Posts Tagged destin fl

Here comes Spring

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It was a great week in Destin. The weather was nice, the birds are singing, fish are biting, and everyone is getting ready for the Spring Break crowds. This week kicks it off. It was noticed by a lot of us how many people had sun burns after this weekend.

Some of that could have been caused by the Mardi Gras parade in Harborwalk Village. Thousands of people lined the harbor to cheer on the marchers and to scream for beads. The Parrot Heads marched in the parade and we had a blast. Most of us met early at Harry T’s for a few warm up drinks. Red was working the bar and Dan made sure we were well taken care of. With this being a short parade we had plenty of time for fun before and after.

When we finished I walked over to The Crust Pizzeria to see if Charley was there. He was and we had a chance to catch up. Charley is selling his small place in Mary Ester but still has this Destin location and his newest place in Ft. Walton Beach. The hole in the building that was caused by a truck going through the wall is now a new window. You would never know there was a problem. As he started to fill up after the parade I walked down to Brotula’s where the Parrot Heads were gathering to listen to Flash Flood Duo.

We must have had about 20 of us there enjoying their music. I stayed for a while then walked down to the Cantina. Alan and Jackie were there. We talked to Carlos and got the scoop on Southern Drawl Band’s upcoming show this Thursday. No one was sure of the time so Carlos called Mike Nash and got it pinned down to 5-9 pm. It is going to be a fun show. I walked over to Harry T’s with Alan and Jackie then I headed home. Sunshine Cindy had stayed home to get some things done at home and we relaxed the rest of the day.

Thursday evening Sunshine Cindy and I headed to AJ’s Oyster Shanty on the island. BT was playing and he was surprised to see us. We stayed for his entire show. Folks were walking over from the condo’s and people were staying to listen and party with BT. A wedding party from Minnesota was there and of course Sunshine Cindy had to talk to them. LOL  It was a fun time that we finished at the Waffle House for some late night food.

On Sunday we took Chaos to the harbor to listen to BT again at Crab Island Cantina. As we walked up BT hollered on the mic…”Chaos is here! Come here Chaos!” No greeting for us but our pooch got a great welcome! LOL  Alan and Jackie came and later Julie also showed up. We talked with several of the tourist there and of course Chaos was a center of attention. When we left we stopped at Landshark to get a pizza to bring home. Chaos was worn out and sleep most of the rest of the night.

The only news from around town is there is finally a sign on the empty lot on Hwy 98 in Ft. Walton Beach where PMI used to be is going to be a Holiday Inn Express. It took about a year to tear down the buildings so no telling how long it will take to build the hotel.

Be sure to come out to the Cantina this Thursday for Southern Drawl Band. You will love these guys! See ya next Monday.

Destin Steve

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Big city problems in small town Destin

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This past week showed here in Destin we are not immune to the violence that plagues big cities. In the span of a few days there was a shooting in a parking lot by Bric a Brac. The authorities found shell casings and blood but not victims. Then on Valentines day someone placed a pressure cooker on a curb by McDonalds. The authorities didn’t take any chances. They had a bomb squad come from Bay County. Hwy 98 was shut down and McDonalds was evacuated. Traffic was a nightmare as you could imagine. Glad to say it was not a bomb but there is some sicko out there trying to make some kind of point I guess.

Finally on Friday night sheriff’s deputies shot and wounded a guy who pointed a gun at them. It was reported the guy wanted to die by cop suicide. Another sick person. Now the deputies have to live with this.

Ok, enough of that. Sunshine Cindy and I had a lot of fun “playing” the last few days. Thursday Sunshine Cindy went to our CPA to drop off our taxes. Since she was in Fort Walton decided to meet at AJ’s Oyster Shanty after I got off work. BT was going to be playing on the deck. It was a cool evening but we had a good time. Wayne came for a while then Kenny and Tommy also came and joined us. Many snowbirds came out and a good time was had by all.

Friday we went to Crab Island Cantina to enjoy a nice day. We got to talking to some tourist who were in town for a week. They are from Illinois and said they love coming this time of the year. Bobby was taking care of us and the others at the bar. Our friends from Atlanta, Fred and Georgia were in town and came down and joined us. It was great seeing and talking to them.

