Living and Playing in Destin

Sunshine Cindy and I had another fun weekend in Destin. It started out Friday night with a Parrot Head party at KC’s Sandbar and Grill in Fort Walton Beach. We love KC’s. It is as close to a “Key West” open air feel that you will find around here. I got off work a little early so I could get home and then get back to Ft. Walton. Good thing I did that as a wreak on the Brooks Bridge left traffic backed up all the way to Destin after we got there.

Mike and Bev are the owners of KC’s and good friends of ours. They went all out for the Parrot Heads doing a pig roast, drink specials and music by Jan and Kenny. Even with the traffic a good crowd of almost 100 people showed up. The weather even held up. It looked like we were going to get hit with a thunderstorm but it somehow just missed us. Mother Nature was on our side! We left and headed back to Destin. We made a stop at The Legion for Karoke. Judie, Kelly, Steve, Dottie and Capt. John all showed up too. It was a small crowd but we had fun. Finally, when we got home we sat on the back porch having some Rum Jumbie and enjoying the night.

Saturday was very laid back for us. Most of the day was spent doing Mambo work or just relaxing. Finally about 3:30 I headed to Landshark Pizza for a while. Sunshine Cindy didn’t want to get out so I went by myself. The place was packed. I got the last seat at the bar. A couple of guys were sitting next to me watching a baseball game. One guy was a Baltimore Orioles fan. I have never seen someone get so worked up over a mid season baseball game as this guy did watching his Orioles. It was pretty funny actually.

The crew for the evening started coming in including JD. JD plays music on the side around town. Friday night he was at Funky Blues Shack. We are going to start promoting JD on our Crab Island Mambo web site. He is a hard working guy just trying to make a living. We hope we can help him take off.

I got home early and Sunshine Cindy and I spent the rest of the evening watching TV. I guess sometimes we have to be an old married couple!

Sunday was a full day out. It started with breakfast at a new place in town, The Breakfast Table. It’s located on Hwy 98 across from the Inn on the Harbor. The place is decorated nice but the food was nothing special. From there we went to the Red Door Saloon on the harbor. They do beer specials on Sunday that are so good you could not drink that cheaply at home. Jan and Loujean joined us for a while. Sunshine Cindy ran into her old hair dresser. A bunch of bikers were there as it was a nice day for a ride.

When we left there we walked down to the Shark Shack. We talked to Tom at Harbor Gifts for a while. Becca was working the bar and a decent crowd was there. We then went back down the harbor to the Boathouse. We got a table up front by Kelly Byrd to listen to him. Paige took care of us. I had oysters and gumbo. It was great! Sunshine Cindy had a hot dog. Gigi came by to say hello. Maynard stopped in and saw us and said hello too. It was a nice relaxing end to the day and weekend.

It looks like a nice week is in store for us here on the Emerald Coast. The weather is supposed to be good. Sunshine Cindy and I are getting close to announcing our musical lineup for next year’s 21st Annual Phlocking of the Phaithful Trop Rock event in Put in Bay, Ohio. It’s going to be awesome!!! You will want to be there. Details soon!!!!

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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And the beat goes on…

Its summer in Destin. That means we will get thunderstorms. Nothing new about that. But this year the rain totals are getting close to record totals. We are only a little past the half way point of the year and we have had almost 60 inches of rain in Destin so far. In an average year we get 61 inches so we are ready to bust past that soon….maybe today! The most rain Destin has received in one year is 104 inches back in 1975. We are on track to get almost 106 inches if we keep the current pace. That’s a lot of water!

The building boom continues too. Just this week the vacate land on Airport Road across from the city owned 2 million dollar pottery barn…don’t get me started on what the city could have done with that money…a new townhome development is starting. They have leveled all the trees and site work is beginning. Another spot in town where site work has started is adjacent to the Eglin Federal Credit Union branch behind Target. I don’t know what is going to be built there but all the trees are gone there too.

Sunshine Cindy and I love playing tourist in our town. This week has been a perfect example. Tuesday Sunshine Cindy stopped in at Destin Ice Seafood House. She picked up some fresh shrimp, garlic bread and salad. The shrimp was so fresh it was probably swimming in the gulf the previous night. While there she saw our friend John who is now working there. She then stopped at the grocery store and ran into Marsha. It’s a small town for sure. It was a great dinner that night.

