I squirmed in my seat with frustration as I surveyed the long line of cars ahead of us. What idiot of a traffic engineer designed a four lane highway that feeds through a six lane toll booth and then dumps you onto a two lane bridge? The sign on the shoulder says “Foley Beach Express.” Foley Beach Parking Lot would be more appropriate. And then thank you very much, I hope you enjoyed your half hour of traffic hell, that will be $3.50 please to finally squeeze though the booth and merge into the single south bound lane to cross over to Orange Beach. We’d left home with ample time to make the trip. I had allowed for an hour to browse and sightsee before our 6PM dinner reservations at Villaggio. Now I wasn’t sure if we were even going to make it.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We’d booked tickets back in February to see Peter Frampton and the Doobie Brothers at the Amphitheater at the Wharf. The Amphitheater sits adjacent to the Wharf Marina, located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Orange Beach, Alabama.
It’s a delightful four hour motor sail from our marina in Pensacola, and on concert weekends we like to travel over on our boat, take a slip for the weekend, and vacation in our backyard as it were, enjoying the restaurants and activities the Wharf has to offer. In how many places can you dock your boat and walk to a top-name concert? Florida living at its best.
But not this time. We had to cancel our slip. There was not going to be a relaxing weekend lounging with boat drinks and good books. We just have too much to do. In February we knew we’d be starting our transition from dirt dwellers to Life On The Hook™. But we couldn’t have foreseen how fast the pieces would start falling into place once we got serious. Normally we spend every weekend we can from April to November out on the water. But it’s all we can do at the moment to keep up with the pace of transition. The season is half over, and we’ve been able to get out on the boat for only two weekends. We just have too much of this to do:
We promised the realtor we’d be ready to go on the market in the next few weeks. The work list is still very long, and the time grows short. We must work before we can play. But I know it will all be worth it in the end. These missed weekends on the bay will eventually enable us to depart on our waterborne search for perpetual summer.
We did make it to dinner on time by the way, but with only a few minutes to spare rather than the planned hour. As for the concert? The Doobie Brothers are still Rockin’ Down The Highway as good as they ever were, and Peter Frampton still Feels Like He Did, although it’s hard to adjust to hearing that voice, which hasn’t changed at all, coming out of a middle-aged bald guy.
But the real surprise of the evening was the opening act, a young new blues guitarist named Matthew Curry. I was shocked after hearing him perform to learn that he is only 19 years old. He played a short set, but it was all original music, and his talent has not gone unnoticed. Fender has admitted him into the Brotherhood of the Guitar. I think we’ll be seeing more of this young man in the future. I certainly hope so. Have a listen:
Not your typical boat music, but I do believe that a little Blues is good for the soul.
Now where did I put that paint brush…