Stephen and I decided sometime last year, that we would try our best to swap years between my family, his family, and just us for our vacation time. The year prior to getting married, we traveled with my family to Disney World, then we honeymooned for the next vacation, last year we traveled with Stephen's family...this year was our turn again as my family didn't have any solid plans for the year.
Back in the Spring we decided to go back to Sandestin, Florida since we both loved it so much. We quickly started researching different condo options, but ultimately ended up choosing to stay at the same building we did a couple years ago, The Beachside II. It's convenient, affordable, and well-kept.
We left home early on Saturday morning, arriving at our condo early afternoon. I immediately ran to the windows and balcony to open the curtains and glass! I mean, because when this is your view...
We arrived just in time to catch the second half of the UT / Florida game. And if you know anything about UT football this season, well....I can't really come up with anything off the top of my head now other than the word disappointing, and that would just ruin the mood of this happy post.
Later that night, we hit up the tourist trap restaurant The Back Porch. The food is ok, it's mostly an atmosphere type of place.
We crashed fairly early that night, excited for our first full day the next day.
The weather Sunday started out really great, but would turn sour later in the day. Back in the summer we bought two beach chairs and umbrellas from Sam's. SUCH a great investment. Because those suckers are pricey to rent for the week! If anyone's needing to borrow them for an upcoming beach trip, we'll rent cheaper than any beach will charge you!
Get ready for a makeup-free selfie elevator pic! (You've been warned...beach vacation means no makeup until dinner time!)
Later that afternoon, we came in, got cleaned up and gave our best serious faces before heading out to to dinner and a Target run. Because, duh, it's Target and we don't have one at home.
Sunday night we ate at Graffiti in the Baytowne Wharf area. It was SO GOOD!
Stephen had the Osso-buco and I had a grilled shrimp tomato basil pasta. OH my. So good!
Meanwhile, back at Target...
I sent this to my sister to show our nephews and she said that Riley said, "It's their new faces. Stephen is the dark side and Erica's the good side." haha
I give this Target a solid A. Anytime you can look down in your red cart and see a random assortment of crap mixed with things you actually need....it's a good Target.
The ACTUAL purpose of the Target run was to find a cheap fan for the bedroom. We are so used to sleeping with a fan, that neither one of us hardly slept at all the first night because it was SOOO quiet. We found one, and all the fans were 30% off....best $13 we spent that week!
Then it was Monday. We were both really looking forward to Monday since it would be our anniversary, BUT the clouds opened up and it POURED all day. It ended up being a pretty lazy day as we just laid around the condo, read, watched tv, played cards...not the day we had planned but still better than a day at work!
Later that day, we started getting alarms on our phones about the rain. Our anniversary dinner date would have to wait until another night.
We managed to get out of the resort area to a shopping center down the street for a quick dinner. It was such a mess that day. BUT we hear it was much worse here and ALL week. So we'll take the ONE bad day over a whole week.
Back safe and sound, waiting out the storms!
Friends, I'm not much of a fan of breakfasts, but this place is the best!! This is their cinnamon roll french toast with a bananas foster syrup. Go ahead and drool; it's ok.
You know that show on The Cooking Channel, "Best Thing I Ever Ate"? If I were ever on that show, this would be what I talked about. Hands down.
We spent the rest of the day on the beach and enjoyed sunset while we got ready to head out to dinner.
Our plan all along was to have a couple semi-nice dinners, one REALLY nice dinner for our anniversary and a couple simple cheaper dinners. Tuesday was a cheaper dinner night. We ate a Chipotle then went and played putt-putt golf.
We spent every night playing cards. I really don't know why we don't make time for this at home. We really have such a good time playing and talking and giving each other a hard time. I guess there's just too many distractions at home. We made a deal to do this at least once a week once we got back home! I'm going to hold him to it!
