As I begin this post, I am revisiting personal pastimes of long, sticky drives down south with my family, and the changing smells from oak to native pine, to dewy marshes and mangroves. The Florida panhandle holds an abundance of my childhood memories. Winters were spent on my Grandparents' farm in Quincy, Florida, and I have raucous recollections of hopping hay bails, hunting for treasures in old barns, and slipping delicately through barbed wire fences to spook neighboring cows.
Whenever my parents had more vacation days and patience to spare, we hit the road to Apalachicola, Panama City, or Pensacola. As a child, the crisp white, sandy beaches and emerald hues of the Gulf were all I ever imagined heaven would be like.