Friday, June 18, 2010

Destin, FL - How Do I Love Thee?

I have been totally absent from blogging because well, I've been on vacation! And getting ready to go on vacation, which I totally needed a vacation from.

Destin is perhaps one of my favorite places on earth. When I lived in Louisiana it was a really easy car drive to get to the Florida panhandle. I went there...a lot - only as an adult since my childhood beach was more of the Grand Isle variety (which I'm going to show you soon - it's hilarious). What I discovered & really enjoyed this trip was that I feel really at home there. I know where things are, I'm familiar with the restaurants, the people are incredibly nice, the food is to die for good, plus I was on vacation so it's kind of always a party. But seriously, it felt like you do when you go home. Just relaxed & comfortable & happy. See?
Patrick & I at the Back Porch Desti
Patrick & I at The Back Porch. It's a tradition & we have to go every single time we are in town. We hit it on the way in because Patrick's Dad claims he doesn't like it & wants to get it over with. I sure did see him enjoying his crab fingers & grouper sandwich though - just sayin. And you have to sit on the actual back porch because here is the view from our table
Off the Back Porch, Destin
And do have a Bloody Mary, because they make a really good one. And smoked tuna dip. It relaxes me & puts me straight into beach mode.

Now, I have to say it. The beach is Destin is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever set foot on. As a matter of fact, if you google "prettiest beaches" & look for some lists, it usually ranks right up there in the top 10 in the world. Usually. About 49 weeks out of the year. We happened to be there in one of the weeks where the algae was rolling in & it was.....soupy. The water was just soupy - there is no other way to describe it. I did attempt to get in the water a few days because hey, an algae spa treatment is like $200! But it was gross & I regretted that this trip couldn't be clear beaches & pretty water, particularly considering the upcoming oil slick....but I won't get into that now - I'll save it for next time. Back to the beach - here is my chair on Friday morning before the whole dang beach filled up:
My chair at the beach Friday
(notice the algae line on the beach? Ick)

And from my chair:
The beach & water full of algae Friday

See that one layer of algae on the front - then how it gets really pretty behind it? Well, my stupid scared-of-water ass tried to get out past it. I got about to my shoulders (which is really deeper than that when you account for rolling waves), got scared & ran back to shore. Never tried it again although my friend and his almost SEVEN YEAR OLD did & they were fine. Show offs (they also did parasailing, but I wasn't shucking out the $100 they wanted for the 8-10 minutes of fun in the air. Geeze).

Now for my showing off. I got a new camera & I took...let's say a lot of pictures. Or a lot for me - about 350. Usually I take under 50 so I thought that was pretty darn good. I made my friend Liz pick out my camera because she did loads of research on cameras when she bought her new one at Christmas time. Well, she looked at it & told me it had a cool fireworks setting. Well, as luck would have it, we went to a champagne party on Friday night complete with fireworks from the balcony so I got some really good pictures. I won't bore you with all of them (there are A BUNCH), but here are a few of my favorites picked very randomly.
At one point Patrick asked me if I was ENJOYING the fireworks & I told him "of course I'm not, I'm trying to get pictures of them!" Which pretty much sums up why I usually take very few pictures on vacation. When I do that I'm always sorry later that I don't have a load of great pictures. And I admit this time was more fun because I was playing with the new camera & I enjoyed it.

The whole reason we went to Destin at all is because Patrick's Dad was being sworn in as the President of the Louisiana Bar Association. It was a fun time but it was also pretty special & we are really proud of him.
Mike & Patrick
(despite the lei. Although I think that proves he is both a serious yet fun person)

Then Saturday night Patrick's stepmom threw a party for family & very close friends at perhaps my favorite place to eat down there- Bud & Alley's.
Bud & Alley's
Bud & Alley's isn't really in Destin, it is down the road in Santa Rosa Island. There is an upstairs open bar that is the greatest place to watch a sunset. Did you ever see The Truman Show? That was filmed in this community & it is just a great area. We have stayed there during the winter & it was a really great place to bike ride & walk around. Not to mention they have some really great shops. But back to the party. We had a great room & this was the view:
Bud & Alley's
Most restaurants in this area have smoked tuna dip. I know that doesn't sound good but I'm hear to tell you - particularly at Bud & Alley's - I could eat my weight in the stuff. They serve it with these lavosh crackers* & dude, it is the best thing ever. Patrick hates mayo & he still eats it everywhere we go.

Sorry to ramble on & on about vacation. I realize this is a knitting blog but I knit exactly 8 rows on a baby sweater while I was gone. And that included airport waiting & the plane ride there & back. Or as Patrick would say "You knit those 8 rows 3 different times" I think he's a bit of a smart ass, but he's right - I did have some start issues with it. I'll tell you all about it when it looks bigger than a strip of tape.

*Disclaimer: Liz & I had a conversation about Lavosh - her mother in law makes it fresh & it's more of a bread than a cracker. Her husband is Armenian & it's a specialty there. I'm willing to wager that what Bud & Alley's isn't quite the same thing, but it's very yummy.