I and my husband and 2 year-old daughter arrived in Fort Walton Beach on Saturday the 31st, late in the afternoon. My parents were also there, so that night we crashed at their condo at Tropical Isle. It was not as fancy as most, but the price couldn't be beat. We ate at Mellow Mushroom in Destin that night, and managed to get there right when it was really crowded. We had to wait, and service was a bit slow, but their pizza was awesome as always.
Sunday morning my parents took us out for breakfast at the Neighborhood Cafe in Ft. Walton. It was good- nice servers, good food and not ridiculously overpriced. I've seen complaints about not being able to find a good affordable breakfast in Destin, so I want to recommend this place, even though it is a bit of a drive. That afternoon we checked into condo 6A at Sunset Cottages on Okaloosa Island. In all my forum searches, I've never seen anyone talk about Sunset Cottages. It's a small complex (19 units, I think). It was very comfortable and clean. We had two floors, with a master suite upstairs. Most comfortable bed I've ever slept on! Our unit had a lovely view of the gulf as well. So I would definitely recommend this as a place to stay, though not all of the units there will have the beach view. We got groceries and stayed at the condo and had spaghetti that night, as we were all tired.
Monday- went fishing at the pier. It started pouring rain and I was getting frustrated. Murky brown water in the ocean, bad weather...I'm thinking this vacation is going to be a wash. But we waited it out and I'm glad, because the fish started biting like crazy after that! We brought home 7 or 8, mostly Crevalle Jacks and one Moonfish. Fried them up and ate them later. They were much milder than I expected them to be. That night we were hungry for Thai food, but it took us 3 tries to find one that was open. We ended up at a place called Bonsai Thai in FWB. It was OK, but dated decor and a limited menu. The food tasted more like Chinese stir-fry than actual Thai. The staff was super nice, though. Wouldn't really recommend this place, though.
Tuesday- played on the beach. Water still murky, but the waves were good for boogie boarding. Went to 790 on the Gulf in Destin for a shrimp po boy that night. We've been waiting 4 years to eat this sandwich again, and we were not disappointed! Our server was kind of slow, but I think he said that we were his first ever table and I could tell he was trying hard. And low and behold, CLEAR WATER OUTSIDE!
Wednesday we played in the water both at our condo (brown) and at the public beach in Destin (GORGEOUS blue-green). My parents took our daughter so that we could go out for our anniversary. We wanted sushi, so we went to Osaka in Destin. I've heard mixed reviews about this place and was a little nervous, but I thought everything tasted fine and the server was really nice. My only complaint was the two big groups of noisy people who were also seated near us.
Thursday- I started coming down with a cold on Wednesday, and by Thursday it's in full force. My husband went fishing while I stayed in bed. Later my parents and I and my daughter went back to the Neighborhood Cafe for breakfast, and then us ladies visited the yarn store in FWB. Yes, I'm a knitter, so a trip to the yarn store is a must. Hung around the condo that day. That night, I'm feeling like crap and I can't see paying for a nice meal that I won't enjoy, so we ate dinner at Panera Bread. I know it's a chain, but it's one of my favorites and I wanted comfort food. Went back to the pier to watch the sunset and fish a little before calling it a night.
Friday- Played on the beach in the morning and afternoon. That night, we tried the Hog's Breath Saloon for supper. We could smell the BBQ from the parking lot and it smelled AMAZING, but we both opted for fish sandwiches (mine fried, his blackened). My oh my- best fish sandwich I've ever had. I can't believe I've never tried this place before, and I will definitely be back someday!
Saturday- sadly pack up and leave to go home. We are just south of the Alabaster, AL exit on I-65 when the car suddenly stops shifting gears. We are stopped in a not so good place on the interstate with cars whizzing past and freaking me out. We end up having to call 911, who sends a cop and a tow truck. Towed the car to the Ford dealer in Alabaster, where we had to leave it. Got a rental, stayed an extra night, and finally made it home on Sunday. Had to go back to Alabama the next weekend to pick up the car after a $1200 repair. So all in all a fun trip, until that happened. :(