Our trip began on shaky ground. The White Sands triathlon in Panama City was cancelled, but not before I had already reserved a room in PCB for Friday night and my best friends wife had got a plane ticket to arrive at the airport on Saturday (Being a responsible adult she had to work on Friday) so despite my better judgment myself, the fabulous Jenny and my best friend Wes pack into his Jeep Grand Cherokee and make the 9 hour drive to PCB.
The trip goes uneventfully until we arrive at the motel. (I wouldn't say the name... but if you google searched Aqua...View... and some other detailed information you could probably come up with it.)
Now I want to go out of my way to say that I purposefully found a cheap motel for Friday night. After all, the plan was to arrive on Friday after a 9 hour drive, crash, get up at the butt crack of dawn Saturday, race, then pick up Wes' wife at the airport and move to our condo. I didn't need to stay at the Hilton, I just needed a place to lay down a couple of hours that was clean. And for what it's worth, the motel was clean and adequate to sleep in in my opinion.
|Me Wes and Jenny in our motel...|
Describing our room was like something out of a mediocre Rob Zombie film. A "classic" motel likely built in the mid 50's and decorated in dilapidation... it somewhat sadly stood as an embodiment to how I find most of Panama City itself, that is built in a time of excess, but not maintained or refreshed, now clinging to it's former glory and cashing in on it's own fame. Jenny immediately protests staying (let alone sleeping) in the room, which is so obviously set up to cater to the spring break crowd that it even has a warning sign that frequent traffic in and out of the room will be monitored by authorities.
|As you can see in this picture... Jenny unwilling to sit on the bed ;)|
Condensing a fairly long drawn out series of events I'll summarize...
-Jenny was adamant against staying in the room, and sure she's going to sleep in the car.
-Wes certainly wasn't helping the situation with remarks like "man I wish I had a black light to see what kind of bodily fluids are on this bed." (just wait... you're getting your karma very soon.)
-After wandering out on the deck (and seeing our neighbors who were so obviously cooking meth they could have been wearing Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirts) and seeing an obviously belligerent fellow pee directly in the parking lot... she decides that locked in the room with myself and Wes and sleeping on the covers is preferable to tempting fate in the car.
-We leave the motel at 5:45A.M. and sit at a breakfast diner until 10 when we are supposed to pick up Wes' wife... cue ominous music.
Day 2: Judgment Day
So, how do you top a first day like that? We've already seen Ferrari's, a man urinating in the street, a motel whose floor literally bows in the middle and more tattoo parlors than an episode of Inked? Glad you asked.
So after breakfast and many...many cups of coffee, we are off to pick up Wes' wife.
For your own good, if you EVER plan to fly to, or pick someone up in the Fort Walton / Destin area... read this next part.
We plan our arrival to the airport impeccably. I literally pull into the "short term parking" lot right as Wes is getting a text that his wife is landing. Nothing to do but wait.
And wait some more...
Finally she calls, confused as to where we are parked. I am literally as close to the front door of the airport as you can park...so I'm not sure how there is a mix up.
"Do you see the military planes?"
Confused... me too. So to lay it out straight, Florida has stupid airport names.
We were at the closest airport to PCB, which is named
"Northwest Florida International Beaches Airport"
Wes' wife however had arrived about 70 miles away at
"Northwest Florida Regional Airport"
|This is not the airport you are looking for|
So if you were like any modern human being and typed "Northwest Florida" into your iPhone and let it auto fill in for you... you'd get the situation we ended up in... which was nothing but hilarity for myself and Jenny, aggravation and annoyance for Wes' wife, and misery for Wes himself. (Karma)
Finally, with d'Artagnan in tow (admit it, obscure references are what keep you coming back...) we make our way to South Walton. Of course, check in isn't for another five hours, so we occupy ourselves with lunch and some mindless window shopping in Destin and a stop by Publix (and the liquor store...) to get our groceries for the week. When we at long last (it's been a long day for vacation...) check into our condo, it's all I can do to force myself to unpack and not just fall over in bed from exhaustion. After unloading the bikes I get my second wind and manage to snap this picture of me finally relaxing on our deck.
|Finally... shaved legs can enjoy some sunshine.|
So ends part 1. Next week will be a little bit of wrap up and some talk about the next race... Rev3 Knoxville.
Sorry if the editing on this post is a bit rough... catching up at work has been a little time consuming... but that is what I get for not taking any work emails for a week.
Thanks so much for reading! Hopefully everyone is safe from the rough weather we've been having this week.
Until next time