Marina Cantina Coming soon to Grand Lagoon!


New Restaurant at Capt. Anderson's Marina in PCB
Marina Cantina Opening April 30th!!!

There is a new, hot Mexican restaurant coming to Panama City Beach in just a few days!  I am as excited as an avocado….do they get excited?

Anyhow, having a mother that makes excellent home made salsa and with myself, having the inclination to put jalapenos on anything that doesn’t move…..I could not help but jump up and down when I found out that Jeff Freidrich, a seasoned Restaurateur was opening a nice Mexican Restaurant on Grand Lagoon at Capt. Andersons Marina.

Knowing that Friedrich had ran a chain of successful, Gourmet pizza restaurants in Seattle , I posed the question, “Why Mexican?”  He said that he saw the space and just knew he could do something great with it.  He asked himself, “What do we like to eat?”.  “What do we have a taste for that is not readily available in PCB?”  “How could we bring it here?”  These are the questions that lead him to the answer…….Marina Cantina, Modern Mexican Cuisine and Tequila Bar.

In the past, Friedrich mentioned he and his family had to drive into Panama City or down Highway 30A for gourmet mexican fare.  He wanted to be able to bring a nice, modern restaurant for our local PCB beachgoers with a discerning taste, and yet still make it casual enough that you could enjoy one of their signature margaritas in their flip flops.

The restaurant will not only have a full bar inside, with the largest tequila selection on the beach, but Marina Cantina will also boast a full bar outside, for patrons to enjoy nightly live entertainment on the dockside patio overlooking Grand Lagoon.

From what I have learned about this upcoming, modern mecca for authentic, Mexican cookery and a good time, is that there will always be SOMETHING going on.  In addition to providing a variety of live entertainment options for their customers, Marina Cantina will feature daily happy hour drink and appetizer specials.  Their menu, which is said to have been inspired by South American street vendors will include fare made from scratch  using fresh ingredients.   Vegetarian and kid friendly options will also be available.  You can get a taste of what they have to offer, starting April 30th, Monday through Saturday, from 11 am to 11 pm.  They will also serve brunch on Sundays, starting at 10 am.  I know where I am going to eat after church now!!

As I sat down with Jeff and listened to him talk about his new place, I could feel goose bumps inching there way up to my skins’ surface.  Here was a man that was passionate about his business, who believed in it, with every inch of his being.  Tableside gaucamole delicious.  Live entertainment every night….too cool.  But a person that is completely and wholly invested in their business with the desire to serve their community…well, that is amazing.  If the enchiladas are half as intense as Friedrich’s enthusiasm, the tables at Marina Cantina will surely be full.

I will you let know about those enchiladas after I try them and touch back in next week.  Until then, why not open up your Facebook and LIKE them or give them a call: 850 – 249- 5500.  If you are as excited as I am and want to enter your email at a chance to win tickets to the Family and Friends Pre-Grand Opening Party THIS weekend…..go to their website, to enter!

Old Cypress Canoe Rentals Opens With Big Plans For Eco-Tourists

Panama City Beach is known for being an incredibly diverse vacation destination, capable of luring people of all kinds to hit the beach and experience our great city. Every season offers a little something for everyone. But, in the last decade, Panama City Beach and it’s surrounding areas have seen an increase in Eco-Tourism. From South Walton to Washington County, our area is filled with brilliant nature trails, creeks and springs that boast a ton of fun beyond the beach. Old Cypress Canoe Rentals, a new canoe and kayak business on Holmes Creek, plans to make that fun more accessible than ever.

Just 30 minutes north of Panama City Beach, Old Cypress Canoe Rentals provides kayaks, canoes and tubes to locals and tourists within range of Holmes Creek and Cypress Springs in Vernon, FL. Make a reservation, check in and within just a short, relaxed paddle you will be cruising one of the most secluded and majestic springs on Earth. Completely inaccessible to the public by land, Cypress Springs, is one of the origins of the fresh water flowing down Holmes Creek and surrounding water systems. Sandy bottomed aquamarine waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, tubing, paddleboarding, and, of course, canoeing and kayaking.

