Jun 11, 2006

Perdido Key, FL, Day 1

To include the eternal trip across Louisiana, the blandness of the interstate system, and the world's coolest firework stand.

Oh yeah babes, I've got an internet connection! That means you're going to have to endure day-in and day-out coverage of my vacation in Florida with my in-laws! Righteous!

Oh, and as a warning; I'm working on my Mom-in-law's laptop, so if things sound a little strange here, her lappy is some strange foreign brand, and I'm used to working on a good ol-fashioned Commodore 64, so that's why. Either that or because I'm unwinding. Your choice.

So. The first day found us leaving bright and early at 6:30ish. Not too shabby, considering the packing for a week and two vehicles and the coordination of 6 people. The strangest part of it was the fact that, since we were heading from central LA sort of southesast it seemed like we were in Louisiana for five of our six or so hours on the road. MS and AL went by instantly, it seemed, in comparison. And naturally, as always, the interstate was the longest, most boring, driest chunk of riding I have ever had to endure, but it was endured in good company. See, somehow pretty early on it got decided that this would be a stag/does road trip. The menfolk loaded into the Paw-in-law's truck, and the wimminfolk piled into the SUV. This was cool, because our truck had the XM radio and the smokes, so it was all good.

Many hours passed, the wimminfolk tried several rather conniving methods of getting ahead of us, such as lying blatantly about stopping for food and asking us to stop and wait for them while they sped merrily by, but driving slightly over the speed limit and the natural direction-finding ability of the human male ruled the day. We arrived a good five minutes ahead of the ladies at what has to be the coolest place in the world:

Stuart's Fireworks Warehouse, in Alabama. Or something to that effect. *lol* This place is quite literally the greatest thing since sex was invented. It's a blood-red (didja think I was going to say 'firecracker red?') warehouse, three stories tall, shining like an expolsive beacon of hope for all red-blooded men everywhere. They've got quite literally EVERYTHING, stacked from concrete floor to, in most cases, dizzying heights of 20' or so. Utterly incredible. Huge bins, stacks, and piles of a quite staggering aray of exposive devices. I walked around for what must have been twenty minutes with my mouth hanging open, making a sort of "bwah...bwah...bwah" noise, until the wife appeared with the cash, and we started filling shopping carts. Yes, they offer shopping carts. HEAVEN.

I never knew that the cool mortar-shell fireworks came in something called "The Black Avenger," which is a box three feet wide, five tall, with single, double, up to five-shot shells and a mortal tube the size of your thigh. And for only $250 you can have this gunpowder wet dream for yourself. They had a stack of fifty.


So anyway, fireworks aside, we are stayiing in a beautiful condo right on the beach, an utterly gorgeous two-story house with balconies and jacuzzi tub and marble and tile floors and giant beds and oooh, the mind boggles. I quite feel like I'm staying in a very rich, very reclusive friend's house, only the in-laws, spirits bless their lives, are paying a healthy sum for it. Me, I'm going to live like a big dog and lap it up like a cat at the cream pitcher.

So. First day's surf fishing? I caught a few ladyfish, these foot-long, tubular, fighting-like-the-deevil-hisself fish, and and got to watch the FIL land an utterly beautiful, BEAUTIFUL foot and a half long black-tip shark. Yes, a shark. My first encounter with surf fishing (meaning you stand in the surf and cast as far as you can into the depths) saw me moving fast to get away from a small greyish shadow that was patrolling around my toes. I can only hope it was the same shark that FIL caught; serves her right for scaring the pee out of me. Thank heavens the water was warm and I was waist deep in it.

The water. It's beautiful, green, and almost as warm as blood. The full moon on the water last night was incredible, and the waves were small and quiet. This morning the waves were crashing inland like they were competing to be the new Pacific Ocean, and standing waist-deep in them meant that every minute you'd be underwater when the next huge whitecap crashed inland. Utterly incredible. But that's for tonight's post about today.

And so, yesterday found us arriving, getting settled into our gated and combination-locked gorgeous house, and wandering up and down the beach like crazy people. And of coure I can't forget Crustaceous Rex, the King Crab. The night-time beach is covered with these tiny Ghost Crabs, little white multi-legged bodies that speed around like double-espresso drinking Vespa drivers, and the high event of the night is chasing and catching them, which is a lot harder than it sounds; they can corner like they're on rails. So midway through the evening's festivities of seeing these little one- and two-inch long crabs being triumphantly brought into the flashlight, the wife comes up with what had to be the king of all Ghost Crabs. He (or she?) was just smaller than a full-grown blue crab, and as beautiful as a wedding cake. He was covered in the purest white shell, which was decorated all over by tiny orange spiky hairs, giving him a sort of fuzzy peach appearace. Strong, and bold, and huge, he rested regally while we all oohed and aahed over him, and then finally let him return to his watery domain, cursing us all the entire time.

Soon to come: more fishing, the USS Alabama battleship tour, and the Naval Air Station Pensacola Aviation Museum. Woot!

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