Our unique travel story began last year, in the early spring of 2019 
when Marcia Murrah Payne invited me to accompany her to the beach and 
then immediately began putting together the details.  Mary Jo 
Worthington Dudley was given the date and accepted the invitation and 
Beverly Bidwell Crawford was invited and also accepted; suddenly our 
great escape to Panama City Beach was becoming a reality.

We had such a great vacation together that we promised to do it again 
one day and that day arrived the last day of January, 2020.  We had no 
idea that a named winter storm was going to descend on Panama City 
Beach near the end of the week but we made the best of it, before the 
torrential downpours began we were still able to shop, eat at our 
favorite restaurants, try some new eateries and then enjoy watching 
the churning and foaming Gulf from our beach front rooms.

We agreed to meet in Havana, Florida for the sake of convenience since 
Bev lives nearby at Lake Tallavana and Marcia, who lives in 
Tallahassee, is familiar with the quaint town since that is where she, 
her husband Tom and their friend Bev are active members of Salem 
United Methodist Church.  Mary Jo resides in Bainbridge so I am the 
only one who happily drives for hours to get there; my long driving 
miles are divided because I am able to spend the night with Brother 
David and Peggy Jo in my hometown of Richland.

Marcia reserved a two room suite at Panama City Beach and Resort; we 
unloaded our unbelievable amount of luggage and food items and quickly 
settled into our routine.  We take enough homemade items to share for 
breakfast and by mid-morning we are deciding how to spend the day.   
Most days we are out shopping and eating and most evenings we are 
relaxing at the condo; being wintertime we can only gaze at the Gulf 
but it is something we all enjoy doing from the extensive deck/porch.

One of my cadet daughters from the days at Georgia Military College 
works nearby and she invited us to attend an evening event at the 
Wyndham Properties and we happily accepted.  Desiree Simone (Dugger) 
is a talented entertainer; we enjoyed her singing performance and 
later she joined our circle of friends, which was such a treat for us 
mature ladies.

One of the funniest stories that came out of our conversations was the 
disclosure about the brown shoes.  It seems that Mary Jo had been on 
an extensive hunt for a particular kind of brown colored shoes and one 
day like magic, there they were, in the back part of a sale display 
and they were the correct size.

At the checkout counter, as the clerk checked the shoes for the 
correct size, she found an unexpected surprise in the box; there 
hiding in one shoe was a partially eaten chicken leg.  Needless to 
say, Mary Jo declined to purchase the selected footwear.


Brenda S. Brown 


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