My First Weekend in Panama City

Hello, my friends!  I hope your week is off to a good start.

I got a lot done Monday after my first weekend of not living in the Quad Cities in more than a decade and my first as an official Florida resident.

I left Friday morning at 6 a.m. and stopped at Patti’s 1880s in Grand Rivers, Kentucky,  for a leisurely two-hour lunch and visit with my friend since childhood, Steve.   I had garlic shrimp alfredo pasta and “Boo Boo Pie” for dessert (“a rich brownie type pie with a gooey, coconut macaroon filling topped with whipped cream and a cherry”).

Boo Boo

I witnessed a horrible 3-car accident in western Kentucky Friday afternoon and I had three idiots try to cut me off because they were in such a hurry.  I can see why Mario Andrettis do it, but in front of an inexperienced driver of a 15-foot U-Haul towing a car! Really?

On Friday, I drove 950 miles from Moline, Illinois, to Dothan, Alabama.  I definitely got what I paid for with the hotel.  But, after being up for 19.5 hours and driving all but three hours of that time, I didn’t care about the star rating or the loud party animals.  The free breakfast was good, but I quickly ate and hit the road.

The final 80 miles from Dothan, Alabama, to Panama City, Florida on U.S. Route 231 Saturday morning was very enjoyable.

I saw cow pastures, many peanut and produce stands, a bear crossing sign, and other fun stuff.


It was also fun to see the pine trees transition to palm trees closer to Panama City.

Two movers met me at my apartment to help move my stuff in and the only thing I lost was my computer desk.  One side of the “fake wood” broke.  Ironically, it sat in my bedroom at my old house for eight years and never had a computer on it!

My washer and dryer was delivered Saturday evening, my cable and internet was hooked up Sunday, and the gas was turned on Monday morning.

With no gas, I had to take two cold showers, but it was exhilarating.  Good thing it was in the 80s during the day and it was Florida and not Alaska.

My apartment is spacious, but very awkwardly designed.  I had a hard time trying to figure out the logistics of the furniture for the living room and dining room.

I’ll post pictures when I’m done.  I still have a long way to go.  After sleeping two nights on the couch, I got my bed set up and it felt nice to sleep in.

The apartment complex grounds are very cool.


Right off my balcony is a “duck pond”.

There are ducks everywhere, along with turtles, and, at least, two large fish — one that looks like a brown carp and one is white, possibly a koi?

I witnessed two funny things Saturday.  These two ducks got into a loud disturbance in the water.  I don’t know if it was a mating ritual gone bad or the two were fighting over another duck?


And, the ice cream truck drove through the complex and a parade of ducks was walking down the middle of the parking lot behind it!  Maybe they were following because of that annoying and creepy ice cream truck music?

Ducks Ice Cream Truck

I did a lot of running around this past weekend to buy things to stock the kitchen and to replace some things I simply forgot to pack.  I’m not a shopper, but I hit about a dozen stores.

I actually bought screwdrivers at Home Depot (how butch), but lost points by buying a plant and three planters. 🙂

Initial thoughts after my first weekend:

(1)  It was great having a Piggly Wiggly again.  It reminds me so much of my childhood in the South!  I found some good bargains there.

Publix was a fun store and I saw a Tres Leches cake that looked divine for when I have company (hint hint Tammy and Ray), and Winn Dixie was nice.  I’ll probably buy most of my groceries from Piggly Wiggly and Walmart.

(2) I was devastated to learn that my complex DOES NOT recycle.  But, from the chats I had around town, recycling is not big here.  Of Florida’s 67 counties, I learned that only twenty have a recycling rate of 50% or higher.  Bay County, where I now live, is not one of those 20!

(3) With that being said, I’ll only buy soda for work now since the 2-liter bottles go in the trash!  I’ll start drinking more water and tea (or fountain soda).

(4) I’ve now heard two different unflattering nicknames for this area, but I’m not going to let either of them cloud my judgment of the people or where I now live.  If people treat me with respect, I’ll do the same to them.  Well, I have a tendency to treat mean people nicer than I should.  🙂  Oh, the names were “Redneck Riviera” and “L.A.” (Lower Alabama)!


(5) On Saturday, I saw this very pro-Trump car and I don’t know if they could have found another place for a sticker!

While Iowa went red in the last presidential election and Illinois stayed blue, I definitely live in a “red state” and county now.

I thought about taking my rainbow Hillary sticker off my car before I moved here, but I got busy and never did it.  Now, I’m glad I didn’t!


(6) I loved listening to Sunny 98.5 FM on my way into town.  It’s the equivalent to Mix 96 in the Quad Cities!

