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My INCREDIBLE Trip to Visit Tuck!!!

Feb 05, 2011 - 14 comments

I'm sorry that I haven't had the time before now to update you all on my visit to see Tuck and Her Hubby!!  I've been a little busy here at home {as usual} BUT NOW I have some time and I'm VERY anxious to let you all know what a WONDERFUL time was had by ALL parties!!!

My 12 hour plane ride was WELL worth it, to get to my FINAL Destination.  First I went from Phoenix to Detroit, MI and from there to Atlanta, GA and FINALLY to Panama City, FL.  I arrived at approximately 12:40 pm and was the last person to leave the plane as I had wheelchair assistance throughout all of the changes at the different terminals.Thank Heavens my Daughter did that as I would have NEVER been able to make it through the airports in time for my connecting flight without it.  In Atlanta alone, I was pushed onto an elevator and went down 2 stories to the TRAIN, yes a TRAIN, to take us to ANOTHER concourse, and then onto ANOTHER elevator to take us BACK up 2 stories to where the gates are. NOT counting the extreme distance that she pushed me WITH my carry-on luggage, cane, WALKER and my BIG purse.  The people at that work for Delta are EXTREMELY kind to us that need wheelchair help!!  When you have "wheelchair assistance" they AUTOMATICALLY move you up to the FIRST available row in your section to make it easier for you to get on and off and of course, they board you first!!!  That REALLY helps as I didn't have to stand and WAIT as others were trying to get their carry-on's into the overhead compartments.  The Flight attendant's help you with ALL of that and it REALLY makes flying a BREEZE!!!

Tuck and her Hubby had waited VERY patiently as the OTHERS exited the plane and came downstairs and when I was FINALLY wheeled to the elevator, I looked over the railing to the Coffee Shop below and there was Tuck  waving WILDLY up at me and I was waving JUST as WILDLY back at her!!!  Remember, I was BALANCING my walker on my lap BUT forgot ALL about that when I saw her.  :)  The reason it took me so long to get there was there were 3 people that had wheelchair assistance BUT only one wheelchair!!!  LOL

From the FIRST HUG, we started talking and we NEVER STOPPED until we had to hug Good-bye.  Her best Friend of MORE than 30 years was there at the airport with HER Hubby as they were picking up a Friend of there's that wound up on the SAME plane that I was on. :)  I hadn't seen her on the plane BUT she had seen me - not too many people with a cane and a walker, LOL.  

After we got ME unloaded of ALL the things that I was holding, I FINALLY got to give Tuck the LONG AWAITED HUG that we had been waiting for since we FIRST met on MH last April!!!  We ALWAYS knew that we had a connection because of the grief that we each had suffered.  The closeness that we had with our Dad's and the way that we BOTH were Caregiver's to our Parent's.  From that connection grew the Friendship over the month's.  We had shared so much of our lives BEFORE we EVER met 2 weeks ago, that we ALREADY were "Best and Dear" Friends!!! When we FIRST hugged it was as if we had been "separated" for many years BUT NEVER felt as though it was a FIRST meeting.  We already knew EVERYTHING there was to know about each other and therefore there was NO awkwardness between us. We TRULY felt that we had known each other our ENTIRE lives!!

So AFTER all of the introductions AND loading up the car we headed back to their CUTE little Cottage.  It's small, as Tuck has said, BUT it is SO CUTE and comfy!!!  Tuck has it decorated to the "T's" {as my Mom would have said} in a PERFECT Beach Theme with ALL of the Beautiful shells that she has collected in the months that she has been there.  Her cute Duplex is half-a-block from the beach and there are "TONS" of shells just laying on the beach.  The sand LOOKS as white as snow!!!!  I've NEVER seen sand that PERFECT.  It's PERFECTLY clean and SOFT and FINE!!!  ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!  The sunsets AND sunrises ARE just as PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL as Tuck has described. Everyone of them will "take your breath away"!! Tuck, as you all know, is a VERY accomplished Photographer and I was PRIVILEGED to see the MAGNIFICENT pictures that she has taken and Framed and hung on her walls.  She could EASILY be a PROFESSIONAL Photographer and sell her Lovely Pictures in some of the quaint little shops that line Mexico Beach!!

The first evening I was there, Tuck and her Husband and Friends took us to A BEAUTIFUL Restaurant in Mexico Beach where we could see the Sunset on the Gulf.  It was breathtaking and the seafood was "to die for"!!! {I had the Shrimp!} The food the ENTIRE week was DELICIOUS!!! They have WONDERFUL Restaurants in that area of the Panhandle. We ate in one that was upstairs, in Appalachacola {sp?}, that had the BEST shrimp and homemade Potato Chips!!  By the way, Tuck is an EXCELLENT cook too!! But then I bet NO ONE is surprised about that. There's NOT much that she ISN'T good at. :}  She makes an OUTSTANDING Chili - we had that one night as the weather was cool while I was there. She ALSO makes a GREAT Key Lime Pie!!  We ALSO ate at a FANTASTIC Restaurant called  "Uncle Ernie's" and I had the Crab Cakes.  There was SO much food that I took a LOT of mine home with me and finished it up the NEXT day.  I do that a lot as I don't eat very much at meals. :{   There was ALSO a GREAT Hamburger place in Pier Park that advertises how GREAT their hamburgers are and BELIEVE ME they WERE as great as they advertised.  I'm sorry but I don't remember the name of it as I don't have ALL of my stuff yet.  Tuck is shipping a lot of it too me because it would have cost me WAY too much money to by a 2nd suitcase AND pay the baggage fees for the airline.  :{  The information on the places that I saw are in the box that will be shipped. {Along with a BEAUTIFUL mirror Framed with SeaShells that Tuck bought for me as a gift.  It is the MOST BEAUTIFUL mirror I've EVER seen and will look WONDERFUL in my room!!! Can't wait to get it!!!  :}  She ALSO bought me the CUTEST shirt.  We had GREAT shopping trips!!!!

