So here it is, the end of the journey.
We made the trip over the last bridge and out to Pensacola Beach and the new Surf and Sand Hotel. It is really nice and a great choice to spend the last day. We actually rode over Sunday. Tried to take our time because check in was not until 4:00 pm. Knowing that every hotel was completely booked on Saturday night, figured there wasn't much of a chance on gettting too early of a check in but most places have been so accomodating, thought they would be too! NOT! I expected it, so we said, well we will just go across the street and have a drink and wait, if you would please call when it is ok to check in?? OK she said! I told Mike, she wont call!! A gorgeous white sand beach was waiting for us across the street! We had our bikes so really could not take advantage of it, nor was there any hope of doing the feet in the water photo to include our bicycles! It was deep white sand and quite a drop down into the water at the edge. So I guess we will just have to go and have some lunch, a glass of wine and hope she calls! We did have a truly lovely place to wait on the patio of the Casino Beach Grill. Big fans blowing misty air, huge umbrellas, live music, a view of the blue water and white sand beach. Unlimited entertainment as we observed the endless variety of beach visitors! So fun to people watch, that is why we wear sunglasses, right?? It was a enjoyable way to pass the afternoon, but after 3 glasses of wine it was time to go and annoy the front dest person. It was 3:00pm and I had a feeling she was just being mean, making us wait because she could!!!
We walked over and got right in! Wonderful room, very beachy with happy colors inside to make you feel like you are on holiday! Pool out back, the bay right there too! Free use of paddle boards, kayaks and floating chairs! It is very nice and we are just across the street from the beach and restaurants! It is so nice in fact we decided to stay yet another day. This was the unexpected end to our trip and we wanted to celebrate.
We took full advantage of the pool in the afternoon once we finally did get into our room, then walked the beach as best we could. The slope down to the water made it hard to walk along the waters edge. The deep white sand of the beach was scattered with hundreds of blankets and sun baked bodies lumped on them, kite strings buried to anchor a fluttering kite or sand castles and plastic shovels with small children attached to the handle made it an obstacle course everywhere else! But being the troopers that we are, we walked along the beach and back thru the stunning empty beach homes and into town looking for excitement! Not really, we were only looking for a small bit to eat before we crashed for the night!
When we got back to the room (yes we did find a small snack but the lightning sent us and everyone else on the deck home!), we started our thought process all over again, should we continue on the trip or should we make it the end? It is emotionally exhausting trying to make a decision on things you just cant answer. You just have to make a decision. Our decision was to stop thinking about it get some sleep and we would know in the morning.
I think we both got a good night's sleep and this morning we were both on the same page. Going home was the right thing to do. Everything else that we might miss out on can be redone, but we could never go back if something happened to mom. We completed 4,400 miles, we have so many great memories and stories to tell, we are both settled on our decision to stop.
Today, our final day was spent in total relaxation!! The beach was pretty empty compared to yesterday, school started today. We did the beach thing in style and had quality beach time in 2 chairs under an umbrella, reading a book, listening to the radio, several cooling dips in the water and yes even a nap! A little lunch, glass of wine and a glass of beer and then one more beach activity I have wanted to try . . . paddle board! The hotel has boards to use in the warm water of the bay right out our door. I have always thought it would be great exercise, the ability to balance is so important and uses so many muscles it has to be good! Now keep in mind, if I am going to be in the water, I like it to be clear so I can see exactly what is out there! As we were getting our boards, we were given 3 important tips to remember if we did not want to fall in; 1.Keep your feet shoulder length apart. 2.Don't wobble and 3.don't bend over to paddle, stand straight. We were pointed in the direction of the sand bar "just out past that sign!" It is only 2 feet deep out there and you can stand up if you need to, that sounded good until he said "you don't want to get stuck in the black water between here and there . . .singrays and stuff". Well, thank you vey much, that did it for me!!!!! We managed to get up on the boards right away, I guess we were able to follow his 3 steps, but there is NO WAY I am floating into that black water!!!! So we paddled around the edge where we could see the bottom for about 5 minutes and that was that!! If we could have taken them to the ocean it would have been more successful, the water was so flat this morning and so clear, I for one would have been much happier!!!! But we both tried it!! Just not my thing I guess . . .but i could if i wanted to!
So that . . . Brings us to the earlier than expected end to our journey. It has been pretty amazing! We have done some intense riding, met the most unbelievable people and i believe new friends! We always learn a bit more about ourselves and each other.
I feel like I have more to say in the final analogy of our trip, but for now, I will close with one more huge heart felt thank you to all of you who have been there sending us love and support all along the way. Thank you and we love you!!!!