouse.


We enjoyed quite a few walks on the boardwalk and on the shore but Aja was sure ready to head home.

Great start to the vacation, we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The rest of the time we will plan a motorcycle ride and hopefully go to target practice.  Goodbye beach!


 Linking up to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Series since I shared so many food photos.



Vicki said...

Looks like you had an amazing time! The beach is my happy place so I'm a little (or a lot) jelly!

Carole said...

Hi Tina, off now to check out exactly where this island is. Cheers from carole's chatter

Beth F said...

What a great program to allow you to kind of retire! Your island stay sounds heavenly indeed. And We love Dreaming Tree wines too (as you well know).

Tina said...

Vicki, we aren't really beach people as we don't swim there but th sound of the water is intoxicating. It was great!

Carole, its in the Gulf of Mexico, about 2 hours from our home. Pretty views.

Tina said...

Beth F, I do know that you like Dreaming Tree! The Crush is our favorite and moderately priced. The DROP is a good deal if you can stick it out the full 5 years but I know we can't. The longer you stay the more money you make but....I want to to be out of there!

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

so weird! I just saw Dreaming Tree for the first time yesterday!

What a perfect way to wind down to retirement. Your vacation sounds perfect, just the way we like to do things.

That heron is just beautiful!

Tina said...

Dreaming Tree is a consistent wine, Jackie. Always good. Yes, that heron was so gorgeous, couldn't believe how close we could get.

Claudia said...

What a delightful vacation; with fantastic food! We love the sound and sight of the ocean as well - not so much getting into it any more.

The Candid Cover: YA Book Blogger said...

Ok. I am very jealous!! The best holiday is one that involves great food and those oysters look amazing! I think that your retirement plan is really interesting and gives you so much flexibility. :)

Tina said...

Claudia, when I was in my twenties I loved getting in the ocean or gulf waters. Not so much these days. But that lovely sound of waves it.

Candid, oh yes! Big fan of oysters!

Deb in Hawaii said...

It looks like a fabulous time with lots of good food and beach time which is perfect in my book! ;-)

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

It sounds heavenly! My husband and I love to eat grouper when we go to Florida, there is nothing like fresh fish.

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