After visiting the Dominican Republic, it was time to visit my friend Lynn, and get my household goods packed for the move to Tokyo! Lynn picked me up and took me out to McGuires Resturaunt & Pub in Destin.
I'd not been to Destin in about 10 years...it had grown quite a bit. Just look at this huge building that was not there before.
McGuires looked the same tho...
But across the street you could not see the Gulf of Mexico anymore...
The food was excellent as always...and it's is always cool to see the million one dollar bills hanging from the ceiling.
I had quite a bit of running around to do for a week, and so my trusty rental car and I made the rounds getting ready to move to Tokyo.
Here is Lynn's cat "Lena"...a pretty nice kitty that Lynn rescued as a homeless orphan.
Getting ready to move...piling up the boxes for the movers!
Lynn was great, and took a few days off to drive around with me checking out places I'd not been to in a decade.
Of course we had to hit the McGuires in Pennsacola too of course....
Another million in dollar bills on the ceiling...great food....
And the tricky signs to the restroom.....this is on the door to the men's room.
They make their own beer...with the brewery right in the front of the pub.
The current brews are Irish Ale REd and Irish Ale Raspberry..
On to Pennsacola Beach to visit Lynn's friend John, who works as an artist in a local tourist center.
The famous Pennsacola Beach water tower...and a yellow flag warning for the beach. It was a bit windy and the waves were pretty strong.
Driving in Pensacola Beach
Inside Alvin's Island, where John works...he made me and Teresa some cool T-Shirts. I'm afraid I don't have a shot of him working.
A typical beach house at Pennsacola Beach. And probably just a low 3 million dollars...or more
Some of the houses were unusual...such as the UFO one here....
There were lots of new high rise condos and resorts that I did not remember from 10 years ago.
It was a bit cool and windy, but the beaches were still pretty.
A shot of me on the beach.
The winds were so strong that warning signs were up...
It's hard to see in the photo, but there really was alot of sand moving across the road.
Houses out on Navarre Beach...
A cheap lot.....
Which lets you build these cheap structures....
Destin Bridge....
Lynn poses...on another windy day...
I pose.....
Driving across Destin Bridge, looking into Destin Harbor. Lots more towers nowdays...
Big Kahuna's water park...I spent a number of days there with Teresa....
Eating at another Olive Garden...another new building in Destin...
Driving south another day towards the famous community of Seaside.
Interesting and eye catching house colors south of San Destin.
He's hard to see, but a poor lifeguard had to endure the harsh blowing sands and cool air...he's snuggled up next to his red umbrella. Notice the red flag, and his own outfit...all in red.
We then drove further down the beach area, and arrived at Seaside. Seaside is a famous community, for it's Old New England house architecture mandates for all the buildings, and also because the move Truman was filmed there.
Walking and the use of bicycles are heavily encouraged...road traffic is directed away as much as possible. All the houses have this style, as seen below. The homes are right across from the beach...and as expected, are very expensive.
More Seaside houses....
We then drove back thru Destin, and across the Mid-Bay Bridge. The famous artist Wyland evidently had painted this boat warehouse a few years earlier....
On another day, we drove to the old and historic town of DeFuniak Springs. It's also famous for old style grand houses from the turn of the last century. As we drove to the center large circular spring in which most of the old houses are built next to, a goose flew from someone's yard towards the lake and bumped into us. The goose was fine, but it startled us. Here is a lucky shot of a moment just before impact.
One of the DeFuniak houses....
There had been alot of rain for several months, and the natural springs were overflowing. Only evaporation reduces the lake levels, as there is no stream leading away. As a result, alot of the lake side structures were a little inaccesible!
Another DeFuniak Springs home...
Looking across the lake towards a church...the Cherry Blossoms were starting....
I take a "casual look" pose on an old train caboose!
Vote for me!
I also did a trip to a localy winery, the Chautauqua Vinyards, near DeFuniak Springs and Interstate 10. I
I had fun sampling a number of wines, and then picking out a few of my favorites to take home!
Another day crusing along the beach. This is "Big Kahuna's"...a popular summer amusement park....not open yet in February...
More eating at the Olive Garden of course....
One one day we also toured the Ponce de Leon Springs...an hour or two east of Crestview. Supposedly the famous springs of Eternal Youth, it's now just a nice place to chill and hang out.
Fresh water, clear and cool naturally comes to the surface here and starts a river. It was a popular swimming hole a century ago, and still is today!
It was a birthday dinner at Olive Garden....This is Dave, a friend of Lynn, Lynn and myself.
On another day, Lynn and I went to Florida Caverns State Park, located a distance down the road to the east of Crestview....
In addition to a number of limestone caves, there is a good sized swamp, river, ponds and lots of interesting fauna.
The exit of the caverns main cave....
Part of the swamp. For it being February, there were a tons of mosquitos out!
A shot of me in one of the caves...
Lynn in one of the caves...
Out towards the "Blue Hole" picnic area.
The movers finally arrived...and here they are packing our stuff up to be sent to Japan!
The next day I boarded the first of several aircraft which would take me to Tokyo! Here I am leaving Fort Walton Beach...
Leaving Dallas-Ft. Worth....
Flying over Texas outside of Dallas. Notice all the small white spots, which are oil and gas drill sites.
Flying over Canada's Rocky Mountains...
Then flying over Alaska's mountains...
Then flying over the plains of Japan's Northern Island of Hokaido.
And finally landing at Narita International Airport, just outside of Tokyo. It was a long trip, and I was glad to be done for a while! I really enjoyed visiting family and friends...
MUSIC VIDEO OF THIS TRIP HERE