Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mundane Mobile Meanderings and Dixon Dinners

Highlights of Day Two of the quick trip to the Gulf with the wife... you can read Day One here and get the answer to the question "What does The Lovely Steph Leann actually do?"...

So today, we were scheduled to leave the Marriott around 8:30.  Get up around 7:30, get showered and packed up, get that truck loaded up with our junk and be best up on our way.  Cue 8:30 and we are dragging ourselves out of bed...

On the way to the plant, we did stop and have breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Usually, that's a hit or miss kind of place, but today, they were on it... probably some of the best Cracker Barrel food I've eaten in a long, long time.  The waitress was great, the food was hot, the pancakes were fluffy--perhaps its because we came early.

The plan is to go to one of the plants and unload about twenty boxes of materials, hence the reason we came in a Dodge Dakota truck (its a rental)... which is what we did.  Pulled up next to a modular, unloaded the boxes, then drove around the area a bit to another warehouse, where we were given, via forklift, this massive pallet of about 30 large boxes, each containing materials vital to the continuance, nay! the mere survival of our nation, our world our...

...I actually think it was just paperwork and such.  But it rose above the outer edges of the trucks bed by about four or five feet.  We drove around the plant area again, slowly, parked and went inside to get The Lovely Steph Leann's other stuff done, namely working on blueprints, organizing, consolidating and on and on... boring work, really.

We did this for hours and hours and hours... I kept muttering to myself how this was my vacation day, and she kept telling me to essentially hush.  Anyway, I won't bore you with the mundane details of our day at work, but when we came out, we had to deal with this issue of the truck we were driving, loaded up with a pile of boxes, each weighing a good 20 or 30 pounds each, sitting on a wooden pallet, all wrapped in plasticy saran wrappy wrap. 

We had the brilliant idea of taking off the top layer of boxes, moving them to the truck's backseat, then shift and moving and such.  We did it, it worked, and off we went.

Now, onto dinner... before, I had contacted my friend Dixon by virtue of everyone's favorite way of talking to people that normally they'd never talk to again:  Facebook.  I told her that I and The Lovely Steph Leann were coming to the area this week, and for she and her man and her kids to come on along and meet up with us for dinner.  Apparently, her man is in Magic Land in Orlando Florida, work related supposedly, but she and her childrens Emma and Cooper met us at Peg Leg Petes.  Dixon said she was excited not only to see me, but to meet the famous The Lovely Steph Leann... then again, who doesn't want to meet The Lovely Steph Leann?

First, the restaurant.  Peg Leg Pete's is an oyster house and seafood bar located across the road from the ocean in Pensacola Beach.  It offered a wide selection of shrimps, scallops, crab legs and claws, fish and other such pleasantries.  I got the seafood combo, which included fried shrimp (average), fried oysters (I remembered I wasn't a fan of oysters), fried grouper (pretty good), and though it was supposed to have crab claws, they were out, thus substituting stuffed crab instead, which was fairly decent.

The Lovely Steph Leann wasn't thrilled, because she had her heart set on Peg Leg Pete's crab claws--neither of us had ever been here before, so she was curious to try them... yes, yes, she had crab claws last night, but they are some of her favorite foods, so she was eager to have them again... then our waiter told us they were out, so she ended up with the snow crab legs.  They were a might bit better than the ones I had last night, but overall, to me the food was average.

For dessert, I got key lime pie, and it doesn't even come in the same ballpark of being nearly as good as the chocolate peanut butter pie I had last night at The Original Oyster House.  Peg Leg Pete's was, however, fairly affordable, and The Lovely Steph Leann thought her meal was pretty good, and thought her dessert, the bread pudding, was exceptional. 

Next, the company.  Perfect.  Dixon and I have known each other since 1993, and were friends all through college, and during dinner, I'm sure we bored the stew out of The Lovely Steph Leann with our "Oh, I remember when you..." and "Do you know that..." and "When you did that, I..." tales.  She was quick to include The Lovely Steph Leann though, frequently turning to her and saying, "Oh my gosh, did d$ ever tell you about the time he and..." to which my wife would say, "No, tell me!" and there goes the story.

Dixon and d$, circa 1998, when we were young and
fabulous.  Now?  We're not as young but just as
 The kids were cute as could be, as I talked with both Emma and Cooper during dinner, and laughing because, like their mama, neither was shy.  I told The Lovely Steph Leann and Dixon both that I thought they would hit it off well... I said that Dixon didn't take any guff from me in college, and The Lovely Steph Leann doesn't take any now. 

Dinner lasted about an hour or so, then the three adults went down to the playground and let the kids play, while we camped out on barstools in the sand.  We tried to talk about the old days, there wasn't much we could recall, I guess the Lord knows what He's doing aaaaafter aaaaallll.....  it was a great time, and Dixon even gave The Lovely Steph Leann the invite to call her when she's back again, even if I'm not there. 

By the way, is there a rule that every restaurant on the beach has to have a gift shop?  Like, The Original Oyster House has a gift shop.  Last time we went to Hemingway's Grill... gift shop.  And tonight at Peg Leg Pete's... gift shop.  The Tom Thumb store next to Peg Leg Pete's has a gift shop.  As we passed by the police station, I glanced in, and there's a gift shop.  Most of the items were made by criminals, license plates and such, but still.  I went into the gift shop here at the Hilton, and there is a gift shop inside the gift shop.  The shot glasses say "Pensacola Beach Gift Shop's Gift Shop". 

And so here I am, at the Hilton on Pensacola Beach, in the business center.  The Lovely Steph Leann is next to me, on her own laptop working on Creative Memories stuff, while I'm blogging a bit.  But that's all I got tonight... this is kinda one of those blogs that isn't really interesting to anyone but me, but it will give me a reference point and jog my memory when I want to come back and reread...

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