Happy Foggy New Year

Trip Start Dec 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 03, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day turned out to be a little soggy in Destin.   But that didn't stop us from trying to have some good times.  The storm started rolling in NY eve,  but mainly in the form of wind for the start of the day.  So we took advantage of the sun and swam in the pool, again utilizing the hottub after stepping out into the cold wind.  Kids as usual prove to be fish in human clothing as they had no desire to leave the water at all. 

We did entice them with a little buffet action for lunch; Sebastian can't refuse the chance at grabbing as much food and dessert as he can handle.  Fuji Sushi and Seafood Buffet was the choice; after reading the reviews we were somewhat surprised by it as it was kind of a small place.  But it lived up to its name - tons of sushi on the buffet.  Actually the sushi was the star of the show as the other buffet items (typical chinese buffet fare) were average.  Many varieties of sushi and from what I could tell, relatively fresh and well-made.  No, this is not Morimoto's restaurant, but considering most buffet sushi is dry rice with fake krab, Fuji Sushi did a great job.  Good selection of fruit too, and plenty of interesting dessert items, including ice cream bars.

A little unsure of what to do and noticing the growing new year's eve crowds, we decided to drive go karts again and play at the arcade.  We had some rain at this point so the indoor arcade was great while we waited for the tracks to dry up.  The afternoon turned pretty casual afterwards; everyone was tired so we headed back to the condo for some cool down time. 

Dinner brought us to Pompano Joes (many places were booked for the holiday) on the beach. The road to the restaurant is the scenic drive along the beach, and by now the storm was definitely blowing in.  Waves were high and rain was falling.  Made for a pretty neat atmosphere, actually.  Ocean storms are quite thrilling to watch.  When we arrived at the restaurant, we walked out to the beach front to feel the winds.  We only lasted a few minutes but the kids learned to appreciate nature!  The food at Pompano Joes's was pretty good; seafood was the recommendation and they actually served a platter that was NOT fried.  So I tried the broiled fish, scallops, oysters, and shrimp, and it was pretty good.  Kids gave a thumbs up to the spaghetti and popcorn shrimp as well.

If there was any question about the party animals we are, there is no doubt now as we all returned home at the late hour of 7:30p.  After burying kids in the sand (hey, they asked for it) we all cleaned up and fell asleep - us adults making it to about 10:30p.  So no ball drop here...although we were able to make out some fireworks on the beach through the growing fog.  We later learned that there were lots of NY Eve events all over the area, but not being local we missed most of them, or basically slept through them.

New Year's Day brought the full fog and a tornado watch. Lots of rain today, which changed our plans dramatically.  For those new to Destin, pretty much everything to do here is outdoors.  A little rain is not a problem, but lots of it, as it became, can slow things down a lot.  We originally planned on going to Topsail Nature Preserve, a state park with trails and beach access.  Once we arrived though, the storm hit, so we turned around and came back to the condo.  We spent the rest of the morning building lego's.  For lunch we decided to venture out again, and wound up at Ciao Bella's, an Italian and Pizza place in the outlet mall.  Crowded and thus a little slow, the pizza was actually pretty good.  The rain slowed somewhat so we shopped around afterwards, then decided to try Topsail again.

We thought the lack of rain meant we could finally hike some trails.   Nature fooled us though as another downpour hit just as we started walking.  We decided to keep going, thinking the trail to the beach wouldn't be that long...Well it turned out to be too long regardless as we were all sopping wet in a matter of minutes.  I think we lasted about a half hour at most, and that means walking 15 minutes from the car, turning around, and walking 15 minutes back.  Oh well.  It was a pretty place, and something of an adventure, in spite of Sebastian stating every 2 minutes, "I want to go back to the car." Going back did lead to some fun get out of the rain and play in the van time though. 

So back to the condo yet again to watch Despicable Me one more time.  Eventually dinner time approached, and we decided on Marlin Grill at Baytowne Wharf.  Hands down the best place we've been to out of all of them.  Granted the place is expensive, but I would say worth it.  Food was excellent; I had the fillet mignon special which was delicious; service was also outstanding.  The waitress even cut up the kids' apple while we ate.  We had a very enjoyable meal and even the kids behaved well given the upscale nature of the place. 

Afterwards we went for a stroll - fog was thick but no more rain. Fog and neon lights gave the place a pretty cool glow, like something out of an old gumshoe novel.  We took the path to the marina to see the "big boats;" big meaning yachts.  Kids noticed that people were inside the boats doing things like watching t.v.; we explained that peopled could live on the boats.  This prompted much discussion about boats and water, including:

    John: "The water is very deep, so we have to be careful"
    Sasha: "or we might fall in?"
    John: "Yes, but if you fall in I can jump in and get you."
    Sasha: "Daddy, don't get close to the water or you'll fall in"
    John: "I won't fall in"
    Sasha: "Daddy, watch out for the water"
    John: "I'm a good swimmer, I'll be ok"
    Sasha: "Daddy, don't fall in"
    John: "I'm ok"
    Sasha: "Daddy Look out for the water"

And so on, all the way back until we were at the parking lot.  Just another lesson in watching how you explain things to your kids. 

We did top the night off though with another trip to Kilwin's for ice cream sundae's.  We sat outside where the kids treated us to their version of Saturday Night Fever while the speakers blared 80's rock.  Actually, it's a great way to eat ice cream - sort of a "dinner and a show" event.

We ended the night casually, with the kids engaged in their favorite activity - big bubble bath in the whirlpool tub.  Have to include a photo of their crowning glories.
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