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"You're So SoWal If..." Presenting Our 2012 Winners

September 6, 2012 by SoWal Staff

The official results are in for our 2012 "You're So SoWal if..." contest!  We had so much FUNN reading all of the GRAYT entries! This year's submissions ranged from heartwarming to hilarious, emotional to whimsical, and of course some may be a bit controversial.

We're overwhelmed with the participation of so many SoWal beach lovers from near and far, and thank everyone so much for sharing what SoWal means to them, especially our loyal SoWal Forum members. 

We hope you enjoy reading the winners and top entries as much as we have! This year we wrapped up the contest with our judges party at SoWal.com World Headquarters in Grayton Beach. What a blast we had!

A special thank you to our awesome, esteemed panel of judges: Adam Shiland/Principal, Shiland Creative Group; Kathy Kemp/Director of Rosemary Beach Town Center; Bobby Johnson/ Realtor, The Beach Group; Rebecca Sullivan/Owner, The Bountiful Creative Shop; Laura Granberry/Owner of Simple Designs and The Art of Simple /Publisher, BeachLIFE magazine;  and last but not least, our 2011 contest winner and SoWal Queen, Jenny Dargavell, who proudly passes her crown to...

Our 2012 Overall Winner
You're so SoWal if...you can't see out your back window because of all the beach permits.
Casey and Lacey Carpenter, Riverview, FL
Congrats Casey and Lacey! We've got your commemorative "2012 So SoWal If..." poster (see at end of story) and one of those giant checks.

First Runner Up
You're so SoWal if...you pack your cooler better than your luggage.
Pete Van Horn, The Woodlands, TX
All the judges identify with you Pete.

Second Runner Up
You're so SoWal if...SoWal is your Hotel California - you can check out but you can never leave. 
Hutch Masterson
Hotel SoWal has a nice ring to it Hutch!

All the finalists for 2012, You're so SoWal if...

  • Your children think dressing up means having to put on a pair of shoes, and your dogs go to work with you. Amy Hollinger
  • You've ever danced on top of the bar at the Red Bar in your bathing suit at midnight. Beth Jameson
  • You take offense whenever someone accuses you of "living in Destin". Patrick F
  • You are 11 years old, living here for only 2 months and refer to almost everyone as tourists and take a bag on nightly walks to pick up trash from the beach! 30adreamers
  • You have peed behind a towel on Grayton Beach. Alison P
  • You wear your PJs and flip flops to the Borago bar to dine. Fay R
  • You keep SoWal stickers in your purse so you can place them in special places. Fay R


Your Pompano is the "catch of the day". Erin LaGrosse

  • A ponytail is your daily hair style...no blowdryers! Benita Casey
  • You can't wait for Captain Larry's next fish report. Peter Justiss
  • You haven't seen snow in 20 years. Gil Matthews
  • Your picture is on the wall of the Red Bar. Bob R
  • Your website name starts with Sowal. Bobby J
  • You moved to the beach during the real estate boom and now want to close the borders. Brad Pickel


You begin to resemble your boat. Kurt Lischka

  • You always have a kayak or surfboard on top of your car. Brent Pease
  • You remember Alys Beach's brief existence as Somerset Beach. Gerald B
  • You've ever reached out and slapped a biker on the fanny. Dan Sumter
  • Your bumper is held on by SoWal stickers. Jimmy Calvin
  • You sign up for texts on beach conditions 3 months before you even get there. Brian Kaiser
  • You ever watched all the local fireworks shows at once sitting on the dunes at Lake Stallworth, before all the houses were built. Casey Carpenter
  • You remember Patrone's of Grayton Beach with the artist colony and petting zoo. Casey Carpenter
  • You remember when The Red Bar served a majority of locals. Casey Carpenter
  • You graduated from Seaside Neighborhood School. Casey Carpenter
  • You spell great .... GRAYT! Cheri Peebles
  • You have the SoWal beachcams on your desk top, and you open them all first thing in the morning to see the sunrise, then at lunchtime to view the shimmering emerald water, then once more to check out the sunset in the evening. Cynthia
  • Though you own a house on the beach, you still drive onto Grayton Beach in your 4WD just so you can YOLO with the Beach Rats, Weirdos and Ding-Dongs! Dan Poulin
  • You can afford a $1,000 bike and wear brightly colored spandex tights over your beer belly, and you ride in the middle of Scenic 30A instead of the bike path! Dan Poulin
  • You go to work on rainy days so you can take clear, windless days off for the beach. Don Plummer
  • You miss the Beaches of South Walton umbrella signs for each town. Beebe Ronin


