We are home from our annual trip to the coast. This year we stayed at Blue Mountain Beach, close to the Destin area in Florida. Eight days of rest and relaxation! The weather, unfortunately, wasn't all that cooperative. The first half of the week was filled with clouds and some rain but the latter half was sunny and nice. To top it off, there was a beautiful full moon. Returned to find that we got over 4 inches of rain at home. That was nice!
Sunset from the balcony on the day we arrived.
Unfortunately on day 2, the clouds started rolling in - that means shopping! There is a huge outlet mall close by as well as some great gardening shops and nurseries.
The dreariness didn't keep some people off the beach!
We did enjoy seeing a storm approaching from across the ocean.
There was a bad Red Tide the week prior to our visit. As a result, dead fish littered the beach. We were glad that our balcony was spacious enough to sunbathe on because the smell on the beach was not pleasant. The beach patrol men did come through and pick them up a few days later.
One of our favorite places to go is Shady Oaks, in Panama City, a neat place to find cheap concrete statuary.
The trip in not complete without a visit to Eden Gardens State Park. This is a hidden gem that most visitors overlook because they are wrapped up in shopping, eating and staying on the beach. The former estate was once owned by a timber magnate. The house is now a museum filled with antiques. But the gardens are what we go for. Nature trails, a rose garden and thousands of camellias are the main attraction.
Spanish moss -
Ferns growing on a massive live oak -
Rock Hard Jewelry resides in a building modeled on Monet's Giverny. A garden with elaborate statuary and fountains are in the back. In fact, I'm not sure if it should even be called a garden. It is mainly a collection of objects. But it works for me!
The bridge -
The front of the building - I would love to see these roses in bloom!
Michael on the beach talking to his aunt -
Of course I'm fascinated by plants that I can't grow. One morning I took a walk up the street and took photos of the driveway landscaping.
This house was next door to us and was for sale. Asking price - 6.2 million!!
One of my favorite nurseries in the area is Eastern Lake Nursery. It is a tad pricey but the place is filled with unique pots, birdhouses and plants. As you can see, they have quite a terra cotta collection.
I noticed beautyberry (callicarpa) growing everywhere. Apparently it does well in Florida. I grow this in my own garden.
Just down the road from us is the famous little village of Seaside. It is too congested for our taste but it is fun to walk around it. The houses here are adorable and all are labeled with cutesy names.