Change of plans for beach trip

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Each July, I attend a meeting in Perdido Beach. It’s the annual Alabama Press Association’s convention and, for each of the last two years, Greg has come along for the ride. Last year, his son joined us.

This meant several things. First, it meant Greg had someone to get in trouble with. Second, it meant there was someone else for me to wonder what exactly they were doing as I spent another hour in a meeting.

While those two were lingering in the sun and ordering frosty drinks, I was sitting through seminars on improving classified advertising. They were on the beach. I was in a boardroom. They were snacking on shrimp. I was eating cold chicken while listening to a luncheon speaker.

It wasn’t fair. And this year, I’m determined to change this. We’re going to the meeting a day before it starts, a sort of much-needed mini-vacation.

&uot;The Thursday we are in Perdido shall be known as Leada Palooza,&uot; I announced recently. &uot;I get one whole day to do what I want to do.&uot;

They both just looked at me.

&uot;I’m serious,&uot; I said, adding an authoritative tone just for effect. &uot;No Alvin’s Island, no shopping for video games or beach toys and no playing with things such as sandcrabs or fish.&uot;

I went on.

&uot;I’m sleeping late. Don’t know what you all are going to do, but leave me out of it. Then, I’m going to eat a late breakfast, which we’ll call brunch because it’s going to be around 11 a.m.

&uot;After that, I’m going to sit by the pool, read a good book and let the waiter bring me fruity-colored drinks with umbrellas in them. I am not going to any tacky souvenir stores. No Alvin’s Island or Surf Shack this year.

&uot;After lunch, say around 2 p.m., I’ll come back up to my room for a nap. Don’t know what you all will be doing, but leave me out of it. After my nap, we can take a walk on the beach, avoiding all mushy sand, smelly seaweed and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes.

&uot;When the sun goes down, we can go eat somewhere nice, somewhere that has a menu that doesn’t include chicken fingers or pizza. And we’ll have dessert, too, something with ice cream and chocolate and nuts on top.

&uot;After we eat, we’ll sit and listen to the calypso band before heading back.&uot;

There it was – the perfect day.

Neither said a word. I took this as they both agreed with my plans and had committed to Leada Palooza 2004.

Or, just maybe, they ignored the whole diatribe. All they heard was &uot;Alvin’s Island…mushy sand…smelly seaweed…chicken fingers…pizza…dessert.&uot;

At least I will get the dessert I want.

Leada DeVaney is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter