Monday, October 10, 2011

from the little easy to The Big Easy (room)

the unofficial motto of the town of Grayton Beach, FL

note: Hush up--I 'know' this will 'not' be about Lafayette...but don't rain on my beach parade--it's close enough...

My TripAdvisor Review follows - with new photos inbetween...
Who knows I may yet earn another badge over there too?!
Nothing like Blogging about a Vaca to Flo-ri-da...

follow me...bare the feet first you feel that...sigh...keeping walking toward the sound of waves...

First off the 30-A Scenic Highway along the Emerald Coast of Florida we drove down to see the beach first, that fantastic sugar white sand--I had to get my toes in it & wade in the water & just walk for awhile along the shore...

that'a a jeep out by the little inland dune pond off the seashore - my element is parked back on a hard surface, as I've forgotten how to drive in the desert sands (wasn't it you lower your tire pressure--nevermind, not the desert, it's the beach)

After driving from Navarre Beach we decided to eat lunch at The Red Bar in Grayton Beach - which I'd read about, then when I saw their iconic painted door I was captivated & had to go in...we were shown a big chalkboard for the menu of the day that I guess they change up when the cook decides - so we had the fish 'n chips & a burger between the two of us, while soaking up all the atmosphere/people watched/notice a disco ball/strung lights on & got to check out all the walls/ceilings full of posters/crazy stuff while we ate (OK, so a few pesky flies tried to join us--life isn't perfect, it is the beach & lots of folks coming & going so no worse than a picnic...)

they had me at the door...

We almost stayed at the beach state park further down 30-A, in their rent cabins - but instead went into the town of Grayton Beach to find the Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse had a room for two nights...of all the rooms, The Big Easy--full of you guessed it, New Orleans posters & fun stuff...we had just driven from Lafayette, LA which a few folks will jokingly call 'the little easy' - of course loved's really more than a room, it's a separate little cottage behind the main guesthouse with our own piece of deck & wooden deck chairs out the front door (actually it can also be the handicapped room, but we enjoyed it just as well...)

morning mug a tea (later there will be coffee - am a Pisces so there's some Ying/Yang to me, you'll see...)

Two nights near the beach, is my idea of heaven - we could borrow the beach bikes parked out front of the office & ride off to the beach...which we did the next morning after we rode back to the state park as well because I wanted to walk among the sand dunes next to one of the few dune lakes along the Emerald Coast & that it is--emerald & blue colored with white sugar sand at the shore - my fav part of Florida (though I grew up down in St. Pete...)

beach bikes...what better place for them--than the beach & even better here, sand dunes & trails to follow (on foot at first, soft sand--no fun to pedal thru with said beach bikes...)

It was funny to see on the lake there were not just kayaks or canoes but also those paddleboards that look like surfboards you stand up on & paddle in the water--later we would find the locals called them Yolo boards - or Yoloyaks maybe - & you could rent them, like the bikes & all else to go out on the water in (instead we rode our bikes or walked on the beach, another time for Yolo's?!)

Yolo Board links...
(note: we passed the Watercolor Boathouse & at the bridge watched someone trying a Yolo Board out - also of course on the dune lake in the Grayton State Park saw 2 girls on them too, but left them in peace & didn't take their photo)

Even better getting to stay in The Big Easy room was waking up knowing we could still go to breakfast up to 11:30 if we wanted to sleep in & what a breakfast choice we had at the cafe nextdoor - I'd never experienced such a thing, all these wonderful healthy choices or Vegan too if you're on that diet...first day we had a fritta of cheese/spinach with fruit for one of us & a baked chocked full of moist/warm good stuff muffin with fruit too for the other of us - plus tea & coffee, for our B&B Breakfast (I was wonderfully surprised at that?!)

in The Big Easy room...the restroom...check out the check tiles--but esp love the flamingo mirror - will be searching antique shops in Florida now to find one of my very know for that beach house I'm gonna buy (when I win the Lotto of course)

So from the guesthouse you can ride/walk all of the little beach town of Grayton Beach & make it to the restaurants/grocery or shopping (I hate to say there's also a Starbucks, but if that's your choice of coffee then it can be had too within walking distance) - we walked the first night up to the Borage restaurant, closer to 30-A, & had a beautiful Italian meal, topped off with a chocolate carrot cake that blew me (& many of my Facebook friends) away...

