It’s been a really long time since I was a fan of the beach. When I was pregnant with The Nerd and looking like a blimp in a black and white Mossimo bikini, I went to the Florida beaches in St. Augustine every, single day. When he was born, the doctors and nurses were confused that he was a white baby and not some sort of ethnic child. Because, you know, his mama was so brown.
After that, the appeal of laying out on the beach sort of fizzled out for me. My Uncle Quent was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and shortly thereafter I began having annual skin checks that always resulted in some spot being cut off of my body. The sand in the car, in The Nerd’s hair and cracks – crap – the sand in MY cracks, just got to me. Let’s not mention the fact that I no longer lived 1 block from the beach and getting there with a kid was a pain in the sandy crack for only 30 minutes of fun.
Even the term “Fun” is relative. “Fun” for me meant scurrying after The Nerd as he went in the water up to his ankles, afraid that the rip currents were going to tug him under. I’m not an overbearing or overprotective parent in general, but at the beach I’m a wreck.
When Brandcation DESTINation was announced, my first thought was, “seriously? the beach?” but I put myself out on a limb and I won a sponsorship to attend. When I (very unexpectedly won), I was STOKED and promised to make the very most of my beach time, especially since I wouldn’t be chasing small children around all over the place, worried about Atlantic rips.
Fast forward 6 weeks to my arrival at Emerald Grande Harbor Walk Village in Destin, FL. I had driven to Jacksonville from Wake Forest to meet up with Joyful Musings and Frosted Fingers – now two of my favorite people on earth. We were giddy from exhaustion and laughing so hard but we were awestruck when we pulled up to the gorgeous location.
Our view was of Emerald green, perfectly clear water, and white sanded beaches. Just like sugar.
For the first time in nearly 12 years, I was excited to get to the beach. Unfortunately, I had to wait until the next day to set my feet into the sand.
Naturally, the weather was overcast and breezy the day we headed to the beach. Getting to the beach was insanely relaxing. You have to take a boat from the resort to the beach, but it was a very short jaunt and the First Mate on the boat was extremely entertaining. They had food and beverages (of the family friendly and adult sort) for sale on the boat.
When we disembarked from the boat, I was in awe at the soft sand on the beach. Soft isn’t generally a term I use to describe sand, but this stuff was SOFT without being silty. The private beach had umbrellas, chairs to keep your butt out of the sand, and beach attendants that stayed with you between the boat docking every 30 minutes. Unlike other beaches I have been to, these chairs were free of charge to use, as were the umbrellas. When shopping for beach destinations, that is an enormous perk for me.
We put our stuff down, MoscatoMom busted out the wine (it was 5 o’clock somewhere) and we put some music on. Needless to say, my booty started swaying as soon as the music came on and eventually a group of us was doing the wobble in the sand. Talk about a workout!
The water was chilly, but not too cold to swim in. There were no waves to speak of and not a single strong current to worry about. For the first time in nearly 12 years, I thought, “I could bring my kids here and feel safe.” Of all the Florida beaches I’ve ever been to, I’d say without hesitation that Destin Beach is the most family friendly beach of them all. I didn’t feel like if my children were there, that I would have to worry about their safety in the water nearly as much as I would at other beaches.
That scores an enormous “A” for Destin, Florida Beaches in my book. I’m not even remotely kidding you when I tell you that Destin will forevermore be the beach that I think of when I start planning a Family Beach Getaway. And the Emerald Grande Harborwalk Village will be my go-to resort to stay at with my family. Read more about the condos here.