Finally, summer has begun… officially for me and those in the “Northernmost Caribbean”. For a lot of people it has been a long, cold winter. Memorial Day is sort of the un-official start to summer, but in the Northernmost Caribbean it is officially summer. Thousands of people flocked to the beaches this week-end… including me. There is a commercial for charcoal that runs each year that is exactly how I feel as I emerge from the frozen tundra. (OK… I didn’t really live in the “frozen tundra” but I felt that way just the same.) Here’s a link to that commercial. Winter (YouTube link)
The great sugar white beaches are a great place to begin summer.
I spent at least some time every day, starting on Friday and going through Monday, at the beach. And I visited my favorite Tiki bar for a frozen concoction to help me hang on. This is actually at the Ramada Inn on Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach. It is a big hotel right on the beach. If you stay there you literally can crawl from the Tiki bar back to your room. It’s really a nice place, but this time of year be prepared to indenture your first born son if you stay there very long.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night they had live entertainment right there at the Tiki Bar. John is the “one man band” that plays there in the afternoons every week-end of the summer. He has been playing there for years and people (like me) have been coming back to this Tiki Bar partly because of the party atmosphere and music John Brings with him.
It seems that there were a lot of people that had been having their frozen concoctions all day long. (Yes I have their permission to post this pic.)
Another of the big activities on Memorial Day week-end is the “boat party” at “Crab Island”. “Crab Island” isn’t really an island. Instead, it’s sort of a sand bar where the water is only a few feet deep. People with boats come there to party with a few thousand of their closest friends. Just drive your boat up and pop a cold one. Don’t worry if you don’t have a cold one. There are vendors that bring out “barges” to sell you something cold to drink. And don’t worry if you don’t know anyone because everyone there make friends very fast.
“Crab Island” is usually quite a sight… there are thousands of boats anchored on and around the sand bar. The water is warm enough this time of year that lots of people are in the water… standing on the sand bar. It’s only a little ways off shore and some people will just swim out. But don’t be fooled, there are tidal currents there and you have to be a very strong swimmer to get out to the party. You’ll also have to dodge the Coast Guard that has a station there. The Coast Guard tries to prevent swimmers going to Crab Island. So, if you want to join the party and don’t have a boat, there are plenty of watercraft (canoes, jet skis, pontoon boats, etc) nearby to rent.
What a great way to spend a few hours making friends.
The week-end, like all week-ends was over too fast. Now I’ve got to find a place to live.