if you could only taste this yummy marvel...mmm...someone in Lafayette if you know a Pastry Chef, please/Please/PLEASE--tell them about this: Chocolate Carrot Cake...healthy too right, see those little shaved carrots on the top/sides & of course the added sliced strawberries (that have been soaked in something--but still all healthy eating mind you...btw - the 2 of us couldn't do it, we had to save it for the next day in our little handy dandy fridge in our The Big Easy room...we were on vacation right)

The next night we walked down to view the sunset on the beach, where else better than that - beginning of October is perfect weather to visit Grayton Beach we think now & after the sun sunk into the ocean we took a short walk closer by the beach to Shorty's restaurant for a seafood dinner upstairs - in a blue/white painted beach porch looking room full of Shorty the dog's friends (or I think they were) photos on the walls...downstairs was the bar area with live music going on as we walked out - wanted to buy a Grayton Beer T-shirt, but none in the size I was looking for (another time--when we rent/buy...I wish...a beach house--right?!)

sunset at Grayton Beach, Florida...there's nothing better than a sun setting into the ocean (I'm not one to catch many sunrises, so this is it for sunworshipping for me...)
photo tip: if you have a point 'n shoot camera, I was told by a photographer who does tours, that you can use your sunglasses for a lens filter (maybe in the daytime, for this we had a sunset setting on the camera just for it-don't ya' just love techie stuff done for ya'...I know I do, thank you Canon?!)

Waking up for another lovely breakfast at the cafe next door, we changed things up our second morning & ordered a different meal off the menu--imagine that having a choice as part of your B&B stay?! I tried the old fashioned oatmeal in milk with fruit, a side of seedy toast while my other half got his favorite French toast with fruit...eating in their dining rooms is especially fun as it's full of Florida knicknacks & classic porcelain enamel tables from the 50's I guess it would be - I missed going upstairs to see the library, no time for reading this trip?!

I sooo want this for breakfast again tomorrow--in my dreams...we were so spoilt at the Guesthouse Cafe - next day, was even better (but was too busy enjoying it so fast I forgot to snap a pic-bugger)

In between beachtime or restaurants we did also manage to drive up & down the nearby coastal towns to take a stroll around their city centers/parks or shop in at least one book store - had a coffee at 'The Best Coffee on 30-A' (or so we were told, since we only had one latte/cap we're not ones to judge just yet...)

I missed trying Amavida Coffee in Seaside though, which looked like a true coffeehouse - again, next trip?! Also in Seaside, a lot of fun, is the boardwalk row of Foodie AirStream trailers - serving up hot dogs or BBQ or Sandwich Melts or ?? (of all the times to forgot the camera...)

Link to the 'one that got away' - but just you wait, next trip to the Emerald Coast & I'm there...

Link to a great idea - check out one of the 'foodie airstream trailers' here on UrbanSpoon...

I was sad to leave our last day in Grayton Beach, FL & also that we didn't go visit the few beach houses for sale in this little beach town - a lot of beach houses were for rent though, which I'd like to go back & do that for a longer stay here for sure...we did look online at nearby real estate & there is also a realtor in the office with the owner of the guesthouse - but not this trip, for now we just looked online & daydreamed...

Welcome to the beach...not the Be Welcome sign to the Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse

'Be Welcome' the sign by the office says & we were--Thank you Kurt & Cherie, who are by the way also a blast to have a chat with?!

note: what I really love sharing are all the beachy photos--this trip I didn't shoot a video or I'd share the seashore sounds with y'all too...can 'ya tell I'm in love with the beach, the seashore, the water, the surf, the sugar white sand, the seashells, the seaoats, the sandpipers...even the seagulls...and there are 'not' (No, don't try to tell me there are) such beaches here in LA...sigh...but only 5 hrs away by car & I'm (so) there?!

Is this all as bad as back in the day 'home movies' of  'my summer vacation' - gawd I hope not?! (please forgive me)

Signed...Pisces <><

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