Fort Walton Beach and Destin, Florida
|Our beach on the Emeradl Coast|
We are nicely settled in here at the Destin West RV Resort. There are a few draw backs to this resort but the advantages far out way them. It is situated on Okaloosa Island that is a long narrow island between Fort Walton beach and Destin. This resort is part of a complex of condos and the Ramada Inn so we have privileges for the pools and workout center at the Ramada which is a big plus. The RV resort is on the bay side of the island and the Ramada is on the Gulf side. Just a little ways from us by the condo is a pedestrian walkway across the busy Miracle Strip Parkway that runs the length of the island. That little bridge across is a great advantage. It gives us access to the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast on the Gulf without risking our lives getting across the road. At the resort on the bay side is a pool they keep very warm (about 90 degrees), some picnic tables and an area where you can launch your kayaks if you wish. We haven’t done that yet but its in the plans. Our site is closer to the highway so our view is not great but if you are lucky enough to get one by the bay, it is a beautiful view. The down side to this park is the noise level, though we have gotten use to it now.
|Sunset at the Destin Harbor Walk|
The beach had been where we spend a lot of our time. Its interesting that it can be cool and windy here at the rig but once you cross over the bridge and get to the beach the wind is less noticeable and it is significantly warmer. The sand on these beaches is soft, white and beautiful to look at but walking in it is work. It also squeaks as you walk - that’s just weird. As we started walking we found that there is packed sand close to the water and when the tides out there is a good place to walk but when the tide is in the area is so slated by the water again it is difficult. However on a long walk to the east towards Destin we found a long stretch of packed sand and then I knew I had found my spot to run. I am running again, slowly working up the minutes so this was a great find. The added challenge is I have to walk about a mile to get to this area so by the time I am done with my walk to and from and my run, I’ve covered about 4 miles and according to my fibit, taken about 11,000 steps. Most days that has worked great but we have had a couple rainy days and then we have taken advantage of that workout room at the Ramada. Its a typical hotel workout room but it does have a couple good treadmills, an elliptical and a recumbent bike.
We have slowly begun discovering the area. Within walking distance are several decent restaurants and between that and the beach we haven’t been very motivated to do much until recently. We found a good microbrewery in the same little area as the Publix grocery store in Fort Walton. The brewpub is called Props and we are enjoying there beer, John really likes their IPA. We actually think we can walk to it, which would be a good workout to offset drinking a good beer. Yea! We are going to try that today so we will see how it works. It will be about a 4 miles round trip walk. We also have visited the library and paid for a non-resident card for 6 months. There also is a yarn shop in the downtown area called Unwind and it has some wonderful yarns. I’ve already spent a few dollars there. They will have some classes and a snowbird knitting group starting in January that I will have to check out.
|Lots of dollar bills hanging from the walls and ceiling at McGuires|
In Destin, we have visited the Silver Sands Outlet mall, which is huge and very busy. They have our favorite store Eddie Bauer so when the 40% off sale was on we added a few items to our wardrobe. We’ve also checked out the Walmart and the Target, I’m so glad I have a choice. Of course we should mention McGuires, a local Irish bar and restaurant, highly recommended to us by out friends John and Gayle. It is an interesting place. People staple dollar bills and other things all over the walls and ceilings. There is Irish music on Wednesdays that we still haven’t gone to but I know we will make it there eventually. They also brew some of their own beers and we have enjoyed a couple of those too. Across the street from McGuires is the Destin Harbor Walk. Lots of shops and places to eat and lots of fishing and touring boats. Sunday night we took in the Destin Holiday Boat Parade. Beautiful lights but it coincided with a cold from coming through and it was maybe the coldest night we have had here and once the wind came up it was too cold for these wimps so we headed home.
This is getting a little long so I will leave the rest for later. There is much more here to do and see and it nice to be here long enough that we can take it in at a leisurely pace. In case I don’t write again until after Christmas, we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and the best in the New Year!
|Good night from the Emerald Coast|