The Place: Grayton Beach in South Walton, FL
The Drink: Mojitos, wine and an occasional G&T
Here’s a way not to end a perfect vacation – in a car wash in Auburn, AL furiously scrubbing off thousands of teeny white paint flecks from the lower sides of a black car.
We had driven through lower Alabama on the way home from Grayton Beach and had the misfortune of coming up behind a truck that was obliviously adding its own line down the road. “We should stop and see if we got paint on our car,” my husband said. We all agreed and then promptly went back to the hilarious interview of Twitter founder Biz Stone on the podcast of “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.”
An hour later as we were touring through the beautiful campus of Auburn, we remembered. Uh oh. We got out to look. The great speckled car. Luckily, we found a car wash where we totally took advantage of the all-you-can-wash-for-$7 policy. My son whipped out his pocket knife and slashed a beach towel into thirds and we all bent down and got to work scrubbing the car, tediously removing each speck.
But back to the beach. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are in South Walton. And each of the 15 has its own personality. There are excellent restaurants to enjoy as well.
Although we ate at our house in Grayton Beach, which I had found on VRBO, my favorite rental site, we had to visit a few old favorites, and add a few new ones to the mix.
• George’s. The problem with George’s is that everything on the menu looks delicious. But it
also serves one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. You can’t go wrong here. But do be prepared for long waits.
Christiano’s. A relative newcomer in Santa Rosa, this place is a warren of dining rooms serving excellent Italian fare at reasonable prices.
Marie’s Bistro. The charm of this small Mediterranean bistro comes from the enthusiasm and attentive service of the owners.
The Red Bar. A Grayton beach tradition, lines are long, the menu is short and drinks are cold. The main dining room is extremely loud. If that isn’t your thing, ask to sit on the patio.
La Loba’s Bakery. We set out for a lengthy bike ride under sunny skies, only to have high winds and a downpour overtake us. What better place to retreat than a bakery with freshly made scones and muffins?