40 years and it seem s like yesterday. We spent our 40th anniversary in MGM, I was sharing with 24 teachers in a Teacher Certification Class at Evangel Church. So, due to my assignment, we missed out on our actual date. But we did spend some time at the beach – on the same sand that we shared on our honeymoon. Let me take you back.
It was a hot Alabama summer in 1972. We were just 15 minutes late. I had booked the bridal suite at the Gulf Breeze Holiday Inn. We arrived at 6:15 pm in our new UNair-conditioned Chevy Nova, to check into our bridal suite, only to find out they had already rented our room to someone else! Bummer!
FY: There were no cell phones back then to call ahead, and no credit cards to hold the room! We did the best we could and stayed at the downtown Ramada for one night.
I called Holiday Inn to tell them about our predicament – thankfully, they had another plan for us. A brand new Holiday Inn had just opened in Navarre Beach in July – just about an hour East of Pensacola.
Back to 2012: Navarre Beach Holiday Inn was a wonderful place. We loved it. It was right on the beach with an outdoor pool and an indoor restaurant. As the years passed, it grew to become a bigger and better hotel with an indoor and an outdoor pool. We even took our kids back there to enjoy the beach with us. Memories that we will always cherish. Sadly, hurricanes came and they had to build and rebuild the Holiday Inn. Apparently someone at corporate HQ thought one too many and now all that remains is part of the parking lot, 2 lonely street lights and the 3 flag poles.
So, this year, we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Navarre and drove over to the beach. Sat on the same sandy beach and swam in the same ocean. We collected shells and I got to hold the hand of my dream girl again.
Forty years may have changed the scenery on Navarre Beach, but that girl still takes my breath away. And those 15 minutes of time was a God send. Navarre became our beach forever.
To Jan: I will sing it with The Spiral Staircase … I love you more today than Yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow! (Let’s go for 40 more!)