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Blog Archives

December 11th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

The weather today has been ferocious and impressive!  I was awoken about 02:00 this morning by the extremely loud wind.  It was blowing so hard against our condo that the balcony door was actually shaking at times.  It has been that way all day today.  What’s more impressive is that the wind is so strong that there have been a few times today that we could not even open the sliding glass door.  That is strong wind and high pressure! 

The gulf has been equally impressive.  The waves, according to the NOAA, are at 5-8 feet.  They are crashing with the fury of an angry sea.  It is really quite reminiscent of hurricane weather without the looming threat.  And without the surge coming quite so far up towards the buildings.

This is how our backyard usually looks…

Normal

Normal

And this >>See the rest of this entry…

Category: Random Thoughts  | One Comment
December 06th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

One of my favorite things about living here is being able to walk to food, shopping, and entertainment.  This morning, we woke up and decided to finally try out the Steaks, Shakes, and Pancakes (All American Diner).  Every time we walk by that place, we say that we need to eat there sometime so it was long overdue.  We both ordered breakfast and the food was good.  After eating, we continued walking down to Pier Park to check out the denim sale at Old Navy.  We did a little shopping, walked around, and then headed back home.  It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.

November 27th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

With much to be thankful for again this year, we are celebrating the holiday with some of my family. They arrived last night and we are having a great time. The men and children had a quick game of beach football while my sister and I prepared the feast. We partook of delicious food and merriment and had an all-around-terrific day. There has been Wii-playing, swimming, and eating – a lot of eating. Tomorrow, we’ll walk around Pier Park and possibly take in a movie at the Grand Theatres.

I hope that today finds you with many wonderful things to be thankful for and family to enjoy.

November 26th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

Earlier this week, we broke out the kayaks and braved the cold waters (well, I braved the cold waters; my husband has a wetsuit).  The kayaks are my favorite beach toy.  The gulf was fairly calm but my husband found an area that had some small waves to surf, which is what he really enjoys.  I wasn’t interested in getting splashed by the cold water any more than was necessary so I paddled out past all wave activity. 

I spent a little time piddling around and then I decided to see if I could make it all the way to the pier and back.  I kept a fairly comfortable pace getting to the pier, stopping a couple of times to rest and enjoy the view.  I love floating around out there; it is truly peaceful.  I was very proud when I reached the pier but quickly turned around because the sun was getting pretty low.  In an effort to beat the sunset, I paddled HARD all the way back, non-stop.  I’m not an athlete and it really took everything I had to keep going at that pace.  My arms were eager to give up but I was losing light.  The sun set when I was still about a quarter mile from home so I dug in even deeper to make it before the residual light was gone. 

By the time I made it back to the beach, my husband had already taken his kayak out and was waiting to help pull me in, which was a very good thing because, after 2.5 miles of paddling, I was DONE.  I couldn’t even pick up my kayak to carry it back to the elevator.  

I thoroughly enjoyed that paddle and I was so proud to make it to the pier.  I was even more proud at how hard I paddled all the way back – I was actually creating a wake in the water behind me.  The next day, i hurt.  My shoulders were tired and my hands were sore – a small price to pay for having some fun exercise activity in my fabulous backyard!

Category: Fun Stuff  | Leave a Comment
November 25th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

When we started talking about moving to Panama City Beach, my only requirement was that we had to be on the beach.  That pretty much meant that we were looking at condominiums since beach houses and townhouses were a little out of reach for our pockets. 

I’ll admit, I had concerns about living in a condo.  I remember being thrilled to get out of apartments when we bought our first house and a condo is not much different than apartment living, right?  But there were downsides to living in a house as well so I was willing to give it a try. 

We looked at almost every newer (2000+) condo on the beach.  We had a list of requirements for our new home and we made sure to look at everything available to find the best fit.  The building that we picked had the most of what we wanted for the best value.  We’ve got a very livable floor plan with the master on the gulf, a separate shower in the master bath, a true laundry room, a good bit of storage (there’s never enough storage in a condo), and a decent-sized balcony.  We also have parking underneath the building which is a big plus.  It’s enough of a hassle from time to time when you’re toting luggage or groceries (especially if you forget the cooler), but to have to lug stuff across the street and up two different elevators would have just been a headache.  Amenities were also big on our list.  We have a good gym, big hot tubs, and a pool big enough for laps that is heated in the winter.  We were even fortunate enough to find a unit that had never been lived in so we were able to furnish it ourselves and decorate it to suit our style.

