Destin Florida: Day Zero (Driving)

I just got back from a 1 week trip to Destin. It’s the first trip of two for this summer. Last summer was all MCATs and now I get a chance to take a break. It’s interesting, we planned to go right when my exams finished and booked the condo the day before the oil spill. What timing! We were so worried that there would be oil on the beach or make landfall when we got there and have to leave (since it’s classified as a toxic substance). Luckily, the weather was gorgeous and so were the beaches! The white sand was still white and the water still blue and turquoise. It rained only a little bit (I hear Dallas had more, glad I missed it) and we were able to lie on the beach everyday!

I have a bunch of pictures that I have gone through and am now back-logging (blogging :o) about them. I’ll just go day-by-day, till I’m done. The first day (zero), is the drive to Destin. We left at about 7 something and the drive was about 12 hours (~750 miles, give or take). I drove the first part to Louisiana, which was surprisingly closer than I remember from when I was little sitting in the back. I remember Texas just going on and on forever, but it turns out, Louisiana goes on and on forever, when you’re cutting across the biggest chunk on Interstate 49 (I49) from Shreveport to Lafayette and then to Baton Rouge on I10 to I12.  After that, it’s on to Mississippi which isn’t too big, Alabama which is even smaller, and then Florida, where it’s about an hour (depending on traffic, which we hit) going into the city to Destin (just passed Pensacola on the panhandle).

So anyway, on the LONG drive there, we encountered clouds, rain, sun, more rain (+ storms), and sun, and more clouds (sometimes within the same hour). It made for quite an interesting drive. At one point, the GPS directed us off the main interstate onto a smaller road, which looked shorter. It was riddled with traffic lights and slow-speed areas through small towns. What a mistake that was. It also happened to pour and storm the most on that leg of the trip and the roads weren’t as good as the interstate we left behind. If you think you know better, you probably do, just go with your gut and let the GPS guide you from there. We only stopped for gas and short breaks. Considering the rain, we made good time, but it was still exhausting.

The first leg of the trip that I drove to Louisiana
Storms ahead.
It got quite nasty for a good 10-15 min as we drove through it.
But alas, there was blue skies ahead
3 mile traffic jam due to construction, glad we weren't in it!
Alabama Tunnel
Leaving Alabama, starting to look more like Florida
Ah! That's the Florida I know, the Sunshine State!

View from the door
View from the living room

So once we hit Florida, it wasn’t too much longer until we got to our condo. We had seen pictures of it online and it looked pretty nice, but when we got there it was REALLY nice. It was also nice to be able to kick back and stretch on the couch. Here’s what the kitchen, dining, and living room area looked like. The newly-renovated bathroom was really nice with all the stone and tiles and clear glass sink bowl above the counter.

For dinner, it was getting late and surprisingly, the few restaurants we called (the highly recommended Goatfeathers Seafood) were just about to close, and it was only I believe 9 something, on a Saturday! We found this Thai restaurant (one of my favorite foods) that was still open and ate there. I got my usual pad Thai and it was really good! It was really authentic and had a nice flavor and spice to it. Before heading back to Sandestin where we were staying, we went over the “Baytowne Wharf” on the bay side of Destin to check it out. It’s this really cool place, built partially on a boardwalk around some ponds where there’s a ton of nightlife and music.  Here are some shots of that.

Live music
wedding party going on
Last but not least, a shot of a bar from a bay pier

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