Friday, March 23, 2012

Florida Panhandle....

FINALLY I was going to meet the infamous "Doughboy"....for years Bill has regaled me with stories from his days stationed in the Phillipines and luckily for me, this trip east, I have had the opportunity to meet many of his buddies from "back in the day". Many of them live in the Florida panhandle and I had found a sweet spot for us to stay for a week, which was plenty of time for him to reconnect and for me to meet everyone! As I have mentioned before, the military has many "famcamps" across the country - rv campgrounds that are on military bases. Usually they are in a remote area of the base, are extremely reasonably priced and most have a real "campground" feel. The military also has "recreation areas" and the Fort Benning Army base in Georgia has just such a park in Destin, FL. Benning MWR is located right on the Choctawhatchee Bay with about 30 RV full-hook-up sites, villas and a hotel. It's difficult to get a rezzie there but we did. Bill had his "old home week" with all of his buddies, and I got to put a face to the names I have been hearing about for years.  Friends, Jim and Dianne, drove down from their "ranch" in Holt to have lunch and we went up there to check out their little piece of paradise with their dogs, cows and horses! Doughboy came over to check out Bebe and arranged a fun group dinner, which was also Bill's last night of drinking for awhile - perfect timing! Most of these people he had not seen or spoken to in 30+ years.  Jim, though, was in Sacramento with Bill after the Phillipines and it was with him that he started the Sacramento hash in 1980. They roomed together, ended up buying their first condos in the same neighborhood and I think Bill met Jim's wife the same night Jim did, so they go wayyyy back! 

Destin is a very small, touristy town that neighbors Fort Walton Beach which is aslo home to the yoga studio, Dragonfly Yoga. I fell in love with this place and Bill finally had to come see what I was raving about. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that I had expected Florida winter weather - and I was still COLD! It was definitely better than the chill in NOLA, but still not exactly the beach weather I was looking for! 

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