Destin Family Vacay
Those of you who know me, or know a ranch-wife’s lifestyle in general, know that there is basically no free time. Ever. The past 2 years now have been exceptionally busy and stressful because what else? Covid. I hate even saying that word at this point, but it’s a thing that happened, so I’ll acknowledge it. Since we have had approximately 2 years with basically no time for actual fun, we decided to do a different summer vacation this year. Normally, we load up and go to Illinois to visit Andy’s family, but this year, we decided to head to the white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters of Destin, Florida.
We have been to Destin before, but it has been years. The last time we went, the boys were really too little to enjoy it. In fact, Declan more or less hated it. This year would prove to be a different story for sure.
We left at the actual crack of dawn. Actually, it was dark, so it was before the actual crack of dawn even. It was way earlier than I care to even exist, but the thinking was we would get down there at a reasonable hour. Wrong. The traffic was insane and add a fatal crash in Louisiana to the mix and it took about 17 years to arrive. So, the very first evening was spent just checking in and ordering pizza, which took over an hour, close to 2. Yes. For one pizza. There was also wine.
Day 1 was spent navigating hurricane Elsa. We headed to the beach early, but it wasn’t long until the lifeguards were telling everyone to get out of the water due to the strength of the undercurrent. We spent the rest of the afternoon back and forth from the pool to the beach. Luckily, it was a super short walk so it wasn’t hard to do. That evening, we had dinner at The Beachhouse, a restaurant located in the Sandestin. It was by far the quickest restaurant to get into as we only had about a 20-minute wait there. It was a great location, right on the beach, and there was indoor and outdoor seating. The food was good, a fairly basic menu, what you would expect for a restaurant on the beach…seafood, fried items, and a simple kid’s menu.
Day 2 was beautiful. We headed back to the beach and Elsa had left us and yellow flags were posted, so we were able to enjoy the water while using caution, which I can promise you I always do anyway. Undercurrent, sharks, jellyfish, old men taking a potty break, whatever the case may be, if I’m in the beach water, I’m using caution. We spent basically our entire day at the beach, as did the boys. They threw the football, boogie boarded, snorkeled (kind of) and did some back and forth to the pool because Declan met a girl, but that’s a whole other blogpost. That evening, we ate dinner at Harbor Dock’s, and it was delicious. I would definitely recommend it. We headed back to the room and to bed early that evening because our fishing trip was scheduled for 6 am the next morning.
Day 3 we went inshore fishing. Andy and Dryce tend to get a bit seasick, so especially with the aftereffects of the tropical storm, we decided for our first fishing excursion, we should stay in the bay. We used Scallywag excursions and had a fantastic time. It was definitely the highlight of the trip for me! We let the boys do all the fishing and our guide said it wasn’t a great day, but fish were caught and 5 of them were keepers, so it was a great day for us. The boys caught 5 black snappers and the guide recommended Brotula’s hook and cook option for us to take them. So, we put them on ice and headed to Brotula’s that evening. We had some fried for the boys and the rest pan seared. It was absolutely delicious. I was honestly surprised how much meat came off of the 5 fish. It was more than enough for the 4 of us. We didn’t even finish it all. So, I would absolutely book you a fishing trip (we did private, half day, inshore) and then take what you catch to Brotula’s. After dinner, we went to The Track to drive go carts and play some mini golf. The go cart line was long for sure, but worth the wait because the boys loved it. Although the place was pretty crowded, putt-putt wasn’t too bad, and we had a great end to our last evening there. I’m sure Andy would want me to mention he won by two strokes, because if I didn’t, what would have been the point of him meticulously keeping score and then checking and rechecking to make 100 percent sure he won?
Our last day we left about 10. We headed to town and grabbed brunch at The Pancakery and while we waited for our table, we hit up the HUGE candy store and some souvenir shops on either side of the restaurant. After some delicious omelets and pancakes, we hit the road and made the long, traffic riddled drive back to Texas.
In conclusion, Destin was a blast. It has grown quite a bit since the last time we were there. It is still absolutely beautiful and a fantastic choice for a family beach vacation. We will definitely return at some point to check out the things we missed. We're all curious and interested in hitting up Crab Island, we never got to eat at Boshamp's and I’m kind of thinking I want a redo on my Hawaii parasailing adventure since I spent the entire time gripping the harness for dear life and more or less keeping my eyes closed.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our experience in Florida and can’t wait to visit with you again next week!!