Last week, I was here.
And it was wonderful!
It had been nine long years since the last time the Bladdick family went to Destin (we used to go every year, so nine years is a long hiatus!) and it was just as we remembered it.
We stayed at Crystal Dunes right on the beach and our view was to die for.
The condo was absolutely beautiful. We stayed in a three bedroom, three bathroom condo that slept 12 people (it also had bunk beds and a pull-out couch). The wrap-around balcony was by far my favorite, and the decor was super nautical which you all know I love.
This is our living room! The whole condo was surrounded by windows giving us views of the beach in every single room. I could have stayed there forever.
Our day-to-day routine went like this:
Wake up whenever (we tried to get up early to make sure we got a full day on the beach) and start our breakfast on the balcony. Breakfast on the balcony = coffee and Oreos. It’s vacation, you’re allowed to eat cookies for breakfast.
After having our “snack,” we’d usually eat a more hearty breakfast before lathering head-to-toe in sunscreen. Then…the whole day was spent at the beach!
We’d wander upstairs for lunch if we felt like it, but most days we just played in the water or in the sand. I even finished the book Water for Elephants in two days! (It was so good!)
After a good eight-hour day at the beach, we’d go back to the condo, shower and make dinner. BOY did we have some feasts! You know my family, and you know my parents rock at cooking, so you KNOW we ate awesome meals.
For instance, this seafood feast one lovely evening:
That would be three flavors of peel-and-eat-em shrimp (plain, bbq and cajun), three types of grilled fish (mahi mahi, amberjack and grouper), grilled scallops in a garlic butter sauce (omg), buttered noodles, a salad (which I didn’t even touch…fish/seafood > lettuce), grilled veggies and killer french bread.
I think that meal ranks in my top five favorite meals ever. Good job, daddy-o!
After dinner, we’d head out to the beach again with flashlights to look for crabs!
And after dinner, we’d dig into the ICE CREAM! Blue Bell is THE BEST ice cream in the world….and in one week, the eight of us killed six gallons. Or maybe seven. I think my dad went back for more the second-to-last day. It’s that good.
That was typically our daily routine, but you know the Bladdick’s always have some sort of adventure on vacation. We make a joke out of how we know where the Emergency Rooms and 24-hour Walgreens are in each city we go to. We were glad that we knew where they were in Destin already because my dad had to make a short visit to the ER when, due to some random infection, his entire eye and forehead swelled up so big he looked like Hitch from the movie Hitch. He’s okay now thanks to a couple antibiotics!
Although my dad’s trip was no big deal, my grandpa gave us all quite the scare with his trip to the ER. My grandpa has a small brain bleed and he was having vision trouble, a headache and threw up so he was admitted to the hospital for a few tests. Thankfully, they released him, but we would ask you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers because he goes back for more testing this week.
I’m just so glad that we were all able to be together for a whole week, even though there were so many other mishaps on our vacation! The night before we left, Kevin got really sick and threw up, on Tuesday morning, I woke up really sick and threw up and on Wednesday night, my mom got really sick and threw up. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? We never throw up – I can’t remember the last time I did – so it was really bizarre, but thankfully it only lasted a short time and no fun was missed.
AND THEN, just when you thought, “oh my goodness, two trips to the ER and four of you ended up puking…that’s awful,” well, you just wait. We witnessed a body recovery in the ocean and it was one of the saddest things we’d ever seen.
Local swimmer, surfer and water-lover, JD, was out on his jetski skindiving for sand dollars and never came up. (You can read the news story here.) They held multiple prayer vigils and memorial-type services on the beach which were really special to see. We were all so sad to witness everything literally right outside our balcony, but it all taught us the valuable lesson on how precious life is and that we really should enjoy our time together.
And with that lesson in mind, we did just that.
I’m off to finish watching the Olympics, even though thanks to Twitter, Facebook, NBC and CNN’s breaking news alert I already know the outcomes. Tomorrow I’ll be back with details about our fantastic lunch at The Back Porch which includes pictures of me, Kevin and my dad trying oysters for the first time – I’m sure you don’t want to miss that. 🙂
BUT WAIT! How did I forget this?! While Kevin and I were at Target this evening, I picked up my very first issue of The Knot AND we got a binder (with dividers, duh I’m Monica Geller) for planning. I was a little too excited. 🙂