With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Not Manuel’s Isthmus!*

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 28, 2010

July 10-13, 2010

All Pictures

Panama City Beach’s beach

Boogie boarding

We drove for 10 hours from Hollywood, South Carolina to Panama City Beach, Florida. Mark did most of the driving in our van and we got to the camp about 3 hours ahead of Malcolm’s SUV. He had to remount the tire on his trailer.

Since we where there before everyone else, Mark and I went swimming. There was nothing else to do. Malcolm had most of the stuff and all of the food. We took the kids that were with us and headed for the sea. Alex, my nephew, was hoping that while we were having fun, his dad and brother would arrive and put up the tent without him, so he wouldn’t have to help.

We had some boogie boards with us. We tried to ride the waves. It took me a couple of days to get a hang of it, but I did. I could still use some more practice though.

When Malcolm came we told him about the waves. Some of his sons, his daughter, niece, and Laura, the family friend, went to the souvenir shop and bought boards of their own.

We spent most of our mornings in Florida boogie boarding. In the evenings, we all swam in the heated pool at our campsite. At noon, during the hottest part of the day we went to the unheated pool at the campsite. I felt very spoiled with so many swimming options.

Fixing something delicious

The End of Camp-Food

In the picture above is my sister-in-law, Vonia. She did all of the cooking on our camping trip. She did a most fabulous job!

When Mark and I go camping, the food is okay if we can find a restaurant near by. If not, it’s mainly ramen and PB&J. It never occurred to us that one should enjoy eating while on a camping trip.

Then I met Vonia. She camps with a slow cooker and a rice cooker. While everyone is out enjoying the waves, playing with Mark’s aerobie, exploring a navy ship and submarine, our delicious dinner or lunch is cooking.

I ate so well on this trip. She made everything from beef stew and curry goat to pancakes and tamales. I have been so inspired that for our upcoming road trip to Canada, Mark, mom, and I, are bringing a slow cooker and a rice cooker.

All Pictures

* “Manuel” as in ex-Presidente Noriega and isthmus as in Panama. I like people to think that I am more geographically and post-politically aware than I really am.


The United States of America

How to get there:

You can enter my country by land, air, or sea. But I think flight would be your transportation method of choice.

I have no clue how to get a visa to the US or who needs one. Just assume that you need one if you are not American or Canadian and check with your local US embassy.


  • Use 911 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance
  • Use 411 for information (This might cost money.)






  • It’s a big country. You’re going to need a car.

Raccoon River Campground

How to get there:

  • 30°11’41.9″N 85°49’43.7″W
  • From 79 head east on Front Beach road.
  • Then turn right on Alf Coleman (rd or st?).
  • Then turn right again on Hutchison Blvd.
  • The camp will be on your right.


12209 Hutchison Blvd
Panama City Beach, FL 32407


  • (850) 234-0181
  • Toll Free: (877) 234-0181





  • check in time is 13:00
  • check out time is 11:00


  • There is a library across the street from the camp site on Hutchison Blvd.


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