I woke up early that morning at 5:45 AM to catch the sunrise and first light over the water. I had been putting off getting up before the sun and I finally beat it, on the last day! Better late than never! I was truly glad that I finally did it though. It was so nice and the cool sand between my toes is such an awesome, unforgettable feeling!
On Thursday, the water had risen up unusually high during high tide and by Saturday, the water was still there and left pools of water. As the waves came and went, it created little channels and was pretty neat.
So after, I took my few pictures and headed back up. It was a final pack up and trip down to the car to load up and head out for our 12 hour drive back to Dallas. It’s definitely not as fun knowing you’re heading back to the real world, but all good things must come to an end.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I loved every minute of the trip and it was so nice to get away. I hope the oil spill doesn’t leave to great an impact and that it gets plugged soon (as early as this weekend as they are going to try and cut it off and cap it again). I also hope that I get a chance to go back soon and experience the memories again.
Until next time Destin!
And that’s pretty much all I have for Destin, Florida! I am going to sleep now. Tomorrow morning I leave for Wyoming. I will see y’all tomorrow in Jackson, Wyoming when I get to tour the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone! Expect tons of pictures and nightly blog posts!
Today was the last day of the trip. It really saddened me knowing the next morning we would be departing Florida and have to drive another 12 hours back home. It certainly was fun while it lasted and I enjoyed every minute of it!
Yeah, they were quite far… lol.
This would be a cool condo to stay in!
Breakfast was so awesome the previous day we just had to go back to Another Broken Egg for more homemade goodness. For breakfast, we got French Toast with strawberries and it was excellent as the day before. Today we got there a little bit late and had to sit in the bar area because the restaurant was packed. All the places in Destin tend to get really croweded come the weekend. By early week/midweek, they’re practically begging people to show up, but come the weekend, they’re jam packed. Anyhow, we were still lucky to get one of the last remaining seats before a large line started forming outside the restaurant.
After breafast, we decided to make the most of our day and hit the beach for a nearly full day of fun in the sun. It was a very clear, crisp sharp day. The water was a bit greener than usual from the algae/seaweed stuff.
After our morning swim, we headed up for a quick sandwhich, and then it was back down to the beach for more swimming. This time I brought my camera and took it underwater for some cool pictures. This was pretty much the only interesting one that turned out to be in focus somewhat and showed the gunk in the water. It’s really hard to remain in one position when the waves are tossing you about, not to mention what you are trying to take is getting pushed around as well.
At least it’s not an oil tar ball!!! Had to rinse the camera in freshwater after being in the ocean.
After the afternoon swim, we left for an early dinner at Royal Orchid Thai, where we had eaten the first night. It was just that good, we had to go back. We wanted to eat somewhere close because having spent the previous evening at the Silver Sands mall, we wanted to go back. All the shops close at 9 PM which is just ridiculously early, so we had to eat and allow enough time to go shopping some more before they closed and we had to leave. The restaurant strangely enough was right next to this golf course which had some nice trees and a pond. I couldn’t help myself, and had to take a couple pictures. The staff at the restaurant was extremely welcoming and friendly. Kani (sorry, I know I’m spelling your name wrong) was really nice and made sure our food was perfect!
AMAZING tom-ka Thai coconut soup
Pad Thai in front, and Pad See Ew in the back. The colored lighting in the restaurant leads to the funky colors that you see ;).
It turns out, shopping in a nice outlet mall with good stores is funner than you would think!
Silver Sands Mall Sunset
As I was saying it was an EXTREMELY clear and sharp day and I was able to get these two pictures. The panorama (long picture), which I plan to print at ~12×48 looks like it’s going to be incredible!
The actual size of this panorama comes out to a whopping 135 megapixels!!!
The above picture is the pool in the lower right corner of the tall building. It’s the new Luau condo building.
Off to bed, early-ish (11 something).. (I can never get to sleep as early as I want)…. I wanted to wake up before sunrise the next day to capture the first glimpse of light coming over the ocean. I got some pretty cool pictures, so you’ll have to stay tuned for the final photo installment of my Destin trip! And yes, I say photo installment because I got a handful of beach videos to put up!
This morning we woke up early and went across the street to the Baytowne Warf for breakfast at Another Broken Egg. They are famous in Florida and Louisiana for their incredible egg dishes. The story behind the resataurant which started in Lousiana is actually an intesting one. It was started as a small business run out of an old summer home on Lake Pontchartrain by a former executive that had a mid-life crisis. And still today, the restaurant has a homey atmosphere to it. The staff is very friendly and all the food is freshly made. According to their website they have 130+ items on their menu, and I believe it. It was huge and they were all different and each sounded very tasty. It was definitely a hard decision deciding what to get first! You could spend months there and not try everything! I finally decided to get “the floridan” omelet as recommended by our waitress (pictured above). It’s the first omelette on the menu. It’s a cream cheese filled omelette topped with fresh garlic-butter sauteed crabmeat with jack cheese and scallions on top. It was just mouthwatering! I had never had seafood on an omelette before, but this was really good. As we were leaving the restaurant, the place was packed and lots of people were waiting outside just to grab a seat. I guess the early bird does get the worm crab omelette!
The Crawfish Omelette
After breakfast, we walked around Baytowne Warf a bit and got to see what it was like during the daytime.
I want one! Too bad the Via Kassablanca is 5 million! Not too bad looking for a ~15 year old yacht either!
I guess I could settle for any one of these!
I wonder what the story is behind this lure, it was just left here. Looks like it’s seen some use!
When we got back to the other side of Sandestin, we headed down to one of the ponds to fish for bass. All the ponds at Sandestin are stocked wtih Florida large mouth from Bass Pro and it’s all catch and release. So if you don’t catch anything, there’s really no excuse! I say that, but I only caught one and my dad didn’t catch any lol. Last time (9 years ago), I managed to catch 4 in an hour, they were that hungry.
When it started getting hot, we went back up to the condo, made a sandwhich for a quick lunch, and then headed down to the beach, a daily chore, how awful!.
An exceptionally clear day at the beach, water and sky!
For dinner, we wanted some place good. And if there’s one good seafood restaurant in the Destin area, it’s Marina Cafe. This place is so good that they are constantly changing their menu up every week! It was one of our favorite places we always came back to many years ago. Like Ocean Club, they have a happy-hour dinner special where if you are seated before 6PM, it’s half off. Unlike, Ocean Club, you can choose anything on their full menu and they take the time to make hot and fresh just for you! I chose the fish of the day dish which happened to be swordfish. I hadn’t had swordfish before, but did recommend it. The food did take some time to come, but we had bread and could actually enjoy ourselves that night and not be rushed along. For desert, we got Creme Brulet, but we must’ve eaten it so fast because I can’t find any pictures of it lol.
Their view of the harbor is gorgeous! Check out their “parking lot” of boats! 🙂
After dinner, I couldn’t tell you what we did either because I don’t have any pictures of anything significant, but it probably involved ice cream and TV! Day 6 coming soon!
edit: I remember what we did, we went shopping at the famous Silver Sands Outlet mall. I remember we ran out of time before they closed lol. So after that it was ice cream and TV!
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!