Monday, June 11, 2012

Destin Baby!

It's here...the post about our Destin trip!!!  Better late than never right?

For those of you who have been around the blog for a while, you know that we LOVE Destin.  It was a place that we kind of discovered by accident.  We knew we wanted to travel to Florida, but didn't want the drive to be too long.  I ended up going on Florida's website, just looking at different areas and Destin caught my eye.  I then called my sweet friend Jodie and asked where she and her family vacationed in Florida...Destin!  She then gave us the recommendation of where to stay and the rest is history.

My posts regarding Destin don't change much from year, to year, to year, but that's OK with us...we like comfort and tradition.

So here I am to recap Destin might wanna grab a snack :)

With the exception of the first year we have always stopped in the Nashville area on the way to Florida.  The first leg of our drive was pretty uneventful.
We didn't hit a lot of traffic...the other side of the highway was not so lucky.
The clouds were just beautiful!
This year we decided to stop at the Neely's restaurant to try out their BBQ.  It wasn't the best I've ever had, but it wasn't bad.  Their sweet tea was amazing!!!
Rondell's step father's daughter (you following me) goes to school in Nashville and stopped by to have BBQ with us and hang out at our hotel.  I love Shallonda!

We continued on the next day...
Since I take the kids out of school in order to go Jamison usually has a little homework to do while we're gone.  This year she had quite a few assignments and even had to take a test!  She never complained...I am so proud of her.
This is always the best part...driving over the bridge that leads into Destin :)
I think I always take this picture when we first arrive.  For the last 3 years we have stayed in the same condo it feels like home.

We arrived right at dinner time so we just ate, unpacked a little and relaxed...gearing up for the next day.
I read The Hunger Games...and ended up liking it.
The iPad kept the kids occupied during down moments.

We spent almost everyday at the pool:
Both kids are taking lessons right now and they were much more comfortable in the water this time.  We still had to keep floaties on Caleb because he's a daredevil.

Jamison's comfort level improved tremendously from last year...last year she was still scared to put her face in the water.  This year she was actually swimming with her entire body submerged.  Again, I'm so proud of her. 
Rondell getting ready to attack...
The water shooters were a hit again this year.

I never tire of this view!
A little Connect Four poolside.

I never tire of this view either!

We hit the beach a few times.
It was pretty windy and the waves were a little high...but we just made sure to stay at a safe distance.
By far my favorite view (and this picture is unedited...)

I love my beach babies :)
The water is just so clear!
This year we grilled hamburgers and brats.  Rondell's shirt is very fitting :)

The beautiful evening sky.
One morning Rondell woke up early and picked up donuts.  They hit the spot.
Rondell loves BBQ...hence the shirt in the earlier picture.  His dream is to one day travel the country and visit cities that are known for their BBQ.
He has been determined to find a place in Destin that he would give the 5-star Chef Boy RD rating.  This year we tried Jim 'N Nick's.  It was pretty tasty!  They had this one item on the menu called Pig in the Potato Patch.  It was a potato topped with pulled pork, bacon, butter, sour cream, scallions, and BBQ!  And on top of that they had these cheese biscuits that were I'm hungry.
Our go-to lunch has been Honey Baked Ham on Hawaiian Rolls...easy and so tasty.  I just put the little sandwiches together and throw them in the bag to take to the beach or the pool.
This is definitely a mom always makes a wonderful seafood meal.  Lobster tail, garlic peel n eat shrimp, potato and salad.  Words.can't.even.explain!  This is by far my favorite meal on the trip.  When I posted this pic on Instagram my Vivienne knew exactly what it was...I may have mentioned this a time or two :)
Jamison chowing down on her fav...popcorn shrimp from Whale's Tale (Hi Carrie)

Here's our last day at the beach:
**Unedited**  Well, all of the pictures are, but I point it out here because I'm just amazed at how beautiful the beaches are.

I just love that my mama comes with us!

I had to get a visor because the sun was really hard on my eyes and cheeks this year.  I would wake up and my eyes would be swollen from being in the sun.

