When we arrived on the 10th, our first priority was to finish our taxes and get that monkey off our backs! Finally done and delivered electronically before the 15th to our financial guy. Whew, thank goodness! We know they have to be done every year but why do we always wait until the last minute?
Most of our busy-ness though was from doing fun things – riding our bikes and hanging out on the beach or by Campbell Lake, taking walks, sitting around the campfire, searching and finding a few geocaches at the park and nearby, getting my hair cut, going out to eat, the not so much fun usual errands (one stop was to get spare keys made for the coach at Ace Hardware) and enduring more crazy weather.
The weather here was perfect on most days in the low to mid 70’s and just a bit chilly at night. Though a few days after our arrival, we had another bad t-storm and a cold front moved in, then the temps plummeted to the 50’s during the day and low 40’s at night. Quick! Get out the sweats again and turn on the fireplace!
On another night, we had another bad t-storm with more rain (think we got about 4″ of rain) which lasted into the next day. When it finally stopped late in the afternoon and the sun started to make an appearance, we took a walk around the campground which was tough because some areas were so flooded, the roads were impassable without getting our tootsies wet. And some of the coaches on Palm Circle now had waterfront sites – got any boots anyone? Most of the sites in the tenting area were flooded – I shudder when I think about being in a tent in the midst of a bad t-storm!
That night after the rain, Rob had gone outside to do something when he called me over to the door, telling me to listen. Wow, what a noisy cacophony! Too loud for bugs, probably frogs? Not sure if they are singing cuz they were happy after all the rain or mating or what but it was pretty cool. It most definitely had something to do with the rain – we didn’t hear them again after that night. Want a taste of the outdoors? Perhaps you can use this sound byte to lull you to sleep at night. NOT!
For those of you who have followed our travels, you probably know that we tend to be creatures of habit (that sounds better than saying we are boring), often going to the same places over and over again! That held true here. We had talked about trying a few different restaurants for lunch but after reading some of the reviews and looking at the menus/prices we ruled those other restaurants out.
One morning we went back to Another Broken Egg in Grayton Beach for a late breakfast. Since it was so late in the morning, I opted to have their Simply Salmon which was southwestern seasoned salmon seared with onions, peppers, garlic cloves, mushrooms and asparagus over wilted greens, topped with jicama slaw and served with brûléed lemon. It was delish – I was so glad that I ordered that instead of the usual eggs. I would most definitely have this again! Rob had his usual favorite – 2 eggs poached over corned beef hash.
After breakfast we decided to take a ride to Seaside (we had been there in 2012) which is an unincorporated master-planned community and a very popular tourist destination. It is also where the film The Truman Show with Jim Carrey was filmed. Bad move! Major traffic jam on the main street and bicyclists everywhere! Not sure if something was going on or if it was because it was lunch and everyone was headed for the “Airstream Dining” area (see our 2012 post) or just normal Friday crowds but it was really, really busy. We thought about parking so we could walk around but decided against it. Rob turned down one of the side streets so we could head back and circumvent the traffic on the main drag.
Rob had wanted to go to the Saucony Outlet store to get some new sneakers (he had been talking about this since last November) so we went to breakfast at the Aegean Restaurant which was close to the outlet stores. Nice place with good reasonably priced food. I had an omelet and Rob had poached eggs on corned beef hash. After breakfast, we went to Saucony where we both bought new sneakers.
And then Stinky’s Fish Camp beckoned to us for lunch not once but twice! One day we went there around 3 pm, not realizing that they only served lunch until 2:30 pm. The “between lunch and dinner” menu was much more expensive so we ended up leaving, stopping at 98 BBQ for a quick bite to eat. We both had beef brisket sandwiches with a side – I had onion rings, Rob had fries. It was good but the brisket was a little dry and not as good as LA BBQ back in Robertsdale, AL!
To get our Stinky’s fix, the next day we went back before 2:30 pm. Ah, yes, blackened catfish served over gouda mashed potatoes and topped with a crawfish and corn cream sauce was my lunch choice ($15,95) on our first visit. OMG, it was so delicious! The waiter thought I was kidding (I wasn’t) when I said I wanted to pick up the plate and lap it so I get savor every drop of the sauce. Rob had the fish tacos ($8.95) which were excellent as well.
Then the day before we were leaving, we went back again to have a farewell lunch. This time we shared 1/2 dozen BROILED oysters (this time we made sure they were cooked!), topped with garlic and butter as an appetizer. Excellent! Followed those and split a bowl of their super gumbo. Usually they have either a chicken/duck or a seafood gumbo. The super gumbo has all of it – lots of pieces of chicken, duck, crawfish, shrimp, okra and rice in a delicious, smokey and slightly spicy broth. Really good!
They had a redfish special on cheese grits that I was tempted to have but we had heard about their delicious crawfish pie from other people but it’s not on the lunch menu. But when we were there the first time, we started a conversation with the couple at the table next to us who were from Plum Island, MA and were also staying at Topsail. He had ordered the appetizer portion of the crawfish pie ($10.95) which he said was excellent. So Rob and I each ordered that. Oh my, it certainly lived up to its reputation! It actually was similar to a crawfish étoufée topped with a crust and was so rich and filling, I can’t imagine how anyone could eat the much larger dinner portion.
We had stopped by the registration office at Topsail during our stay to ask some questions about their volunteer (work camping) program thinking that we might want to do that at Topsail next year. It only requires that we each work 15 hours a week and in return we could stay at no cost on a site in an area just for work campers – this area is adjacent to Palm Circle, is very nice and all the sites have full hookups. The ranger gave us two applications to fill out explaining that we would need to talk to Fred who manages the program there.
After we got back from Stinky’s on our last day at Topsail, we walked to the office to drop off the applications. Unfortunately Fred doesn’t work on weekends but the ranger assured us he would get our applications to him on. After our walk, Rob took a bike ride down to the beach (I decided to be lazy). Apparently the heavy rain on Friday caused some heavy outflow from Lake Campbell that caused some havoc with the beach as you can see by the pictures.
The next morning it was time to sadly say goodbye to Top Sail – and to Florida for that matter! Until next time….sigh!