Friday, April 16, 2010

Fort Walton Beach 2010

Posting from Fort Walton Beach, FL on the beach. So far, the weather has been nice but a bit colder than I prefer. The water is freezing, but I have a low cold water tolerance. Anything below near boiling is too cold for me. The temperature has been highs in the low to mid 70s and low 60s in the evenings.

Aside from the cooler-than-expected weather, it's not crowded at all here. Most of the Spring Breakers are back at school, so nothing is that congested. We drove to Panama City and rode scenic 30A to Destin. Panama City still had a strong spring break crowd. We ended up stopping at Seaside to eat lunch. There was a snack stand called Pickle's Beachside Grill that had the best fried dill pickles and the worst overpriced hotdogs. Seaside was nice, but the atmosphere felt a little too rich for my blood. Later that night, we upheld a White tradition and ate at McGuire's Irish Pub. Instead of my usual steak, I decided to try an Irish dish - Irish steak and wild mushrooms cooked in an Irish stout demi-glaze with a side of 18-cent Senate bean soup. I would definitely order this again.

Saturday was overcast and much cooler, so we defered the beach. We spent the day shopping the outlets. I know Raylan enjoyed it, so I didn't mind. Later that evening we ate at Sushi and Hibatchi All-You-Can-Eat. I know what you're thinking, but it was good. For $19 per person you could order as much sushi or grilled hibatchi as you could stand. I had the steak and scallops.

Sunday, we spent most of the day on the beach. The weather was still cool but tolerable. The ocean was freezing, so we didn't get in. We watched a group of kids catch a giant jellyfish and a guy fishing from the beach. He spent more time yelling at kids to stop crossing his lines than he did fishing. We brought beach umbrellas, so I stayed in the shade the entire time. I've been sunburned many many times, and because of that, I don't like to give the sun any more chances to burn me. But somehow, that clever sun finds a way. I made sure my body was completely in the umbrella's shade, yet I'm red as a beat.

After the beach, we cooled our sunburn off in the indoor pool. Seacrest has a joined indoor/outdoor pool, and they had removable dividers separating the two. The indoor water was much more tolerable than outside. The water felt good, like it was pulling all the heat out of my sunburn.

That evening we ate at The Back Porch. Finally, real seafood. We ordered seafood nachos as an appetizer. I had a blackened grouper sandwich, and Raylan ordered a crab cake sandwich. The nachos were the best part. Raylan said her sandwich was excellent, but mine was nothing better than plain. It really didn't have a flavor.

Checkout was at 11am on Monday. Why is the weather always perfect on the day you have to leave the beach. We upheld another tradition and ate at Hogsbreathe Salon on our way out. Raylan and I both ordered the Hog Dust burger. That's one of the best burgers I've ever had. The sauteed onions were delicious. We made a few more stops on the way out, but for the most part, that concluded our trip. The drive home seemed to take so much longer than it took to get there. Usually, it seems the opposite. Definitely ready for the next vacation. The big question is, "Where?"