Friday, April 11, 2014

Vacation Recap and a Birdshark


America, y'all got it goin' on!!  We just returned from our Spring Break vacation.  Admittedly, our choice of holiday has changed over the years now we have children, but I defy anybody to go to Sandestin Resort, FL and not have a thoroughly enjoyable time.  Did I bring back some extra poundage?  Absolutely!  But it was totally worth it and hopefully my tan covers it up somewhat.  Coronas, Margaritas, Crab Legs, beignets and Pina Colada Cake featured heavily during our week, Shirley Temples for the kiddos :)

I won't bore you with every detail, but our vacation was easy, relaxing and fun.  You know, the way vacations are supposed to be!  We booked our condo through on a friend's recommendation and we were not disappointed.   The condo was spacious, clean and even had a Keurig so I could have my morning cup of tea :)  It was steps away from a huge outdoor pool with 2 hot tubs and just up the street from Baytowne Wharf with it's many restaurants, boardwalks, stores, ziplining - you name it, they have it.


We were surrounded by beautiful trees and gardens and you could see the beautiful bay.  It even came with a golf cart that enabled us to drive around the resort, to the beach and to and from the fabulous restaurants at Grand Boulevard just outside the resort itself.  As you can imagine, the kids loved it!   
There were golf courses, lakes and swimming pools everywhere and miles of bike/running paths.  You can fish in the bay or in any of the lakes, it was fantastic!  All very convenient yes, but also very beautifully landscaped so you didn't realize you were inside a resort.

We spent a lot of time on the beach which was perfect with white sand, clear blue sea AND THERE WAS A BAR RIGHT THERE!  The husband and me thoroughly enjoyed chilling on the beach chairs with ice cold Coronas & limes interspersed with footie games with the kiddos.  Bliss!  

There were even nice, clean toilets in a trailer just off the beach :)  People had coolers full of their own drinks and food - we'll definitely do this next time to save a bit of cash.  Americans are very organized on vacation with their own coolers & ice, chairs, music, you name it.  I love it!  But even if you don't bring your own, you can always get what you need for a fee which suited our unprepared selves.  Most folks had golf carts, so much easier to get around than with a car and so much easier to park too.   We watched dolphins in the ocean and saw the sun setting.   I miss it already.
Didn't manage a dolphin photo so this pelican will have to do :)

I did, however, have a wee scary moment.  I was nervous about sharks before we even arrived and was determined not to let the kiddos go deep in the ocean.  At first I wouldn't let them go in above their shins, but I eventually relented and let them go in up to their thighs.  They were jumping around in the water with lots of other people when I saw what looked like a fin further out and to their right.  Seriously, my heart was pounding.  I ran to them and brought them in whilst trying not to scare them and then realized that it was just a bird, or as the husband now calls it, a birdshark.  Pfffft.  The bloody thing's neck was long and it really looked like a fin from a distance.  Better safe than sorry I say!!  
 Birdshark survivors

Although we spent most of our time in the resort, we did have a nostalgic trip to Eglin Air Force Base for old time's sake.  The husband retired from the Air Force 2 years ago so we quite fancied revisiting the world of Sunday Brunch in the Officer's Club and a bit of cheap shopping in the BX (Base Exchange - a huge store) again.  It was fun but we can live without it I guess :)

We also visited The Crab Trap on the beach where we devoured 4lbs of crab legs, 2lbs of shrimp, a ton of hush puppies, potatoes and sweetcorn.  Delish!  There was a lovely beach there too where we spent the rest of the afternoon.  It was quieter than our resort beach and really relaxing but didn't have the Bar, so no Coronas this time. 
We met up with friends of ours from way back who now live close to Destin, which was great!  The menfolk went fishing for the day and brought back several red snapper fish.  Lucky for us, Tre prepared the fish, battered them up and made us the most delicious fish tacos - even the kiddos loved them :)  Thanks Sam, Tre and Mason for your amazing hospitality!  A few sparkling beverages were also enjoyed!

Anyway, we are lucky enough to live a mere 6 and a half hours away from Sandestin and have already booked our return trip.  This time we're taking my parents while they are over visiting from Scotland and we are renting a villa with a 6 person golf cart.  I know they'll love it too as long as the husband doesn't scare them too much with his cart driving skills, or maybe that's just me...  Now it's time to get back to running and Hot Yoga to lose the vacation lard before our next trip.  Happy Travels!

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