A week at the beach . . .

We must apologize for the sparse postings last week . . . not only was it a holiday week, it was also vacation week for some of our staff. One staff member and her family spent the week in Panama City Beach, Fla., pictured above, and reported back with tales of beautiful beaches, warm temperatures and daily swims in the ocean.

She also reported back with stories of nearly $3 per gallon for unleaded gasoline in Florida, and says the lowest price she spotted on the drive was on the return trip through Jackson, Mississippi. Prices there were $2.51 Saturday, she said.

She also says she didn’t spot a single tar or oil ball on the beaches, nor did she smell oil – she did, however, see a great many billboards advertising lawyers interested in meeting with those who have not received compensation for damages caused by the spill.

To see a few more photos of the beach,

Above, the sun peeks through the clouds during a world-famous Panama City Beach sunset.

Louisiana isn’t the only state famed for its alligators. Above, a pond inside St. Andrews State Park in Panama City is a beloved home of alligators. Although you can’t see it well in the photo, a smaller ‘gator is swimming around the reeds on the right side.

Above, Panama City Beach features a number of long fishing piers, which is where we captured this shot of a manta ray being reeled in by a fisherman. The fisherman, of Knoxville, Tenn., was so excited to catch such an exotic specimen that he briefly considered keeping the manta ray. Fortunately for the manta ray, the fellow’s wife talked him out of it.

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