And I'm back, live from the Gulf Coast. My original plan for the first week of vacation was to take in a free Jimmy Buffett concert in Gulf Shores, spend some cool-down time along the coast with the parents before heading over to Louisiana to catch up with some college friends.
Depending on how you look at it, I missed Buffett by either 24 or 48 hours. Buffett's originally-scheduled July 1 concert was canceled due to the impending impact of Hurricane Alex. Since my parents and I left Tuesday, June 29, for Panama City Beach, we decided to head through Gulf Shores and eat at Lulu's, the local restaurant owned by Jimmy's sister Lucy.
As we finished up our lunch by splitting a slice of Key Lime Pie Tuesday, little did we know that about 28 hours later, the man himself would be taking the stage in front of us in a surprise concert.
The oil was hard to walk around, and almost impossible to get off our shoes once it got there. I tracked oil onto the floor mats in my car, even after ten minutes of rigorous stomping and scraping my sandals in the beach parking lot.
This was June 29, before Alex deposited fresh layers of goo across Gulf Shores on July 1.
Thankfully, that was the extent of the oil impact on this vacation. Once we got to PCB, we saw no visible signs of oil, although there were reports of a few tar balls that had made it that far. Most of the time we were there, it was raining and there were double-red flags because of the undertow, but at least it was nature and not BP spoiling our fun. We did manage some walks along the beach, tremendous seafood dinners and two outings to flail about in the surf.
Now I'm headed over to New Orleans to catch up with two of my favorite people from undergrad. I am booked on an airboat tour of the Louisiana wetlands tomorrow. I'll have my trusty video camera handy, so we'll see what I can see.