Creek Clean Up Grand Opening

Old Cypress Canoe plans to go beyond the business of rentals, and wants to keep the creek clean and beautiful by starting a Creek Clean Up Non-Profit organization. In fact, their “official” Grand Opening, will be a Creek Clean Up. The Creek Clean up will begin On April 29th, 2012 at 10am and will include free Canoe and Kayaks for the day as well as lunch and door prizes. So you can come, experience the creek and help keep our area clean.

Sponsor Your Own Canoe

You can even sponsor your own canoe and hit the creek anytime. For three hundred dollars, you can sponsor a new canoe and the bare sides will be yours for sticker advertising. Check out the link for more at Donations are also welcomed on the site and will earn you coupons for future rentals.

You can visit Old Cypress on the web at for reservations as well as pictures and videos of the area. Like them on facebook at

Make Your Reservation Now

Old Cypress is located at 2728 Traverse Drive in Vernon, FL 32462

Call them anytime for a reservation at (850) 388-2072.

Old Cypress Canoe Rental Pricing

Holmes Creek Tours:

Canoe rental: $40.00 + tax(price for 2 people, shuttle included)

Kayak rental: $35.00 + tax( price for 1 person, shuttle included)

Overnight camping: $60.00 + tax(price for 2 people, shuttle included)

Choctawhatchee Tours:

Canoe rental: $45.00 + tax(price for 2 people, shuttle included)

Kayak rental: $40 + tax(price for 1 person, shuttle included)

Overnight camping: $60.00 + tax (price for 2 people, shuttle included)

Half-Day and Group Rates may be Available: call (850) 388-2072 for more information.

Photos of the Creek

Shipwreck Island Adding New Ride: Splish Splash

Shipwreck Island Waterpark is one of Panama City Beach’s most beloved attractions. And this season, they are giving you another reason to love going. Splish Splash has just arrived (photo above) and will be in construction this Spring to be ready for Summer.

Numerous guests to Shipwreck Island Waterpark have shared how much they missed the old skull and the waterfalls. The truth is, the stability of the old structures couldn’t be determined because the faux rock surface covered the rebar inside. Some of the rocks definitely had corrosive rebar, so the decision was made to tear down the old structures and replace them with fun, family attractions.

Last season Shipwreck added a tipping bucket and fort known as the Shipwreck Water Company. The Shipwreck team came up with a plan to redesign the existing kiddie slide, now called the Likity Split, and add dual racing slides next to the tipping bucket. The new attraction is called, “Splish Splash.” Not nearly as high as the “Pirate’s Plunge” racing slide, “Splish Splash” is a family racing where moms and dads can challenge their little guys, or vice versa.

The two hundred feet of fiberglass slides bow out widely with twists and turns as sliders race down at fourteen feet per second. The slides come together at the bottom where racers enter the splash pool. The slide structures were built by the largest fiberglass slide manufacturer in the world, White Water West Industries of Canada, and the design was a collaboration between the White Water and Shipwreck Island teams.

Check out the recently added, Tipping Bucket”

For more information about ticket prices and park open dates go to or

Miracle Strip Adds New Ride: Sea Dragon!

Jason Koertge has an awesome vacation rental business in Panama City Beach that focuses on remarkable properties right on the gulf.  They range from 1 to 4 bedrooms, they’re clean, and amazing.  He can be found lurking at

In keeping with the tradition of adding tasteful rides to the growing amusement area in Pier Park, Miracle Strip @ Pier Park has added another ride.  This comes after a winter of planning and reorganizing the whole park, shifting the Red Baron Plane ride to the other side of the park and moving the Tilt a Whirl over.  The Sea Dragon is on the far east side of the property with a decorative fence behind it.

The Sea Dragon

One of the few rides I can actually ride at Miracle Strip without feeling my stomach in my throat is the Sea Dragon.  The spin rides really do me wrong – but my kids love them – however, vertical and horizontal acceleration rides do me very right.

This type of ride allows a small amount of air-time for those riders sitting in the very back as the ride swings back and forth, over and over.

A total list of all the rides at Miracle Strip @ Pier Park

Along with the addition of the Sea Dragon, they’ve changed some things around and added some ancillary fun for the kids as well. On the south side of the property, they added a huge bounce pillow (parent friendly) and near the entrance, they’re working on a kiddie train area where the little ones can navigate the rails on their own.

Here is a complete list of their rides and attractions.

