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Carol Perkins: A true account of a snowbirding experience

When Gatlinburg proved to popular for last minute reservations, The Perkinses pick the next best thing, a ten hour trip to Destin to enjoy two days of ocean front leisure, and were promised a a condo with an unobstructed view of the ocean. After their midnight check-in, they discovered an unobstructed view of the pool (and for voyeurs, an unobstructed view back at them).
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By Carol Perkins

"We need to try something new each year."

I don't think I could ever be a Snowbird. Even though warm weather and sunny skies are appealing; I just don't think I could survive even for a few months without cold weather, snowflakes, and family. I used to think that living in a condo overlooking the ocean with nothing to do but read, eat, and relax for the winter would be the life, but I have changed my mind. This is why.

We'd made up our minds to head somewhere

Guy and I made up our minds before the holidays that immediately after Christmas we were going to head somewhere. The problem was I wanted to be back for my radio show on Tuesday, which meant when we left on Friday we would have to return by Monday night. That didn't give us much time.

Christmas night we still didn't have a plan. We had looked at the map, discussed what to see in each direction, and I eventually tried to find something in the Smokies but evidently it was a popular place. We went to bed that night with no destination.

'Pack your bags. We're going to Destin'

The next morning Guy woke me up and said, "Pack your bags. We're going to Destin." He had been online early that morning and found a condo overlooking the ocean at the Sandestin Hotel and Beach Resort. "How soon can you be ready?"

I dragged myself to the shower, threw necessities into a carryon bag and by nine we were on the road. I visualized sitting on a deck with the breeze of the ocean whipping through my hair and a cup of coffee in my hand. I could see us walking through the sand and eating fresh seafood. I smiled as we drove off on our journey.

Ten hour drive didn't seem too daunting when we left

A ten hour drive didn't seem too daunting when we left, but after the first six hours, I knew this much driving was for the young. Before leaving home, I had gathered all the newspapers and magazines I hadn't read and that kept me busy for a hundred miles. I even read a book, but mostly I squirmed and fidgeted and could never doze, which would have helped to pass the time. By the time we reached the Florida line, I was stiff and Guy was bone tired.

We arrived at the gated resort only to be sent across the highway to their new check in facility. I waited while Guy did the leg work. "We go back across the road and through the gate to our condo. Evidently there are five or six within the gate." He handed me the key with the password to the parking structure.
"What floor are we on?"

We had been promised an unobstructed view of the ocean

"Second. Now, I told the girl that I hadn't driven ten hours to look through trees or at another building so she assured me the ocean view was not obstructed and if we weren't happy to come back."

I couldn't imagine having much of a view from the second floor but I kept quiet. We unloaded the luggage and the groceries we had just bought at a Wal-Mart stop and then wheeled our way into the high rise and to the second floor and to our condo.

Like kids, we dropped our luggage and headed for the window just in case we could see the ocean, but if nothing else, hear it.

Instead of ocean, we were looking directly into the pool

Immediately, we looked at each other. Instead of viewing the ocean, we were looking directly into the pool. A person at the pool could have told the color of my eyes. Again, I kept quiet but body language speaks. "You don't like this, do you?"

"Do you?"

He gave his famous defeated droop -the-shoulders stand. "I'll call them."

I stayed with the luggage while he drove back to the central location to change our room. By then, midnight had come and gone and we were both weary. I knew, however, that when we woke up the next morning and could only glimpse the ocean, we would have been unhappy. Solving the problem that night was the right thing to do but at the time, having to solve the problem in the first place was aggravating and neither of us was in the mood for aggravation.

(Part II continues next week)

Carol Perkins, the writer of this popular CM Column, is an author, owner and operator of Main Street Screenprinting, 601 S. Main Street, Edmonton, KY, Phones 270-432-3152 and 270-670-4913 and is co-host of Susan (Susan Shirley Chambers) & Carol (Carol Sullivan Perkins) on 99.1 The Hoss, regularly live at 10amCT, each Tuesday. Watch CM Events for topics/guests on the show.

This story was posted on 2015-01-11 05:32:15
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