Vacation Day 3: Sunburns and Shrimp

Today started as any good day should, on the back porch with a cup of coffee, watching the sun come up over the ocean. I spent most of the morning down at the beach, alternating between jumping in the waves like a carefree child, and sitting up in the beach chair, reading, and silently praying with all the effort within me to let me not get sunburned. Getting sunburned is one of the most miserable experiences I’ve ever had, and while in the big scheme of things it’s a mild problem that goes away after a few days, it’s not something that I wanted either, which is why I had my wife spray me down with the strongest sunscreen we could find, caking my shoulders and back with the stuff, causing me to feel like a protective plate had been attached to my back, which didn’t bother me, as long as it got the job done. I figured the hair on my legs would prevent them from burning, but unfortunately I was wrong in my thinking, so now I sit here with both of my legs throbbing with an intense burn, all thanks to my assumption.

The water was nice and cool, a welcome contrast from the hot sun beating down on me, so from time to time I dove in and splashed around for a few minutes to cool off, but had to get out before too long because I kept stepping on fish, which disgusted me every time I’d feel one wiggling beneath my foot. I saw some dolphins and a couple of flying fish, one more athletic than the other who could only hop once out of the water before taking a breather, rather than skipping multiple times in quick succession like his friend that was in much better shape. It was a pretty cool moment, being able to relate to the first fish that tires easily. Speaking of which, since we arrived at the beach on Saturday, I’ve been so tired every single day, to the point where my body physically needs a nap, and maybe it’s because I’ve been getting up earlier, or perhaps this is all the exhaustion that has built up since my last vacation, allowing itself to be reconciled now that I have a week of doing nothing, but hopefully the rest of the week doesn’t continue in this fashion, because I’m not too keen on sleeping the vacation away.

Tonight the whole family went to dinner at Lulu’s, a popular restaurant owned by musician Jimmy Buffet’s sister. We tried to go early to beat the crowd, but at 4:45, it was completely packed and we had about a forty-five minute wait, which was fine because it gave me a chance to do some shopping. In all the years that I’ve vacationed in Orange Beach, my grandpa has always bought me a t-shirt when we go to Lulu’s and they’re actually some of my favorite shirts, at least one of which I wear every single week, so in keeping with the tradition, I looked for a shirt to get. This might sound ridiculous, but the shirt I bought tonight, is exactly the same as the one I wear all of the time, same design and everything, only it’s a different color, so I think that makes it okay. For dinner I ordered nachos with blackened shrimp, and if you haven’t had seafood nachos before, that might sound disgusting to you, but I tried it three years ago in Destin, and since then, it’s been hard to pass up if I see it on the menu.

I recognized the waitress we had from the last time I was there two years ago, and I remember her being pretty terrible, to the point that we were discussing at the table how little of a tip would be acceptable, because we literally waited over half an hour for her to come back with our check after she said she was going to get it, passing by our table several times and avoiding eye contact. I think I tipped fifteen percent, shame on me, but I’m pretty sure she remembered, because she refilled my brothers sweet tea several times, will ignoring me and my empty glass of unsweet tea, that she only filled when asked after we were done eating any way. Despite the grudge held by the waitress, it was a great meal, made even more enjoyable by sharing it with family. I look forward to what the rest of the week has in store.


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