This is the sky-bridge that we had to use to cross to the beach. We had a condo on the bay side -- which honestly, I'm not sure which I liked best! We have always stayed on the beach side, so that is why this time we decided to get something on the bay. I DO wish we had been able to get a unit a bit closer to the bay, (we were at the bottom of the U shaped complex), but we did have direct access to the lazy river, hot tubs, pool, etc. :)
When we weren't out doing the usual stuff at the Beach or on the Bay, we went out and saw the local sites. Which wasn't much since we mostly come just to hang out. But... I didn't have a camera to take any pics! So, while we were there, I finally bought a new camera which is what all of these lovely photos were taken with. We got a GREAT deal at Best Buy on it! Here's the kiddos eating lunch and feeding the birds right after.
Here is a pic of my oldest going across the lazy river. It was literally right outside our patio doors, so he just jumped in and swam across instead of using the walkway like the rest of us did. Since he is older now, we gave him a bit more freedom while we were on vacay. It helped that the place wasn't packed since it was off season. Otherwise... I'm not sure I would've been so lenient! LOL
At the end of the day, he was so worn out. All he wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch videos on the laptop. He was so glazed over, we had to really work to get him to eat his dinner.
Even after dark, we had fun at the beach! Here is my youngest and I walking while my oldest and a boy he made friends with were playing in the sand and water. This family was from.... NASHVILLE! Ironic. We met a lot of TN families and some nice families from IN. As a matter-of-fact, I we met lots of nice people!
One of our favorite things to do while on vacay as I mentioned before, is to go to local places. We tried out a few of the restaurants like The Crab Trap, Christiano's, Another Broken Egg, Crust, and The Donut Hole! I give high marks to all but The Crab Trap. While it a nice touristy place with a playground for kids, the kids menu is AWFUL. My youngest who isn't picky at all wouldn't eat their food at all. I tried a bite and was like, YUCK! Our crab legs, however, were GREAT. Christiano's is just... AMAZING. It's some of the best Italian food I've had in my life. It's actually in Santa Rosa Beach, but SO worth the drive!!! Crust is pizza and brick oven/woodstove style pizza. The pizza was good, but the cheese sticks and salad were the stars. Another Broken Egg is a French Bistro style cafe. It was good and we had really good service.
I hated to leave. We had a great time just relaxing and spending time together. There were definitely bumps, but overall it was a good trip. The biggest issues we had were that the property manager was a real jerk to deal with. Our grill for the unit was in AWFUL shape and we didn't feel safe using it. And then the jacuzzi tub smelled so badly of sulfur/rotten eggs that we couldn't use it. We ran it and ran it and ran it like he said to do, but it still stunk. Even after we emptied the tank (at least twice), by the time the water filled back up and heated up, it smelled again. BLEH. When we called him to complain again, he basically said he wasn't going to do anything and implied we were only complaining to try to get a discount. He also said I was constantly talking over him -- which I know I did once, but overall I was just trying to finish my sentences when he kept interrupting me. And I wanted him to understand that we weren't just asking for a discount to get a discount, I was asking for a partial refund to cover the cost of the unusable grill and unusable jacuzzi -- which were touted on the site as 'features'. I could've gotten one of the other units for a few hundred cheaper (and yes, I had already checked PRIOR to taking this unit). So, I was just asking for the compensation because those items were unusable. He wouldn't even talk about it. I even spoke with the condo association manager and she said that the owners and managers KNEW the tubs had issues and that is why they had recommended removal. As for the grill.... I took pics and should post it here, but I am waiting to see if the manager does anything about a reduction. He DID send back our entire deposit, which I was surprised at -- I completely expected him to try to keep a portion of it. I even video'd the entire condo while we were packing and leaving so that if he DID try to say something about it, well, we had video proof. I even taped the news so he couldn't say that we did something to the condo prior to leaving. I don't trust him! LOL
Anyways, I sorta just set that aggravation to the side. I wasn't going to let a cranky and mean management person ruin my vacay. So, even with that irritation, we had a good time and I would consider going back to Destin West Beach and Bay Resort. I just won't use the same company as before. I'll either use another company or go directly through the resort. A GOOD experience we had was that we stayed at the Hyatt in ATL again and as usual, it was WONDERFUL! The staff there was amazing and even kept the pool open a bit later so our kiddos could go swimming after an afternoon of being in the car. I just love the Hyatt hotels and really like to stay there when we can. I can't vouch for all of them, but that one is just awesome. It's the one near Vinings, I believe. We got in late and slept in and then headed to OK CAFE for some food. Then, we hit IKEA! Wanna see my car after we got all of our stuff from vacay plus the stuff we got at IKEA crammed in there? Well, here ya go!
Yeah... INSANE! You see 5 rugs (4 smaller round ones and one 5x7), a mattress (that big roll on the right) and NUMEROUS other odds and ends. Plus our 3 suitcases, our 3 beach bags, a stroller, a cooler, and who knows what else. I tell ya, these cars hold TONS!!! Took us forever to unwedge everything since it was all fitted in there like a giant puzzle. And lets face it, that is a LOT of stuff. LOL
Well, that's about sums up the vacay. We did a lot of poolin', beachin', and some fun hunting on the bay. Ate a lot of good food, bought a new fun camera, and met a lot of nice people. We had a couple of 'blips', but we didn't let it get to us and we had a good time! And I have to say, I enjoyed the Destin area of Florida. And honestly, I had a GREAT time at IKEA! LOL Always love me some Ikea. :D OK, that is all and ENOUGH for this post! Hope you all enjoyed!