Then we had our friends Alan and Jackie come down with their daughter and son-in-law Kistin and Jeff. It was great catching up with them. They all headed to the Ramada on the island and we went to join them. But before we could get to our car we ran into Judie and Kelly. They were with one of their sons enjoying the harbor. As we talked to them Glen walked by. He was on his way to Harry T’s to smoke a cigar. It was cool running into our different friends.

When we got to the Ramada we got a big table and had popcorn and pizza. Alan and Jackie go to this bar all the time and they know everyone that works there. Jeff nicknamed Alan “The Godfather” of the Ramada. The name fits as it seemed like the staff came by to get some words in with him. LOL  Sunshine Cindy and I had fun hanging with them.

Saturday we met up with Alan, Jackie, Kistin and Jeff on the harbor. We started at The Boathouse. There was a big crowd for the middle of the afternoon. Our next stop was The Red Door Saloon. As we walked in Scott was there and he gave us a big hug. He was riding his bike with a friend enjoying the nice afternoon.

Our next stop was Duck Duck. Walking over there we were wondering what was being built where Woody’s used to be. A crane was there and some major construction is underway. As we walked over there we saw three guys standing on the ledge up the hill. They hollered down at us wondering where we were all from. It turns out they are the people building the place we were wondering about. They plan to open a seafood restaurant in about 6 months or so. They also are thinking of putting a Dat Dogs in there. This is a NOLA hot spot. They still don’t have a name for their new restaurant. Sunshine Cindy suggested “Chaos on the Harbor.” They seemed to like it. I will not be surprised if that’s what it ends up being.

At Duck Duck a guy who lives on a sailboat in the harbor brought over some ribs that he smokes. Alan bought a plate from him. They were fantastic. His name was Clancy and he looked like a typical Destin character. Our next stop was AJ’s. The entire bottom floor of AJ’s is being remodeled. It looks like it is going to be a nice place. The bar is being moved and it will be easier to get around. Our next stop was Harry T’s. We sat upstairs and had a fantastic sunset. As the Illinois crew headed back to the island Sunshine Cindy and I stopped at Landshark for a pizza and beer. It was a fun day.

Sunday Sunshine Cindy and I took a road trip. We hit Waffle House for breakfast then headed to Panama City Beach. We wanted to check out the Reef where we will be staying during Rendezvous. The Reef is right next to Sharkey’s where the event will be held. It’s a great location. After checking out the motel we went to Runaway Island. The holiday crowd was big and the place was understaffed. But we had a beer at the bar so it was all good.

We headed back to Destin and took 30A to see if we could find someplace to stop. The 30A area is now home to many wine bars, yuppie types and one development after another. We could not find a dive bar. Seaside was packed with people. We pulled into the Grayton Beach area but could not find a parking spot to go to the Red Bar. So we continued towards Destin and went to Old 98 to cruise up along the beach. We stopped at the Surf Hut. They had all the windows open and a nice breeze from the Gulf was blowing through. While there we saw an old friend. Ruth is someone we used to see all the time. We heard she had some type of medical issue a while back. It must have been a stroke or something similar as she could not talk but she had a tablet to write to communicate. Other than not being able to talk she seemed to be in good health and spirits as she sipped on her wine.

We got a message from Cathi and Wayne to come join them at Whale’s Tail for sunset. They always have a big celebration there. It took three passes before we found a parking spot but it was worth it. A lot of folks were there and we had a good time with Cathi and Wayne. The sunset was awesome! From there we stopped at Funky Blues Shack for some dinner and to listen to music. It was a perfect end to a great day.

Spring Break is right around the corner. The slower pace of the snowbirds will be replaced by young’uns having a good time. Bring it on! lol  See ya next Monday!

Destin Steve

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A normal week in Destin

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The weather was a big story in Destin this week. It started out last Monday with heavy fog. It was so bad on Okaloosa Island in the morning you could barely see a couple car lengths in front of you.

Wednesday we got hit with some strong storms. About 3 in the afternoon a line moved through that had some of the strongest winds I have seen when it was not a hurricane. It looked like some small tornados were imbedded in the line as some areas sustained a lot of damage while other areas only had limbs down. The Elks Lodge and Helen Back on the island both had their front doors blown out. A roof was blown off of an apartment on the island while in Destin the roof to McGuire’s was damaged to the point they had to close for the day. Luckily no one was killed or injured.