There's not too many places that they didn't show me while I was there!! Tuck and her Hubby are the BEST Tour Guides as they ALREADY know the area because they have been there since November!! There are MORE shops than you could EVER see in a year in that area.  Some offer many of the same things BUT each is STILL a little different from the one before it!!! Some of the MOST fun are the "Dollar Stores" as they have much of the same things that the OTHER stores have BUT of course MUCH cheaper than the "mainstream" stores. :)  It's ALWAYS fun when you can save money.  Anyway, that's what I like!!!  LOL  There was only ONE day that we didn't do much and it was a rainy morning and we were hurting a little so we took it easy - STILL went to Wal-Mart - but that was about it.  :)  

We TALKED incessantly!! Whether we had JUST awakened and were in our robes OR were driving to yet ANOTHER adventure OR were back home in the evening and tired - the talking NEVER ceased!!!!  We would ACTUALLY fall asleep talking - Tuck on the Sofa and me right beside her in the recliner!!  LOL

We took SO many pictures that there will be NO PROBLEM remembering the GREAT time that we had OR the places that we saw.  The FUN part was getting to see and do these things together. Getting to talk in PERSON instead of holding a phone to your ear OR texting OR e-mailing OR PMing each other on MH.  All we had to do was "open our mouths and talk"!!!!  And BELIEVE me we DID!!!!

Some of the best parts were driving to our destination as EACH time you look out at the Gulf it looks DIFFERENT!!! A lot of the highways we took ran right along side the Gulf and when it didn't the scenery was STILL Beautiful!!!!

Florida scenery is like no other.  Just as AZ scenery isn't like any other.  That's what makes Florida different from MOST states!!  My Husband, Jean, was from Florida so I was VERY familiar with the state as I've visited there for 14 or 15 years straight and drove through the Panhandle EVERY time that we went. BUT NEVER that close to the Gulf.  We were ALWAYS  on Interstate 10 going to Kissimmee, so I NEVER got to see that Beautiful part of the Panhandle before.  It was a PRIVILEGE to get to FINALLY see the Beauty in it!!!  Believe me, Interstate 10 is a VERY LONG AND LONELY drive!!!  The roads that I was on with Tuck were Breathtakingly Beautiful!!!!  

You know Tuck and her Hubby asked me what I liked the BEST about the Trip, my answer was "just getting to MEET Tuck"!!! That's what WAS the VERY BEST for me.  The REST of the trip was the "icing on the cake" as far as I was concerned. There was NOTHING that was dull or boring or not fun.  I LOVED EVERY SECOND of it.  I WILL be going back AT LEAST once next year.  I've been invited back to visit for 2 weeks in the fall and 2 weeks in January or February!!  Unfortunately, I won't be able to do BOTH of those as I can't afford it moneywise {unless I win the LOTTERY} BUT I WILL be back for ONE of those times and it WILL be for 2 weeks next time.  

Tuck and her Hubby are NOT ONLY the perfect Tour Guides BUT are the MOST GRACIOUS Hosts and Hostess that I could EVER hope to have!!! Tuck and I have ALWAYS felt like we were Sisters BUT NOW I truly feel a part of Tuck's ENTIRE Family!!! I even got to meet one of her boys via Skype!! Tuck ALSO knows that she AND her Hubby are part of MY Family here in AZ, TOO!!  She is EVEN an Adopted Grandmother to MY 2 Granddaughters!! They talk to her on the phone and have been doing that for MANY months now!! :)  The beautiful part is I NEVER was made to feel as if I were a guest - I was ALWAYS a part of the Family!!

They were EVEN gracious when we had to leave for the airport at 4:15 AM to get me there for my 6:30 AM Flight home!!!  NEXT time I fly I HOPE that the times will be MORE reasonable. But considering that the ticket was "FREE" I'm SURE not going to complain!!!  LOL   It was EXTREMELY difficult saying Good-by to people that I have grown to love as Family!!!!  You ALL can relate to that for sure. :{  We had KNOWN that the time would be coming BUT that week FLEW BY!!!!  It seemed that I'd JUST arrived the day before and then it was time to go.  I NEVER realized how FAST 8 days would fly by!!!  So once we turned loose of each other and I went to get "patted down" {the artificial hip sets of their detectors BIG TIME} the tears flowed for the entire trip to Atlanta!!!  It was VERY difficult to leave Tuck and her Hubby BUT now we are back to TEXTING or E-MAILING or PMing on MH or TALKING on the phone once again until NEXT time!!!!  

The ONE thing I know is that we will be seeing each other FREQUENTLY.  This IS a life-long Friendship that will NEVER end. I feel so VERY BLESSED to have met a Friend that I've become so close to at this stage of my life and of ALL things "on the INTERNET"!!!!!  I NEVER would have believed it possible UNLESS it had happened to me.  

That's ANOTHER blessing that I owe to MH.  Not only do I have this INCREDIBLE Friendship with Tuck BUT look at all of the OTHER Friends I have met here on MH.  I am TRULY BLESSED!!!!

Much Love and {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} to ALL who read this.........Mama Sherry  :}

Tuck - THANK YOU once again.  I can't wait until we are together again and relaxing and "gabbing" up a STORM!!!
You and your Hubby have ALREADY given me a LIFETIME of Memories!!!  Much Love, Your Big Sis  :}