Then on Wednesday Sunshine Cindy went down to the docks to see Sandy at Harbor Gifts. They are doing well selling our Crab Island Mambo merchandize. While there she ran into Charlie from The Crust Pizzeria. It just so happened we were planning to go to Crust for dinner so she told Charlie she would see him later. We did get to Crust about 6 pm. We sat outside as it was a beautiful evening. Charlie joined us for a while as I had not seen him in a several weeks. In the summer they are only doing pizza’s and sandwiches due to the crowds but they did have lasagna that was made earlier in the day. They know Sunshine Cindy loves their lasagna so she was able to get some. It’s nice being special! LOL

We had a good time at The Crust. The food was excellent and the weather was perfect. The town continues to be super busy. Folks were coming and going the entire time we were there. Tourist were everywhere spending money and keeping folks employed. Summer in Destin has a special buzz to it. I love it.

This weekend is a Parrot Head meeting at our favorite place in Fort Walton Beach, KC’s Sand Bar Grill. We will be there Friday night for a luau and great Trop Rock music. Don’t forget you can get all the weekend happenings on our Crab Island Mambo Weekend Update page:

Whatever you do this weekend have fun. I will see ya Monday with a full recap!

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Playing in Destin

Sunshine Cindy and I had a busy but laid back weekend here in Destin. It started on Thursday when I got home from work. We decided to go out to Friday’s for some food and drinks. While there we planned to talk about musicians for Phlocking of the Phaithful next June in Put in Bay, Ohio. We have been getting quotes back on cost so it’s time to start to come up with our plan.

We ended up sitting in the bar area from about 6:15 to almost 10 pm. The food was good, the beer was cold and we got on a roll. By the time we were done we had come up with a preliminary plan that we will work to finalize over the next week or two. But it will be an over the top lineup of Trop Rock musical acts. The real good news about the night was traffic was okay when we headed home.

Friday was our monthly “Embrace the Chaos! Trop Rock Music Series at the Cantina” with John Reno performing for us. We had a great time as John put on a fantastic show. John’s wife Donna sat with us and was amazed at the view from the Cantina. About half way through the show we had to move John inside as a line of thunderstorms was heading our way. The storms hit with a vengeance. At least we were dry under the covering with only a few leaks we had to watch out for. A big crowd was at the Cantina enjoying John’s music.

Saturday was a rainy day in Destin. We stayed home till the mid afternoon. While we were at home I was able to get some Mambo work done. One thing about Saturday’s in Destin in the summer is that is the changeover day for the condo’s. We get a large crowd leaving Destin in the morning and a large crowd coming into town later. I heard a traffic report in the morning that said the traffic on the Mid-Bay bridge was backed up all the way across into Destin as folks tried to get out of town.

About 3 in the afternoon Sunshine Cindy and I decided to head to Landshark Pizza to hang out for a while and have some wings. Traffic was heavy on the back roads. When we got to Landshark and could see Hwy 98 it was a parking lot. With the rain no one was on the beach and everyone gets out on the roads plus you had the incoming crowd. It was slow going. Landshark had a nice crowd in there for the afternoon. Brian and Sue were working and the night crew was coming in. We stayed till about 6:30 and then headed for home. After we left they got real busy. It was their second busiest day in their history. Brian even went back to help out as they were so swamped. Good for them.

Sunshine Cindy and I spent the evening on our back porch listening to Trop Rock music on the IPod. It was a relaxing evening. When we were at Landshark Brian told us about a special breakfast he was doing for the British Open Golf Tournament that was on early. So Sunday morning we were back at Landshark for a Cajun Omelet, Hash browns and Mimosa’s. It was really good. We were hungry and it hit the spot. We spent the rest of Sunday back at the house being bums. It felt good!

I did update the Crab Island Mambo “Happenings” page with events that will take place over the upcoming months. You can check it out here:

Have a great week. See ya Thursday!

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Another week in Destin

Monday was a road trip for Sunshine Cindy and I. She had a doctor’s appointment in Pensacola so I took the day off to get her there. The appointment was done by 11 am so we put the top down on Badass and headed to Pensacola beach for a while.