By the weekend it was nice and warm. On Saturday Sunshine Cindy and I went to Niceville to take her parents out for their 56th wedding anniversary. The weather was so nice we were able to ride with the top down on Badass all day. We went to The Boathouse Landing in Val-P for a relaxing lunch/dinner. We sat overlooking the water and the sun was actually warm. We were looking for shade! It was a nice time. Congrats to Jim and Pam and we hope for 56 more years!

Sunshine Cindy and I had a Parrot Head meeting at Landshark Pizza on Friday evening. It was a special Valentine’s themed party with Mike dressed up like Cupid. Coconut Radio supplied the music and we had over 100 folks show up to help us “Party with a Purpose.” There was a kissing booth with Buz and Brenda trying to see who could raise the most money. Of course Brenda did! LOL 

I brought some special Mardi Gras beads to sell to raise money for our charity, Alaqua Animal Rescue. I had clamped beer caps onto the string of beads. They really looked cool. I had about 20 or so of them and sold them all at $2 apiece. All the money went to the charity.  Thanks to everyone that bought one.

Sunday was spent around the house doing chores and playing with Chaos. She loves her walks in the morning and she also loves to play in the yard with a ball. She burns off a lot energy this way. We didn’t want to cook so I went to Pepito’s to bring home some Mexican food. I had a few beers at the bar talking to the bartender. He was not too busy so we were able to solve a lot of the world’s problems! When I got home the food was good as usual.

The Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club is looking for a place to have our Phlocking at the end of the month. It was all set to be at Bric a Brac on Holiday Isle. They informed us last week we would have to pay for a bartender. Now let me get this straight…they have a restaurant and a bar. We will be bringing in over 100 people to eat and drink and this “business” wants to charge a non-profit organization for a bartender so the business can make money. Let me say they will never see me or Sunshine Cindy set foot in there if that’s how they run their business.

Spring Break starts in a few weeks. With Easter not till the third week of April this year the break will be longer but more spread out. The zero tolerance policy against underage drinking will continue this year in Okaloosa County and Walton County. Over in Panama City Beach they will again not allow alcoholic drinks on the beach during the Spring Break time. That policy has pretty much killed the rowdiness and lawlessness that had been going on PCB I am glad to say.

With March around the corner that also means Cobia fishing will start soon. The fishing fleet is prepping their boat for the season with many in dry-dock. Destin has the largest charter fishing fleet in the state of Florida. They are a huge economic engine for the area.

Saturday night when Sunshine Cindy and I got home from visiting with her parents our neighbors were out in their driveway having just finished a crawfish boil. Our neighbor Rhett’s dad is a world renowned heart surgeon and he was visiting. I got to meet him. What a nice guy who has pioneered some of the most cutting edge techniques. This is who I would want working on my heart if I ever had an issue. 

It looks like a great week coming up in Destin. Get out and enjoy it. See ya next Monday!

Destin Steve

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Chili and football weekend in Destin

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There are times you can cram a lot into a two day weekend. This was one of those weekends for us. We actually started out slow on Friday evening. As I headed home from work traffic came to a stop in downtown Ft. Walton Beach. There was obviously something happening up ahead as no cars were on the westbound lanes and we were crawling along eastbound. The problem was a five car pileup on top of the Brooks Bridge. Someone stopped and the cars behind didn’t. They were mangled up pretty good. With rescue vehicles blocking the road no one was getting by going west. One of our lanes was blocked too but at least we were moving.

It took me an extra 25 minutes to get home but that was easy compared to those stuck westbound. It was already backed up halfway across the island and it was not long before it was backed up into Destin. What a mess. When I got home we decided to stay there. LOL

Saturday was the Emerald Coast Parrot Head clubs Chili Cook-off in Harborwalk Village. This is one of the clubs largest fund raising events of the year. 19 restaurants and individuals cooked up their best chili to try and get bragging rights as the best. I was one of the judges and it was fun trying to decide which chili was the best. We didn’t know who made the chili we were tasting. One by one they brought up cups for us to taste. Yes, we had all 19.

They were all good but of course some were better than others. After we were done we were told the order they brought up the samples. My personal favorites were Landshark Pizza’s, Margaritaville and Crab Island Cantina. The other judges had similar scores. It turned out Crab Island Cantina won first place, Margaritaville was second and Harry T’s and Landshark tied for third. Some of the samples came with beer so that was cool. It didn’t change our votes but we loved the thought!

