Posted by: heatherandandybrown | January 2, 2012

Panama City Beach, FL

Day 20- 64.1miles – Blountstown, FL to Panama City Beach, FL- 5hrs 24mins in the saddle- Warm & Sunny

Day 21– 8.2miles – Panama City, FL to Panama City Beach, FL – 47mins in the saddle- Warm & Sunny

Day 22 – 0 miles – Panama City Beach, FL – Cool & Mostly Cloudy

Day 23 – 0 miles – Panama City Beach, FL – Cold & Windy


Ahhhh… gulf shore breezes, white sandy beaches, painted skies… this is what I have been dreaming of for the past 440miles (since we left the Atlantic Coast).

98% of the 64miles that we rode leaving Blountstown was on HWYs, some of which there was no shoulder and stretches where the speed limit was 65mph. We rode quickly and defensively. Fortunately, the remainder of our journey has us hugging the gulf coast most of which I think will be on slower scenic roads.

We have spent the past couple days at a quaint mom and pop hotel on Panama City Beach. There are few amenities, but the view and location are perfect. There is a small sand dune lined with sea-grass separating our front door from the beach and we are minutes away from Pier Park, an outdoor mall.

New Year’s Eve, the high was in the mid-70s, not too warm, not too cool, the perfect temperature to lie lazily on the beach and soak up the sun. Serendipity would have it that we are a few blocks away from the Hofbrau German Beer Garden where we enjoyed jagersnitzel and liters of beer straight from Munich.

At 8pm we headed to Pier Park to witness the annual “Beach Ball Drop.” Suspended above the street were huge cargo nets holding back thousands of inflatable beach balls. We were more excited than the crowd of children around us while we waited with anticipation for the massive volley ball game that was surly going to ensue. “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” For a few glorious seconds the sky rained beach balls, but to our bitter surprise very few of the balls were bounced in the air. Grown-ups and children were selfishly grabbing up as many balls as they could hold and started waddling towards the exit. Some adults passed by with 3 or 4 balls tucked under their arms, balls that you can most likely find 3/$1 at the Dollar Store. Where’s the fun in that!?

It’s 11:15pm and we are struggling to stay awake so we turn on the TV to watch the countdown Live from NYC. To our surprise, confetti is falling in Time Square and we hear “It’s 15 minutes into 2012, we hope your new year has started out well.” We look at our phones and confer that they both display 11:15. Are we in an episode of The Twilight Zone? What is going on!? For a couple of minutes we were very confused and spooked.  After some googling, we come to find out that we are right on the edge of the central time zone. It didn’t occur to us that we had biked through the entire East coast time zone J

At midnight (12am central time 😉 there was a magnificent display of fireworks shot off from the pier. Ollie didn’t care much for the echoing booms, but the mirrored fireworks in the water below made for a breathtaking start to the New Year.

Wishing you lots of peace and happiness in the new year!

Heather, Andy & Ollie

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR ROUTE (You have to scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar and click page2 to see the most recent part of our trip)



  1. Love the ball drop! Gotta be more fun than being sandwiched in Times Square with a million people in the cold! How is Ollie doing with the ride? The highway trek sounds a bit scary…

    • Thank you for asking about Ollie dog! He is doing great. There’s an extra bed in our room just for him, but instead of sleeping on it he climbs into his little trailer! It’s cool to see him looking out his little windows when we are riding. I’m tempted to write a children’s book about Ollie’s adventure on the road. “A Little Dog in a Big World” 🙂

  2. Awwww, we miss you guys so much, and think of you often. Thanks for the update. Glad the weather is beautiful. Thought about you while doing laundry the other day. =) Guess I’m spoiled rotten with a washing machine out here…but it sounds like you guys are having a lot more fun. Stay safe, and enjoy every minute! ~Erin & Eddie

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