Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dewey Destin

Last year at the dog park a lady told me, "If you like seafood and you want old Florida, go to Dewey Destin."  It sounds like it's a place but it's not, it's a restaurant.  Nothing fancy, either, but it's on the water and the grub is good.

You can't see this place from 98 like you can so many restaurants down here in Destin.  You have to be instructed on how to get there.  I was cautioned, "when you turn on this itty bitty dirt road it will look like you're driving through a junk yard."  Yup.  Yes, sir, it surely does.  

The little two-track opens up to a dirt parking lot with several holes in it and this is what you see.

There's a new Dewey Destin ( I know, I see the apostrophe on the chalk board but I've never heard anyone say it) on 98.  A fancy lookin' joint but why go there when you can come here?
I don't remember these restrooms from last year.  Must be new.
This is where you place your order.  We went at lunch time because the wait in the evening can be quite lengthy.  You can also eat in this area but who wants to do that when you can eat . . .

 A few dolphins even came by to say "hey."  We were lucky to score a table outside.  I had to shove my way past a couple of boaters and there was some swearing going on but, hey, we got a table on the dock didn't we?  Just kidding about the shoving and swearing.  It colors up the story tho', doncha think?

We each got grouper sammies.

I was reminded via that their french fries were just ok so I subbed hush puppies ('pups) and was in heaven.  Petey did not heed my advice so I had to give him (grudgingly) one of mine; only one, mind you and he was half-way to heaven. 
We were thrilled that Mother Nature gave us such delightful weather so we could sit, gaze at the beautiful scenery and stuff those pups down our gaping mouths.  Sorry, not a pretty sight.

Until next year, Dewey Destin.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Scenic 30A

Before we came down to Destin last year, Jim Wheat (local doc), told me to make sure we visited the communities along 30A.  It is off 98 and dotted with beautiful ($$$) places with names like Seaside and Water Color.  Our favorite is Seaside.

Yesterday, Mother Nature, gave us the green light so we jumped in the car early (to beat the masses) and scooted off to Seaside.

This area was filled with kids, parents and a few dogs.  Everyone was loving the weather throwing a variety of balls and eating cookies.  Well, maybe we were the only ones eating cookies.

These trailers/campers are the "restaurants" that line the street.  We bought sammies from the grilled cheese joint and sat at the  tables on the sidewalk.

Before lunch we walked across the street to gaze at the water/beach.

The neighborhood in Seaside that captured our interest last year is called Ruskin and it has a New Orleans feels. Heather, look closely at the sign above the door; this pic is for you.

This is Modica Market and it's near the park area I showed you earlier.  It's like a small Fresh Market.

We stood, drooling, at this display case so long the manager finally asked us to move along.  Not really.  We only bought cookies even though we really wanted a slab of any one of those cakes.

This pic reminds me of the old hardware store in Allegan.  Love the whole ladder thing.

Love the colors.  Love the graphic.  I did not buy it. 
  We will return to Seaside again next year.  It has a comfy feel.

This darling little shopping spot is a place we passed on our way to Seaside and decided to check it out on our way back to Destin.  It's in Grayton Beach. 

Petey was jonesin' for a Starbucks.

What a lovely day.  A great way to spend one of our last few days in Florida.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Destin decisions

Last year was our first time to stay in Destin.  Historically, we'd always gone to St.Pete.  Looking for a place to rent in our price range with the added restriction of a dog is challenging, however.

I simply could not find a place that fit us in St.Pete so I started looking around and found a condo in Destin.  

We arrived on a Friday last year to traffic on 98 that we were NOT used to and thought we'd made a grave error.  After a bit, Peter, took to it easily but I was not as sold as he and decided to just put up with it knowing it would be a "once and done" thing.

Hey!  What happened?  We came back for a second year.  I started out in the same vein - it's only a month, I can deal.  

A funny thing occurredthough.  The place has grown on me.  Yes, it's busy (although we found the "secret" road that parallels 98), and yes it's cooler than southern or even central FL (although not so much this year - we're all chilly), and yes, Destin, isn't really a "town" which is what I was missing but . . . It's cheaper (rentals) than central and southern FL - by a long shotWe only need to stop one night on the road as opposed as two nights to get further south.  The beach here is out-of-this-world.  The sand is white, white, white.

So, as much as we love St.Pete and love our friends down there even more, we're coming back to Destin next year.

The condo here fits us like a glove and our landlords (Hi, Todd/Chris) are great to work with.  We're close to everything which we love.  Some people prefer to spend time on a quiet island in the middle of nowhere.  We love hanging out within spittin' distance of Target, Fresh Market and a plethora of restaurants.

Yup, we'll be baaaaaack.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Words and the weight they carry

I've been thinking.  I know, I know. Watch out!  Run while you can!
I posted earlier about the fact that yesterday marked 6 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I also posted it on Facebook and mentioned a few friends that had died from the same damn disease.  

