|Make It Happen, Boat Cap'n!|
Somebody celebrated a birthday this week. Since she missed someone else's birthday celebration back in May, complete with a "party barge and brownies and cupcakes" per his request, she had a bright idea. Make it happen again. Boat Cap'n. Only this time there would be sandwiches, chips, and cookies. And this time the boat didn't set sail from Destin Harbor. Navarre Beach is more her style. More laid-back. Fewer people. Less expensive.
|View of the bridge across Santa Rosa Sound to Navarre Beach from the Best Western on Highway 98.|
She is, after all, of the age where night life is now defined by a comfortable bed, quiet, and lights out by 10 p.m. The other day she asked a couple of much younger friends to guess the year of her birth. I'll give you a hint, she said. It was the year John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States. They were stumped. She didn't think it would help to add that the year ushered in a decade of literary jewels like To Kill A Mockingbird, Catch-22, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. According to this excellent website that chronicles America's cultural history, people, especially the younger crowd, were being drawn like flies to the idea of change in that decade. No, not that stuff that's left in your pocket after you get to pay your fair share these days.
And it's not "the change" often dreaded or maybe anticipated by women of a certain age. Speaking of drawing flies, there were some sort of blood-sucking critters taking over the beach for most of the weekend. The only way to avoid them was to keep on the move or jump in the water. The birthday girl and her party did a fair amount of both...
Tourists who do visit Navarre (and like it) don't mind stepping out of their room to see snapped off trees in a vacant lot next to the hotel--remnants of some hurricane or tropical storm that blew by. Sunrise has a way of softening the effect.
The early bird gets a good spot on the beach too. Even later in the day there aren't any bad spots on the beach. A state park occupies a large chunk of prime beachfront property. According to a gentleman who was out early picking up what little trash had accumulated from the night before, there will soon be artificial reefs in place here for fish to hide in and for snorkelers to explore. He's been a resident of Navarre since the mid 90s and looks forward to this kind of change. A gentle tweaking of the natural beauty rather than a facelift, tummy tuck, or breast enhancement.
Locals and tourists alike enjoy visiting the Gulf's longest fishing pier at Navarre Beach. The pier is celebrating its first anniversary. It had to be rebuilt anyway after being hammered repeatedly by storms a few years back so why not make it the longest? Before the birthday girl headed back to Tallahassee (after doing a drive-by snooting of the old homestead to see if the tenants have changed anything else by landscape looting), she and the original boat cap'n stopped by the pier to purchase some coffee. It was too early for beer...
|Navarre Beachside Church|
...and it was Sunday morning. If it hadn't been for the biting flies and the drive-by snooting still on the day's agenda, this church without walls would have been a fine place to spend an hour or two. The wind carried the sound of worship music and prayer all the way out to the end of the Gulf's longest fishing pier.