Paradise Found

We’ve been home for a month now, and it has rained 90% of the time.  Every day I check my weather app  (I am becoming a glutton for punishment)  and see that it is lovely in Key West, sunny and 80. I could be strolling with the gypsy chickens and sipping a Cuban coffee…

Lest you think it was just the chickens at the end of the road and the Key Lime Pie at the end of each meal that made our trip wonderful, let me show you why I’d do it all again!

We left Austin and headed east of Houston for our first stop. The next morning we woke much earlier than planned (like kids on Christmas morning!) and left 2 hours ahead of schedule. A boon, since we had about 450 mi. to cover that day.

IMG_1328When we finally arrived at All About Relaxing in Theodore, AL, we were greeted by the owner’s son and escorted to our site, where we were greeted by this sign! He made sure we settled in, proudly gave me a tour of their spa-like facilities, and a laundry room worthy of wine, and a good book, as your clothes wash. Back at our RV, he accepted our invitation to have a glass of Texas bourbon with us. “Just don’t tell my Dad, okay?”

We learned an important lesson: do not plan such long drives! 10 hours in a car is much easier than 10 hours in an RV!  Thank goodness this is what awaited us, they are the definition of true Southern Hospitality.  allaboutrelaxing.com

The next day was a short drive: a little over 2 hours away, to Destin, FL. I was thinking aloud when I said, “I wish we weren’t always routed around the big cities, I’d love to see Mobile.” As we got closer, there was a detour for all trucks and over-sized vehicles – and we were re-routed right through downtown Mobile!

IMG_0760It was exciting to see the mix of very new and very old… all of it set beside a bustling shipyard. Mobile has two great tunnels; we saw the entrance to The Bankhead Tunnel, but we are too tall – so, it was the bridge for us! I am sure we are not the only ones who “do the tighten up” when going over a tall bridge.   IMG_0766I figure, if the rig in front of us can do this, we can too… We crossed the Mobile River with a sigh of relief, and we headed on our way.

I’ve heard about Destin’s beaches for years now. What I hadn’t heard about was the traffic or the development along 98/30A. I expected a few t-shirt and seashell stores, and some fast-food joints… I did not expect the complete infill that exists. Outlet malls beside outdoor malls, next to high-end malls. It’s all new, neatly planned, well laid out, and thoroughly predictable. Where was Old Florida????

A tad disappointed, we turned south off the main road, went two blocks, and found  our home for the night: Geronimo RV Park.  Nice little place, A short walk to the beach. With a busy road to cross, I was worried… but drivers stop for pedestrians. I was surprised. We followed the walkway between the condos, and voila!

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Believe it, or not, the reason we were in Destin at all, and Santa Rosa Beach in particular, was to eat at a restaurant I read about in Garden & Gun Magazine – called Stinky’s Fish Camp. (One of our dear friends from New Mexico is nicknamed Stinky, how could we not go?)

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We had our first oysters of the trip… and they did not disappoint. Nor did my scallops, or Turk’s red snapper. It began to rain, and as we ate, droplets ran down the windows overlooking the water and the pine trees, making it even cozier. This felt like Old Florida! Our meal was delicious, our waitress delightful, and we enjoyed everything so much, I forgot to take photos.   stinkysfishcamp.com

The next morning before we left, we found an RV resort to stay at next time: Destin RV Beach Resort. It’s closer to the beach, more private, and has a pool.   destinrvresort.com

IMG_1304  On our drive down the coast, we stopped for lunch at Boss Oyster Company in Apalachicola. I read about it in one of my favorite travel blogs, “The Lady is a Tramp.”   theladyisatramp.net
I always thought an oyster was an oyster was an oyster… as long as they were fresh. Boy, was I wrong!  (Of the six times we ate oysters on the trip, these babies were my hands down favorites.) Cold, plump, delicate, and deliciously briny – they were better than any I’d ever eaten!

IMG_0795What a great afternoon visiting with family, eating on the patio with gulls screeching as pelicans dive-bomb the water to catch their lunch, and boats cruised in and out of the harbor.

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I wish you’d have been there, too.  We head to Disney next to meet friends!

XO Donna

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Paradise Found

  1. Sounds like a fabulous trip. We’ve never traveled with the RV east of Galveston. One day, but the west seems to have a pretty good hold on us. Disney World is a fave. Look forward to hearing about your visit.

    • We love it out west too, Ingrid. Our first big trip was Madrid, NM…. I love the desert. But this trip revolved around meeting dear friends at Disney World, and since we’ve wanted to go hang out in Key West, it got added on!
      Hope to meet y’all soon.
      XO

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