Monday, August 22, 2005

Panama City Beach August 2005

Where to begin with a perfectly wonderful week in Panama City Beach? I fished and CAUGHT and saw dolphins, up CLOSE! I visited the Florida State Caverns! I went to a quilt guild meeting and saw a Dear Jane program courtesy of an invite extended on Monday evening by the wife of one of my husband's business associates who also quilts. Funny how things happen. I went to a wine tasting, of wines bottled in St Petersburg just one hour from my house instead of 6 hours!

But here are just a few of the pictures for your enjoyment. It was really hard to choose which ones to post on the site as I took well over 200 pictures in just a few days.

Ed putting Sophie off the boat. She was a wee bit upset that she did not get to go on a boat ride. And went to great lengths to avoid being in the same spot as me... or the same room even!

Here is my 24" grouper! a FULL 2" bigger than keeper size requirements. Woohooo!

My keeper sized Red Snapper. This was the 2nd fish I caught that day and then the bait stealling Trigger fish moved in. Ed managed to catch a keeper Trigger fish but *I* got the great eating keeper fish of the day. He is such a great fishing host. :)

Here is a picture of Patty MacMonigal's Dear Jane quilt. Her quilt was very interesting to see because she is not using the traditional muslin background but assorted shirtings. It makes for a very lovely Dear Jane quilt.

I really fell in love with this one block in what I think is Susie Pippin's Dear Jane quilt. Don't you just love the rainbow colors in those tiny pieces? A refreshingly different look to that block.

I took many pictures during Show and Tell and Share but this is a great black and white and red quilt. The blocks were part of an exchange in the Honey Bees sub-group of the guild and I thought it was stunning! Oh and that is Patty MacMonigal holding the quilt up on the left. For those Dear Janiacs who might be reading this.

We went to Florida State Caverns on Wednesday afternoon and I took a LOT of pictures there. I was playing with the settings on the Nikon 8700 camera trying to figure it out. So I took 2 or 3 pictures of most sections of the cave choosing different "background" auto settings on the camera. This was before I started to take multiple shots so it is very yellowish on the left where it is un-naturally lighted by gasp! a light! I think this is the structure on my metal souvenir thimble I got later on in the gift shop.

This picture shows what appears to a pool of water but it is actually shiny like wet ice and hard surfaced. This is the better shot of the two I took but still not to my liking.

The picture to the far right is one of my favorites of the caverns as it shows so many different surfaces in one photo and so many depths too. It has some perfect coloring also and hopefully loaded up the proper direction.

Well now I want to take it back and say that THIS one is the best picture of the lot. Don't you think it is gorgeous?

This picture is too dark online but fine on my moniter. This is the only part of the cave you are allowed to touch. It looked like a totem pole from a distance but up close it looks almost moldy. A black mold, not a green mold. It felt wet to the touch but actually I think it was just cold? Anyway, according to the tour guide, because it has been touched the oils from our skins causes the water(?) that comes down to form the stalagtite/mites whatever the heck they are called, will no longer adhere to the structure.

If you look closely you can see the tail of a cave salamander taking off much too fast for me to catch you in the picture fully. According to our guide, we might see bats, salamanders, snakes and frogs. We saw two bats fly across the pathway/room and two bats stuck on the wall (see next picture for one of them) one very long salamander (must have been at least 12") and gratefully NO snakes. now the frog might have been cute to see. The salamander was very long as very thin and black, in addition to being fast!One of the bats on the wall. It is only about 1 1/2" big and sort of pale-ish white not black like we tend to think of bats as being.This is a picture of the hole Neal thought I should stick my hand into! No way. Besides being chicken, we were told to not touch anything and to me that meant sticking my hand in menacing looking holes too! No need to "make" the snake suddenly appear, eh?The gorgeous view as we exited the caverns. Unfortunately it was way too full of mosquitos to stick around and do either of the two hiking paths so we made a quick run for the gift shop and then off to get in the van. There is a swimming hole/beach we drove up to see in the woods too.And some people were in the water too. to the left of this area is a big sign warning of alligators and a sort of net under the bridge before the swimming area. It was not fenced around the lawn looking grass but who reading this believes that alligators are not smart enough to get out of the water to the left of the netting and walk around on the lawn and get back into the water on the "swimming" side of the netting? oh well, I took the picture from the van window so I'll never have to deal with whether alligators can read which side of the sign/netting they are suppose to be on.
Wednesday night after the trip to the caverns we ate at Pineapple Willy's on the beach and got the best table in the house. Or rather outside or inside the house. Our sunset view looking west.

Same view different camera setting. Closer to the true colors of the sunset but I like what the other setting did by darkening it up.

The southward view looking straight out and the next picture is the southward view looking down!

And the view as we walked on the beach to the east of where we ate dinner. All in all a lovely day, a great vacation!

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