Traveling With T hit the road to Destin, Florida for the first time from September 13th-September 18th. Being a beach lover, any chance I can get to feel the sand between my feet, the waves crashing in, and smell the sweet salt air- I’m down for it.
This trip was a bit different than my normal road-tripping to the beach- my niece is 9 months old- and we all (both sets of grandparents, my brother & SIL, and me) went to Destin- to spend some time together, to relax, to have fun. The following pictures and thoughts sum my first trip to Destin.
The first day was just a long drive- packing up the truck and stopping to eat at Cracker Barrel in Daphne, Alabama. Arrived in Pensacola to be welcomed by a monsoon (seriously, it was raining so hard- it was 100 kinds of ridiculous). Finally, we arrived at 29 Conch Cay- my home for the next few days.
Lugging all my luggage to the second floor (I am not a light packer!) and after giving the adorable Miss A a hug and kiss- we sat down and decided where to eat. Based on the lateness of the day and the fact that we had all driven in multiple hours of riding time- we decided to eat at the nearest place- The Crab Trap.
Well, it was not a good choice. It was just ok. The food was passable- but I’ve had better shrimp at Logan’s Steakhouse (and that’s saying something!)
Sunday started off early (the 9 month old does not sleep in!) After getting up, eating breakfast and packing my beach bag- arriving at the beach (20 steps from the front door of 29 Conch Cay!) I rented a beach chair, sat down, and immediately tweeted this:
Toes in the sand… Frolicking in the waves. The sun high in the sky. Ahh, happy………
— Tamara Welch (@rockstar1023) September 14, 2014
After a day at the beach, a day of frolicking around and having fun- it was time to get dressed and find some food. My dad had heard many good things about Dewey’s at Destin- so we went there. Then we immediately left when it was around a 2 hour wait 😦 Tip on the parking lot situation: This parking lot is crazy small for the amount of people that are trying to come to it. Carpool if at all possible to cut down on the pain of parking- with 8 folks and a baby- we had to take 2 vehicles- NOT fun!
We wound up eating at The Back Porch. The wait was 15 minutes and we had a great view!
After a lovely dinner of crab cakes for me (and Miss A loved them as well!) we headed back home.
Monday was a beautiful day as well- they were talking about rain at 2:30 and I was nervous- but it all blew over. After a morning at the beach, I called Discount Water Sports and made a parasailing appointment.
Seriously the best experience ever. They came by the dock and picked us up- nice and charming- full of knowledge about Destin. And, to add to the fun- they take pictures of you with their fancy-schmancy camera (and you can buy the SD card if you desire!)
The next day, was rough. The storms were rolling in. I walked down to the beach before we headed to the outlet mall- the waves were crazy.
At the outlet mall, I shopped at Kate Spade, Fossil, and Reebox (where I got tons of socks!) At Fossil, I bought several pairs of sunglasses (to help replace the pair that the ocean stole from me) and Kate Spade was having a delightful sale- where I bought a fancy purse and an adorable make-up bag.
Tuesday night was a cook-in night. We grilled chicken, veggies, had brownies for dessert and I enjoyed a glass or two of Barefoot Moscato wine with dinner and while we played Cards Against Humanity (which is such an awkward game to play with your parents!) In case you’ve never played it, I highly recommend it. But it’s a game that can be awkward: I put together 2 cards to come up with this:
“The next McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy will be a super-soaker filled with cat pee.” And that was a mild gross one!!
Wednesday was the last full day at Destin because of the terribly early hour we had to be out of the house (by 10am 😦 So, I got up early- grabbed some peanut butter and crackers for breakfast- and then ran as fast as my flip-flops would carry me to the beach! My mom and I quickly staked out the spot for the chairs, the attendant propped them up, and in less than 5 seconds I was relaxing in the chair with the most awesome view in front of me.
The water, my gosh the water- so clear. I could see all the way down to the bottom. I could see my blue toenails in the water. I made my way past the first set of waves crashing- where I could bob in the water and feel the waves (but not lose my bathing suit) and watched my mom coming out. We kept swimming and enjoying the feel of the waves- watching the kayaks and the SUP folks- when I turned back to face the beach and saw a woman pointing frantically and screeching at something in the water. My first thought was “My Gosh, the first day the water is so clear and I’m going to get eaten by a shark!” BUT, it wasn’t a shark. It was pod of dolphins further out in the water- they were playing in the area where people were kayaking and SUP’ing. And they were beautiful. I love dolphins- so getting to see them- even for just a brief bit- was magical for me.
When “The A” (my other pet name for Miss Alexa) came to the beach- carrying her out to the waves and letting her feel the water on the cutest little feet ever was so sweet. These are memories I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Sitting at my chair- I see more dolphins out in the distance- and just gaze adoringly at the sight in front of my eyes. My dad comes down to the beach and bless him- he brings a later lunch- turkey and cheese sandwiches on this French bread with Ruffles potato chips. Bless him, he knew that we wanted to stay on the beach as much as possible- but that our tummies would be growling!
As we left the beach, I turned around for one more look. And it was just as beautiful at the end of the day as it was that morning. Quick shower- and we all headed to SanDestin to walk around Baytowne Wharf:
Played some arcade games, picked up some new clothes for Miss Alexa, looked for some ice-cream (they didn’t have lemon- so it was a no-go 😦 we headed to Dewey’s at Destin for the second time- but we headed to the more “dive” location. I saw a sign that says they close at 8 (it was 7:10 currently)- and judging from the crowd- they were NOT going to close at 8. But, we left- and went in search of more food. Having heard from many folks on the beach that Boshamps was where to go- we headed there. 25 minute wait, and we were in. I ordered the crawfish basket. Which was good- but I kept expecting some seasoned flavor on the crawfish (I get a crawfish dinner all the time at Penn’s Fish- and it’s got some seasoning!) So, my mouth kept expecting it- but it wasn’t disappointing because they had this tartar sauce- it was kind of yellow- and normally, I do not eat tartar sauce (I’m a cocktail sauce kind of gal)- THIS sauce was yummy. It had a bit of tartness, but was mainly smooth and creamy- and paired perfectly with the crawfish. And the hushpuppies- well shut your mouth, they were delicious. Not too large and with a good flavor on the inside- I could taste some onions- but something else; something kind of sweet as well.
Back home after a dinner that was good- the process of packing was happening. And I was not happy. Remember- I’m a over-packer, so getting all that luggage packed up and loaded in truck is never any fun!
Thursday morning- bright and early- “The A” woke me up singing a song. Found my clothes, packed up the final bits of stuff- and my brother wanted us to all eat at The Pancakery before we all split up. So, we did. How was The Pancakery? Well, it was early and I was not starving- but my pancakes were pretty yummy- so worth a stop.
And after a great breakfast- we hit the road headed back to Mississippi.
All in all- I will def be visiting Destin again!
Are you headed to Destin, Florida? Or maybe some other vacation? Well, if you are- and you find yourself in need of a car (maybe you flew in and need a car rental!) I recently heard about a car service (a peer to peer sharing car rental service) that might just be worth checking out! RelayRides is trying to move the focus on to a more “sharing” environment- one that can be beneficial to both parties. You get a car for a fair rate, the owner of the car makes a bit of a money- and hopefully everyone is happy! And, even more, in some cities- your car can park for free at the airport– and while you are on vacation- your car can possibly be making money.
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**Traveling With T does not endorse RelayRides, nor is this a sponsored post, nor was any compensation received for this. Traveling With T, as always, aims to offer you information about possible services and fun things to do while you are traveling. The information above was found at RelayRides after I heard about this service.
Happy Reading and Happy Travels,
Traveling With T