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Some friends and I were heading to Panama City Beach, FL to do the Ironman triathlon. We of course needed a place to stay. My buddy Shannon had already been to this race a couple times, so we relied on his advise. He told us about Laketown Wharf and said they even had a deal on the rate going. I booked a room for 5 nights, and some of my friends also booked rooms there. We had to pay a deposit which I think was around a third of the cost. My wife ended up getting a job and was unable to go. And Shannon’s wife was also unable to go. So I cancelled my reservation and got a refund of what I paid minus $50. Shannon and I shared a room. I think we paid a little over $100/night plus some fees. Shannon and I split the cost. And they even let us add a 6th day to our stay at the same nightly rate.
The rooms was great. There was a master bedroom with a private bathroom. There is also a pair of bunk beds that are right next to another bathroom. The bunk beds were positioned right off a hallway, and don’t have a door for privacy. Shannon got the room, and I took a bunk bed. There was also a full kitchen and living room. We also had a washer and dryer. They gave on tiny box of detergent, but you might want to bring some. There was a free wi-fi in the room. We had a TV and DVD player. The room was clean and comfortable. Oh, and we had a balcony with an awesome ocean view. The hotel had several pools, but we only had a chance to try one of them.
The hotel was located just a short walk from the race expo, and transition area. On the days before the race, we would walk across the road, cutting through Pineapple Willy’s to the beach to do some practice swims. And Pineapple Willy’s also had a pretty good pasta dinner special on the night before the race for $10. There are a bunch of other restaurants within a short walking distance from the hotel. I ate at Waffle House nearly every morning, which was right next door. And across the road is a Walmart store to pick up anything you might need.
One minor annoyance was that check out was at 10am. We were working to get our stuff out of the room, and loaded into the truck, and our room key code stopped working before 10am. Daylight savings time had ended, and apparently they forgot change the time in the system that controlled the expiration of the room key codes. I had to go back down to the desk, get a new temporary key code. So I wasted about 15-20 minutes dealing with this as we were trying to get on the road for the long drive home. But as I said , this was a minor annoyance.
I would definitely stay here again. It was a great place to stay and very well placed for anyone doing the Ironman race. There were lots of other triathletes staying here also.

Some friends and I were staying in Panama City Beach, FL for the Ironman race. We were going to go out to dinner with some friends of one of my friends. They suggested a place called Uncle Ernie’s. They said it was really good and the prices were reasonable.
It was Halloween and the servers were all in costumes. Our server was dressed in a karate uniform. It was hard to make a choice as there were so many things on the menu that looked good. I asked the waiter for his recommendations. He said a lot people like the catch of the day. He suggested a few different kinds of fish. I chose the grouper. Then I had to decide how to have it cooked. I chose grilled. The prices were a little higher than my friends had anticipated. I guess reasonable prices means different things to different people. But the prices weren’t outrageous. While we waited for our food, we enjoyed watching the water at sunset. It was a beautiful view. Our food came in a decent amount of time. OMG, my grouper was so good! I had never had grouper before so I don’t know if that is how it always is. I am guessing it was their preparation. It was wonderful. My buddy Shannon wanted to try it, so I gave him a sample, and then he wished he has ordered it too. The service was excellent, and the food was great. The prices were a little higher than I would have liked to pay. I might eat here again if I make back to Panama City.

There was an ad for this place on the map from a campground we were staying at. There was no address listed, just a phone number. I tried to call them, but the cell service signal I was getting at the campground was too weak. I drove into town, and found another pizza place called Ina’s Pizzeria. But the girl at Ina’s said that it was too late for them to make me a pizza. They closed at 9pm, and it was currently 8:40pm. So I left. I drove through town looking to see what else was around. I tried calling Lombardo’s Pizzeria again, and thsi time I got them. I asked what time they closed. They said 9pm. I asked if they could still make me a pizza, and they said yes. I told them what I wanted and I got directions. I drove there. They are located just out of town to the west. I arrived at Lombardo’s Pizzeria. I waited for my pizza and I was out the door about 9pm. Why Ina’s couldn’t do it, I have no idea. Maybe they just didn’t want to. The pizza at Lombardo’s was excellent! I came back a couple more times for subs. Their subs were great also. The people who worked there were very friendly. Next time we are in this area, I will happily return to Lombardo’s Pizza Plus.
Lombardos Pizza Plus is located at 7845 State Hwy 5, Saint Johnsville, NY. Phone: 518-568-7111

We found the Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant listed on a map for the campground we were staying at St. Johnsville, NY. The ad mentioned breakfast, so we drove into town. There aren’t many restaurant choices in St. Johnsville unfortunately. It was 9am, and was going to be a warm day. But being only 9am, it wasn’t very warm yet. Still, we parked our car right in front of the restaurant so we could keep an eye on our dog in the car. Even though it wasn’t that warm out yet, the sun was still shining. We rolled all the windows down about halfway, and put a sunscreen under the windshield to help keep the car cool. I often take naps in my car like this during my noon lunch hour at work. The plan was to go in, order breakfast to go. We would be checking on the dog, and my wife would have likely walked the dog and given her water in the collapsible bowl that we always carry, while we waited for the food. We don’t like leaving the dog in the car very long. We walked into the Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant and almost immediately this chunky guy in a dirty shirt came out from the back carrying food and said gruffly “What you are doing is unsafe!” He was very rude about it. I think he might have been the owner or manager. I explained that we were planning to order breakfast to go. He then refused to serve us while the dog was in the car. I wish I had thought to say something like, hey if you are so concerned, you won’t mind us bringing the dog inside. I am guessing he would have said we couldn’t. I was just shocked about what a rude jerk this guy was. I didn’t even try explain any further about our plans and that the dog wouldn’t be in the car very long. The guy was such a jerk, that I didn’t want to eat there now anyway. I found out there was a McDonalds down the road. We drove there and went through the drive-through. Our dog Issa enjoyed bits of our breakfast sandwiches and hash browns. My wife and I are both dog people. We have both had dogs all our lives, and know how to take care of them. Our dog is a part of our family. But like I said, the guy was such a jerk, that I didn’t want to eat there anymore. If we come back to this area again, we will not be eating at Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant due to that jackass!

My wife and I were camping nearby. I told her I would go get a pizza. I drove into St. Johnsville and arrived at Ina’s Pizzeria about 8:40pm. I was told that they closed promptly at 9pm and couldn’t make me a pizza. Huh? How long does it take to make a pizza. I was not impressed! I left there, drove through town a bit to see what else was there. I found I had a weak cell phone signal now, which I didn’t seem to have at the campground, and called Lombardo’s Pizzeria for which I had a phone number, but no address. I asked what time they closed. They said 9pm. I asked if they could still make me a pizza, and they said yes. I told them what I wanted and I got directions. My pizza was done a little while after I got there, and I was out the door by 9pm. Apparently it doesn’t take that long to make a pizza. So I would love to tell you how the food at Ina’s Pizzeria is, but I can’t. All I can tell you they close promptly at 9pm and are apparently very slow at making pizzas. On the other hand, Lombardo’s Pizzeria makes a great pizza, and have a very friendly staff! They have very good subs too. Go to Lombardo’s Pizzeria instead. Lombardos Pizza Plus is located at 7845 State Hwy 5, Saint Johnsville, NY. Phone: 518-568-7111

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