I only typed their first names initially:  Patty, Marilyn and Jackie.  Then I realized that some people might think I meant Jackie McIntire, who was nearing the end of her life but still with us, and not Jackie Webber who died some years ago so I went back in and typed the last names.  Little did I know that Jackie McIntire did, indeed, die yesterday. 

Both Jackies were amazing women and were role models to many.

I got the news this morning about Jackie's death.  I cried and made a few phone calls.  It's frustrating to be so far away when something like this happens.  Sending condolences via the internet falls short of exactly how I feel about her death.

Then I started thinking about words.  Words like "blessed" and "luck."  Both are meaningless to me.  As a non-religious person "blessed" is hollow.  "Luck" doesn't even ring true when you're shooting craps for me.  Not that I shoot craps, but you know what I mean.  I don't argue with people when they use those words.  Those are just words.

However my inner conversation goes something like this:  so if I'm blessed to have 6 years, does that mean that Jackie wasn't blessed?  She who was a much nicer person?  She certainly deserved to be blessed.  Was it just plain bad luck that she got cancer and died so young?  Or was it . . . . just life and what goes along with it?

I'm sure plenty of people use "blessed" that aren't religious; it's just a word people use without giving it much thought.  Same goes for "luck."  

I'm sitting down here in Florida feeling the sun on my face and the breeze blowing my hair all around like a white tornado.  Am I lucky?  Am I blessed?  No.  I'm just here.  Thinking of Jackie and how happy I am to have shared space and time with her over the past 50 or so years.    


Yesterday was a wet one in Destin so we went to the huge outlet mall with everyone else in the universe and then ate at Joe's.  We dined with the same group of thousands that was at the mall.  They must have followed us.  I thought I heard someone say "hey, there's the Altamores.  I'll bet they're going to dinner and those two know how to eat.  Let's follow them."
This is the waiting room.  They told us it would be about 30 to 40 min. and asked for our cell phone number.  Huh?  Oh, I guess they call you when your table is ready.  So, naturally I had to search for my # since I don't know it by heart; hardly ever use the thing.  Then she said, "we'll send you a text."  Rut-ro.  We don't text.  A look of sympathy washed over her face - like "oh, you poor old thing."  No matter, they'll shout your name over the loud speaker so everyone in the joint will know how behind the times you are.  Look at everyone in this room.  Their heads are bowed and they're all playing on their Smart phones
The dining area was a blast.  Music and everyone was enjoying the hell out of themselves.  Periodically the music was pumped up and the staff would do a line dance in the middle of it all.
Petey had "The Third Coast Platter".  Crab stuffers in clam shells, red fish and dirty rice.

I had snapper stuffed with crab, dirty rice and asparagus.  Both dishes were outstanding.  Not a crumb left behind.  We are definitely going on some sort of starvation diet when we get home!
This was a special night.  I was celebrating 6 years since being diagnosed with breast cancer.  Don't we look cute?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

More food - Greek!

We heard about this place from someone at the dog park earlier in the week.  She said it was authentic and so we stopped to check it out.

And look - they even have ocean side seating.
This Greek salad was actually preceded by an appetizer that I can't spell.  It was the little triangles of filo dough with spinach inside.  We snarfed them down so quickly I, once again, didn't get a pic.

Petey got the gyro (yur-o) platter.

I got the gyro sammie which I had to eat with a fork and knife.  I've tried using my hands before with these monsters and the sauce always ends up in my nose.  Not a pretty sight.
We were actually headed to Five Guys for a quick burger but spotted this place first.  Shhhh, don't tell my boys I cheated on them.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Road trip to St.Pete

We lived in St.Pete back in the early 70s when Peter was in the Coast Guard.  We still have friends there and have visited many times over the years.

Last year when we were here in Destin, Kathi, came up and stayed for a few days.  This year we drove down and hung out for a bit.

Naturally, the visit included food.  Our first dining experience was at an Italian place we've frequented in the past - Cibo's.  I was so excited to see Kathi that I forgot to take any pics.  Trust me - the food was divine.  

The next day we went out to St.Pete Beach for lunch at Woody's.  Another favorite spot.

My veggie wrap.

Kathi's fried clams.

 Petey's fish sammie.                                     

        Dinner Tuesday night was in St.Pete at the Crab Shack.

I didn't catch this guy's name but he was obviously taken with me.  Check out that smile.

This place definitely feels like "old Florida."
Here we all are except you can't see much of Kathi.  She's so shy. Ha!  That's Bunkie on the left and Mary on the right.

Bunkie and Peter met through the Coast Guard and have been buds ever since.

Kathi got all pouty because she was pretty much cut off in the picture above.  After much whining I got the camera out again so she could have one all by herself.
   We love our friends.  Mary is new to the crew and she fits like a glove.  A wonderful visit with wonderful friends.