We were all settled into our site at Camp Helen,
busy learning about the facility and it’s history, as well as Eden Gardens State Park, where Tim and Denise are staying. We were supposed to go out on their boat before Nicolas left, but the weather just wouldn’t cooperate. It was hot and sunny, but we kept having random thunderstorms pop up out of nowhere!
We ended up going into Panama City Beach for dinner Tuesday night, and walked around Pier Park a little bit.
Pier Park is pretty much the “place to be” in Panama City Beach – there’s shopping, lots of restaurants, a movie theatre, amusement rides, the city amphitheater, and of course – the beach!
We bought frappachino’s to finish off some Starbuck’s cards that we’d been carrying around, and did a little people-watching. It was crowded, but fun!
Nicolas had to leave on Wednesday to get back to base, and Bryce quickly got bored . . . he was texting constantly with the cousins still in Gulf Shores, so he convinced us to let him take the car and go back to Gulf Shores for another visit. I didn’t want him making the long drive back at night by himself, so he would camp out on the couch and come back Friday afternoon.
That left Tom and I all by ourselves on Thursday . . . but with no car! One of the Friends of Camp Helen volunteers was camping in an empty volunteer spot for the weekend, and she invited Tom and I to go with her to the Thursday night concert in Panama City Beach. It sounded like fun, so we did!
The performer that night was Casey Jamerson – a country/rock singer from Nashville, although originally Indiana.
She was very good – singing lots of popular country and rock songs, as well as several of her own original works. Lynn’s nephew, Jacob, was with us and he thoroughly enjoyed the music!
He reminded me of Nicolas when he was little – he was quite a little dancer, too!
There was a large crowd for the concert, and lots of kids gathering along the front of the stage. The performer was really nice, and she even brought several kids up on stage to dance and sing with her.
Jacob even got to go up on stage and dance with her! It was so cute!
There was a group of teens dancing in front of the stage, so she said “Come on up here, I’m going to see what you can do!”. She played several popular, non-country dance songs while they danced up on stage – it was pretty cool!
At the end of the night, she took a selfie with all the kids.
It was a really good show, and they have a different performer every Thursday evening. I think this will be a regular Thursday night thing for us!
So when we were deciding where to go for fireworks on Saturday, we thought we might as well go back to Panama City Beach. The big display is over the gulf at the end of the city pier, but the amphitheater is positioned in such a way that you have a perfect view from the lawn, and they were having the Panama City POPS perform a concert before the fireworks display, as well as accompanying the fireworks.
Lynn and Jacob were going, so we joined them again. Right away, we noticed that the parking lots around Pier Park were a lot more crowded than they had been on Thursday, but the lawn itself didn’t have anywhere near as many people – I guess they were all down at the beach to watch the show!
The Orchestra played a variety of music – including patriotic tunes, popular movie themes, and show tunes. They played a medley of songs from “Les Miserables” that made me want to go home and watch the movie – which I did, on Sunday!!
We all enjoyed the music, and soon it was time for the fireworks. The Orchestra took a little break while they waited for the signal from the city that the show was about to begin.
Lots of fun in Panama City Beach – I think we’ll like it here!