Sunday, July 31, 2011

Florida Fun

My cousin, Kim, and I trekked to Destin, Florida to visit another of my cousins, and Kim's sister, Michelle. Michelle has been in Florida since May completing an internship with Resort Quest, a resort management company, as a requirement for her degree. I have to say, Michelle is an incredibly strong individual. For the last several months, she has survived living in Florida away from her closest friends and family, the death of a member of her sorority, and having many of her most expensive possessions stolen from her home. After all she's been through, she's come out alive and confident in her career choice. I'm very proud of her.

We flew in to Pensacola Regional Airport on Wednesday. Since Michelle had to work that day, it didn't make sense to arrive super early, so we chose a flight that landed in Florida around 6 p.m. After a long drive (about an hour and a half), we arrived at Sterling Shores, the condo complex that would be our home for the next 3 nights. What a beautiful place! Resort Quest manages many properties, including hotels, condominiums, and townhomes. Each residence is owned by individuals who hire RQ to manage their property. Therefore, each property is unique. Here's what ours looked like:

Since we didn't have much time to play on Wednesday night, we chose to have a simple pizza dinner at Mellow Mushroom. The pizza was delicious! Michelle and I ordered a traditional pizza with mushrooms and green pepper slices. Yum-O. Most importantly, the restaurant features a gluten-free menu that accomodated Kim's allergy. She ordered a garlic and olive oil based pizza with sun dried tomatoes and bananna peppers. I didn't try it, but she thoroughly enjoyed it. After dinner, we visited the beach, which was just a minute's walk from our condo. By that time, it was very dark. We couldn't see a thing, and when Michelle informed me that the hermit crabs come out at night, I was all but done with the beach. We went home, watched a few shows on HGTV, and went to sleep!

The next morning, we woke up to gray skies. We enjoyed our leftover pizza for breakfast, and by the time we were finished, we were in the midst of a full-fleged deluge. In order to take full advantage of the time we had in Florida, we decided to go shopping instead of just sitting around. We went to an outlet mall that had some nice stores, but I wasn't ultra inspired by anything there. Kim bought a dress, Michelle and I bought nil. After several hours there, the rain had let up some, but not completely. Since our hair hair was already wrecked, and our bodies were damp, we figured might as well just head to the beach. We were hungry again (aren't you always when you're on vacation?), so we made a pit stop at Zoe's Kitchen. The restaurant offers fresh and healthy options. Michelle had chicken orzo soup (looked and sounded delicious, and she confirmed that) and a greek salad, Kim had chicken kabobs over rice, and I had steak rollups with a side of fresh fruit. Full and satisfied, we headed to the beach.

At the beach, the warning flags were RED! A red flag signifies huge waves. I've been in the ocean, but I've never swam in the ocean, so I was thrilled! Truthfully, this was the Gulf of Mexico, but it's all the same to me. We couldn't resist diving right into the waves. Wow, was it fun. We did a little body surfing, but for the most part, the waves ruled us. We spent a couple hours there, and headed back to the condo. I took a little siesta, and then we headed to the pool. For dinner that night, we chose Poppy's Crazy Lobster on Harbor Walk. I thoroughly enjoyed Caribbean Shrimp over rice and summer vegetables:

 This was the most delicious meal I've had in a long time. Here's a picture of Kim and Michelle at Poppy's:

Friday, we went back to the beach and laid by the pool almost all day. Michelle made us dinner that night. It included Tilapia, red skin potatoes, and asparagus. It was a wonderful dinner, and a great alternative to an expensive meal out. Thanks, Michelle!

All in all, the trip was a wonderful time. I was so happy to be able to connect with family members that I see a ton, but don't often get to let loose with. Thanks for the memories, girls! I love you!

1 comment:

  1. I love to read your blogs, they make me smile. Great pics too!


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