Our first stop was Casino Beach Bar Grill. This is a new place that just opened on the beach. One of the owners, Matt, is related to a guy I work with. Matt and his business partner are the founders of the “World of Beer” chain of bars around the country. Casino Beach Bar Grill is different from WOB. This is a laid back beach bar. There is a lot of open space and plenty of sitting space outside. With the Gulf of Mexico a few hundred yards away, they have a perfect venue. Plus they have Yuengling Light so I was happy!

Having just opened a few weeks ago, there is no food yet at the bar. So Sunshine Cindy and I headed down to Peg Leg Pete’s for lunch. We had an enjoyable lunch even if it was HOT. There was not much of a breeze but the cold beverages made it bearable. When we left the seats in Badass about branded us they were so hot. We drove along the beach road all the way to Navarre. We then made our way back to Destin and stopped at Landshark Pizza.

We cooled off with some beers. Brian was working and we talked to him for a while. Brian and Landshark continue to advertise with us in our Crab Island Mambo family of publications. They are a great locals place for pizza, wings, craft beers and sports. Check them out next to Old Time Pottery in Destin.

Tuesday and Wednesday I spent the evenings at home working on the Crab Island Mambo Mullet Wrapper. It has been published. You can read it here:

During the day on Wednesday Sunshine Cindy was out and about for Mambo. She made a stop at Harbor Gifts. They are selling our Mambo merchandize among many other fine Destin keepsakes including some real cool coasters with pictures of Destin landmarks on them. Tom and Sandy are good friends who work hard. Check them out next to the Shark Shack on the harbor.

Destin gets many celebrities in town but they are low key and you never know they are here. Yesterday there was a picture in the Destin Log of the superstar goalie from the USA World Cup Soccer team, Tim Howard, at Big Kahuna’s Water Park in Destin. Tim was the star of the team keeping the US in games there were being outplayed in. It’s cool he was in town.

This Friday night is our “Embrace the Chaos! Trop Rock Music Series at the Cantina” show with Trop Rocker John Reno. John plays from 5-9 pm. Be sure to see us for your “Mambo Member” card to get 15% off your entire bill the night of the show. We hope to see everyone at Crab Island Cantina Friday!

I will have a full report on the weekend on Monday. See ya then!

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Busy Weekend in Destin

We were on the go the entire weekend. Friday saw Sunshine Cindy and I down on the harbor. We started at Harry T’s for a Parrot Head meeting. A big crowd of friends were there for the music and the views. When we left a group of us was heading to The Boathouse but we made a stop at Fishheads. Coconut Radio was getting ready to play. The harbor was packed with people with many around Fishheads. We enjoyed hanging out there for a while.

As we moved on Sunshine Cindy and I stopped at the Shark Shack. Bruce and Glen were there and we wanted to say hello to them. We ended up staying for a beer while our other friends went to The Boathouse. We also talked to Tom at Harbor Gifts. They are selling some of our Crab Island Mambo shirts. Good to know tourist are enjoying our tees and tanks.

We finally made it to The Boathouse. As we walked in our friend Kenny was on stage with Jason Clark playing the harmonica. That was fun. We all were out the back on the deck. It was a nice breeze and a fun time as always at the Boathouse. There were a bunch of tourist having a good time as we were. Some of the tourist were from North East Ohio and we all talked about LeBron coming home to Cleveland. None of us saw that coming. When we left the Boathouse Sunshine Cindy and I got to BadAss to drive over to the Waffle House for some late night food with our friends. When we got to the car there was a plush beanie baby horse sitting in the front seat. We are not sure who or why it was there but it is now on my dash!

At the Waffle House Kenny pulled out his harmonica and started playing. We were having a great time. For some reason the place emptied out. I looked around and we were the only ones there! LOL But we had fun. After that it was time to head home.

On Saturday I went to Julie’s to help repair a fence. Wayne and Kenny were there too. We took down over 200 slats, readjusted them to take out some gaps and reinstalled them with additional screws. It took us all day but we got the job done and it looks great. I love helping friends!

