The past month or so across 30A has proven to be eventful. The wine festival in Seaside was, once again, a spectacular event. Every year at this time, my bar is consumed with many regulars and friends who always seem to return. We see consistency from Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana … and yes, Walton County itself.
There are lights in the trees, jazz in the air, and red wine in every glass. We are blessed with the big Alabama/LSU football game every weekend during the festival. Who doesn’t find all those houndstooth skirts and purses humorous? And, yes, even Auburn fans represent a hard year. The reserve wine tasting on Friday night at Ruskin Place is always a must-do event. I mean who can argue with fat bottles of Cabernet and delicious food from Great Southern?
We had the Turn on the Town recently. And yes, Santa came to town. Beads were tossed, the children frolicked on the lawn, and lovers rode bicycles. Life is grand in this amazing piece of paradise that I am fortunate enough to call home.
I had the opportunity to attend my first Forrest Williams Backyard Boogie. If you haven’t done this before, check it out. I went to see the Owsley Brothers and it was amazing. Such a cool venue in a backyard. Chili dogs and cold beer … peace, love and harmony — all for the love of good music. You find yourself surrounded by people who have no superficial agenda. Everyone just wants to be nice, and chill with great friends and great music. Touché.
Thanksgiving was bustling across the A. Buffets, champagne, more buffets, more champagne. How can one not love this holiday? You see all your family, kiss children, hug elderly people who need it more often than not. You say your blessings, possibly cry for what you have and have lost. Then once again, we have football, and then, you get to drift off into turkey coma … ahhh, now that’s a holiday.
So now the season has slowed down. Many of our restaurants close for a while. Not mine, thank goodness.
The hospitality community now has time for our version of spring break. Pandora’s on Wednesday, Local Catch on Sunday Funday, McTighe’s any night. And, of course, on any random day of debauchery one must do Grayton Beach at the Red Bar and Shorty’s. Any of you who work in my field or live my life have done the loop. You know that for breakfast, you must go see Chestnut for a biscuit. The Farmers Market on Saturdays in Seaside is a must. I mean, who can go a whole week without a cake pop from Sweet Henrietta’s Treats. Then, we get fabulous produce, milk from the creamery, and awesome hot sauce.
The best thing that we all know is that tomorrow morning when we wake, we get to do something just equally as cool as the day before. We know that our friends and family of our hospitality community will be here or there, and we will all come out and support one another. We know we will have fun, smile, and make money, and we will sometimes spend in a night what we took all day to make — all for the love of fun. I’m not mad at it, and I’ll do again at the given chance.
Our lives on the 30A … this just doesn’t suck!
Shannon Lee Davis is a Santa Rosa Beach resident and bartender at Great Southern Cafe