Destin, Florida
October 27 - November 1, 2008

by Paul Ridenour

Photos after the text

Monday October 27th

For our 22nd anniversary, I wanted to go to Costa Rica and we even got our passports renewed.  However, Dottie wanted to save a little money so we decided to go to our favorite beach in the US - Destin.  We have been there twice before and it is a great time of year to go.

We left Dallas at 9:30 AM.

At around 4 PM, we were in Vicksburg, Mississippi, when Dottie used the bathroom at the BP gas station on 3140 Indiana Avenue.  Do not go there!!!!  While Dottie was in the stall, someone pushed on the door.  They door opened up and a hand with a cell phone came from behind the door to take a photo.  At first, Dottie thought it was an old lady who had a cell phone in her hand and was just trying to open the stall door, thinking that no one was in there.  It happened so quick.  Dottie was standing behind the door as she was fixing to put a cover over the commode.  She said "Hey, there is someone in here!"  She came out and she did see a short guy with gray hair at the soft drinks.  She did not think it was him because he did not look nervous.  She told the lady at the cashier that a guy came into the women's bathroom.  The lady said that someone complained about that last week.  Dottie told her to check the video camera and you will see who it was.  The cashier did not have access to the camera.  Next time something like that happens, slam the door on their hand/wrist and they will drop the phone.  Grab the phone and you will have proof for the cops.  Dottie wished she would have gotten the guy's license plate number as he left.

We arrived in Destin at 10:15 PM.  Since it is in the northwest panhandle, there is no time change.  We had no idea that a cold spell would grip the US as it was 47 degrees in Destin.  The highest temperatures across America was 60 degrees and only in Miami and San Diego.

Tuesday October 28th

We woke up to 36 degrees.  Today would not be a good day for the beach so we would just do the indoor stuff like shopping.  We had the best breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe  We had 2 eggs., 2 bacon, potatoes, English muffin, and chocolate milk./orange juice for $8 each.  This restaurant won Best Destin Breakfast in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2008. 

We shopped at a neat little outdoor mall called Destin Commons.  It reminded us of Firewheel in Garland, TX, except for the palm trees.  We met a lady in a store who told us about all of the good eating places where the locals go.

We had lunch at a hidden place at the marina called Dewey Destins.  The owner brings in fresh shrimp and oysters every morning from his boats.  It was the best shrimp we have ever had.  We had the 9 piece shrimp basket with fries, hushpuppies, Cole slaw, and 2 soft drinks for $19.  It was a dive but had covered seating and outdoor seating.

We shopped at the Grand Blvd Shopping Center in Sandestin.  We went back to Destin Commons and visited the Bass Pro Shop, which is not that nice. 

For dinner, we split the best 8 oz. filet with asparagus and hollandaise sauce at a place called the Copper Grill.  The owner Tim Creehan used to be the personal chef of Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones.  On the wall was a signed jersey of Tony Romo and a Julius Jones jersey signed by Jerry Jones..  Dinner was $43 and we decided that will be the place we will go for our anniversary on Friday night.  This restaurant is up there with the likes of Ruth Cris, Three Forks, and Del Friscos.  Jerry Jones has a house in Destin and a dune in front of it.  We were told that it is a $300 fine for anyone getting on Jerry's dune. 

Wednesday October 29th

Still too cold for the beach until the afternoon.

We had breakfast at the Bluz Bar and Grill / Sunset Cafe, which are both next to Copper Grill and also owned by Creehan.  We had something called the Pile-up which was eggs, bacon, and hash browns on top of 3 pancakes.  It costs $12 but was not as good as Another Broken Egg.

We had been to Panama City Beach before and was not impressed.  However, they were tearing down all of the old hotels and building condos.  We decided to go there because we heard they had a new mall like Destin Commons called Pier Park, only bigger.  We were impressed with the mall and Panama City Beach.  They had finished all of the condos and the place was completely different.  I had wanted to eat hamburgers at Five Guys when I was in DC this past summer but the people we were with had already eaten there.  To my surprise, there was a Five Guys at Pier Park.

Before we ate there, I had a frozen margarita at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.  That was cool!  We need one of these in Dallas.  It was $10 but you got a souvenir glass.

Five Guys hamburgers were very good and so were the fries.  They won "best burger on the beach" for 2000 through 20007.   Lunch was $15.

We spent the late afternoon at the beach.  The water was cold but you got used to it.

Before dinner, we watched the movie "21."  It was a good one.

We ate a late dinner at a deli called McAlester's.  We split a club sandwich with sweet tea/water for $12.  The tea was really good.

Thursday October 30th

We had breakfast again at Another Broken Egg.

Spent all day at the beach.  I had a crab grab my foot and fish were biting me.  I was in the water for hours and was a little nervous about possible sharks.  We had seen Bull sharks in Destin before and lots of people get attacked in shallow water.  I was ready to poke the eyes out of a shark if I was attacked.

A pigeon with a bad leg was hanging around our chairs and jumped on Dottie's lap.  He was hungry.  There was also a gimpy seagull.

We had to eat lunch at Dewey Destins again because it is the best.  This time I added four fried oysters to the shrimp - $26.  We met some local people who said the entire town is for McCain.  We only saw one Obama sign.  Our waitress had a Palin button and she said "I am from Alaska and we love her.  She's our man."  You don't get to be 80+% favorable ratings if you are not a good governor.

We spent a little bit of time after lunch shopping in Ft. Walton.

We ate dinner again at McAlester's having roast beef this time.  We decided that we really do not like the food.

Friday October 31st

We had breakfast again at Bluz Bar and Grill / Sunset Cafe to have the famous crab cakes/eggs benedict. 

Spent all day at the beach and in the water.  I fed seagulls and pigeons some popcorn and they were all over me, eating out of my hand.

We just had to eat lunch again at Dewey Destins.

It is Halloween and our anniversary is tomorrow but we decided to celebrate it tonight.  Saturday would be our day to drive home.

We had the same thing for dinner at the Copper Grill.  I got Dottie some nice earnings and a necklace from a shop in downtown Plano, TX.  Dottie could not eat any of the desserts but I had the warm chocolate truffle cake.

Since it was Halloween, we decided to see the movie "Sweeney Todd."  We knew it was going to be a dark musical but we had no idea how many people were going to get their necks slit with a barber's razor.  That is one of those movies to see only once.

Saturday November 1st

On our way out of town to go home, we ate one last time at Another Broken Egg.  We sure are going to miss that place and especially Dewey Destins.

We got home late, around midnight.

The Emerald Coast and the beach at Holiday Inn Express

Another Broken Egg Cafe

Dot at Destin Commons

Necklace courtesy of New York and Company

Grand Boulevard

Dewey Destin pelican

Holiday Inn Express

Our room - 4th floor and 3rd from right

Our buddy the gimpy pigeon

Pier Park in Panama City Beach

Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville

Dewey Destins at the marina - food cooked in the trailer

Inside where you order at Dewey Destins

The Marina

"I'm King of the World"

The Birds

I'm the popcorn man

Three pigeons on my arm/hand