After living here about a year, I really can’t complain much about condo living.  Our unit feels like home.  Noise from upstairs is infrequent and, generally, tolerable.  We are up high enough to see dolphins, sting rays, sharks, and manatees in the water.  We have a gym, pools, hot tubs, and beach all right at our proverbial doorstep.  There’s no time wasted on yard and household maintenance.  We can walk to Pier Park for food, shopping, and general enjoyment.  Actually, since we both work from home, we almost never have to drive anywhere — we fill up our gas tank every 6-8 weeks!

I’m not saying that it is a perfect arrangement.  As residents, we do get a little frustrated when we see renters that are disrespectful of the building and amenities.  And the elevator traffic gets a bit annoying in peak season.  Overall, though, it has really been a positive experience.  The convenience, location, view, and enjoyment far outweigh the few petty negatives.

November 22nd, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

It may sound a bit strange, but this time of year is my favorite part of living at the beach.  I mentioned previously that I’m not much for sun and heat.  It’s true; I grew up in Orlando, FL and never got used to the heat.  I really just don’t enjoy it.  When we moved out of Florida five years ago, I swore I would never live in this state again. 

As we all know, life changes things.  When we started talking about moving to Panama City Beach, my only stipulation was that I had to be on the gulf.  If I was going to suffer the heat, I was going to have a heck of a view to show for it.  Not to mention, the gulf-breeze makes it considerably less insufferable.  That’s the truth, too.  I could really tell the difference during the summer when we’d go from beach-front to, say, Back Beach Road.  The further you get from the beach, the hotter it gets.

We really had a lot of fun during Spring Break and the summer.  We bought kayaks and spent many days out paddling or surfing the waves.  We have walked down to and around Pier Park countless times and it never gets old.  Many weekends we stayed up far past our typical bedtime dancing to the live bands at Spinnaker.  There’s just so much to do during those months.

But the fall and winter are still my favorite time of year to enjoy living here.  It is just so quiet and peaceful.  I was standing out on the balcony a few minutes ago and I counted eighteen people on the beach.  That’s eighteen people over roughly two miles of beach.  That means that we can go down and play football or fly a kite without having to worry about running over or into people.  The water is crystal clear and the dolphins and stingrays seem to play more than they do in the heat.  The sunsets even seem more spectacular.  The best part, though, is that I get to keep the balcony doors open and listen to the soothing sounds of the gulf while enjoying the fresh, chilled air.  It is so much easier to sleep at night with a gulf-sung lullaby.

November 19th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

Walking around the Madonnaro street paintings at Pier Park this weekend reminded me of the Lobster Fest sand sculpting contest that took place at Schooners back in September.Surf and Turf

Having never personally seen sand sculpting in person, i had to go check it out. We didn’t stay long because it was much too hot and sunny for my liking (Yes, I know I live at the beach and should, therefore, appreciate hot and sunny — I don’t.) but we did take a little time to walk around and enjoy the artistry. There were many sculptors, from kids and families to professionals. Strangely, I did not think to bring my camera that day so we had to use the iPhone for photos. This greatly limited the number of sculptures I was able to photograph as the battery was running low. >>See the rest of this entry…

Category: Fun Stuff  | Leave a Comment
November 17th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

tropical in progress

This weekend was the Madonnaro Festival at Pier Park. We spent the afternoon yesterday walking around and enjoying the art and atmosphere. Walking around Pier Park is one of our favorite activities. Unfortunately, we had some camera problems. Though the batteries were checked before walking down there, they died after the second “painting”. We walked back to Target to get some new batteries and they died after one painting. So much for capturing the art, eh? Fortunately, we managed to get a few photos with the iPhone before it, too, died. >>See the rest of this entry…

November 10th, 2008 | By: J'Lynn Holloway

My husband and I moved to Panama City Beach in October of 2007.  I was introduced to the great PCB in 2005 with an in-law family vacation.  My husband has been vacationing here with his family since before he was born.  Living here has been a dream of his for years and, after some tragic incidents, we decided it was time to stop dreaming and live our lives to the fullest. 

We sold our house in northeast Georgia, moved all of our belongings into storage, and came down here to find our new home.  We rented until we found and closed on our beachfront condo in December and moved in New Year’s eve.  It has been a great move for us and we have thoroughly enjoyed our home this year.  We have been more social and had more fun than we have in the nine years we’ve been together. 

As full time residents, the only trouble we have had is difficulty finding information on local activities, events, and establishments.  PCB411 will be a site dedicated to local information for Panama City Beach, FL.  We hope to be able to provide a central source for events, restaurants, accomodations, and activities in and around PCB.