Leaving Carrabelle beach we continued west on 98 to East Point. It had a few potential parking spots for stealth camping as well as a few authentic Florida looking seafood restaurants. We didn't want to leave this area without getting Derek some oysters - this IS oyster country.
But - we just kept driving - you just never know what is down the road - 'we can always come back' we said to each other.
SO GLAD WE CONTINUED ON!
What did we find? Apalachicola - I can only now say it correctly - a pal ach i cola - it takes awhile to master.
Anyway, if someone had taken a picture of our faces as we drove in I think our jaws would have been dropped. What is this place? How come we have never heard of it? Actually, if I had been paying a bit better attention - Robin from Authentic Florida - had sung it's praises.
Our first stop after parking on the street was the visitor center - a map was a must.
It was late - almost 5:00 - almost quitin' time for this little place. After speaking with the visitor center lady and finding some much needed tourist info - including the best place to eat - we walked over to Papa Joe's.
Papa Joe's is one of those laid back kinda places at a marina where everyone goes for the food - not really the decor - I think. Anyway, Derek was pleased with his order of a dozen 1/2 shell oysters. He hadn't had any like this since Moon Dogs in Texas back in 2008.
I think Cassia was in the process of saying 'yucky' as mom was shaking her head in agreement. She and I were pretty happy with our shrimp poboy and fries.
Since it was getting late, and a bit cool we headed back to the truck and moved it over onto this vacant area beside the visitor center. Stealth camping is what we call it. Obvious you say - I guess - Apalachicola's downtown is very quiet at night - no one bothered us at all. Derek did go for a night walk around town with Roofous and was excited to report all he had seen - 'we'll go see it all in the morning'!
So - up pretty early - around 8ish - the 3 of us got ready and went for a walk. First through the downtown - out to the industrial area - to the boardwalk - the playground and back around through the downtown.
The Dixie Theatre - a bit of a landmark. A ballet from Tallahassee was performing the night we were there - if Cassia was older I would have been tempted to go.
The place that Derek spied the night before - hey - maybe we can buy a place like this - plunk our trailer on it and work on it over time. Nope - Derek found it on line - hmmm - prices are a teeny tiny bit higher then we would have expected - this place - an old tire shop with the tires stacked on the other side could be ours for a mere $150,000.
The old tire stores neighbour. Ahhhhh - now that would be the place for us.
We continued on to the boardwalk. A bit foggy that morning but it was pretty warm already.
I tried to sneak up on these brown pelicans. I got the picture just before they flew away.
Only then to have this fisherman sail by with his own flock. With my camera out I was ready for the shot.
And just so you don't think Apalachicola is just another pretty face - it IS a working town. Lots and lots and lots of oysters.
We went back to the trailer for breakfast and then went out again - this time with Roofous in hand - to the post office and the park. We were also going to stop in the Natural Wellness Store but it was closed since there was memorial in town that day.
After the post office I met up with Derek and Cassia at the park. There I met a couple from Huntsville, Alabama. They have a house down in Apalachicola and spent much time there in the past with their grand children - now grown. She (darn missed her name) was a nice lady to speak with - a realtor. She might come up to BC this summer with her 11 family members. So of course we gave her our info insisting that she contact us so that we can provide her with any info she needs to plan her trip up our way.
There were also a few boats from Michigan - wow - same idea as us - but with boats. I heard they were going down and around up to Seattle - now THAT is an adventure.
Apalachicola, Apalachicola, Apalachicola how we love thee!
Yes, my friends Micanopy MIGHT be moved out of top spot. It is a tough one. Micanopy still wins for a quaint, lost in time downtown. What we like about Apalachicola as a place to spend more time is that it is also quaint, has lots of shops to poke around in, is very slow paced, friendly people and there are beaches really close by - like Carrabelle Beach - which was very very quiet. I figure it is probably always that way.
I guess they would be tied - I would hate to have to pick one over the other.
Sitting here now looking at the pictures I feel like the charm of the place isn't really coming through. Not much I can do about that - but trust me - if you are going through - STOP and see for yourself.
It is a few days now since we were there. I think as we got further and further away, Derek and I became sadder and sadder. We probably should have lingered there a little longer. Yes - we did know that we found a great little spot - but - we have never been along this stretch before and were still excited about moving west. Now - sitting here in Fort Walton Beach tonight we realize it WAS the best.
As we were heading out we drove through the historic homes district and were now really kicking ourselves that we didn't do a walk about through the neighbourhood.
Darn, darn, darn!
Oh well - there is always next year - right?
Today's Interesting Link: Apalachicola reminded Derek and I of Cowichan Bay, just on a larger scale. Cow Bay is also a quaint little fishing village that we used to live close to on Vancouver Island. Being 10 minutes drive away we could be found there quite regularly going for pizza, strolling around the marina with Udder Guy's Ice Cream in hand. Boy do we miss that place. Check out the website - I LOVE the art work.