Frank Churchill came to us several years ago, in a box of cast off nursery toys that my mom brought home to the kids. They each found something they liked, but none of them particularly wanted the tawny haired ape with the ripped arm. So I took him to my sewing room, mended his hurts and kept him for myself.
At home he sits on my bookcase, keeping watch over my treasured copies of Austen, Dickens, Barrie, Twain and Bronte. But as I was packing us for a trip in '09, I happened to glance up at my bookcase, thinking what tome I should bring along for the car ride, and he caught my eye. For all the world he looked as though he were bored of sitting at home playing sentry guard to my literary collection and would like to come along with us on our travels. So I took him with us. He's been Frank the Adventurous Ape ever since.
I take him everywhere, and I take pictures of him doing the things we're doing. The kids think it's a hoot and total strangers can't help but smile at the stuffed primate affably chilling out at the beach, or browsing shops at a tourist attraction.
Frank has been to St. Simon's Island a couple of times, the Glynn County, GA Fire Department to visit a friend and tour the trucks, The Varsity in Atlanta, and now to Destin, Fla.
I'll post more of Frank's past adventures in other posts, but here's his most recent trip.
On Monday we arrived in Destin around noon and settled into Marilyn's guest room:
A storm was rolling in and it was too cold to go to the beach, so we hung out at the house and when Marilyn got home we made a wonderful dinner of polynesian pork chops, white cheddar shells and cheese and baby peas, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert:
On Tuesday we got up bright and early and headed out to the beach, even though it was windy. Frank had a marvelous time just chilling out and watching the waves:
A day at the beach will tire anyone out, so after a pizza dinner and some TV, we crashed in bed.
On Wednesday, we headed out to do some shopping. We visited the Silver Sands Outlet Mall where we had gelato for the first time at San Gelato Cafe.
I was really good at the outlets and only bought a couple of things. A mini scone pan and scone mix from Harry & David's; a new pink leather wallet from the Wilson's Leather outlet ($90 marked down to $15); and clip on sunglasses and a suitcase/rolling duffel bag thingy from the Totes/Isotoner outlet ($12 and $23, respectively). There's a story to go with buying the suitcase, but I'll save that for another post.
After shopping, we were hungry so we had lunch at the Whataburger across the street. Frank had been to the Brunswick GA Whataburger on a previous adventure, and seemed pleased to hang out at one again.
When Marilyn came home, she took us to the Harbor Walk Village to see the boats and visit the shops. We went in this one shop called Del Sol that makes products which are white in indoor light and turn colors in the sunlight. Pretty cool. Frank tried out a pair of sunglasses.
There were all manner of shops, including a kite shop and lots of jewelry and clothing stores. There was a shop who had this character out front:
Frank also likes lighthouses, so we got a shot of him with this one:
We headed back to Marilyn's and made tasty tomato soup and fillet mignon steaks for dinner.
Today, Frank and I headed back out to the beach, but it was very windy again. We read Monk mystery books by Lee Goldburg, flew my mini kite and then came on back to Marilyn's where we are about to make dinner (meatloaf) and play on the Wii.