Monday, October 6, 2014
It's been a fun few days. We still have only intermittent Internet access at the condo where we're staying, but the problem seems to affect the entire building, not just us. I've reported it four times in three days to the rental agents, so they're getting as frustrated as we are about it. I might break down and buy a cheap wi-fi hotspot from Walmart to get us through the rest of our stay. (Being a writer, I rely heavily on the Internet for research; and Miss D. needs it as a consultant to authors and small presses in areas like category and keyword selection and marketing issues. She's getting so good at it I wouldn't be surprised if she hangs out her shingle as a full-time professional in those areas soon. If she can get a couple of 'core' clients on monthly retainers, she can build on that foundation.)
We haven't let the lack of Internet access spoil our fun. We've cut back drastically on 'work' activities and are spending as much time as possible relaxing, unwinding and having fun. Having a beach within yards of our front door is a very good start, and having over a hundred restaurants within a five-mile radius is doing nothing whatsoever for our diets! Yesterday evening, for example, we found a Japanese-Chinese fusion restaurant called Aji Sai. The food was absolutely incredible - easily the best in its genre that I've eaten in years. I was so impressed that I asked to see the chef and tipped him more money than I did the waitress, which seemed to please all concerned. IMHO, that restaurant in itself is a good enough reason to visit Gulf Shores, AL, even if you do nothing else but eat there!
Today we drove through to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL. The coast road runs almost directly to its front door, which is very convenient. It was my second visit and Miss D.'s first. We wandered around the aircraft on exhibit, took the trolley tour of the flight line and the aircraft awaiting restoration, and ate brunch at the museum restaurant (which is based on the Cubi Point officers club, which was dismantled and shipped to the Museum when that base was closed). We looked for Old NFO's name on one of the squadron plaques on the walls (he assures us it's "way in the back somewhere"), but we couldn't find it today. Oh, well - it's on our list of things to see when we go back there later this week! We haven't looked at any of the balcony exhibits yet, and there are other sections as well. It's a big place.
Thursday through Sunday should be 'interesting times' indeed. The annual Shrimp Festival will be under way, and they're expecting about a hundred thousand visitors to drop in. We've been warned that traffic will be an absolute nightmare, so we shouldn't plan on driving anywhere - just take the trolley, which will run every fifteen minutes up and down the coastal road. I'm not a fan of huge crowds, but I am a fan of shrimp, so I'll brace myself and my digestion and see what happens.
I'm writing a couple of thousand words a day even on holiday. As a result of my 2004 injury, I can't sleep more than a few hours at a time before my back locks up very painfully and wakes me. That means I'm often up in the small hours of the morning, so I take advantage of the peace and quiet to write. That doesn't detract from my vacation - there's nothing else to do at that time, after all! I'm getting along nicely with Maxwell Volume 4, which (all being well) will come out during November.
Miss D. and I are having a quiet evening together. We've taken the opportunity to drive to a local McDonald's that offers free wi-fi Internet access to put up this blog post. Now it's back to the condo and a leisurely meal of roast chicken and a bottle of wine. It's good to be on holiday . . .