Site Seeing in Destin Florida with the Grand Squids

We decided it would be a nice thing to do over spring break to take the girls for a little bit of a vacation. We opted for a trip to Destin Florida because it's easy driving distance and I had some Marriott points I could use. We could do it kind of as a last minute trip without a lot of planning. I hate to admit it but I didn't realize spring break was this late in the year I figured it was a little earlier and we just didn't plan stuff for this particular week given what my work schedule looked like ahead of time. The great news is I was able to just on very short notice, Easter Sunday, decide that we will take off Tuesday afternoon through Saturday of that same week.

Tuesday morning I ran out to run a few errands at Walgreens and grab myself some coffee at Starbucks, and wouldn't you know it I got to Walgreens, and when I came out my truck wouldn't start. I had a little bit a problem with it starting slow over the last week or so and I just assumed my battery was finally starting to give out. I had to do some quick diagnosis right there in the parking lot but in the end realized it was actually the starter that was the problem and not just a starter solenoid or even the battery. I quickly arranged the tow truck to the repair shop to do the work and waited while he came to pick up the vehicle. ( insert photo of truck on trailer)

There's a saying I saw on the Internet a few weeks ago that said "Life will deal you troubles, you can either become bitter or better from having lived through them". This was another one of those great opportunities to ensure that I would become better and not bitter over something as silly as the truck happening to break down on the day we were leaving for vacation.

So in the end there was no reason to get annoyed by something like this, it was just a matter of having the work arranged for the repair,  popping in the other vehicle and taking off for our trip.

We drove to Pensacola Beach Florida, which is only a little over a 3 Hour frove from where we live. We planned on Staying one night in Pensacola and then we planned to go on to Fort Walton Beach in the Destin area for the remaining nights.

On the first night we really just relaxed, we had dinner that we cooked in the hotel room and just sat around and watched some TV and chilled out for a few hours. The pool was actually closed at this hotel so we were unable to swim. The girls were a bit disappointed about that.

The next morning we got up and drove along the Fort Walton Beach area and specifically in an area called Santa Rosa Beach, which is between Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola Beach. This is a small barrier island that's probably no more than a quarter of a mile wide at its widest point and probably only 100 yards or 200 yards wide at its narrowest. We stopped in one of the parking lots to do some walking along the beach. They were just gorgeous. The sand was the color of salt or sugar and just as fine. This was the first time McKinley has ever been on a beach that were aware of. Chasity ran right up to the waters edge,  she was having fun running in and out with the waves trying keep them from getting her too wet. The water was a bit chilly. We took quite a few photos on the beach and had an opportunity for McKinley to touch her toes into the water as well. We also watched a couple fly a kite on the beach which was kind a neat. 

We checked into the hotel in Fort Walton Beach which is right on the Bay. We ended up swimming in the pool for probably about 30 minutes and I was freezing so I got out. Chasity ended up swimming for a good 4 1/2 hours. She met another boy her age in the pool named Ian and they had a blast just talking about video games and making fun of the birds that were flying over head and everything else. 

We all slept pretty sound after a big busy day. Thursday we got up and had an appointment for a Dolphins splash encounter for Chasity. We went over to the Gulfarium Marine Park in Fort Walton Beach, paid our admission and looked at some of the exhibits.  They had a sea lion show and they had a touch tank with horseshoe crabs, sea urchins, clams, starfish and hermit crabs. We also went and saw a hammerhead shark and sea Ray exhibit. There were alligators, a bird sanctuary, dolphins, sharks and penguins. You name it, and this place had some of that. 

It was then time to prepare for the dolphin encounter, we went over to the registration booth where Chasity got prepared by putting on a set of water shoes and a life jacket and they gave her a quick safety instruction. She got into the pool with three other girls about her age and a trainer.  They were able to touch the dolphin they were able to feel how it blows air out of his blowhole it made noises for them they were able to hold onto its tail fan or flukes they also able to instruct him to jump he also swing by and splashed all the girls kind of in the face with his back for him and they got to Cincy rub his belly. The big photo op came when they put their two hands together in the dolphin would jump up and swim right with his nose into their hands and hold real still and I could bring them and give them a kiss quite the photo op and I'm sure and experience you'll never forget.

After leaving Gulfarium park we drove over to Destin Florida just to check out the waterfront. It's still a little cool temperature wise, so the waterfront wasn't quite the bustling of activity that it would be in the summertime. We did drive by a few marinas this would be a lovely place to spend a little bit of time and there is a regional Airport Freeway closed by. 
My experience is regional airports don't usually make good places to stay for very long because they're not very convenient for my work. If you're driving around Destin and checking it out we came back to the hotel because Chassidy was hoping that the person she met the day prior at the pool would still be there and they would have a chance to play together. We got back to the hotel change into our swimsuits and came on down to the pool. I did put McKinley a little floating tube well Chassidy played in the water and it's occurring as well within about 15 minutes she was so cold and shivering she was actually shaking.

As the girls played in the pool Deb brought him some chicken and a couple of potatoes and some slut sliced up cauliflower that we ended up grilling on the grill here at the hotel. Great way to save some money and run to the grocery store and spent about $100 in groceries and the plan is will have at least three dinners all of our breakfast is here which is included in the price of the admission of the hotel and also two of her lunch is here and I will save several hundred dollars by doing it that way and the experience was really nice. But this particular town please suites they have large couches and benches with gas fire pits outside. They also have two gas grills plum directly into the gas lines here on the patio that's available for anybody juice. You just have to ask the front desk if they'll bring out the utensils they do and away you go. So we were able to cook a really nice dinner so that these lovely and comfortable teak tables and chairs on your patio right at the waterfront and eat our meals sensually it was waterfront dining like we would've $150 for for the four of us to go out meet at touristy place with average at best food. This allowed us to cook all fresh vegetables and grilled chicken that we want to prepare it and have us a good healthy meal on the waterfront and spend time as a family.

So far this is been a great trip. It wasn't planned to be very long and it wasn't a very expensive out-of-town trip it was really just the ability to get in the car and take the girls somewhere over spring break and have a good time. It's turning into that and a lot more we're also planning on tomorrow going over and spending some time with dad's cousins so Chassidy and McKinley will get to meet several other cousins that live in this area.

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  1. The most irritating thing in site seeing spots are the disabled or illegally parked or placed vehicles. I keep the tow truck richmond contact always to avoid and eradicate such problems.

    1. We may just view the world differently. I don't get too worked up about others indiscretions unless they directly impact me. Someone's illegal parking doesn't impact me 99% of the time. I just move on, park elsewhere and don't give it more than a fleeting thought.
      I do me, which keeps me positive and happy.