Sunday was Southern Drawl Band at Crab Island Cantina. The guys had been on the Emerald Coast for the week and ended it here in Destin. The Cantina was packed and the guys put on a fantastic show. They are getting a big following here in Destin. More and more folks come out just to hear them play. They will be back in August. Come out and see them.

Not much planned for this week till Friday. John Reno is going to play for Crab Island Mambo at The Cantina from 5-9 pm. John is a Trop Rock original. Put this show on your calendar. Also remember to like our Crab Island Mambo page on Facebook.

Have a great week and we will see ya on Thursday!

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Summer Time in Destin

You can tell summer is in full swing in Destin because the weather is hot and humid with a 30% chance of thunderstorms every day. The beaches are packed with tourist soaking up the sun and salt air. Big SUV’s are in bumper to bumper traffic with locals complaining about the traffic and Crab Island has hundreds of boats anchored in the watery party spot. I love this time of the year.

Speaking of Crab Island….I have been saying for a few years a crackdown will be coming especially if someone gets killed out there. So far we are lucky no has died but the number of people selling things has continued to grow. It used to be you had the Helen Back boat, Crabisland Mike and some guy in a zodiac selling ice cream. This year there is a house on water selling bait and other things, a giant water trampoline, several other anchored structures and guys in small boats zipping around selling everything from peanuts to cigars. Thankfully the helicopter landing pad moved from Crab Island.

A report in the Destin Log reported the county is now eyeing some type of regulations of the vendors. They are missing out on a lot of tax money I guess. But really this is something you could see coming. When something grows to the scope of the activity that Crab Island is seeing, then right or wrong the government will get involved. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Tuesday night Sunshine Cindy and I got out for some dinner. We fought the traffic on Commons Drive and went to Mama Sherry’s. This place is next to Hogs Breath. We sat on the patio right at the edge of the street. It was a great spot to traffic watch. LOL  This is a new place that serves mostly Italian type food. The food was good and they had an excellent happy hour. The owners talked to us. It is a family affair. Mama Sherry used to own several restaurants in the Atlanta area but they decided to move to Destin. They are nice folks. The place never really got too busy. They have their work cut out for them in this saturated restaurant market.

Sunshine Cindy and I then walked next door to Malibu Jacks for a drink. Again we sat outside close to the street. It was a beautiful night and we enjoyed relaxing out there. The entire time we were at the two places, probably about 2 ½ hours, the westbound traffic on 98 was a constant bumper to bumper crawl. Turns out there were two wreaks on 98. One by the new parking lot at Marler Dr. and the other right before the bridge. What a mess that was. Thankfully we had the back roads so we could avoid all that.

The rest of the week we stayed in as we have a busy weekend coming up. We will be on the harbor Friday night for the Parrot Head meeting at Harry T’s. Sunday Southern Drawl Band is back at Crab Island Cantina at 5 pm. They packed the place a few weeks ago. If you have not heard these guys you need to get to the Cantina Sunday. You will love their show. Check out all the weekend activities on our Crab Island Mambo Weekend Update page:

Have a great weekend A full report to follow on Monday. See ya then!

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Fourth of July in Destin

The Fourth of July holiday is the busiest time in Destin. This year was no different. I had a four days off which was nice. We mostly stayed close to home. Thursday we did go to Landshark Pizza for lunch. I had a taste for some of their fantastic wings and Sunshine Cindy wanted a pulled pork sandwich. All the food was great as usual. Brian and Sue were getting ready for a BBQ cook-off at The Commons. They gave us a taste of the BBQ. It was really good.

After lunch we went home to hang out by our pool. We ended up staying out there till dark. We had our beer, snacks and Jagger so we were good! LOL  The pool water was like bath water. It had to be in the low 90’s. It was enjoyable and we were able to relax without fighting the traffic. When we got back home we sat on our back porch. From there we had a perfect view of the fireworks display from The Commons. They put on a great show and we were able to enjoy it from the comfort of our porch.

Friday was the Fourth of July. We went to a party our friends Dottie and Steve throw every year. They live on the north side of the bay right on the water. Jeff and the Camaro’s played, everyone brought food, they did a shrimp boil and we could watch fireworks from all around the bay. Steve also had a stash of fireworks including some good stuff. It was a fun night. As we were driving back across the Mid-Bay Bridge we were amazed at all the cars leaving Destin. It was a solid line of traffic heading north. The town was packed.