Buster's day at the beach ends with a dip at sunset. Matt LaBo

  • You've ever fed bush kitties some of your fish at a local restaurant. Sarah Linster
  • You get drunk on vacation, buy a house, and move here! Frith McCarthy Obrien
  • You drive around with beach chairs in your trunk. John Farnmore
  • You have 3 inches of red clay on your car. Mark Brees
  • Your dog has a bit of sunburn. Gail Esterhouse
  • You have a special table at the Red Bar. Benny gray
  • You rarely go to the beach between 10 and 4. Mike Gilly
  • Your kids beg for one more day at the beach, and you make it happen. Betty Rice
  • The lint filter in your dryer contains more sand than lint. Garner Chandler
  • You've seen the moon rise and sun set on the beach at the same time. Gina Sullivan
  • You grew up water skiing behind a 1947 Willies Jeep going down the beach on a summer day when no tourists were here. Howie Padgett
  • You surfed at night on an old mattress tied to a jeep called “No Vacancy” (an actual wooden sign on the front bumper that had washed up after a storm in the gulf). Howie Padgett
  • You've ever sold a piece of property to the county that it already owned. James Jones
  • You always have sand in your sheets and your shorts. Jamey Price
  • You're dog looks at you as if YOU should be the one wearing a collar with a beach permit tag. Jane Morris
  • You take only a towel and a small cooler to the beach. Jen Thompson
  • You don't watch news because they have stories about bizarre human behavior which can't possibly be true. Jill Stricker
  • You want the TDC to stop advertising. Jim Calhoun
  • You enjoy the beach 365 days a year come cold, rain, seaweed, storm, or any of other natural wonders. Jim Tutter
  • Your 2008 SoWal calendar is still hanging on your wall. Jim Cranston
  • You have more than 10 wet beach towels hanging on your deck railing to dry. Johnna Packer
  • You're alarm is set for 5pm to take the pups to the beach. Johnna Packer


You have a SoWal personalized license plate on your bicycle cruiser, a SoWal sticker on your Jeep, and you actually live in SoWal year round! Joni Moore

  • I'm asked, you bored? And I respond with, "absolutely, I surfboard, skateboard, skimboard and longboard all in my backyard!" Josh Jerkins
  • You return from vacation and instead of washing your clothes, you never wear them again so that you can hang them in the closet for sort of a SoWal closet potpourri to inhale and savor the scent of SoWal on any day and take yourself back. Karen Prunes
  • Your wardrobe looks like you belong on the beach but, you're miles away from it. Katherine Schaefer
  • You know how many steps it is from the beach to Cocoon's Deli. Kathy Jennerjohn
  • You are related to a SoWal politician, and of course you have a government job. Ken Jones


You cook your dogs on your hood. Kurt Lischka

  • You've ever stuck a SoWal sticker on a spot far, far away from South Walton. Kensey Matthews
  • There is always a layer of sand on your living room floor. Lacey Carpenter
  • You can clean the sand from your feet but never from the floor board of your car. Lacey Carpenter
  • Your only days off are when the surf is up. Larry Pentel
  • Driving from Dune Allen to Rosemary Beach is too far. Lindsey Anderson
  • You have an F BP sticker on your car. Lindsey Anderson
  • You're vacationing in Hawaii & you get homesick for SoWal! Lisa Geigier
  • You can eat healthy and scrumptious all week from one Saturday morning's shopping at the Seaside Farmers Market. Lynette Rayall


Your tie-dye begins with a SoWal shirt. Carol Gagliardi

  • You make your reservation for your next stay the day you arrive. Marion Brantley
  • You know where to get brats, bonfire, beer and football in the Fall - the Pickle Factory in Grayton Beach! Marion Mason
  • Yellow fly bites do nothing to you. Matt Brooks
  • You remember how beautiful the dunes looked before Opal. Matthew Anderson
  • You needed a wheelchair to get out of the Wheelhouse after a Sunday buffet. Matthew Anderson
  • Waking up in your swim suit in the morning is normal. McKenzie Wakefield
  • You live in Miami and have actually convinced your family into moving “up South” to SoWal. Mike Velotas


