YES, I MUST ADMIT THAT I AM ONE OF THOSE MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN WHO GO OUT IN THE MIDDAY SUN… (To quote my old friend, Rudyard Kipling) HOWEVER….. even yours truly has certain limits when it comes to heat waves which are never-ending. Thus, after 21 days of record high temperatures (i.e., over 100 degrees!) I have stopped asking my wife to mow the lawn during the afternoon hours. (She is still encouraged to pick weeds. No sense in spoiling her.) Lord, whatever you’re baking outside…it’s done! How hot has it been? I almost called my congressman so I could be around something shady! Seriously folks, our heat index is somewhere between OMG and WTF. But no sense complaining about the weather, for as we all know, ain’t nobody gonna do nothing about it.
Speaking of weather (the enjoyable kind) we just returned from a marvelous trip to Rosemary Beach, which is located on Florida’s “Emerald Coast.” In keeping with our pursuit of personal bankruptcy, we stayed at the Pearl Hotel, which is quite lovely. (and very pricey) Our room overlooked the most scenic section of the Gulf, and though expensive, we were given some (free) homemade cheddar cheese and lots of good coffee. The food at the hotel is excellent, and the folks who work there simply marvelous. This part of Florida has the best sand in the state (white and soft) and all of the beaches are clean, safe, and charming.
By the way, for those of you who live in Texas, there are direct flights from Austin to Panama City Airport on a daily basis. (Via Southwest Airlines) Flight time is about one hour and fifty minutes, and the airport is only 20 minutes from Rosemary Beach. Sure beats driving on I-10. If you want to check out the other gorgeous towns along the coast, I’d recommend a visit to Alys Beach, Watersound, Seaside, Watercolor, or Santa Rosa Beach. (Destin, further east, is pleasant but very crowded during the summer.) Wherever you go, bring plenty of sunscreen and lots of loot!
Speaking of loot, the FINALISTS of the 2022 National Indie Excellence Awards were recently announced in the New York Times, and I’m proud to report that my new history book, titled, GONE BEFORE GLORY, was chosen as one of this year’s finalists! This is truly a great honor for me, and as you can imagine, I’m on cloud number nine. (maybe even cloud ten!) The NIEA are open to all English language printed books, and books were submitted from small presses, mid-size publishers, university presses, and self-published authors. The prizes are quite generous, but the real value of the competition is rubbing elbows with some other famous authors, and being able to develop some literary friendships.
In any case, I always donate my winnings to charity, and for the rest of the year ALL royalties generated by my book sales will be given to some worthy folks, so now might be a good time to purchase a book or two for someone you love. (or for someone having trouble sleeping!) Just kidding about that last line. I think you will really enjoy GONE BEFORE GLORY, which has now won 10 national and international literary awards.
Well, if my computer talents hold up, I shall post a few photos of Rosemary Beach. So don’t forget to scroll down when you’re finished reading. I’d keep writing, but I must prepare myself (mentally, physically, and emotionally) for a wonderful evening of wining and dining with two of my favorite guests, the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee. The royal couple recently returned from a lengthy visit to Portugal and I’m anxious to hear about their cruise on the Douro River… which is surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Ah yes, so many travel destinations, so little money, I mean, time.
Incidentally, before you ask, my favorite restaurants in Rosemary Beach are Restaurant Paradis, La Crema, and Pescado. Please keep in mind that all require reservations, which should be made 3 years before you wish to dine. (Just kidding, but you should book a month out.) Of course, if you want to save some money, you can have a small barbecue in your room, but be careful. The fire alarms are very sensitive. Just saying.
Take good care of yourselves and have a wonderful summer. Love to all,