July 16, 2012

Hot Summer Nights

Friday night in Old Town was warm and breezy.  Usually it's cool and breezy: not too many hot summer nights in our town, where the ocean breezes travel thirty miles inland and over the Rainbow Pass to begin cooling us off around four-thirty each afternoon.   Most nights, I feel the need for a light sweater after dark.  (Don't forget, I'm a native. Anything under 67 degrees after sunset feels "chilly.") 

We're lucky to have a family tradition of eating out most Friday nights. After dinner this past Friday, we parked down in Old Town and ambled around. It was packed with walkers, both locals & tourists, which is a good thing.  I remember when we first moved here, eight years ago, the sidewalks rolled up after dark and it felt more like a ghost town. 

We popped into a shop selling rows and rows of specialty root beers.  It was stuffy and had wooden floors and a front porch with patrons drinking their fresh purchases.  (I almost bought a red bottle of True Blood, just because it was there.)  We promised the kids we'd return soon and let them choose a drink.  But tonight, ice cream was on the agenda.

Crossing the street, we stopped for a few minutes to hear a Willie Nelson cover band. It was a real band, but the guy sported fake Willie braids, so it was a little cheesy.  I got drawn in by "Pancho & Lefty," but walked off when they started on "You Were Always On My Mind." Eh.

Finally, we reached the screen door of the Sweet Shop, the kind of place that sells all manner of retro candy bars and bins of loose candy by the pound, mini lunch boxes of I Love Lucy  and The Beatles. Typical tourist shop, but they also sell fresh fudge & chocolates, and a small selection of ice cream in the back.  More promises to the kids that we'll return soon to pick out candy -- but tonight, it was ice cream all around.

We kept walking, our hands sticky from melting mint chip and cookie dough.   The patio bars looked full of happy drinkers. There were a few taxis parked around, waiting for tipsy customers.  Another new change in town: Taxis!
As usual, there were a few restored old cars parked in the small front lot of the Swing Inn Cafe.
After admiring the cars and snapping some pics with my camera phone, we wrapped it up. A band was playing the Georgia Satellites out on the patio of Sweet Lumpy's, the barbecue joint. Ideas for a future date night.

As it was, we climbed into the car and headed for home, ten minutes away.  Sometimes it's fun to play tourist in your own town.  We should do it more often.

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