Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Local Tourist: Goofy Golf

I live in a tourist town. Well, I live on the outskirts of a tourist town, but I grew up in the thick of it. Long lines of traffic trying to cross the Hathaway Bridge; learning early on that eating at a restaurant on the beach was only an option between September and February; working at condos and restaurants, catering to the out-of-town guest who generally brought a maximum amount of rudeness and a minimum amount of tips with them on vacation.

There are days when I wonder why anyone would want to live somewhere like this. And then, I actually venture out and become a tourist in my own town and suddenly, I remember why. Sand between my toes, the Gulf of Mexico stretching out in front of me, this is what it is all about. People all over the country would trade places with me in a heartbeat (or at least, they think they would) to be able to have access to this on a daily basis. I take it for granted most of the time, but whenever someone comes to visit, I try to get out there and enjoy it like someone visiting would.

This is what lead me back to one of the quirkiest places in Panama City Beach: Goofy Golf. This mini-golf course is located across the street from the City Pier (or is it the County Pier? I've lived here for 28 years and I still don't know which one is which). It has been here since 1959. My mom has pictures of me and my brothers climbing on all of the crazy creatures and obstacles throughout the course.

My brother Michael was in town last month, along with my niece Brianna, so we decided to take a trip back in time and revisit this little slice of "when PCB was still fun."

The hole below might not look like a challenge, but it was more than just "send the ball down a sort of straight path." There was a moat around the castle (not filled with water, which makes it a rather Goofy moat) and if you didn't hit the ball hard enough, it got stuck in the moat. And this was just Hole 1!

On every outing, I must take at least one artsy shot of a building or statue or animal or "trees on sky"...this is the artsy shot. I call it "Chasing Windmills."

There is a rule I have put in place that MUST be followed when a trip to Goofy Golf is made. And that rule is: You MUST climb to the top of the Easter Island Statue Thing and you MUST stick your feet out through his nose.

Luckily, Brianna was a good sport...

 And so was Michael...

They practiced the Princess Wave from high above the course. Cheeseballs!

Bree found a little bit of shade under a giant mushroom...

Michael, um..."took a break."

Bree made a new friend.

And now, your moment of Zen.

And it was during this quiet moment that we realized, we forgot our wallets and couldn't pay to play. So, we made an exchange - they were more than willing to take the teenager off our hands as a form of payment. At least the dragon monster looks friendly. :-)

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