Saturday we waited till the afternoon before we ventured out. Sunshine Cindy and I went to check out the new Chan’s “Craft Bar.” It is adjacent to his Wine World liquor store in the Publix Shopping Center. The bar has craft beers and upscale liquors. They were doing a soft opening over the weekend. It looked like a lot of folks heard about it as the place was pretty crowded. Our friend Ken and his lady Robin came in and joined us. Ken runs liquor stores and he knows a lot of the people at Chan’s plus Robin’s son works there. We were impressed with the selection and the atmosphere of the place. I can see it being an upscale kind of place that will rival Cuvee Bistro for patrons.

When we left we decided to go to Chip’s. This is the old Sago location and we wanted to see what they had done to the place. The Brick and Spoon restaurant is now open for breakfast only. That meant the entire restaurant was empty. The inside bar had one person there. Most of the TV’s are gone except for around the bar. The outside bar only had a few folks sitting around it. From time to time someone would come up from the pool area for a drink. For a Saturday evening on a holiday weekend, the bar was dead. It was sad. We loved Sago but I don’t know how this new place will make it.

On Sunday we were bums. I washed BadAss but that was about the extent of my physical labor. I did a lot of Mambo computer work but also watched a lot of sports. Updates to the Crab Island Mambo web site will be coming soon. Also help me get more Facebook “Likes” for my Crab Island Mambo page. I post a lot of updates there on upcoming events in our area.

We survived another holiday weekend in Destin! Let’s see what this week will bring. I will have a full report on Thursday. See ya then!

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Destin Braces for the Holiday Crowds

The busiest time of the year in Destin is for the Fourth of July and the month of July in general. It seems like everyone from Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas make their way to Destin this time of the year. I saw a report in the Destin Log where they said the entire county of Okaloosa only has about 100-200 rooms available for rent. When you think how large this county is as it stretches from the Alabama border to the Gulf of Mexico that is an amazing figure. Destin alone has many thousands of rooms. And they are all booked. Wow!

This is the time of the year you try and stay off the main roads. Unfortunately many of the tourist have found the back roads now too. Especially the road our sub division is off of. It can become a parking lot in a hurry. Ugh! Oh well, in a few weeks we will be back to a more manageable number of tourist.

Today July 3rd, a big part of the expansion at Destin Commons is having their grand opening. I did find out the World of Beer and The Blend will not be opening till sometime this fall. I am looking forward to checking them out. This is a concept that is taking off.

I was able to confirm through some friends that Lucy Buffett’s new Lulu’s in Destin will have their official ground breaking sometime this month. It will be close to the Commons on the bay. It should be a great place.

We only got out and about one night this week. Last night we headed to Sunshine Cindy’s parent house to pick up a couple of palm trees they had for us and to show them the wedding pictures. They also had a video of the wedding ceremony they took to give to us. It turned out perfect. We were so glad we got a good video of the ceremony. It was a beautiful night weather wise. Calm winds with temps in the upper 80’s. Perfect.

Please have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July celebration. Remember to thank our service members, past and present, for their sacrifices so we can live in this great country! See ya Monday!

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Turning up the summer heat in Destin

Last winter when it was freezing I said I would not complain about the heat this summer. I am not complaining but it has gotten hot in Destin. We have been in the 90’s the last few days with our usual high humidity. Last night it was still 89 degrees at 9:30 pm. But this is summer in Florida and I love the heat so no problem!

It was a busy weekend for Sunshine Cindy and I. Friday night I was stuck in a traffic jam getting home from work. The traffic was backed up all the way across the island. When I got home we decided to head to the harbor for a while. We went to Margaritaville for dinner. After that we made a stop at Fishheads. It turns out it was Melissa’s birthday and they were having a party for her. We wished her well and chatted with Tom and Becca who were both working.

From there we walked down to The Boathouse. We ran into a bunch of friends including Chris, Missy, Scott and Tony. Courtney was working the bar. Gigi was there and we had a chance to talk to her for a while. Jason was playing inside as a good crowd was hanging out. We left there and made one last stop at Rotten Apple on the way home. Rose was there. We have not seen her in a while. They have fixed up the place nice. They should be serving food soon.

