|We left the Orlando area after having a great time. I don't think I mentioned in my earlier post but we got to see Dick & Lou while we were here! I know, small world. We knew they were in Florida, but I had already booked and we had actually arrived at our camping spot at Louisa State Park before discovering they were 7 miles down the road from us! They came to the house Thursday evening for a couple of hours but we were busy Friday at the Holyland and they left Saturday morning for a cruise so that was our only chance to see each other. It was great to see them & catch up.
Traveling north on US 27 we only made it as far as Ocala on Saturday but stayed overnight at the Whispering Oaks Rv park. Passport America and a nice stop. The next day we traveled I-75 to I-10 and made it as far as Tallahassee before stopping for the day. My side & back are still quite sore from my fall & it was my idea to stop. It was drizzling a bit as well and we don't really like to travel in the rain.
The following morning we decided to drop south and pick up US 98 in order to hug the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. That was an enjoyable ride for sure. Our ride took us past Mexico Beach, Panama City, Fort Walton Beach etc, etc...Very nice...We arrived at the Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park in Niceville around 5pm and got set up just before dark. Our site was heavily treed, as were all of the sites, and we were sure we wouldn't be able to get TV or Internet. But Larry jockeyed the 5'er a bit & found one small patch of clear sky and bam, we locked right on. Good job honey!
The next afternoon we drove the 30 minutes or so to Destin, located on the Emerald Coast. Known for its white beaches and emerald green waters, Florida's Department of Environmental Protection estimates that more than 80 percent of the Emerald Coast's 4.5 million yearly visitors travel to the region specifically to visit Destin. The sand on Destin's beaches is said to be some of the whitest in the world. We can vouch for that. We found a public beach area and took a lovely walk. There were numerous folks fishing right on the shore, not many in the water. It was a bit overcast and gray but the skies were really pretty. The temperature was in the mid 70's which made it really nice.
Id read that the sand comes from the Appalachian Mountains, and is made of finely ground quartz crystal giving it the appearance of sugar. Residue flows down the Apalachicola River and is deposited into the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the currents the sand drifts west along the Gulf Coast and settles from east of Panama City to the Alabama coast. It was beautiful and walking in it really did feel like walking in sugar. Before long it was time to have a bite to eat.
The city of Destin is located on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay. The peninsula was originally an island but hurricanes and sea level changes gradually connected the island to the mainland. As of the 1940s it technically became an island again with the completion of the Choctawhatchee-West Bay Canal. I researched all of the local restaurants and brother Larry had recommended a really nice dinner house. But we decided we wanted to stay a bit more casual so found Dewey Destin online. It was highly recommended as a unique 'shack' with FRESH fish & shrimp cooked in several ways. And a lovely spot to sit outside to watch a sunset. Sounded romantic to me. Our meal tasted terrific and we enjoyed the view, the weather and the sunset immensely. I won't belabor the point, but I believe I got food poisoning from that meal. I was extremely ill for several days afterward and am just now beginning to feel somewhat 'normal'. Guess we should have taken brother Larry's dining suggestion! Anyway, Destin was as lovely as advertised and we did enjoy our time in Florida. Hope you like the pics...
P.S. The next post will be pictures of Alabama, Mississippi & Louisiana as I attempt to catch up! We actually crossed into Texas today and are in San Antonio this evening. As I mentioned in my last post, our annual subscription had expired but we have renewed for another year. Thanks for checking in....