Wednesday was a gorgeous day! So gorgeous that somehow I got a really bad sunburn even though we were under our umbrella most of the day and Stephen sitting right beside me, got ZERO sun whatsoever. It was unfair.
We decided to do our Anniversary Date on this night. We got all decked up and headed to Santa Rosa Beach to eat at V Seagrove. One of Stephen's friends lives in Santa Rosa now and recommended it to him. We looked up their menu and decided to give it a whirl.
This place was swanky but not stuffy. Does that make sense? I didn't get pics of our dinners, but just believe me, it was DELISH! Stephen got the mussels and I got chicken and waffles. The waffles were a cheddar and cornmeal mix with a sweet tea maple syrup. To die for!
The next morning started with rain, but the forecast showed it only lasting until early afternoon so we decided to hit up a few stores until it cleared up. BUT not before, visiting Another Broken Egg for breakfast again. I got something different and it was just as delicious as the couple days prior and our trip two years ago. If you're in the Destin area, there's three locations now....try one. You won't be sorry.
My mom sent Krispy Kreme coupons with us before we left, so we had to cash one of those in. (Don't worry, we didn't eat any of these until later that night since we had just eaten breakfast.) Look how cute their boxes are right now!! (p.s. another thing Cookeville lacks. It's probably for the best of my health's sake and our bank account's sake that we DON'T have a Krispy Kreme or Target.)
Thursday was October 1st and I started seeing all these pretty, autumn themed "Hello October" photos on social media and in blog land. This was my take on our October welcome!
We were asked to make couple's photos. We saw two families having photos made for Christmas cards. (They were so cute! The mom wore white pants and a black top, while the dad and boys wore denim shorts and black tops....oh and Santa hats. FUN! They're in the background of this pic, you can barely see them.)
Then we met a couple walking by with a Blue Tick Hound. (Our beloved UT Smokey is a Blue Tick Hound.) They were actually from Knoxville and headed back the next day as well. They were huge UT fans and their dog's name was General, after General Neyland, as in Neyland Stadium.
Stephen and the man talked football for a few minutes. Then we talked about Cookeville and they were both very impressed with our "progressive small town" as they called it.
Thursday night, Stephen went and picked up dinner from Panera while I packed up some of our bags. We ate dinner and watched Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Just a normal Thursday night, but there's something so much more perfect when the ocean waves are right outside your door and windows!
Friday morning we got up, got ready and loaded the car to head home. Until next time, Destin!
We had a ton of mail to go through, my favorites being this floral infinity scarf I had ordered off of Jane.com for like $6! WINNER!!
And we had received anniversary cards from different family members. Such a nice, simple gesture that truly means so much to us!
Friday night, we went to Stephen's parents' house and had dinner there, then came home and crashed. I'm not sure if either of us had ever slept so good before!
Saturday we had ZERO plans. I hit up Kroger early, then came home to work on a Christmas gift. Any guesses??! (Don't mind the unmade bed....it was sheet washing day! Don't you just love crawling into bed with fresh sheets/!)
It was rainy and cold all day...perfect for chili for dinner!!
Then, my face started burning again, and because apparently I have no shame, here's a good look at how bad my raccoon face was. Yes, it hurt as bad as it looked. And now, it's peeling like crazy and looks awful. Oh well.
On a different note, check out my earrings...these were my anniversary gift. Which were a COMPLETE surprise since we had agreed no gifts...vacation would be our joint gift. These stunners are so lovely! He's the best!
Sunday one of my best friends called to let me know she was unexpectedly in town, had a babysitter for her two littles, the hubs had stayed behind in the town they lived in, she needed a girl's dinner and a Walmart run. Challenge accepted!
I don't get to see her as often as we would like, but life happens!! I treasure our dinner dates more than she'll ever know!
There's nothing better than a couple of hours of girl talk and laughter. I have the best friends!!
We had a wonderful week off and lazy weekend!! Hearing that alarm go off yesterday morning was HARD, but the holiday breaks will be here soon!