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Sand Between Your Toes Instead of Snow in Your Boots

May 2, 2011

Spring break—yes! Except not the crazy college style… that’s been a while and I have four teenagers to prove it. So off for a week in a beachfront Flordida house—boat on the trailer, wakeboard and tubes in, rafts with built in beer, I mean, soda holders… aaah. I envisioned burrowing my towel in the sand to fit all the right lumps and bumps in my body and slipping into a sun-induced coma.

First day—rain. That’s OK, I could use a nap or two. Second day—rain. Good thing we brought a thousand piece puzzle. Third day—rain. Puzzles are dumb. Good thing we brought great reads. Fourth day—seriously?! Rain. Ran in the rain. Good thing Florida is flat. Fifth day—rain. Good thing we are on the Florida peninsula. What?! Well, if you are an oyster snob, as I am, being on the Florida peninsula is oyster heaven. They were probably harvested that day.

Appalachicola oysters are a source of oysters nationwide. We don’t know the town so we drive around until we find a parking lot filled with locals’ pickup trucks and convertibles, a more reliable rating than any Zagat sticker. It is an open air shack, decorated by beer filled patron’s wise words scribed in sharpie. You pay first then get a ticket, like the kind you get at the fair, for the number of oysters you want. That would be a ticket per dozen for you raw oyster newbies. No sitting down waiting for them to bring them to you. We are directed back to an open air counter where grizzled sun-hardened men await with oyster knives at the ready. There is a line because it IS oyster season. Any month with an “r” is oyster season. No “r,” no raw oysters. Oysters after a day on the beach is like après after a day on the slopes. The oysters were ridiculous, the beer ice cold. Vacation redeemed. And next day… sunshine.

It’s all good.

-Belinda Jorgenson, Destination Expert

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