After we were done I walked around for a while then headed to the Cantina as BT was getting ready to play. BT played from 2-6 pm and the Cantina stayed packed the entire time. The weather was perfect and folks were enjoying the music and sunshine. We meet a fun Parrot Head couple from Minnesota. They had helped form the Minneapolis club years ago. They are in Destin for a couple months. I am sure we will see them again at one of our meetings.

I also talked to a couple from Marblehead, Ohio. BT did a Pat Dailey song for me so they asked if I knew Mad Dog Adams. Mad Dog plays at The Roundhouse in Put in Bay, Ohio and he does a fun show. We talked for a while. They were nice folks.

When BT finished I headed home. We still had Super Bowl Sunday coming up! Sunshine Cindy and I watched the game at Landshark Pizza as we paid for the special they were running. We had 12 of us at our table and we were all rooting for the Falcons. The Falcons had an epic collapse. They were up 28-3 in the third quarter and lost in overtime. Dam that hurt. But we had a fun time. Brian took care of us. Sunshine Cindy got a round of peach schnapps for our table and we put a close to this football season. We took Uber home and got ready for the work week.

I am on the board of the Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club. We had a board meeting last Wednesday. Now that the chili cook-off is complete we have plenty of other fun activities coming up. The big one is our “Tailgates Down, Phriends All Around” event that will be held may 20th at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Center in Destin. It’s going to be a big time. I will have more details as we get closer.

Around town I saw the DOT is going to do work on Hwy 98 between Airport Road and Holiday isle. Sewers will be replaced as they are leaking and causing big dips in the road. The work is supposed to be done by the end of June. It is long overdue.

The Starbucks in Harborwalk Village has closed and a small local coffee shop is moving into that location. I like to see local owners instead of a big corporation. I hope they do well.

The various winter concert music series are in full force now. You can find music at The Market Shops, Harborwalk, Baytowne and probably a few other places too. Then you have musicians like Rusty and BT playing for the snowbirds too. Check out BT on Wednesday’s at Crab Island Cantina from 4-7 pm. He does a fun show.

No more football…What will we do with our Sunday’s now??? We will come up with something! See ya next Monday.

Destin Steve

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Mark your calendar for May 20th!!!

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If you like Tailgate Parties then you need to be in Destin on Saturday May 20th. The Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club is sponsoring an all day party at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. The gates will open at 10 am for a Buffett like Tailgate Party with music at the amphitheater going from noon to 6 pm. Advance tickets will be $25 per person. Details on how to get your tickets and the musical lineup to be announced soon!

Come to Destin and make an entire weekend of it. Trop Rocker Jim Asbell from Atlanta will be playing at Crab Island Cantina on Friday May 19th from 5-8 pm. No charge for this show and everyone is welcome to party with Jim and his crazy fans.

So mark your calendar and get your plans started. There will be a host hotel with discounted rooms, a special local charity will be the benefactor and many more details to follow very soon!

It was a busy week for Sunshine Cindy and myself. Wednesday afternoon with the Board of Directors of the ECPHC we visited the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village to get a feel for the layout and finalize the lease agreement. From there we all headed to LuLu’s where Paul Roush was going to be playing.

The weather was perfect with temps in the upper 70’s. I had the top down on BadAss to soak up the sun and warm air. At LuLu’s they had the back bar open and a good crowd was taking advantage of the nice afternoon. Paul and Paula got there and Paul set up. Mark Stephanie and Brodie also came out to party and listen to Paul. We took over a couple tables right in front of Paul and everyone had a good time. Our friend from Alabama Keith even showed up. He was in Destin working and heard about Paul playing. It was a fun time.

Friday morning we took Chaos to Airport Road Vets to get her nails trimmed. She does not like having that done. Lol  After we finished with that Sunshine Cindy and I headed to Fort Walton Beach to run some errands. It was lunch time when we were done so we stopped at AJ’s on the Bayou. It was our first time there and we were impressed. The transformation from what it was to now is amazing. The staff was fun and the food was good. We will be back!

Friday night was a Parrot Head meeting at Crab Island Cantina. A big crowd of almost 100 folks showed up to Party with a Purpose. Lynley from the Calypso Nuts provided the music. This was her first solo show for a Parrot Head club. She did great. The highlight of the evening was a lick’um, bite’em, shoot’em and eat’um contest. It’s is basically you do a shot of tequila (with the salt and lime) and eat a tamale. Who can eat the most in 2 minutes wins. I entered the contest and won eating almost 2 entire tamale’s in the two minutes. It was fun!

