We love traveling as a family! As our kids have gotten a little older, traveling has turned into an adventure for the whole family. I really enjoy the anticipation that the kids share for upcoming trips and all the fun traveling brings. This past week we spent the end of our summer in Destin, Florida. It’s one of our favorite places to visit that is within driving distance. As a kid, I didn’t visit the beach very often but it’s been just the opposite for my kids. We’ve been taking them ever since they were born. Thankfully, they have grown to love it as much as we do. Here are a few highlights from our trip, which include some of our favorite restaurants and lots of fun memories.
Takeout Italian Food from Fat Clemenzas
We called in ravioli, pizza, soup, and salad so we could pickup on our way into town. We always grab pizza from Fat Clemenzas to make for an easy night in with the kids. Then, we stopped at Winn-Dixie which was nearby our vacation home for wine. Pizza and wine…perfect way to start this vacation!
We always search through tons of listings to find the perfect vacation rental home. This time we landed at The Villages of Crystal Beach and stayed at Tahitian Treat. Overall, the experience went well. The community had a pool but we never made it to swim. Regarding the property, any issues that we did have were handled promptly by the vacation rental company. They were very friendly to work with. While getting some maintenance done, we met the repairman, a local of Destin, who shared some of his favorite places to eat with us. I always love talking with the locals who can share insight with us.
Brandon tried to build a sandcastle…
Brandon tried to build a sandcastle twice. I think deep down he’s dreaming up this huge sandcastle that he wants to build. He never made it real far in his efforts but I think he figured out a technique that he’s sticking with. I have a feeling that on our next beach vacation something big is coming to the Destin beaches. Brandon’s amazing sandcastle! I’ll give him an A+ for effort this time.
Lunch on the beach at Pompano Joe’s
We always visit the beach access by one of favorite lunch spots, Pompano Joe’s. They have good food and drinks, plus it’s on the beach. So, if you visit this beach spot and need to grab some lunch, then walk on up to Pompano Joe’s. I love the gumbo and the Garlic Crusted Grouper with Lobster. Brandon sticks with the fried shrimp, Marley loves the virgin Pinã Coladas, and Buddy is all about the popcorn shrimp and fries. The service is always quick, the servers are nice, and the scenery is very memorable. We love to make memories at Pompano Joe’s!
Late night ice cream and treats at Kilwin’s Destin Commons
This was a spur of the moment thing…let’s go find some ice cream! It was like 8:30 so I did a quick internet search and saw we could catch Kilwin’s at the Destin Commons area. It was only five minutes away but took us a while to find it’s exact location. It’s located in a shipping center so it took a little riding around but we found it just in time. When we got there we realized others must have had the same thoughts. The ice cream shop was full! However, the service was quick and the ice cream was delicious. I got a caramel apple and we all sat outside and enjoyed our late night snacks. We will definitely go back to Kilwin’s for sweet treats.
Friendly beach-goers at the beach gave us sand dollars
Some friendly people at the beach caught several sand dollars and shared a few with us. They told us to soak them in a Clorox solution to get that special tan color. I guess we will have to try that out.
Enjoyed new snacks on the beach
Sand-friendly snacks are always needed at the beach. So, I’m always looking for packaged, canned, and easy-to-eat food and drinks. This time around I tried the Dilly Bites by Oh Snap!® Pickling Co. and they went way too fast. Marley and I both loved them! I’m definitely excited to try more individually wrapped veggies and pickles from them. We found them at Walmart for like .98 cents so that’s a win.
The other item I tried at the beach were Barefoot Wine Spritzers. I‘m definitely a fan of Barefoot wine so they seemed like a perfect fit. They were very tasty and I found four varieties to choose from. The Summer Red variety was by far my favorite but there was a Moscato, White Wine, and Rosé blend if you’d prefer. They are canned and perfect for a fizzy drink at the beach.
Dinner at McGuire’s Irish Pub is a tradition
Whenever someone visits Destin with us we always bring them to this one place, McGuire’s Irish Pub. It’s a huge restaurant that is always very busy and rightfully so. The food and the restaurant are one of a kind. The .88 cent bean soup, the ribeye, and the boxty’s are all great! The kids love the loud environment, the dollar bills that COVER THE ENTIRE CEILING, and men’s/women’s restroom situation. To understand the restroom situation you’d just have to visit to know what I’m talking about. Make sure you read the door is all I am saying! Ha! We can’t wait to get back to McGuire’s…it’s our favorite for families.
Lots of sun, giggles, and fun family memories
Beach hair, don’t care
We got sand everywhere but we didn’t even care. I guess I’ll have to deal with that tomorrow. That’s the thing with vacations. They put all our worries, problems, and anxieties into perspective. Vacations give us the much needed break to be able to continue. Life isn’t easy and vacations aren’t free. Take time to slow down, let your shoulders drop, and hug those who mean the world to you. Eat some ice cream, wear silly glasses, and wear a bathing suit ladies! Take a vacation and make some memories. You’ll never forget or regret it! I wish summer would never end because it is literally my favorite season…