Okay. That's a lie. We have, however, been doing pretty well in the Eating All Healthy And Shit department as well as the exercise department and in the Being All Sober And Shit department.
At least during the week and thank GOD that it is Friday because I am sick and tired of such clean living, and desperately need a weekend break. As I have said, we are heading down to Apalachicola this weekend which, although it is not Las Vegas by any means, does contain a fair number of lovely restaurants AND bars, and one of my favorite bars in the world is in the Gibson Hotel where we are staying. Here is a picture of it that I snatched off Trip Advisor:
We love the Gibson Inn and have stayed there many, many times over the past almost-thirty years. It was built in 1907 which means that it is almost fifty years newer than the house we live in which cracks us up. You know how we Americans are- anything over thirty years old is historic and anything over a hundred years old is as ancient as the pyramids and looked upon with awe and wonder.
This weekend as are many, is a murder-mystery weekend at the Gibson. This means there will be people in costume wandering around trying to figure out clues and also, drinking heavily in the bar. One could find this annoying but I find it entertaining and the last time we were there at the same time as a murder mystery weekend, we spied a guy sitting at the bar in madras pants. Long madras pants. He was young. The wearing of the madras pants did not seem to be ironic. Bill Murray wore madras pants in Moonrise Kingdom but this guy was not Bill Murray. Believe me. He looked like someone who grew up at the Country Club. Like someone I would probably come to blows with were we to be so foolish as to discuss politics.
But. Looks can be deceiving. One never knows and so forth.
It used to be that fine dining in Apalach was pretty much relegated to the one restaurant in town which had a few items on the menu which were not fried. This was a restaurant in which a Boston Chef named Chef Eddie cooked. Chef Eddie had visited Apalachicola and fallen in love with it and he and his wife moved there and for many years he seemed happy there and we always enjoyed dining at whatever restaurant he was cooking in and indeed, for some time he had his OWN restaurant which was housed in a former mortuary, I believe, and he was a jolly round man who would recommend his freshest fishes, his favorite desserts.
Over the years however, we saw a decline in Chef Eddie. He appeared less jolly and his demeanor began to take on a more despairing appearance. No longer did he wax eloquently about Aplachicola and its charms. He appeared to be drinking with more enthusiasm or at least desperation.
And then, a year or so ago, we went down to Apalach and asked around as to where Chef Eddie might be. Had he closed his restaurant? Was he cooking in another establishment?
"Chef Eddie is dead," said the man we were talking to.
He was not sure whether Chef Eddie had actually and purposefully done himself in or whether his habits had done the job for him. The result, however, was the same and we shall never again eat Chef Eddie's pecan-encrusted grouper which is just very sad.
However, there are other fine restaurants in town now and I'm sure we will not go hungry. It is not a month with an "R" in it so we shall probably not eat oysters, even though it is legal to do so. We just don't think it's right. But again, one never knows. We are, after all, only weeks away from an "R" month and if the mood presents itself, perhaps we shall throw caution to the winds and consume some. Apalachicola is world-famous for its oysters, after all. When we first started going down there in fact, the oystering, shrimping, crabbing and fishing industries were still the most prominent features of the town. Now there are, besides the restaurants and bars, shopping establishments which cater to people who might wear madras pants in an un-ironic fashion and who have plenty of obvious disposable income. There is also a beautiful book store, a wonderful coffee shop, and the grocery store carries a large wine selection. There is no movie theater although there is a restored theater where plays and live musical performances occur, not unlike the Monticello Opera House.
Despite all of these changes, the air still smells of salt with a whiff of fish gut and one may sit at the bar with a guy who just came off the shrimp boat. The river, of course, is eternally there and as one dines beside it, one can still see those shrimp boats gliding by on their way out to the Gulf, their nets tied up, the powerful diesel engines chugging. There are still huge mountains of oyster shells outside the remaining processing plants and the great Apalachicola Bay remains as one of the most profoundly beautiful and important estuaries on the planet with its mixture of sweet and salt water where the oysters live and reproduce and where many of the great fishes and birds spend their nursery time before they are grown-up enough to move to the Gulf waters entirely. The oyster men and women still tong oysters from homemade boats in the ancient way which is backbreaking work in either the freezing cold or the baking heat.
Okay. I better go pack. It is Friday and I have spent all week taking decent care of my physical being and now it is time to head to the coast and take even better care of my spiritual being. Funny how I began with discussing the bars but it is truly the water which draws me back there over and over. We are taking the flats boat with us and hope to travel up the Apalachicola River a ways one early evening while we are there. We shall take our cocktail with us and let the people who murder-mysterying have our seats at the bar.
I'll take pictures and I'll tell stories about it all.
Happy Friday, y'all.