Saturday the Board had a special meeting at Hogs Breath to finalize our desire to move forward with the “Tailgates Down, Phriends All Around” May party. Sunshine Cindy was named the committee chairperson who will be responsible for the planning and execution of the party. It was a good meeting and you could not beat the location!

When the meeting ended Sunshine Cindy and I stopped at Landshark Pizza. We were invited to a retirement party later that evening at Landshark and we wanted to get a gift certificate for the guest of honor. By the time we got home we only had a couple hours before we headed back to Landshark.

It was a combination birthday and retirement party for Bobby. Want to know how dedicated Bobby is? His last day was Friday and he stayed an extra hour to make sure stuff was done. That is the kind of person Bobby is. The party at Landshark was a blast with almost 100 folks there to celebrate. Congrats Bobby and enjoy your retirement!!!

And on Sunday we rested. Well almost. We spent the day at home cleaning up, doing laundry, changing light bulbs, playing with Chaos…Normal at home stuff!

Around town the new Funkys Blues Shack will open today, Monday the 30th. It is in the old Chili’s building across from where Friday’s used to be. It was reported in the Destin Log that Dick’s Sporting Goods is still coming to the Beals Shopping Center. I will believe it when I see it. And next to Club Destin the lot where a building was torn down is in the planning stages to bring a new Surf Style shop there. They had a location there but are building a bigger place. Just what Destin needs, another bigger tee shirt shop!

I want to mention that Sunshine Cindy and I took Uber on Saturday evening. We have used Uber several times now and each time it has been fast, easy and a lot less than a cab. We will not hesitate to use it at any time. We are hooked. Cities that won’t allow it to protect their “good old boy” taxi companies (I’m looking at you Key West) need to give the people what they want. Clean cars, professional drivers and a good price. What’s not to like.

This Saturday in Harborwalk Village in Destin is the ECPHC chili cookoff. About 20 restaurants will be there as they try to win the best chili in Destin award. The cost to taste the chili’s is $20 per person at the gate or $15 if you purchase tickets early. I even have some for sale if anyone wants some. And yours truly will be a judge too. I am looking forward to it. All proceeds from the sales of the tickets will benefit The Arc of the Emerald Coast.

For Super Bowl Sunday we will be at Landshark Pizza. Go Falcons! Have a great week. See ya next Monday.

Destin Steve

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It rained on our parade…

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The big news from Destin this past week was the weather. We went from foggy mornings and nights during the week to severe thunderstorms over the weekend. Unfortunately the storms caused the Mardi Gras parade on Okaloosa Island to be cancelled. We had a lot of rain and strong winds hit Destin and Okaloosa County but we did not get the tornado’s that hit Mississippi and Georgia killing about 18 folks. Our prayers go out to those affected.

Even though the parade was cancelled the Emerald Coast Parrot Heads still had a group get together and party at Anglers, Rockin Taco and Helen Back. A little rain didn’t slow them down!

Wednesday evening Sunshine Cindy and I went to Crab Island Cantina to listen to BT play. Julie, Suzanne, Alan and Jackie were also there as a small crowd enjoyed BT’s music. It was eerie as the fog rolled in making it feel like we were in San Francisco. BT did his usual fun show. He is performing each Wednesday starting at 4 pm for the snowbirds playing till 7 pm. Get out and listen to him if you get a chance.

On Sunday Sunshine Cindy and I went to Landshark Pizza to watch the Falcons / Packers game. Landshark is a Packer Backer bar and it was filled with fans. We had 8 at our table and we were all rooting for the Falcons. We were definitely outnumbered. We got there at 12:30 for the 2 pm start and we were lucky to get a table. Landshark had a hot wing eating contest using their Liquid Death sauce. I swear this stuff could melt metal it is so hot. They use Ghost Chili peppers to make it. It’s not for the novice! LOL 

The winner ate his ten wings in about 7 minutes. Not bad but not close to the record time of 1 minute and 32 seconds set a few years ago. Of course just eating those wings should get you some kind of metal. The game saw the Falcons destroy the Packers. It was real quiet except for the few Falcons fans that were there. Brian, Sue and the entire Landshark team does a great job. It was tough on them to see their team play so badly but on the bright side, they did make it that far which is better than the majority of teams. Being a Browns fan I always say we will get them next year and they were saying the same thing.

