If you know me and my sister at all, you know that we absolutely love the city that we live in. Pensacola has so much to brag about: great local restaurants, fresh seafood, turquoise beaches, lush parks, a thriving and adorable downtown area, and fun activities galore. Pensacola does all of this while still remaining homey with that “small town” feel.
Now, hop onto Highway 98 and head east about 45 miles. After passing through some pretty, yet quaint cities, you’ll bump right into Pensacola’s glittering gem of a step-sister, Destin.
Destin used to be called “Florida’s best kept secret.” HA. Nowadays, if you haven’t heard of Destin then you’ve been living under a very sad rock. Destin is THE place to vacation if you’re looking for an upscale, shiny, and jam-packed beach experience. The place is crawling with tourist-trap beach stores (“FREE HERMIT CRAB WITH PURCHASE OF A STUPID BUCKET”), high-end shopping, jaw-droppingly fancy waterfront mansions, and about forty-six thousand seafood restaurants.
Destin is an incredibly colorful and beautiful not-so-little beach town. In some ways, it’s very similar to our little hometown of Pensacola. It shares the same stretch of emerald green coast and it’s tough to say which town harbors the tastiest food options. It’s safe to say, however, that Destin is the more classy and sophisticated step-sister.
Now, don’t tell Pensacola, but Roban and I may have cheated on it a little this past weekend.
We have a good excuse! Our mama owns a lovely little piece of real estate that’s tucked away into one of Destin’s more cozy neighborhoods. A winding driveway leads you to her little tropical yellow home with white shutters, where this asshole pelican waits to greet you.
With Destin being just over an hour drive from home, we like to visit our mom often. Also, she has a pool. So, there’s that.
As you may have guessed, Emma and Sophia spend the majority of their time frolicking in Nana’s backyard oasis. Even over Christmas the water was warm enough to take a dip in. We can’t wait to get little Piper’s chubby butt into the pool once the weather warms up a tad.
The locals in Destin are quite friendly.
Emma and Sophia spend so much time at their Nana’s house that they even have a few friends in the area that come over to party every once in awhile.
While the Chicklets swam and sunbathed in the glorious March weather, the big girls prepped for a dinner party. Mom invited a few friends over for some good eats and recruited Roban and me to help cook.
Of course, we took it as an opportunity to blog some recipes for you kind folks (see our previous post for Roban’s Easy Beef Brisket).
Ma is a full-blown ragin’ Cajun, so a lot of her best recipes include fat and juicy crawfish!
I think I speak for Roban as well when I say that cooking with our mom is one of our favorite pastimes. Large amounts of wine mixed with giggling and gossip make for some of our most enjoyable evenings together.
Of course, now that Pip is here, we like to squeeze in some baby snuggles between wine sipping and cackling like hens.
Excuse me, but there’s a bit of drool on your screen. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.
Ah, yes. Look at this beautifully decorated and squeaky clean setup! Seriously, you could eat off those floors.
We like to poke fun at our mom and claim that she’s exactly like the character in this viral YouTube video about moms who lose their shit when company is coming. She laughs right back because she knows that we’re slowly becoming psycho neat freaks just. like. her.
As our guests arrived, the sun began to set and the temperature began to drop. We cranked on the fire pit and shared some adult beverages around its warmth.
Then Nana and Piper practiced their modeling.
A Caribbean shrimp dream was served up for an hors d’oeuvre (recipe here).
The house got a bit quiet once the main courses were dished out.
Then Sophia ate the entire chocolate trifle. RIP to Sophia’s belly.
Now, you would think that when we make the trip to Destin we might like to explore some of the tasty restaurants it has to offer. Not quite. You see, our mom is such a masterful cook that when we come to see her, all we want is her home cooking.
Sometimes Jan puts her foot down, closes her kitchen, and drags us out to one of Destin’s fine seafood establishments.
Mom’s brunching spot of choice on this sunny Sunday afternoon? 790 On The Gulf.
We didn’t complain too much once we were presented with this delicious view.
Oh, and these strong drinks. Ladies and gentleman, the pineapple mimosa has opened my eyes to all sorts of new horizons. I’ll never go back to boring ol’ orange juice again.
It’s true New Orleans tradition to have your beignets before your meal. If you order your beignets as a dessert then you’re dead to me.
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to eat too much seafood in one weekend, your answer is absolutely not.
After finishing our meals, this little piece of heaven was just calling our names.
Some of us did not come prepared. *Ahem* Roban. (These shoes were a steal, btw.)
(Side note: you can now follow our shenanigans on Snapchat! @rockinroban and @supsydnasty, respectively.)
Seagulls are the rats of the sky, y’all.
How badly do you want to stick your body into this crystal clear goodness right now?
Don’t do it. There are sharks.
Emma is practicing for when she inherits the blog one day.
While Sophia throws sand at tourists.
Cheers to another fabulous weekend on the Florida Gulf Coast!
Don’t worry, Pensacola. You’ll always be OUR favorite step-sister.