  • Tilt a Whirl
  • Scrambler
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Carousel
  • Red Baron Planes
  • Balloon Race
  • Sea Dragon
  • Butterfly Pavilion
  • Bounce Pillow
  • Kiddie Train (under construction)
Pricing for admission, rides, day bands, etc.

They’ve really packed a lot of fun into Miracle Strip @ Pier Park – adding enough entertainment to keep the kids occupied for a couple hours.  The other thing that’s great for parents is that they’ve added fencing all around the park so there is only one point of entry and exit.  I for one can certainly appreciate this with my four little kids.

There are several ways to enjoy the fun.  Here is a breakdown of all the ticket pricing.

  • Single ticket pricing — $3.50 — each ride requires one ticket
  • Book of 10 tickets — $29
  • Single day arm band — $18 — includes unlimited rides for the full day for wearer
  • Season pass — $99 — unlimited access for the bearer, along with a “buddy” (basically good for 2 people)

For more information on Miracle Strip, visit their website and Like their Facebook page.

10th Annual Mask Parade and Gala

Keep your calendar clear for Saturday, April 14th!  The 10th Annual Mask Parade and Gala for Convenant Hospice will be taking place at the Edgewater Beach Resort!  Expect performers, artwork, silent and live auctions, dinner, and dancing!

Currently they are accepting sponsorships. Remember, sponsorships include recognizing your support of the Hospice in promotional opportunities leading up to the gala.  This includes the Mask Preview Party and the Parade which both occur in the weeks prior to the gala.  The deadline to confirm sponsorship is March 23rd, 2012.  Email for more information.

Last year’s gala raised over $90,000 for the 900 patients of Covenant Hospice in Panama City and surrounding areas.  These funds enabled them to provide end-of-life palliative care based on need, not someone’s ability to pay.  They also provide services for indigent patients, services not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or priviate insurance.

Mardi Gras in PCB with the Krewe of Massalina

Want to celebrate Mardi Gras without the crowds of New Orleans?  The Krewe of Massalina is making sure that you celebrate Mardi Gras right, right here in Panama City!  More than 50 vendors will be set up, as well as two stages of N’Orleans style music to fill the air.

Schedule of Events

  • Friday, February 3rd, Block Party 6pm-10pm in McKenzie Park
  • Saturday, February 4th, Mardi Gras Festival 12pm-10pm in McKenzie Park
  • Saturday, February 4th, Mardi Gras Parade 3pm on Harrison Avenue


  • The Toad Lick Festival will be giving away several tickets to the biggest music festival in Dothan, AL.
  • Over $10,000 in “The Great Downtown Giveaway”
  • Assorted gift certificates will also be thrown out during the Mardi Gras Parade

Will you join the Krewe of Massalina to celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras?

Stars and Guitars: A Concert Preview

It’s time!  This Saturday night the concert you have all been waiting for takes the stage!  Stars and Guitars benefitting the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center will feature Andy Griggs, Daryle Singletary, Randy Houser, Josh Gracin, and Ashton Shepherd.

Andy Griggs

Andy is from Louisiana and records on RCA Nashville’s label.

Some of his best known hits are:

  • You Won’t Ever Be Lonely
  • She’s More
  • This I Gotta See

Please visit Andy’s website for more information.

Daryle Singletary

Darlye Singletary is from Georgia and released his first album in 1995.  Click here to visit his website.

Songs you might recognize are:

  • I Let Her Lie
  • Too Much Fun
  • I’d Love To Lay You Down
Randy Houser

Randy Houser is a singer and songwriter from Mississippi.  He has written songs for Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, and Jessie James.

A few songs he has recorded are:

  • Boots On
  • Whistlin’ Dixie
  • Anything Goes
Josh Gracin

Made famous for his appearance on American Idol, Josh Gracin is originally from Michigan.  You can learn more about Josh online.

Some of Josh’s most popular songs are:

  • Nothin’ To Lose
  • Stay With Me/Brass Bed
  • We Weren’t Crazy
Ashton Shepherd

Ashton Shepherd made her way from Alabama to RCA Nashville to release her first album in April 2007.

Some of her best known singles are:

  • Look It Up
  • Takin’ Off This Pain
  • Where Country Grows


This is a concert you don’t want to miss!  Tickets are available online for $27.50 downstairs/$20 upstairs.  Enjoy the concert and making a difference for the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center!