Sunshine Cindy and I stayed for a while talking to some folks while the Steelers / Pats game started. Out on Hwy 98 there was a wreck as a truck flipped. I didn’t hear how the driver was doing and don’t know what happened but there always seems to be something happening on this stretch of road.

Around town the new Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins stores are getting ready to open. It looks like it could be any day now. They are located almost across from Big Kahuna’s.

This weekend the Parrot Heads will be meeting at Crab Island Cantina in Harborwalk Village on Friday starting at 5:30 pm. Come out and Party with a Purpose as the Parrot Heads raise money for Alaqua Animal Rescue.

Have a great week. See ya next Monday!

Destin Steve

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A quiet week in Destin

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For the next two months things will be pretty predicable in Destin. We have the snowbirds driving slow in the left lane, locals complaining about them driving slow, sunny and cool or warm and wet weather, and an overall nice slow pace to life. It’s a nice time of the year in Destin.

Sunshine Cindy and I got out and about a few times this past week. Thursday night we went to Mimmo’s for dinner. Mimmo’s is an Italian restaurant with excellent food. Mimmo was born in Sicily and uses recipes from his homeland. We actually got a chance to chat with Mimmo for a while. He is a young guy but he runs a fine restaurant. Sunshine Cindy had pasta carbonara and I had chicken parmigiana. Both dishes were excellent. Check it out if you are looking for good Italian food.

Friday we had to go to Fort Walton Beach for an appointment with our eye doctor. After the visit it was noon so we decided to stop at Anglers on the island for some lunch. We have not been to Anglers in a year or so. We walked in and no one was around. The bar was empty and no bartender was in sight. We didn’t even see anyone in the dining room although I suspect there had to be some folks on the deck area. We waited for a few minutes then decided to leave when no one showed up.

Rockin Taco is a newer place that opened last year on the Boardwalk. We headed there to check it out. We are glad we did. This is where Howling at the Moon used to be. The new owners put in over $1.8M in renovations into the place. It is open, airy and right on the beach. Sunshine Cindy and I sat at the bar outside as it was about 75 degrees and beautiful. The bartender was Tad who we remember from TGIFriday’s in Destin. Then I saw Roy who also used to work there. He is a manager here. Finally we saw the GM. It was JP who we have known for several years. We worked with him doing events at Anglers years ago. He came by and we talked for a long while catching up.

We had a fun time there. We shared some food and soaked up the sunshine. But we had to head home to take Chaos to her one year checkup. She is in perfect health although she was not happy about the shots she got. But Chaos is a trooper and did fine.

Friday night Sunshine Cindy decided to stay home but I went to the Parrot Head meeting at Landshark’s. Jan was playing for us. It was a fun time but I was tired and headed home a little early.

Saturday afternoon Sunshine Cindy and I wanted to see the Falcons game so we went to Landshark to watch it. A good crowd was there for the game. We enjoyed some brews, pizza and wings as the Falcons beat the Seahawks. Paige took good care of us. While there we talked to Glen and Bruce who stopped in. Brian and Sue were preparing for a big crowd for the Sunday Packers game. They had more tables brought in to handle the crowd they were expecting.

We hung around for a little of the second game but headed home to Chaos. We kind of watched the Pats game but mostly just played with Chaos! Lol

We planned to go out to watch some of the Packers game on Sunday but Sunshine Cindy got into some spring cleaning around the house and didn’t want to leave. I decided that I would go get us some food and headed to Hogs Breath. I watched the first half of the game then got a to-go order. The bars at Hogs were pretty busy with folks watching the game. I saw some pictures from Landsharks and they were packed. With the Packers winning that means next week they will be busy again! Good for them.

Around Destin it was announced the Destin Diner is getting new owners. It will now become a Mary’s Kitchen. There is one in Fort Walton but we have never been there. I hear they have good food so we will have to give it a try when they open.

The Waffle House in Destin by Airport Road is undergoing a complete renovation. They tore it down to some studs and it is being rebuilt. The place leaked a lot when it rained so it was overdue. We also heard the old Friday’s in Destin will be home to Panera’s as they move from the Commons.

In HarborWalk Village a new Italian restaurant is open above Crab Island Cantina. This is where La Famiglia used to be located at. (The La Famiglia in the Commons is still open.) The new place will be called Bella Sera and is co-owned by David Seering. David is a piano player that will bring his music to his new place.