Caleb had to get a new DS while we were there because he left his on the floor of the van and we got sand in it from bringing sand into the car from being at the beach.

This year we got to visit with my friend Joanna.  We met through blogging and have become fast friends.  She lives in Panama City, which is about 45 minutes from Destin.  We first met up in 2010 when she and her family came to our condo to visit us and hang out for the day.  They are the ones who introduced us to Publix's key lime pie.  Last year her girls were sick so we weren't able to get together.  We were thrilled to be able to hang out with them this year:
Jamison showing Kayla and Kelsie a multiplication technique.
I adore her.  **See my swollen eyes?**

We usually only go out to eat for dinner once or twice while we are in Destin.  Other nights we cook in the condo.  We tried The Crab Trap last year and loved it and went back again this year.

Don't they look excited to be there :)
Last year we connected with the manager of The Crab Trap, Lynda, because Jamison's guidance counselor's brother (are you following me) is the owner...small world.  We were excited to see her again this year...she remembered us!  She spoiled the kids with souvenirs.

Our last two days were overcast and rainy, but by that time we were all kind of pooped from all of the swimming so it was nice to have a change of pace.  One day we headed down to the harbor to walk around and have lunch.  This was our first time visiting the harbor:

I will say that the cloudy skies made it easier to leave :(
And while we love is always good to be home :)


paige said...

ya'll are awesome beach lovers!!
( destin lovers!!)
such great pictures. and yes, it is amazing how gorgeous and clear the water is!
lucky you that momma can come too!!

Stacey said...

Looks like you had a blast. I love your instagram pics Kelli, looking forward to getting an iPhone myself this fall! You're making me think that Destin sounds nice for my family too!

Carrie said...

Oh Kelli...we leave in 2 days...and I'm already drooling over the shrimp fajitas at Whale's Tail! I hope they're as good as I remember! ;-D Your pictures are so fun and I love that you were able to visit with so many friends and family along the way too! {where can we pick your mom up on the way to have that delicious meal for us one night?!} I always have to wear a hat too because the sun is so bright...and I'm hoping ellie keeps her hat on too...she is fair skinned like me and Emily...Dan and Alex just tan. Another wonderful trip, glad you had great weather and more fun memories to bring home ;-)

Rach said...

Yay! It's here! The Destin post!! Now I can have a mini-vacay and don't even have to leave my couch. ;o)

Oh, Kelli, it's all so so wonderful. It's gorgeous and fun and sandy and sunny and all things a vacation should be.

Your cloudy photos of the last day are perfect. I was always so happy when it rained the day we left the beach--it made leaving SO much easier.

I LOVE your visor and may have to try to score one. When you're day-glo white, visors are a good thing. ;o)

Hooray for your mama and the meals she cooks! I think I may have to adopt her. ;oP

Hugs to you!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Your trip looked like SO much fun!!! I have never been to Destin, FL before & this post totally makes me want to go. I can't believe how clear the ocean is there. Our beaches don't look like that in California! So glad you had a lovely vacation!!!

carissa at lowercase letters said...

so glad you enjoyed it and had a blast! we have a jim 'n nicks here... it is so good. and i'm glad you liked the Hunger Games. i appreciated the writing but i was a little depressed about it all. your pictures are adorable!! happy summer, indeed!

Angie said...

I love all the pictures you took. Of course I love all the food pics. YUM!

I'm so ready to visit Destin. I want the gorgeous beach views you had. The beaches we see aren't near as amazing as what y'all see!

happy summer!

Jolyn said...

I so loved your post to Destin.. I believe we were there the same time as you...6-1-12 through I followed your pictures so well.. He had perfect weather and over cast our last day. We also went to harbor and ate at the bbq place... I almost got that baked potato dish went with the pulled pork...loved the biscuts..We picked a perfect week..and as we left it poured rain and we were stuck on the runway for 3 1/2 hours...but that is a story in itself...I also live in ohio...In fact I checked your Destin trips before we made out reservations to get information on god and bad...Oh well glad you all had a wonderful trip where the sand is soft and white and the water is Emerald...Have a blessed week. Jolyn