These are not words you want to read in the same sentence with “beach,” especially when it’s the beach you are spending a week at, and the words are followed by the advisory, “don’t swim.” But it’s what we ran into on , an island off of Apalachicola, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. According to the nice man at the St. George Island State Park, this happens every year—YIKES!
We managed to have a good time anyway. Here’s a picture of my dad, on the eve of his 71st birthday, wearing his beach booties (he’s the only man I know who can call size 13 shoes “booties” with a straight face!) while walking his dog, Leroy. This was the day before the advisory went out. We didn’t get Dad or his booties back on the beach after this.
When the beach outside our door became unavailable, we headed to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, about 45 minutes from St. George. It was a beautiful park. (Chris says all beaches look the same, water + sand, but I disagree. Some are cleaner--even without the “waste” advisory--others have dunes, some have clear, blue water.) St. Joe has a nice flat beach, high dunes covered with waving beach grass, and high winds. Chris reacted to the wind, which kept yanking his hat off (his head is shaved, so a hat is important) by pulling a MacGyver. He tied his hat strings to his bathing suit strings. Not a pretty look, but it kept his hat from flying off.
In other weird beach happenings, our 9-year-old nephew saw “the wrong end of a naked man” coming out of the water along Hwy. 98, between Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, where the highway runs right beside the water. His only comment, said with eyes big as dinner plates, “Thank God it wasn’t a woman!” Despite our driving back and forth along that stretch of highway several times over the next few days, we never saw the naked man—wrong end or right!