On the island Pandora’s is closing. Pandora’s has been around for many years. The owner died last year and his children are running the place but they have decided to do other things. It sounds like a new restaurant or two might be opened on the island by them.

This Saturday is the Mardi Gras parade on the island. Come out and let the good times roll!!! I will have a full recap next Monday!

Destin Steve

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Winter comes to Destin

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Just like the rest of the country, winter arrived in Destin this past weekend. Our week started out with nice warm temps and even some strong thunderstorms. By Friday we had a cold front come through. On Friday we had our high temp about 7 am and it dropped the rest of the day. By the evening we had a cold rain falling and one last strong thunderstorm blowing through town. Saturday morning we were in the low 30’s with the wind blowing about 800 mph! lol  At least it didn’t snow!

Trop Rock musician Don Middlebrook was playing at LuLu’s in Destin Friday and Saturday nights. Sunshine Cindy and I didn’t go out Friday as we are wimps but we did go hear Don on Saturday. On Saturday we had about 15 friends show up to listen to Don. LuLu’s was thrilled to have us as the place was pretty empty otherwise. LuLu’s has a good deal on PBR bottles. They are just $2 each. I always order them as I like PBR. Yeah, I really do! They have a fun special promotion with the PBR’s. You guess a playing card (like a 9 of hearts) and on the bottle cap is a card number. If you guess right you get the beer for free. I just missed guessing one correctly. I had the right number but wrong suite. It’s just something fun to do at the bar.

There was a couple at the bar from upstate NY. They are big fans of Don and made a special trip to Destin to hear him. Renee and Todd were traveling to Port Charlotte and made a detour to Destin. They are both parrot heads and also fans of the Cleveland Browns so we had that in common! They were nice folks and I’m sure we will see them again sometime.

When Sunshine Cindy and I left LuLu’s we were going to stop at Chan’s Craft Bar. To our surprise the parking lot was packed and we could see the inside was filled up. So instead we stopped at Longhorn’s. We had some appetizers and enjoyed a quiet time at the bar.

I took Chaos out for walks on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I froze both times. The wind was the killer. It was howling and with temps in the upper 20’s on Sunday made it feel like was in the teens. That might not be too cold for our Ohio and Minnesota friends but it is like the artic to us! 

Sunday I went to Landshark Pizza for a while to watch some football. It was not too busy for the first game but I knew it would get packed for the Packers game later. The Steelers routed the Dolphins so I didn’t stay real long. Paige was working the bar and told me on Saturday night they were super busy. One of their busiest nights yet. That was strange as the town is pretty empty right now with just snowbirds around who don’t stay out late.

Last week I attended my first parrot head board meeting. We have a lot of good things coming up with the Emerald Coast Parrot Head club for this year. The club raises and donates a lot of money and man hours each year. Last year the club donated over $15,000 to local charities and over 2500 volunteer man hours were noted for things like our beach cleanups, working on a Habitat for Humanity house and other worthwhile causes. We really do “Party with a Purpose!” Come join the club and help out the community. Our next meeting will be this Friday at Landshark Pizza in Destin starting at 5:30 pm. Jan Patton will be providing the music for us.

Around town it was reported chef Emeril Lagasse is going to be opening a new restaurant in Grand Boulevard. The restaurant has not been named yet but the plans are for a spring time opening. Emeril has a house in the area and is seen frequently out and about.

See ya all next Monday!!!

Destin Steve

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Welcome to 2017 in Destin

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Sunshine Cindy and I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year’s celebration. It was a fun week where we had great weather and lots of folks in town to celebrate.

Last Monday we took Tiffany to The Back Porch for lunch. The place was packed but we got some seats at the bar. After lunch we walked on the beach. The sun was out and it was actually hot. There were even a few folks in the water. They must have been tourist from up north someplace.

Tiffany flew back to Atlanta on Tuesday. Meanwhile Sunshine Cindy and I relaxed around the house. We did go to Landshark Pizza on Thursday for lunch. People kept coming and going as the place stayed busy. Tommy, Capt. Browning, Pops and others were there enjoying the afternoon. Brian and Jason were staying busy keeping up with everyone.