On the way home we got stopped at a DUI checkpoint. I still find it hard to believe random stops with no probable cause can be legal in this country.

Saturday we had our 2nd Crab Island Mambo and ECPHC beach cleanup of the year. Once again the beach was in great shape. We did our usual cleanup and then enjoyed the perfect day. The Gulf water was refreshing. There was a lot of June-Grass seaweed in the water but that did not deter anyone. The party broke up about 3 pm as a group was heading to Pensacola to listen to Southern Drawl Band at Landshark Landing. Sunshine Cindy and I decided to stay home. The sun had done it job draining the energy out of the body! We watched a movie and relaxed.

Sunday had the Southern Drawl Band playing in Destin at Crab Island Cantina. The show started at 5 pm. Sunshine Cindy and I got there about 3:30 for some lunch. The guys were already there. Mike Nash, the lead singer, said he got to the Cantina by Jet Ski. He had been staying in Navarre. He and some friends from there all jet skied to Crab Island and hung out for a while. They then dropped Mike off at the Cantina. Not a bad way to get to a gig.

A huge crowd packed the Cantina. Tourist, locals, Mambo’ians…they were all there. The guys played on the inside stage. That was a good call as the sun would have been beating down on them outside. Paul, Larry, JD, David and Mike put on a hell of a show. People were dancing from the start all the way through their encores. They will be back at the Cantina on July 13th. Make plans to be there.

This is a short work week thanks to the holiday coming up. Get out and enjoy the summer heat. LOL  See ya Thursday!!!

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Sharks in the Destin News

It seems like sharks are in the news around here a lot lately and I am not talking about lawyers. This week a couple of brother showed off some pictures of them with two sharks they caught. There have been some other sharks sighted in the area too with several of the charter fishing boats bringing in sharks. And of course it seems like everyone is following Katharine the Great White Shark who is swimming out in the gulf and being tracked by a GPS tag.

For some reason sharks always seem to invoke a lot of interest. I guess when you are swimming where there might be something that can eat you it tends to make you notice them a little more. But in reality shark attacks are very rare. It has been many years since the last attack took place in the Destin area. When you think of all the people that are swimming in our waters every day, you really don’t need to worry about having a shark attack.

I actually saw a shark up close and personal about 8 years ago. I was sitting at the edge of the surf. It was a week day and there was nobody else around. I saw a fin about 2 feet out in the water heading my way. I thought that was pretty close to shore for a dolphin to be swimming. I stood up and I could see it was a 8 foot Hammerhead Shark slowly cruising in the shallow water. I took one step back and the big guy swam right in front of me. That was really cool.

Wednesday night Sunshine Cindy and I went out to discuss some Mambo business. We went to Island Wings. On the way over Wayne called to ask what we were doing. He said he might join us with a couple of the Southern Drawl Band guys. Sure enough they came to join us. Paul and JD were with Wayne. It was a great time catching up with the guys and hearing some of their stories from the road. We look forward to hearing the band this weekend. They are at Juana’s in Navarre on Thursday, Land Shark Landing on Pensacola Beach on Friday and Saturday night and at Crab Island Cantina in Destin Sunday afternoon. They put on a great show. You should try and see them if you can.

You can get all the news on things to do over the weekend by reading my Crab Island Mambo Weekend Update here:

After the guys left I thought I recognized Henri at the bar. It was him and we talked for a good while. We had not seen Henri for several months. He works at Millers Ale House and the Legion. He is now also working at Rick’s Crab Trap on Saturday’s. This is the Rick’s on Scenic 98 next to Majestic Sun. We will have to go see him there some time. He said Brandy is now doing karaoke there on Saturday’s too.

The other bit of news from this week was the closing of Hard Rock Café in Destin Commons. This really does not surprise me. This location has lost its luster. It was expensive and they didn’t have any kind of specials for the locals. Sunshine Cindy and I stopped in there once this past winter. I think there were only a couple of other people in there. The place has been open for 10 years but I think they didn’t keep up with the area with all the competition that is now here.

A lot happening this weekend. Get out and enjoy it. See ya Monday with a full report!

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