Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We're back at the campground now, watching the rain from the outskirts of Hurricane Dolly. Luckily it missed the panhandle area and looks like it didn't do too much damage to the Texas coast so they were very fortunate also.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Not being ones to give up, we turned to the next best source of info….the internet. It only took one search to find Tom’s Hot Dogs in Panama City. Although they don’t have their own website, they turned up on CitySearch. We checked them out the next day and have been back four times since. It’s a wonderful 20’ x 40’ hole in the wall in the downtown area. They do the cooking behind a counter on one side of the room and stools line a counter on the other side. In between, there is room for a single file line to place your order and pay up. At the back of the room are 4 tables seating 4 customers each and out front, on the sidewalk, are two more tables. They are open from 9:00 to 3:00 and around lunch hour the line is out the door.
The menu lists 11 types of dogs in three sizes. They also serve up half-pound burgers, chicken salad, smoked sausage and a few other delicacies, all topped with Tom’s special sauce. The chili dogs don’t quite match up to The Varsity’s, but do rate very high on our search for one fantastic dog.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
During June, July and Labor Day weekend, there is a Tram from the campground to the beach which the volunteers also drive. There were 7 sets of volunteers here during June & July, so Sam only drove the Tram one day so far. We also walk around the campground, as people check out, and pick up any trash left behind.
Because of the two beautiful beaches, the pier, the wonderful campground, etc., this is the busiest State Park in Florida.....and the biggest money maker. Revenues are split between all the parks based on size and need so St. Andrews shares the wealth with the entire state. Luckily, for us, they share this beautiful park with volunteers.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Where to start? First, let me introduce myself to you. I am Susan, the Beach Bum. My husband of 40 years (in Jan.’09) is Sam, the reluctant Beach Bum. We have two children and 5 grandchildren. They all live in Georgia, but about 1 ½ hours apart. My son, Scott and Angelia, have a daughter Mackenzie (6 ½) and a son Ethan (11 weeks). My daughter, Samantha and Nathan, have three boys; Kyle (almost 5), Logan (2 ½), and Tyler (1 ½).
Sam retired in 2006. We purchased the motor home in August of 2007 and took off for our first volunteer position as soon as I retired in October of 2007. That was at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park on Cape San Blas, Florida, where we were campground hosts until the end of January, 2008. From there we went to Red Top Mountain State Park in Acworth, Georgia, where we volunteered until the end of March, 2008. We are currently serving as volunteer campground hosts at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida. All of these positions are strictly volunteer. For compensation for our 20 or so hours a week, we receive a free site for our motor home with water, electric and sewer hookups. There are some other perks like free use of the park's facilities such as water shuttle to Shell Island, lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach, kayaks, laundry, ice machine, and annual passes to other State Parks.
When we leave St. Andrews, just after Labor Day, we will head north to Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge in the north Georgia mountains for the 3-day annual Volunteer Conference and Gathering compliments of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. We are leaving the RV in Florida at our cousin's lovely home (more on this later) and will stay in the lodge for the conference. We are looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some new ones. Here are two of the volunteer couples from Red Top.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
View from our window of Grand Lagoon at St. Andrews State Park.