Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Departing Apalachicola via Hurricane Michael

Our last day in Apalachicola, we have a leisurely breakfast, cooking up the last of the eggs, using up cream for coffee, milk, we pack up the rest and hit the road.

Today we are going back through some of the hardest hit territory when Hurricane Michael hit. 1t is hard to believe how much damage still exists, and hard to see the trees broken off like toothpicks, the utter lack of tree cover in some areas. Equally unbelievable is the re-building boom going on in this hurricane-prone part of the Gulf. A lot of money going in; I hope they are using steel beam construction and the highest quality prevention.

Mexico Beach

Tyndall AFB

Calloway, FL outside Panama City, FL

Slowly, slowly, people are hauling away the signs of damage and repairing, but there is still a shocking amount of visible damage remaining, and a lot of work to do.

February 5, 2021 Posted by | Community, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Renovations, Road Trips, Travel, Weather | , , , , | 3 Comments

Dinner at Hofbrau Haus in Panama City Beach, FL

We lived so many years in Germany, and one of the phrases that would drive me crazy is people exclaiming about schnitzles that “were so BIG they were hanging off the plate!” (said with big googly eyes). Big and schnitzle do not necessarily go well together. Schnitzle can be tough, it can have too much fat, it can be gristly. Living there for so long, I’ve had some really bad schnitzles, big and small. During our later years in Germany, we avoided schnitzle altogether; there were so many other alternatives, more refined dishes – pumpkin raviolis, white asparagus soups, St. Martin’s goose, venison ragout, duck breasts . . . (drooling in a very un-refined way . . . )

But lately, I had tiny hankering for a plain old schnitzle, and here we were in Panama City Beach, where there is a HofBrau House.

When we lived in Heidelberg, there was a HofBrau House nearby. Growing up in Germany, it seemed to me HofBrau House was everywhere, sort of like a German version of McDonalds. Now, you don’t see them so often as you used to, except for the original one in Munich.

AdventureMan is a great sport; he likes schnitzle less than I do, but off we go to HofBrau House, and actually, we have a great time.

I order a pretzel, it is huge and it is very hot, and served with a mustard dipping sauce. (This is nothing like we ever had in Germany; pretzels were mostly street-food.) It was salty and the sauce was delicious. I loved it.


The pretzel went great with the beer – very good beer – and the accordion music. The atmosphere in the HofBrau house is festive. The beer is VERY good.




When my schnitzel came, it covered the plate. I was aghast, but . . . it was crisply fried, not any fat, not any gristle and lots and lots of lemon wedges to squeeze onto it. We cut it in half and took half home for a late Thanksgiving snack the next night. We cut the remainder in half and enjoyed every bite. It will be a long long time before I feel a need for a schnitzel again, but this one did the HofBrau Haus proud.


Service was the best. All the wait staff looked really happy to be there, even those who had to wear the serving wench costumes. It is located in Pier Park, a great place to go walking after a schnitzel dinner, great shopping and a kid’s park with rides and a huge slide.



December 6, 2014 Posted by | Cultural, Eating Out, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Food, Germany, Restaurant, Road Trips, Thanksgiving | , , | Leave a comment

Signs Seen in Panama City, Florida

(This was a license plate)

November 25, 2012 Posted by | Thanksgiving, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach

It’s going to be a rainy morning, but not a problem – we’re going to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach. It’s expensive – even with our senior discount our tickets are $18.95 EACH! But the happy toddler is under three, so he goes in free.

Feeding the Manta Rays:

Feeding the penguins:

Feeding the Turtle:

Gulfarium Bayou Area:


After visiting the Gulfarium we left, just as the clouds broke open and deluged us. We took refuge at Big Daddy’s BBQ and Thai Food which serves a large and happy population at Hurlburt Field and Eglin AFB. We had seen the funky looking place every time we take Highway 98, but this is our first time stopping there. It was a great stop on a very rainy day – the food was hot and tasty; the restaurant low key, and fine with children. They had lots to choose from, a buffet or you could order off the menu.

We get back to our beach place just in time for naps – all of us! Taking care of a 2 1/2 year old is exhausting! By the time we get up, the sun is shining, the surf is up and it’s beach time!

August 10, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Eating Out, Education, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Local Lore, Pensacola, Restaurant, Weather | , , | 2 Comments