Rachel Routier | The Black Lion Journal
by Rachel Routier

Rachel Routier & Lusterville & Lobsters | The Black Lion Journal
Rachel Routier | Lusterville & Lobsters

The Florida Panhandle is by far my favorite part of Florida. For my third visit (I wasn’t kidding about this being my favorite!), me, my fiance, sister, her friend, and one puppy took a spur-of-the-moment trip to see my brother, who is stationed down there at Eglin Air Force Base. Spring break 2016!

We skedaddled out of cold, rainy Iowa, and eighteen hours later found us in rainy Florida. I don’t think I’d recommend March for a trip to the Sunshine State, just a tip. However, we made the best of it, and found sunshine on our last day.

We went parasailing on a cold, rainy, 60 degree (fahrenheit) day. The captain of our boat thought we were all crazy. I told him this was nice and warm for us. He spent all winter in the Keys—rough life!

 

Rachel Routier & Lusterville & Lobsters | The Black Lion Journal
Rachel Routier | Lusterville & Lobsters

Rachel Routier & Lusterville & Lobsters | The Black Lion Journal
Rachel Routier | Lusterville & Lobster

I always think I’ve parasailed enough and don’t need to spend the money until I’m up in the sky looking down at the ocean. It’s so peaceful and wonderful. And it’s worth it every time, even in 60 degree weather! We used Just Chute Me parasailing in Destin, and I’d recommend them if you are in the area.
Up! Up! And away!

There’s something about the ocean that draws us to it. It’s that aspect of the endless waves that makes us feel small and awe at our existence. The way the ocean changes colors when it’s stormy or sunny pulls us in to its ever-changing landscape. It’s peaceful.
If you aren’t at a resort with a private beach access, I’d recommend Henderson Beach State Park. It costs $6 per car to get in, but once you have paid, you can use your ticket to go in and out all day. It was a lovely beach, and the surrounding dunes were spectacular.

What’s a vacation without food?! One of my favorite hits on this trip was a little cafe in Destin called Capriccio Cafe. They specialize in coffee and crepes! I had a Parma Crepe for lunch, and then we split a Nutella Crepe for dessert because who could resist?
Another favorite was a dive called Stewby’s Seafood Shanty over in Fort Walton. And the food was AMAZING. If you like dives, this is the place to be. Heck, even if you don’t like dives, this is the place to be.

Rachel Routier & Lusterville & Lobsters | The Black Lion Journal
Rachel Routier | Lusterville & Lobsters
Rachel Routier & Lusterville & Lobsters | The Black Lion Journal
Rachel Routier | Lusterville & Lobsters

Our puppy, Prudence saw the ocean for the first time. She loved it and was running around like a madwoman with many snorts and snerfs. Pru is half French Bulldog and half Boston Terrier. If you know anything about either, you will know she is a nut, but our favorite nut. The beach we took her to is actually on the Air Force base. Unfortunately, my brother hasn’t been able to find many dog-friendly beaches down there for his little half Australian Cattle Dog/Lab puppy. There is a strong military presence in the Destin/Fort Walton area, which makes sense. The base owns much of the land. But that also means that there are a lot of families in the area and not a lot of spring-breakers, and that’s a definite plus.

Once you’ve traveled, you just get that urge sometimes to get out of town, ditch the cubicle (in my case) or the classroom and see something new. This trip was just a random decision. We threw our swimsuits and pillows in the car, and off we went. Sometimes, those are the best trips, especially when you are reunited with family.

 
¡PSST! © 2016 Rachel Routier, Lusterville & Lobsters, & The Black Lion Journal. A contributor submission shared with permission. Submit

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