Destin, Florida - July 2003

Day 1:
We (Kris and Kristy) arrived through Delta on 7/13/03 to Fort Walton Beach's airport. We were quite confused while boarding the airplane, as we had to go outside to this tiny airplane that had no first class, one stewardess, and only one bathroom. VPS, the airport we landed in, is actually a part of the Eglin Air Force Base, and it is quite tiny (which explains the tiny plane). We actually had to depart the plane outside as well. (I was glad it wasn't raining. If it were raining, they would just give us umbrellas as we made the journey.) Terri, Wayland, and Adam were waiting for us when we arrived. We grabbed our luggage and went to the hotel.

The hotel I had managed to book us at was the Quality Inn Bayside in Fort Walton Beach. It was about 2 miles from the beach and 15 minutes from, what we would find out to be, the better beaches of Destin. After checking in, we all changed into our bathing suits and went to a beach in Ft. Walton. The red flags were out at the beach and waves were rather bruising, so Terri and I opted to lay out on the beach while Adam, Kris, and Wayland went into the water and later built the first of their sandcastles.

At first we thought the nastiness of the water was due to the hurricane stirring in the gulf. (Kris and I had bought a shovel and very simple bucket from Wal-Mart before we left for Florida. We did not have a cheater bucket that already has the formation of a sandcastle built into it.) After the beach we headed back to the hotel to change for dinner. We went to a place called Giuseppi's Wharf where Kris, Wayland, and Adam shared an appetizer of Jalapenos stuffed with crab...and we all had dinner.

Day 2:
The next day we all decided to go to Big Kahuna's Waterpark. Beforehand we went to Big K-mart to pick up a few things and got to the waterpark at 10am. After a few hours, a big storm came in, and we were forced to get out of the water. We packed up and headed back to the hotel where we all dried off.

For lunch, we then headed to the Asian King Buffet, which was excellent. (Even Terri, who doesn't like Chinese food seemed to enjoy it.) Then we all went to the Gulfarium, a marine life exhibit.

They had many marine displays and 4 marine shows. We saw a dolphin show, a sea lion show, a show featuring a scuba diver, and a show that incorporated 2 dolphins and a sea lion. It was really quite interesting to see.

That evening, the guys decided to go to the Florida high point and Terri and I opted to hang out at the hotel. (We didn't think it would be fun to drive an hour each way to see a sign that said "Florida High Point".)

Day 3:
Tuesday had another beach excursion in store for us. We actually decided to head to Destin to check out their beaches. While the sand was quite similar to that of Fort Walton (pretty white), the water was much nicer...less seaweed, better visibility, pretty green in hue. And, unlike two days before when red flags were out cautioning people to swim, it was only a yellow day in Destin. We all went in the water a while, and, later, Wayland and Kris started making a really nice sandcastle. I helped a little bit, but, after seeing the sandcastle they had made in Ft. Walton, knew I'd just be in their way. 

About 2pm, we went to Chick-Fil-A and had lunch and then headed to another beach where we hoped snorkeling would be possible. The new beach's waters were actually quite dirty, so Terri and I napped under the lean-to that Wayland had made for us while the boys did their thing. Before departing for the day, Kris and Wayland buried Adam in the sand (and made it into a mermaid, sort of) like Joey on Friends. (Adam is a HUGE Friends fan.)

That evening, we all headed back to the hotel to change and shower, went to Big K-Mart again to buy Adam the 4th Season of Friends on DVD, and went to play putt-putt. I was limping the entire time, as I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my feet and they were already beginning to hurt. We then went to the Crab Trap Restaurant for dinner. (It had been highly recommended by a friend of Terri's.)

Day 4:
The next day Terri, Wayland, and Adam headed home in the early morning. Kris and I lounged around a lot, as both of us were burned and we had done pretty much everything there is to do in Destin/Ft. Walton with his parents. We finally decided to get up and go to the beach for a few hours, even if we were burned. (We didn't want to stay in the hotel room all day.) We walked about 4 city blocks to reach a bus stop where we were able to catch a fifty-cent bus to Uptown Station (and boy was that a chore for my swollen, burned feet).

Uptown Station had a free shuttle (the green line) that would take you through much of Ft. Walton. We got dropped off at a beach in Ft. Walton, but were very disappointed as the water was still quite nasty. We didn't stay there very long before we decided to take the yellow line that would take us into Destin. From the drop off of the yellow line, we took the blue line to a Destin beach, which was much nicer. After playing around at the beach a little while, we changed clothes in a bathroom and went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. Then we took the many shuttles back to as close to our hotel as it would take us, and we walked the rest of the way to our hotel.

Day 5:
Our final day wasn't really all that eventful. We had to check out at 11:00am and asked the front desk to hold our luggage until we could be picked up. (Our flight was scheduled to depart at 6:15pm.) We walked really really far (my feet still throb) to downtown Ft. Walton to go to a really crappy Science Center. (It was for kids...the displays were pathetic but from the description it sounded like something that Kris would really enjoy.)

We then caught a free shuttle and went back to Crab Trap for lunch. We also grabbed an Italian Ice. We took another shuttle to Uptown Station, where we had plans to catch the 4pm bus to the location closest to our hotel and walk back to the hotel to catch the 4:45pm airport shuttle we had scheduled. The bus was over 20 minutes late when we called the shuttle company and had them get us from Uptown Station--take us to the hotel to get our stuff--and then go to the airport. We had another small plane...landed in DFW...hardly had to wait any time before getting our luggage...went downstairs to wait for the shuttle to take us to my old boss's hotel, where we had parked for free, and headed home.

Did I mention we got engaged this weekend?  He asked her and she said yes...oh wait, it was the other way around.  Regardless.  We got engaged.

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