Friday evening the ECPHC had a New Year’s Eve Eve party at Harry T’s. About 100 people were there having a great time. Flash Flood duo played music and Dan put out a great spread of food for everyone. Sunshine Cindy and I got there a little early and went to the downstairs bar. Wayne, Judi and Kelly were already there. Then Alan and Jackie, Suzanne and Mike showed up. The party had begun. We all went upstairs when the doors opened. The party was a blast. While we partied upstairs the Florida State alumni club was downstairs watching the FSU / Michigan bowl game. That ended up being the most exciting game of the bowl season as FSU pulled it out at the end.

Saturday was New Year’s Eve. The last few years Sunshine Cindy and I have gone out early then got home to relax while watching everyone on TV party. This year was no different. We headed to Landshark to watch the Bama game. While there Alan and Jackie came and joined us. As they were leaving Kenny showed up. About the time Kenny was leaving Steve and Becky come in. It was fun catching up with everyone. I had a pizza while Sunshine Cindy had a Brat sandwich. Glen was smoking port butts and ribs and they smelled and looked so good. That’s what we will get next time!

We did go home and watched all the different things cities drop to ring in the new year. There were live cut-ins from Harborwalk Village in Destin and it was packed. We could hear the fireworks at our house when they were shot off too. It was a nice way to bring in 2017.

Sunday was the last NFL game of the season for the Browns. We went to Charlie’s inside Crab Island Cantina to watch the game. Ken, Cheryl, Donnie, Julie, Alan, Jackie, Steve and Becky all joined us. The Browns played a pretty decent game but still lost. This season is mercifully over. But we had a good time with our friends!

Around town, the day after Christmas the TGIFriday’s in Destin closed down. This was no surprise as this place had gone down the last few years. The building was run down and all the good workers were run off. Fridays used to be the place to party in Destin. When I first got to town back in 1999 Friday’s was all by itself with no Destin Commons or the other centers around there. Everyone went to Fridays. If you didn’t get there by 4 on Friday afternoons you could not get in. One of our favorite servers of all time, Rick worked days and he was a hoot. Then a new GM came in and ran off everyone including the locals. That plus they didn’t do anything to upgrade the building. Earlier today as I drove by the building there were U-Haul trucks being loaded. I guess they wanted to save the 1980 era bathroom fixtures that were still there. LOL

In Fort Walton Beach I got some info that The Spot has already closed. This is the old Staff’s building. Word on the street is they closed suddenly and left a lot of unpaid bills in their wake. I never saw or heard any advertising about this place so it’s no surprise they closed so soon.

The snowbirds are here. I went to Publix this morning and I was the youngest person there. LOL This reminds me of a joke by our friend Brent Burns; “If a car from Michigan passes you this time of the year, It’s stolen!”

Let’s have a fantastic 2017 in Destin and beyond! See ya next Monday!!!

Destin Steve

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It was a Merry Christmas in Destin

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Sunshine Cindy and I hope all of our friends had a safe and joyous Christmas. In Destin the town filled up while the weather was nice and warm. It was a perfect holiday.

There was actually a Christmas miracle happen on Saturday. The Cleveland Browns won! Yes, they actually beat another team in the game of football! Sunshine Cindy and I watched the first half of the game at Hogs Breath then we went to Landshark Pizza to watch the second half.

Landshark was packed with Packer fans but a table opened up at the TV that had the Browns game on as we walked in. That should have told me a miracle was coming. As the game wound down the bar was getting into the game. As the last second ticked off the clock and the Chargers missed a field goal that would have tied it the bar erupted like they won the Super Bowl. Finally I had a chance to cheer! It felt great!

The rest of the weekend was spent with Sunshine Cindy’s family. We went to their house after the game for Christmas Eve and then again on Christmas day. Tiffany flew in from Atlanta so the whole gang was here. Even Chaos enjoyed running around the yard and going to the dock. It was a nice holiday celebration.

There was not much else going on during the week as Sunshine Cindy spent most of the week cooking. As I mentioned the town started to fill up but early in the week it was dead. I did have a scare driving home on Monday. I was on 98 and almost in front of Landshark Pizza when a homeless guy walked right out in front of me. It was dark and he was wearing dark clothes. It was lucky I could make him out with all the headlights coming towards me. I had to almost come to a dead stop to keep from running him over. I am glad the guy behind me also was alert and didn’t hit me!

Happy New Year to all of our friends from Destin! Be safe and have fun. We will see you again in 2017!

Destin Steve

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