Where’s Walter – Perdido Key, Florida

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Relaxing on Perdido Key Beach
Napping with grand-daughter on Perdido Key Beach

Ah yes, Vacation! As a small business owner it is not too difficult to imagine that Walter and his wife, Debbie, don’t take too many vacations. They work a lot and most of their ‘vacations’ are also rolled into business trips like World Expo for Sign-A-Rama. I only say they are vacations because they travel to an exotic location like Las Vegas or Orlando, and usually have one night where they go out and have dinner… the rest of the time they are attending the trade show, listening to speeches, visiting with other owners, and learning as much as they can about how to make the best signs in the world.

Walter and Debbie Valiant on the Waverunner
Walter and Debbie Valiant on the Waverunner

However, this was a pure vacation trip. There are rumors that email was checked but I suppose we’ll let that slide.

The destination was Perdido Key, Florida! Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Yuck, oil!” Thankfully the beach was only closed for one day while a few oil globs found their way to the sand. The rest of the week was a rather enjoyable time of splashing in the surf, hanging out with herds (flocks? schools?) of stingrays, playing in the pool with grandchildren, eating absolutely delicious local seafood, and all in all having a splendid time.

Debbie’s sister lives in Gulf Shores, AL (just a few miles west of where we were), so we got to hang out with her a few times. We also saw the Blue Angels practice, visited the Naval Air Museum, rode waverunners, enjoyed the sun.

Grant in the helicopter at the Naval Air Museum
Grant in the helicopter at the Naval Air Museum

I do have a few comments about the oil spill. Without being overly dramatic about it, this disaster has the potential to destroy not just livelihoods, incomes, and habitats, but an entire culture as well. Being in Southern Indiana, imagine if a disease affected corn, wheat and soybean crops and nobody knew how to stop it. Sure that would be disastrous for farmers, truckers, and others who depend directly on the crops for their livelihood but it would also change our entire culture.

There are still tons of ways to enjoy the Gulf Coast and I would recommend visiting as a quality family vacation spot. You will have to get a bit creative with your time but there are still plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied: walks along the beach, hanging out at the pool, enjoying local festivals and community events. Visit Alabama, Western Florida and Louisiana and support the unique culture of the Gulf Coast.

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