Oh, I've been waiting on a beach vacation for so long. I suppose that sounds ridiculous when you consider all the places I've been this year, but none of the trips I've taken thus far can be considered relaxing. Steve surprised me a few weeks ago by making reservations at the Hilton Sandestin Resort down in Florida! He had been to Destin before while on a work trip, and he decided that he'd like to see what it was like to visit it in a less official capacity! Onward!
We actually started off much later in the day than we had anticipated. For some reason, the alarm didn't wake us up as early as we hoped, but we were still able to wrangle the mutts into their harnesses and get them off to the boarding place before 8:00 am! We didn't have any biting incidents this time, so that was good. After that, we had to finish packing and get ready to leave, but we didn't manage to actually get out of the house until about 10:15, which sucked, because it is a six hour drive to Destin from home, and I was afraid we would get there too late to do anything. After we finally got on the road, we actually made pretty good time. We did have a bad moment when we came very close to getting trapped in a homecoming parade in a place called Brewton (I think), but we managed to just miss it. Of course, had we wound up in it, I planned to smile and wave until we made it to the end. :) We finally made it out of there and began passing through some rather creepy places. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean the places were decrepit or scary, but they all had a very empty, "everyone-could-be-dead-and-no-one-would-ever-know" feeling about them. It was like being in one of those movies where you have to stop at a normal looking house and ask for directions, only to have at least three of your traveling companions eaten by something gruesome that lives in the barn behind it. Luckily, we had a GPS, so we didn't have to stop.
Tangent - Did you know that a town called Castleberry is the strawberry capital of Alabama? Now you do!
It took us until about 4:45pm to reach our hotel and good grief was it fancy, much more so than either of us expected. Apparently there had been a major refurbishing done very recently. There was a guard at the entrance who had to give us a parking pass, and he asked our last name, which Steve gave him. Then the guard asked how it was spelled, and Steve spelled it out for him. It's important to know that Steve didn't mumble or whisper while he was spelling our last name, but still, when the guard gave us the pass, it said we were Mr. and Mrs. Perpe. Oh, well, we decided that it should be pronounced "per-pay" so that it didn't sound common. :) We managed to dodge the valet parking guys, because I have an irrational fear of them, and got our things together to get checked in. Luckily, we had both packed light (I'm finally learning how) and walked in. The hotel is gorgeous, and I had a bad moment of feeling out of place (like one of the Beverly Hillbillies) but after I saw a lady wearing the same outfit I had on -although I'm sure hers was much more expensive, ha! - I felt better.
The view from our balcony. BEACHY!
Believe it or not, I didn't set foot on the beach at all the first day, but mainly it was because of timing. We were both hungry after taking our stuff to the room, and so we set out to find some food. We had dinner at a place called The Black Pearl, which was very good, and after leaving we went on a wild goose chase to find a bathing suit cover up for me, because I'd forgotten to pack one. There were some for sale in the hotel shop, but I couldn't imagine paying that much for something that was basically going to get wet, so we thought we'd hit up one of the local surf shops and find something a bit more reasonable. It was a tough job, though, because if you aren't a teeny tiny teenager, or a maw-maw, there is nothing out there. Everything was either way too small or a muumuu. Ugh. We had to go to three or four different places before I found anything I would wear, but I'm still not happy with it. I had to go the muumuu route, because - no joke - everything else was way, way too small. I'm not thin by any means, but I'm not so crazy big that I can't find clothes for myself. But in this town, you'd think I was the circus fat lady or something. It was frustrating!!!! I wouldn't have even bothered looking for anything, but unfortunately, the hotel has a dress code, and you have to wear something over your swim suit while in the lobby. Granted, I guess I could have worn my street clothes over my suit, but I didn't want to get them sandy and wet because packing light means not having replacements!
The restaurant had fish utensils. I'd eat there just for that. :)
When we got onto our floor, we tried to find a vending machine for some drinks, but the one on our floor had been removed. Steve had to go up two floors before he found one, and I think I know why they are so hard to find. I found a mini-bar hidden in the television stand and the cans of soda inside were $3.25 apiece! I suppose they want you to get frustrated when you couldn't find the vending machine and buy the ones in the mini-bar instead. Yikes. No thanks. The vending machine ones were still more expensive than normal, but not as much as the ones in the mini-bar. I'm not at all bad-mouthing this hotel or anything, so please don't think that, but geez, everything was so flapping expensive.
We heard a couple arguing in one of the nearby rooms, but we never figured out why. It got pretty bad, though. Too bad we didn't hear what the fight was about. Aside from just being nosey, if one of them flings the other off the balcony, it would be nice to be able to tell the police why! :)
Oh, and you know how I said I had earned to pack light? Well, I think I did too good of a job, because when I was unpacking tonight I realized that I forgot some of my clothes! I should have enough to see me through the weekend, but I'd better not spill anything on myself or fall into the gulf, or I'll end up having to wear my new muumuu home!