Sunday, April 23, 2017

Beach chairs in South Walton

Your ready to spend time at the beach. Gotta make some decisions like which beach, what to take in the cooler, what towels, toys, etc. One of the most important decisions is what to sit your bottom on. There are many ways to sit at the waters edge but for most people a chair is the most comfortable. But which kind? Arrange for a beach gear service and have them set it up for you or bring your own?  If you are at a resort, you may have to use a rental service but generally, South Walton beaches give you the choices. Here are a few pros and cons.
The Bring Your Own Option
Pros:
BYO is cheaper than a service.
Its easier to move BYO chairs with the change in tide line.
Choice of cheerful colors.
Chaos. Not everyone likes the chaotic set-up of individual sun worshippers out there every which way but I think it’s the most fun aesthetically.

Cons:
You do the manual labor getting them to and from the beach everyday.
You are probably not going to be as good at getting the umbrella to stay up.
If you don’t get out there early on a busy day it can be tricky to find a good spot.
Beach Chair Rental
Pros:
They do the manual labor.
They get down to the beach EARLY to set-up.
Order. Lined up beach chairs and umbrellas are symmetrically pleasing.

Cons:
Expense. Beach gear rentals can be pricey. Shop it. 
Order. When it’s busy, it is busy for everyone. At the public accesses, even the rental services maneuvering between themselves. Folks that bring their own chairs can set-up anywhere so eventually may break-up the orderly rows.

Rules and regulations. I’ve been in Walton County for 15 years and cannot keep track of the rules with any certainty so don’t quote me on anything. There are HOA rules, county rules, state rules and federal rules, private beachfront property owner rights and there are beach vendor territories and rules that must be considered. The rules are very confusing. The one that gives me the most guidance is the customary use ordinance. The customary use ordinance was passed and went into effect April 1, 2017. As of this posting, April 23, 2017, we beach goers have a right to use the beach respectful of specific guidelines. You can find out exactly what that means by reading the ordinance. To me it says keep 15’ away from the toe of the dunes on any beach, no smoking, no tents, no bad behavior. Walton County also enforces the Leave No Trace ordinance so take out what you bring in every day and for the safety of turtles, birds and humans please fill in any holes you dig. And of course the best rule is to have fun while being nice to one another because no matter what you are sitting on, you are lucky to be here enjoying the Florida panhandle beaches. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day Humans

I asked someone this morning if they were going to march. He said, "science got us into this mess." Maybe. But I'd put my money on greed.  Either way it stands to reason that science is the only thing that will open our eyes to the consequences of our actions and hopefully, will help us find ways to heal what ails our beautiful blue planet. Anyway, I believe in "environmental and climate literacy" but it seems I'm not much of a marcher. Still, I'd like to go on the record as being pro-science. 

This is also a good day to take a moment to remember two important spring events we should never forget: 
The Deepwater Horizon BP disaster, April 20, 2010 and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, March 24, 1989. 


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Happy Earth Day fellow humans. To Life!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring break 2017 early morning


Not many people on the beach before 9am but after 10am the beach starts to get crazy busy so I am more likely to enjoy the beautiful Florida spring weather sitting on my porch this time year. 


Tourist forecast: While the first week of April was jamming, through the middle of May will be calmer. We locals get a break and gear up for the summer months.