The Beach during a Pandemic

Hello there.

I said I would write about my beach vacation, and here I am. I spent last Saturday through Tuesday at Santa Rosa Beach. My family has a condo there, and it’s usually not as busy as other popular beaches. The location is also about thirty minutes to Destin or Panama City, which makes it pretty great for a vacation.

The first night we went to Rum Runners bar. Saturday nights there are for Dueling Pianos, which is one of our favorite things. The area Rum Runners is in is like a small boardwalk within a resort. Not many people were wearing a mask, but most of them were at outside dining tables and still keeping social distance. Rum Runners itself has less tables than when we were there two years ago in order to allow for six feet between parties. Dueling Pianos was a lot of fun, but the smaller crowd made a huge difference. While the songs were good, there was no feeling of a party. That may be the wrong way to put it. The atmosphere was just not as electric. Not as many drunk bachelorette parties.

Sunday morning, we got to the beach around 9:30. I was shocked at the number of people there- at least double than what we normally see (we go around the same time every year). My guess is most people chose to go to the beach when all the other vacation spots closed due to the virus. There were four or five rows of people that morning, and I will admit that pictures of the beach from a certain angle would make it seem like everyone was on top of each other. But, there was space between groups. I did not bring a ruler or anything, but everyone was setting up the acceptable amount of distance away from others. At least, I never felt like I needed to put on my mask (I kept one in my beach bag at all times, just in case).

That afternoon was spent in San Destin for shopping. Masks were required, and the number of guests inside stores was limited. Our favorite place to shop is the Vera Bradley outlet (or factory, not sure which one is the official name), and this time they had some of the Disney print! I snagged myself a Mickey beach towel, but I never used it for fear of messing it up. Oh, and this time we did the tourist thing and got ourselves airbrush shirts made. You have to wear matching shirts, otherwise it’s not a true girls’ trip.

Monday morning, we got to the beach a little earlier than the day before and it was a lot less crowded. When we left at noon, there was only two rows of people. The weather was fantastic, and the fish were determined to eat our feet. Yeah, that part was not that great, so we did not spend a lot of time in the water. I get freaked out when the fish nibble.

The highlight of the happened that afternoon. We found an axe throwing place in Panama City, and immediately said “yes! Let’s do that!” I was the only one in the group who had done it before, so we spend a good thirty minutes learning the ropes. We were the only ones in the place, and the employees, Crystal and Tiana, were so much fun (and patient). They ended up playing the games with us, and they allowed us to play a little longer than our reserved hour. Everyone was so good by the end of it! I have a feeling that Axe Throwing PCB will be a permanent spot in our future vacations.

Tuesday was the goodbye and drive back to Orlando. It was a short and sweet vacation, and I miss it already. It was nice to not have to think about work for once this summer. Everything has been so hectic and sometimes it feels as if things are just getting worse. Last weekend was a blessing. And I would say, if you are comfortable, do the things that make you feel better. Mental health is hard to keep up with in a normal time, and it is amazingly difficult when your stress level is off the charts. Go to the beach. Take a walk. Do it safely. Just take time for yourself.