Mother Nature Can Be A Real Bitch

All help All
I always joke around and say I live on the Redneck Riviera, but for anyone who has never visited this part of Florida let me give you a better picture of what it's like. First, we boast having the world's whitest beaches. PERIOD! From Pensacola to Apalachicola life consists of a variety of paces from slow to slower within each quaint community. Most of the beaches aren't wall to wall people unless that's what you're into and then there's spots that cater to that sort of thing. Just ask anyone where spring breakers go and they'll point you to some crowds or ask where the hot spots are for vacationing. On the other hand, there's some beaches along the Redneck Riviera you can walk for miles and never see another person. That's serenity at its finest...sun, surf and the sweet smell of the Gulf of Mexico.

The further East you go, the small communities that are tucked in between the larger ones are nothing more than spectacular. One such community owns a large part of my heart. When I was 30, I moved to Port St Joe, Florida and then moved to St. Joe Beach soon after and worked at the Driftwood Inn on Mexico Beach. It was the only motel I had ever seen that didn't have phones in the rooms. At first, I didn't get it, but then slowly as I saw the stressed out businessmen and their families come to Mexico Beach and leave ready to go back to work, I finally got it. Not long after I started working at the Driftwood, I worked my way into the position of general manager. It was then, I really saw how much people really appreciated the solitude of Mexico Beach. It always surprised me at how generous so many of the people were upon checking out. Those people would always thank me and give me a tip for making their stay at the Driftwood exactly what they needed.

Long after I moved back to Pensacola, the Driftwood and Mexico Beach continued to grow, yet it never lost its quaintness. No high rises, no fast food restaurants, no large grocery store chains and no Walmarts...in fact, to get all of that you had to drive about 20 miles into Panama City to the west or about 15 miles into Port Saint Joe to the East (as far as I know St. Joe still doesn't have a Walmart). At the time I lived there, the only convenience store was on St Joe Beach.  I'm fairly certain over the years it hasn't change too much. The community is largely an "artsy" place to live and features annual art, wine and photography festivals. A large part of what has shaped Mexico Beach are the Wood family, owners of the Driftwood Inn who are very accomplished artists in their own right.

It makes me sick every time I think of the destruction Hurricane Michael unleashed upon an area of the world with such pristine beaches. My heart goes out to anyone who lost their home and/or business. I hope each person has the courage to rebuild and come together as a community to restore the Pre-Hurricane Michael tranquility and well-being they had just a few days ago.

I'd like to share pictures of Florida's Northern Gulf Coast that I know and love starting with Pensacola Beach and ending with Apalachicola.










Pensacola Beach, Florida















Fort Walton Beach/Destin, Florida










Panama City Beach, Florida







Mexico Beach, Florida
















Port St, Joe/Cape San Blas/Indian Pass, Florida





















Apalachicola and St. George Island









Mexico Beach, Florida after Hurricane Michael














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