Your dogs don't do pavement. Kurt Lischka

  • You build Rasta Sandmen at Christmas. Nena Barrows
  • You eat fresh seafood at least twice a week! Nenette Seaux
  • Your bicycle has more miles on it than your car. Nicole Sharp
  • You're walking on the beach with a cup of Java watching the sun rise and have your toes at the edge of the water watching the sunset with a group of new friends. Pete Gravel
  • You're very tan and you live under a beach walkover. Rick James
  • You were in the Truman show. Robert D
  • People know your dog's name but don't know yours. Donna C
  • When you have to go to Destin or Panama City, you say you're going to town. Seagrover
  • You go ahead and close on your condo with a tropical storm offshore because you have waited 30 years to have your own small piece of of paradise. Seagrovestateofmind
  • You own a business in Destin, but spend your days dreaming of how to move it to SoWal! Stacey Kidder
  • You painted pottery at Fired Up in Seaside while wearing your bathing suit and flip flops! Stacy Radford
  • You love seaweed! Sunny Wright
  • Your first stop when you get to the beach is for gelatto at Heavenly Shortcakes in Seaside. Susan Farrelly
  • You've rang the sunset bell at Bud and Alley's in Seaside. Sheryl Crow
  • You remember waltonunderground.com and b*tchesesofsouthwalton.com. Colin Friz
  • You've ever repaired your beach chair with a SoWal sticker. Cecil Rudder
  • You've ever woke up on the beach at sunrise with your pants on backwards. Jim Calport
  • Your clothes come from the Blue Mountain liquor store, your grill is held together by rust, your car is held together by stickers, and your dog knows his way home from the Red Bar. TS Gardner
  • You've volunteered for South Walton Turtle Watch and discovered a turtle nest on an early morning walk on the beach. Valerie
  • There's still white sand in your car from your last visit because you just can't bear to vacuum it up. Vanessa Sands
  • You refer to people by their SoWal Forum aliases, even though you know their real name. Whitney Rowan
  • By the end of July you are ready for a vacation from the vacationers, preferably to somewhere at least 5,000 feet above sea level. Stacy L
  • A dip in the gulf counts as a kid's bath. Sarah Robertson
  • Your hairdryer is MIA from March – November. Sarah Robertson
  • Lost sunglasses is a worse fate than lost keys. Sarah Robertson
  • "They're baaaaaaack" no longer has a thing to do with Poltergeist. Sarah Robertson
  • Sunscreen trumps makeup. Sarah Robertson
  • You've asked: was that thunder or just Eglin bombing? Sarah Robertson
  • You've never heard of Jason Aldean and now refuse to listen to any of his songs. Lynn Nesmith
  • You're behind a 12-year-old brat from Buckhead driving a golf cart from Rosemary to WaterColor. Lynn Nesmith
  • You get your news from only Sheriff Mike Adkinson’s Facebook page. Lynn Nesmith
  • You have Colby's cell phone number at Pizza By The Sea in your favorites. Lynn Nesmith
  • You have attended every Digital Graffiti, but the only visual you remember is the girl jumping into Caliza. Lynn Nesmith
  • The panne' chicken at Red Bar is the closest you’ll ever get to a Chick-Fil-A. And always on Sunday. Lynn Nesmith
  • You take a hiatus from your career because the TDC bought your URL. Anon


You were in the hammock at Seagrove Villas Motel when the bulldozers arrived. Lynn Nesmith

  • Instead of going to Biloxi, you're saving your chips for the Sandestin casino. Lynn Nesmith
  • The TDC single-handedly funded your big comeback with a single song. Anon
  • You love and cherish your outdoor shower because it's an absolute necessity! Genevieve Torrey
  • You know these four simple rules. Never go shopping when it's raining. Don't go to the grocery on Saturday in the summer. Don't tell anyone how nice October is. And never eat frozen seafood! Matt LaBo
  • You moved to SoWal and left your accent back home. Matt LaBo
  • Your home has a name. Teresa Yon


Read them all?

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SoWal Staff

Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

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