My handle was the Florida panhandle a few weeks ago as we trekked toward my brother’s place for a mid-winter escape from normalcy. My internment in the winter doldrums was about to expire.
Over the past few months I have discovered a writer named Sean Dietrich. His podcast Sean of the South on Spotify has become a staple with our morning coffee. Like a bagel to lox we have laughed, cried and loved learning about life on the panhandle, Case Knives, and chicken casserole. Seeing this well loved part of America has become a bucket list item and we are going to check it off.
Just over the border from Mississippi and Alabama, the quaint southern feel oozed from the pores of the gulf-side hamlets. Stopping at our first of many seafood shacks was a success. Grouper bites…who knew?!
Arriving at a friend’s house, we were greeted by Japanese Camelias in bloom and ripe citrus ready to harvest. Ladders were climbed and rake extensions were MacGyvered to retrieve treetop fruit. Meeting up with our framily (friends that are like family) made for lots of laughs around meals of oysters and shrimp and grits. Shopping, scoops of custard and great conversation further sweetened our time together.
No day would be complete without stopping for coffee. Summer Sevi, the owner of the Alla Prima Coffee Roaster in Pensacola and daughter of our friend Al (see my blog post about him Second Chances-Saved by Sevi) treated us to a coffee education and pour-over cup-o-joe at her private roasting location. You or your group can be a coffee student with Summer on your next trip to the panhandle. Click here for more information.
Meandering on the panhandle about four hours south, we met family on St. George Island. Spanning 22-miles, this barrier island facing the gulf is a quiet change from the hustle and bustle of other parts of Florida. Serene and unspoiled it is hailed as one of the most quiet beach destinations around. We stayed at the historic St. George Inn which harkens back to a bygone era of old Florida style architecture. Only a short walk to the beach, it is one of the few hotels amidst the hundreds of vacation rental homes that dot the 22-mile landscape.
The Wheelz turning, our adventure was moving into full swing on the panhandle. Have never visited this part of Florida before, but I think I’ve found the quiet, quaint old Florida south that I’ve been looking for. Floritucky, we will return. Keep the lighthouse on and maybe we’ll find a chicken casserole somewhere next time.
Stay tuned for more adventures as the Wheelz travel to our next destination.
Don’t forget to read and listen to Sean Dietrich as he chronicles this part of the country. Thanks for the memories Sean, keep it up!