(7) Since I didn’t get around to unpacking my kitchen, I bought a garlic-rosemary rotisserie chicken Saturday night and I’ve been eating that for three days now.  As I stated in my last blog, living alone, I don’t eat out a lot.  Since I love to cook, I can’t wait to make my first meal Tuesday.

Next weekend, my apartment should be unpacked and mostly decorated.  So, I plan on treating myself to Chinese buffet or Pizza Hut buffet next Saturday and hitting the beaches for the first time on Sunday!

(8) Finally, I start training at work this week.  I’m not sure when I’ll go on the air for the first time.  As soon as I have a new work Facebook page, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for checking out my thoughts after my first weekend in Panama City.  I’ll have another one soon with pictures of my apartment.

Now I just need to find a second job to pay for all the money I’ve been spending. 🙂

Yesterday, I checked into work for a couple of hours and saw the water for the first time at the Panama City Marina!




27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cyndi Emler-Hintz on May 9, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Glad you made it safely to Florida! Love the duck pictures!!!!!!!!


  2. Posted by DIXIE BULLOCK on May 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

    You are going to do great!!😁


  3. Posted by Linda Carroll on May 9, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Love your travel story. Hate it that you come so close and I never get to see you, but glad you could spend some time at Patti’s! Have a wonderful life at the beach, drive down 30A and enjoy the scenery.


    • Linda,

      I promise there’ll be another chance without a U-Haul truck. 🙂 Hope all is well. I can’t wait to see the beaches.



  4. Posted by Mary Hynes on May 9, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Sounds like you are doing great. I know what you mean about the landscape changing. When we drive out to AZ. Coming down from Flagstaff the pine trees change to cactus. I feel like I am home when I get there. I lived in Phoenix for 20 years. I miss it someday I will move back. But the visits will have to work for now. Have a great week.


    • Mary,

      Thank you for sharing your Arizona story. I hope you do make it back one day.

      Take care and enjoy your week!



  5. Posted by Sue on May 9, 2017 at 7:36 am

    You will be great in Florida…we miss you already!!!


  6. Posted by Darla Beach on May 9, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Excited for you, Peoples!


  7. Posted by Angie on May 9, 2017 at 9:05 am

    There are little tiny lizards everywhere. They are very friendly. I love to lay out and watch them play.
    There are no more beautiful sunsets than in Panama City, just breathtaking! On occasion you get to see dolphins playing with the sunset as s back drop. That is always a treat.
    So glad you are settling into your new home. Praying for you and Your family through this time of transition.
    I’m so very proud of you and the man you have become. God bless you and keep you.


    • Angie,

      I know I wrote a response to this today, but I don’t see it. Thank you very much for the kind words and the vote of confidence. I’m just me. 🙂 Look me up the next time you’re down here.



  8. Posted by bambi on May 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I spend many summer’s in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Even had kinfolk that have worked at Patti’s over the years. Loving hearing about your adventures. Be safe!


  9. Posted by Susan Meador on May 9, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Awesomeness. .Love reading how you are settling in. .happy happy for you..your blog brightened my day ♡♡♡


    • Susan,

      Thank you very much. You know I love to write and share. I want to make life an adventure. 🙂 I’m glad it brightened your day!



  10. Posted by Kimberly Taylor on May 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Great to see you are doing well…….I feel you are like family or old pals …( the ones I can still get a long with in my grumpy old age) ;O)



  11. Posted by Rosetta Farris on May 10, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    When you mentioned Party’s I remember seeing one when I was in Kentucky visiting my brother and his about 3 weeks I will be heading to Kentucky again.


  12. Posted by Rosetta Farris on May 10, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    When you mentioned Party’s I remember seeing one when I was in Kentucky visiting my brother and his about 3 weeks I will be heading to Kentucky again.


  13. you will be missed greatly. Another idea for you to think about is maybe once in awhile you could do a live video of some of your adventures (like going to the beach, feeding the ducks, etc,) so we may get a taste of what life in Florida can be like.


  14. Posted by Richard Kennedy on May 11, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Anthony ! Just wanted to say hi, glad you made it without any road problems, my birthday on the 13th and having a little rough time without Jay but then that’s not unusual and Florida was our intended base of operation for Scuba ,sorry about the downer didn’t mean for it to go that way . Oh ! You look very natural under the palms Ha! Ha! Ha! Are you on messenger ?🍀


    • Hi Dick,

      Thank you very much. Happy birthday a little early. If you ever make it down, the scuba is just for you since I can’t swim.

      Stay strong, my friend.



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