Our Destin Vacation

Hey hey, we've been back for less than two weeks and I'm already posting a recap!  That's something to celebrate, especially with the amount of photos I take!  Anyway, we vacationed for six nights and seven days in Destin, Florida.  The white sand beaches, emerald water, and gulf coast location make Destin a very popular (and family-friendly) tourist destination....and rightfully so - it's gorgeous and there is plenty to do!!  But I'll be honest, I was a little nervous going into our vacation.  I haven't loved going to the pool this year.  It's just so much work with three kids, including a fair-skinned baby who probably shouldn't be in the sun for large amounts of time.  I was worried we had paid all that money for a week that would be average at best.  


The 15-hour drive.  The touristy traffic.  The exhaustion of taking three kids to the beach.  The sand.  (Oh the sand!!!)  It was all SO. WORTH. IT.  I'm one who tends to be ready for vacation's end (there's no place like home, right?) but I actually teared up on the morning we had to leave!!

It was truly the best.  Dare I say my favorite vacation so far?  (Okay nothing beats Hawaii.)  But this was pretty great.  Definitely one of my favorite memories as a family of five!  I'm so glad for the time away and will forever cherish the memories we made!

I'm not going to recap our entire trip, because let's be honest, it would look like this.  Breakfast.  Beach.  Lunch.  Beach.  Dinner.  Bed.  Repeat.  With a little pool thrown in.  However, I want to jot down a few notes for memory's sake.


We stayed in a two-bedroom condo at The Resorts of Pelican Beach.  It was right on the beach and in the heart of Destin.

We decided to drive the near-16 hour trip, even though flights from KC are fairly cheap.  Between packing an unlimited amount of stuff and not having to worry about car/carseat/baby gear rentals, it was definitely the right decision.  On the way there, we drove for 12 hours and stopped to stay in Birmingham, AL.  On the way back, we made a detour through Atlanta to visit some friends / stay the night, then 14 hours from Atlanta to Wichita, then Wichita to KC the following day.  They had their moments, but overall all three boys did exceptionally well! 🙌🙌

After our first day on the beach, we promptly made a trip to Walmart for two things.  An umbrella because holy hot!!  And a soft, foldable wagon because hauling everything to and from the beach was no easy task!

As expected for Florida in July, it was HOT!  Though, it was actually hotter back home.

This was both Holden and Rhett's first trip to FL and to the beach.  Brantley's first trip was four years ago, soon after he turned one.

We went to dinner three times: AJ's at Harborwalk Village, The Crab Trap, and Pompano Joe's.  All three restaurants were right on the water, though The Crab Trap and Pompano Joe's were our favorites by far!!  We also grabbed lunch at The Taco Bar in Seaside - those were some delicious street tacos!

Speaking of Seaside...after loving that little beach town during our last trip to Destin, we headed back.  We didn't stay quite as long or rent bikes this time (thanks to two tried--aka whiney--kids).  However, this was Craig's most memorable part of our trip because not only did he see KU's head football coach while waiting for us in the restroom, but he chatted with him for a good few minutes and it was the coach who initiated conversation (after seeing Craig's Jayhawk hat).  Craig is still talking about that.

Holden and Brantley both adored the ocean.  Brantley liked to stay near the shore, not because he was scared, but because that's where the waves were the most forceful!  Holden enjoyed swimming out further, past the powerful waves.  We bought boogey boards at Walmart and I'm not sure who loved them more - the kids or the parents! 😊

On the evening of our first full day, I noticed a group who had obviously just finished family photos on the beach.  I had already mentioned to Craig that I wished I could hire a photographer for a quick, 15-minute session because I knew if I handed over my camera to a stranger, the photos would be well below my expectations.  However, I googled Destin photographers and couldn't find anything that fit my mini-session vision (without paying an arm and a leg).  Back to the story, when I saw that family, I quickly asked who they used for photos and when one of the girls said she had done it herself, I half-jokingly asked if she wanted to take ours!  To my surprise, she graciously agreed, we exchanged numbers, and she met us on the beach the following evening!  Turns out, she was a professional photographer with four kids of her own...so basically a Godsend.  She used her camera, but my memory card.  It really couldn't have worked out better and I love, love, love the photos!!  (See end of post!)  Her name was Tiffany and she was from New Orleans....so Tiffany, if you happen to come across my blog someday (ha, unlikely), thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!  You are the best!

While in Florida, we celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary!  Though we loved every moment of vacationing with our kids, we are very much looking forward to a kid-free 10-year anniversary trip!

Okay, now for the obnoxious amount of photos!  These are a mix of my iPhone, Craig's iPhone, and my big camera!