Destin Florida: Day Four (High Flying with the Blue Angels)

So, picking up where I left off. It was an early morning with nearly a 2 hour drive down from Destin back to the far end of Pensacola through traffic and school zones. The show started at 8:30 and the planes were already taking off just as we were running to the airfield. It was a beautiful cool morning with some clouds and sky. The clouds turned out to be good since the planes would fly do their routine at a lower altitude to remain below the clouds, giving all of us a better view :).

There were a bunch of kids at the runway, on a field trip. They were lucky enough to get even closer and watch the planes land. Back to the show, it was just spectacular! The precision and speed of the pilots was just incredible. If you have never seen the Blue Angels in action, you must go and see them at the next airshow. And, if you’re in the Destin area on a Wednesday, it’s worth the drive back to Pensacola. They practice on Tuesdays and Wednedays (open to public), travel to their next air-show on Thursday (how lucky, they can just fly themselves there), perform Friday through Sunday, return Sunday evening, and have Mondays off.

The acrobatics of the Blue Angels is unbelievable/ They have jets upside down on top of each other flying, jets crossing updside down passing each other, close-formations with the jet on top upside down, their classic diamond formation finale, and sonic boom flybys which are all mindblowing. The pictures really don’t even do them justice. Look up some videos on Youtube.

Towards the end of the show, it started clearing up and it got hot real quick. I’m glad it was pretty much over by that point and we could all head inside. Inside (and outside) the naval air museum are a bunch of old planes from the first World War through WWII, Vietnam, and present. The museum is free and worth a walk around. There is an imax theater inside and some simulations, but we didn’t visit those. NASP (Naval Air Station Pensacola) is pretty large. It’s like an entire city. It’s got police, fire stations, a hospital, schools, beaches, parks, residences, a huge golf course, and a cemetary. Inside, it really doesn’t feel like a military base since there are roads, traffic, and street lights.

So, when we got back to Sandestin, it was about 1-2ish so we went to P.F. Chang’s for lunch. As usual, the shrimp with lobster sauce and brown rice was very good. And like every other PF Changs, there was a stone horse outside :).

Next, we hit the beach for the rest of the afternoon and left for an early dinner at Ocean Club, a highly recommended restaurant just down the street (literally, like next door) at the Tennis resort Tops’l.

Ocean Club is like in this restaurant office park. They call it ocean club, but it’s probably like a mile from the ocean (Gulf) and all you can see are trees. The reason we got there so early was that they have a two-for-one earlybird special if you are seated before 6 pm. It’s not so much a special, as it is a special menu of lesser items. The restaurant wasn’t packed and we were seated very quickly. Our order was also taken very quickly. Then the bread came, very quickly. It was really hot. Before I got to butter it up and grab a bite, our food showed up. I was like what the…? Did you even cook that or did you just scoop it out from some cafeteria. I ordered thr grouper almandine (normally $30). It was sauteed grouper with toasted almonds in a garlic butter sauce with some rice casserole and a thing of brocolini. Everything but the fish was cold and the fish wasn’t much better being only slightly warm. It was also really small. I swear it tasted like cafeteria food too. To top it all off, the waitress rushed us in and out. I know we were at the early-bird sitting, but come on, they weren’t anywhere near busy when we left. She even scoffed at me taking a picture of the food. On the way out, there was a couple coming in from the parking lot. I wanted to tell them that the food sucked and they should go somewhere else. Who knows, maybe the regular menu was better, but what I ordered was from the regular menu and it wasn’t fresh or all that special. The atmosphere, food, and service was just lousy. So, there’s two lousy dinners in a row. A big let-down because these are well-known popular Destin seafood restaurants which are supposed to be good. I guess I was just too spoiled by the big juicy steak from Monday. [/rant]

Well so after dinner, it was back to the beach to get some sunset photos. I had my lights with me and was asked to take a few photos. I was happy to oblige. These are Patti, Alden, and Linda who are locals (lucky!). Alden actually works for Sandestin in reservations. He was the one who told us that the 70 something ponds in the resort are all stocked with bass by Bass Pro Shops.

After the sun went down, we headed back up to the condo, watched some TV, ate ice cream, and went to bed. Stay tuned for Days Five, Six, and Seven!

Full photo gallery with lots more pictures and blue angel shots after the break.

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