Hello lovers of good times, fun places, and great people. It has been a little while since Aimee and I have had the opportunity to share a vacation adventure. I hope you enjoy some highlights of our recent trip to the sugar-white beaches of Florida’s Emerald Coast.

Please follow the links for episode videos.


Episode 1

The highlight of the drive to the coast was missing 2 accidents on the highway and stopping at this crazy truck stop/country store/gas station called BUC-EE’s in Robertsdale, Alabama. We arrived just in time for sunset cocktails – just straight, welcome to vacation, Prosecco and a crazy lightning storm after dark.


Episode 2

Pretty much a relaxing at the beach day. We stayed at a lovely beachfront condo at the SunDestin property. With a great Gulf-view 16th floor balcony, bedroom, 1.5 baths, and a living area with a pullout couch separated from the kitchen by a bar. This gave us the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch on the balcony, needing only to go out for dinner if we so desired. Tonight, Aimee desired one of her favorite eating joints, Waffle House. There is one directly across the street from the condo. Aimee had a classic greasy cheeseburger and I had one of the newer menu items, a cheesesteak melt hashbrown bowl. You know, being healthy not having the bread…


Episode 3

More beach sitting and walking today, just like it is supposed to be. Aimee turned on the charm for today’s video where she was still raving about Waffle House. After the video, we checked out the Alligator show at Fudpucker’s in Destin. It was a madhouse at the 6:00 show. The place was great if you needed to entertain the kids for a while. The show was fun, but we easily decided not to eat there. That turned out to be the right choice because we went back to the condo and ordered pizza. Recommended to me by the condo security guard, the place is called Merlin’s and they delivered for free. The customer service was exceeded only by the delicious pizza. We had the Pollo Bella Special: Olive oil, marinated chicken, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, feta, mozzarella, and Italian herbs – Deliziozo!


Episode 4

Sadly, this is Aimee’s last video from our beautiful 16th floor balcony. She shares a little more about Merlin’s and her new bird friend, Blinky. We enjoyed the trip and were impressed by the Sundestin condos, Merlin’s Pizza, and Waffle House, of course.

After the video, we dined out with my Cincinnati cousins at a very swanky place called Primose located in the Henderson Beach Resort & Spa. The service was top notch. The dining view was lovely, but there was no ocean view. The food was delicious, but I thought the fresh catch grouper was over-priced at $50. To be fair, many of the prices in Destin are high. Aimee noted the stuffed shrimp at a casual beach joint was more expensive and a smaller portion then we could get at Mandina’s in New Orleans.



Never ones to end our vacation early than necessary, we stopped for a great lunch on the way home at Midddendorf’s in Slidell, and brought our vacation to an end with delicious, old school, lunch at Pascal’s Manale.

Middendorf’s opened in the tiny fishing village of Manchac, LA in 1934 by Louis and Josie Middendorf. In 2007, Chef Horst and Karen Pfiefer bought the restaurant, The Slidell location opened on July 4, 2019. Our lunch was quite enjoyable. We both started with Louisiana-brewed Gnarly Barley Catahoula Common drafts beers and turtle soup. For our entrée, we split the classic Middendorf large thinly fried catfish plate served with cole slaw and hush puppies. One large plate is fine to split for two normal appetites.

Pascal’s Manale has been around since 1913 and stayed in the family until 2019. This New Orleans classic is known for its local seafood and Italian cuisine. Some fun local booze trivia: Their beautiful wooden bar was installed in 1913 by the Dixie Brewing Company in exchange for exclusively serving its beers. I had the Chicken Parmesan Coolinary Lunch special with gumbo while Aimee enjoyed Oysters Dante with turtle soup. Outstanding flavors and portion size.


Thanks for sharing our trip, hope to see you on the beach or at the bar sometime soon.