In South Walton, opportunities to eat, dink, and be merry are seldom passed up, and last week was a prime example.
I want to thank Seagrove Garden Club's president Jan Schott and its members for again honoring me with an honorary membership in the club. The membership held its monthly luncheon meeting last Wednesday at Nick's at the beach. Russ Barley again presented his holiday decorating program to the delight of members. Among those seen enjoying were Tim Ryan, Donna Gibson, Jan Schott, Tricia Sloan, Cobb Sheriff, Caroline Wallace, Lynn Abbit, Georgeen Newell, Cappy Testa, Jo Handley, Patti Johnson, Sharon Jenkins, Deb Eberhart, Jan Stanko, Betty Mustaschio, Judy Sullivan, Tricia Fiorenza, Kathy Carpenter, Mary Slater, Sarah Modica, Donna Vann, Irene Sopa, and Rachel Strawbridge.
That evening, George and Ann Hartley hosted a Merryvale/Starmont wine dinner at George's in Alys Beach. Michael McIntosh of Republic National Wine Distributors poured a variety of excellent wines ranging in value from $20 to $85 that perfectly complemented Chef Gregg Smith's fabulous six-course dinner of squash ravioli, butter poached prawn, a sea scallop stack, sesame seared beef tenderloin, pork tenderloin schnitzel, and topped off with a dark chocolate gateau. Barron and Nancy Strother, Linda Miller and Darrel Russell, and Susan and Phil Benton were some who enjoyed.
Last Thursday night was the annual Beaujolais Nouveau celebration held at Grand Boulevard. Seven eateries served French-style dishes such as bison on a bun, rabbit and veggie croissant, and French-style pastries to attendees. Stacey, Mike and Samantha Brady, Malayne and Robert DeMars, Rhonda Chaloupka and James Murray, Gary and Jan Serafin, Denise Creehan, Cara Roy, and Michael McIntosh were there.
Baytowne Wharf hosted a Sparkling Wines & Holiday Lights champagne taster Saturday night, as an appetizer to the annual Sandestin Wine Festival. Marlin Grill's baked brie and Bistro Bijoux's deviled quail eggs were divine. I saw Peggy and Kent Lillie, John Stasko, and Jim Sheperd and his daughter there.
Also Saturday night, Marinella Monk gave husband Robert a huge catered 70th birthday party at their beautiful home on the bayou. John Stasko, Sandy and Greig Buckley, Dom and Tammy Damiano, Kay Crawford, Toy and Rena Arnett, Matt Babcock, Dennis and Andrea Soltis, Dr. Adil Ceydeli, and Laurie Hood, were some who attended.
Barbara May hosted 35 members of Women's Art Network at her beautiful Grayton home Nov. 12.
I saw Heavenly and Bill Dawson in Seaside on Sunday.
I can now report that I have seen "Skyfall." After the movie, I visited Cuvee Bistro and enjoyed their escargot, fried oysters, and sliders. Sandy and Greig Buckley, and Demetria and Richard McNeese, were also there.
Congratulations to Dale Smith and Brian Stackable on their recent nuptials.
Helen and John Barnhart of Seacrest celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary Nov. 19. They were married at the base chapel at Bitburg Air Base, Germany, in 1966 where Helen was a fifth grade teacher for the DOD and John was a captain in the USAF. They re-visited the town several years ago and it has really changed after 40-plus years, said John. As opposed to two-lane roads around this rural area, they now have big autobahns everywhere. But they found the house where they lived for three years in the little village of Ehrang just north of Trier. “Really brought back fond memories of our ‘three-year honeymoon’ in Europe,” he said. Congratulations!
Columnist Ron Hart saw Shaquille O'Neal at CNN headquarters.
Fodor's Travel has recognized Sandestin as a "Fodor's Choice" property. This distinction was given to Sandestin for service, quality, and value in 2012.
Convention South magazine awarded Sandestin as a "Reader's Choice" recipient, for exemplary service for group events as rated by professional meeting planners. This marks the third consecutive year that Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has received this award.
Wish a "happy birthday" on Thanksgiving Day to 30A Posse’s Wayne Carlisle, Sandestin’s Carol Saucier, and Kim Pall.
Friday to Realtor Sherry Carter, Sandestin’s Denise Dobolek and Ray Kostick.
Monday to wine man Chan Cox.
Tuesday to Joan Luchese and Jan Stanko.
Wednesday to Fire's Brenda Darr, artist Robin Wiesneth, and wine man Shane Hicks.
Thursday to Jamie Conley, Franko "Washboard" Jackson, and DuRee Stewart.
And Friday to Gale Culling and sports lady Tina Harbuck.
I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Spend it with family and/or loved ones!
Deborah Wheeler is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Walton Sun. She may be reached at 654-8443, 687-1239, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @WaltonSunDeb. Party Line appears weekly in The Sun.