As I mentioned previously, my six year wedding anniversary was on May 13. This was a pretty big deal for us, because we hadn’t really gone on a vacation in a while. There was always something that came up, be it a job, a lack of a job, lack of money, or whatever. This time would be different, though. This time, we had everything planned out in advance, and I took it one step further. She had no idea what I had in store for the actual day, and I was good with that; there is absolutely nothing wrong with the element of surprise, and I decided to pull out the stops.
That morning, after getting up and dressed, we decided to go to breakfast. I wanted Waffle House, she wanted Golden Corral. She won. We ate breakfast, and then I blindfolded her to prevent her from knowing our next destination. She asked where we were going, and I told her it was a surprise. She relented, then proceeded to talk to me about…something. I’m not quite sure what; it tends to turn into one big blur after a while. Anyway, the ride was long, and she was fine not knowing where we were going, instead putting her trust in my navigation ability. When we made it to our destination, I put her gift in her hand and told her to take off her blindfold.
When she saw what she got, she erupted in excitement. I got her an annual pass to Bellingrath Gardens, which is the premier Botanical Gardens in the city. We walked around for several hours while she took pictures of various different bits of flora and fauna, including a shot of a mermaid fountain. Personally, I think she was aiming for mermaid crack, but that’s just me. We then went home for a brief rest before going to see some of her family. On top of all of that, we actually sat and watched a basketball game. Don’t judge; we watched the 76ers-Raptors series on our honeymoon, so stranger things have happened.
The next day, I went to work, but work was the last thing on my mind, as I was looking forward to hitting the road and getting to Destin. When I finally got off work, I went home, loaded up the car, and we were on our way. We made it to the Candlewood Suites in Sandestin at about 4:00, and I had a few minutes before we were out and about again. We went to the Harbor Walk, looked around (it’s a great looking place), got accosted by a timeshare salesman, and made plans for the next day.
It’s at this point where I must divert from our regularly scheduled blog to mention this fact: I hate timeshare salesmen. If you are a timeshare salesman, know this: I don’t hate you personally, but I hate your guerilla sales tactics. I think if he would’ve pestered me one more time about taking that tour, I would’ve said something a little harsher than, “We’re gonna have to pass.”
Now that I have that out of the way, we can move on to Saturday. We woke up and went to breakfast. I saw an advertisement in our hotel room for the Bluz Grill & Bar saying that they serve breakfast. We went there, and the breakfast was delicious! I got some of the best French Toast I’ve had in a while, and my wife got pancakes the size of car tires. After breakfast, we walked around a nearby outlet center, where she got a new watch to replace the on that had died. After a quick rest stop back at the hotel, we went back out to walk around the Destin Commons shopping center. We passed by the Hard Rock – Destin and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Red Brick Pizza before heading back to the Harbor Walk.
Our mission was to go onboard the Sea Blaster and catch the sunset cruise. The sunset wasn’t that easy to catch due to the overcast skies, but the cruise was amazing! Let me make it known now that I am an old salt when it comes to sailing – pun intended. I’m ex-Navy, so the water didn’t bother me. I was more concerned with my wife, who had never been on a boat. After having to fuss at her for fooling with her camera and getting sick, we were on our way. Let me just say if you’re ever in Destin, I highly recommend the Sea Blaster; that was like the original party boat. There was music playing, drinks flowing, and a good time all around. It lasted two hours, and it was the best time I’d had in a long time. The best part? My wife got a picture of a dolphin; how cool is that? After the boat ride, we grabbed more grub and retired for the night.
The next day was supposed to be a “catch the sunrise over the beach” day, but sunrise was at 5:51, and someone wasn’t feelin’ it. So, we didn’t do that. Maybe next time. We did end up finding a public beach and getting our exercise in with overcast skies. We also managed to get some great shots of the waves crashing against the rocks. I say “we”, because I had to use my rapid index finger technique to make sure we got a great shot. How did I master this technique? Well, that’s a trade secret. After getting a few good pictures there, we headed back home…where it rained from the time we hit I-10 to when we got situated – four hours later.
In the grand scheme of things, this was the best vacation I’d ever had, and it was a place I wouldn’t mind going again. Who knows what we would see next.