Archive for the Island Enthusiasts Category

TV show in Destin

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One of the neat things about living in Destin is you never know what might happen. This past weekend was a prime example of that. A while back Sunshine Cindy and I got a call from our friend Fred from Atlanta. Fred told us about a concept he had for a TV show called “Barstools and Beach Chairs” and that he wanted to film the pilot in Destin. In addition he wanted Sunshine Cindy and I to be in the show. This weekend was the time he choose for the taping. Joining us in the taping of the show was part time Destin and Atlanta resident Renata. She is the owner of Shore Dreams Vacation Rentals. If you are looking for a place to stay in the Destin area then you need to call Shore Dreams Vacation Rentals.

The taping of the show was a blast. It started Friday at The Boathouse Oyster Bar. A big Friday night crowd was at The Boathouse giving the crew plenty of action to shoot. At one point they put a mic on me and I joined Fred behind the bar as Bree mixed up a Boathouse original drink for us. Other places we visited over the course of the two days was Crab Island Cantina, Harbor Docks, Royal Palms, Harborwalk Village, No Alibi fishing charter boat, Boogies Water Sports for a Pontoon Boat and Crab Island. We even ran into some Parrot Heads at Margaritaville. Who would have guessed that happening? LOL

The camera guys, Phil and David were some of the nicest guys you could ever meet. They were true professionals but very respectful of the businesses. Fred is such a nice guy. He is a natural in front of the camera. Fred’s wife Georgia and his kids were here too. They all had a great time. We have a new friend in Renata now too. Sunshine Cindy and I were so glad Fred asked us to be part of this pilot. We hope he is able to get it on the air. I will announce when it happens.

Destin is right in the middle of the Spring Break season. There are a lot of people in town but the large crowds of college kids are not as big as in the past. Destin and Walton County does not want to be like Panama City Beach so the authorities have made it a point to crack down on underage drinking and rowdy behavior. The area wants more families and not the drunken crowds. I think they have done a good job making that happen.

Sunshine Cindy and I got out a little before and after the filming of the pilot. One stop we made was The Crust Pizzeria. They do a great job with their pasta dishes and I needed to get my fix. We hit Johnny O’Quigley’s one night and Crab Island Cantina another night. We also went to the island and met our friends Alan and Jackie at Fud’s then we went to the Ramada Inn beach bar. After the sun went down we all went inside to the lobby bar. This past weekend Alan and Jackie saw rapper Ludacris. He was staying at the Ramada. They got a picture of him with some of the Ramada staff. He was in town to do a show at Nighttown.

It’s supposed to be a nice warm and dry week in Destin. I will have a full report next Monday of all the “Chaos!” 

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Lulu’s in Desting Looking Good!

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A short and sweet blog today as Sunshine Cindy and I were out of town for the last 4 days. I can say driving back into town today we can tell it full with spring breakers. This is the busy time for sure.

It looks like Lulu’s new place is coming along well. As we came over the Mid-Bay bridge today we could see the building going up. It is going to be a great place right on the bay. I hear it might open sometime in the summer. I hope so!

St. Paddy’s day is tomorrow. The big party in Destin will be at McGuire’s. They always have huge crowds as they close the parking lot and have bands and tons of beer.

Have a great week. See ya Monday.

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They’re back!

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Spring Break started last week but it was not until this past Saturday that we really noticed the increase in the crowds around town. Sunshine Cindy and I went to Johnny O’Quigleys for lunch on Saturday. When we left you could see the cars streaming in from the Mid-Bay bridge. The town filled up in a hurry.

We had a nice lunch at Johnny O’s. I am not sure why we have not been there recently as the food is good and they have a ton of TV’s to watch all the games. We will be back. Saturday was also the tequila and taco festival at Crab Island Cantina. I heard the crowds were very large in Harborwalk. The weather was perfect so everyone wanted to get out and about to enjoy warm day.

Saturday night Sunshine Cindy and I met some friends at Landshark Pizza to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game. We called it hockey night in Destin! We had Bob, Darla, Julie, Jan and Loujean all come out for the game. We had a great time. The food was good as usual and Tampa won a good game. Landshark was packed all night. The spring breakers were there but so were the hold over snowbirds. Austin, Ryan and Haley were working their butts off. They did a great job keeping everyone happy.

On Sunday I stopped back in at Landshark. Brian was not working but hanging out for a while. He asked me if I wanted to join him at The Other End. It was a nice evening so we went over there. This place sits right on the harbor. Clay was working. I knew his Mom from the Parrot Heads. It was a nice time there.

The old Fisherman’s Wharf on the harbor will soon be reopening. The owners of Jackacuda’s is opening Brotula’s, another seafood restaurant. We had heard they were involved with this new place. I hope they have some of the charm the Wharf had.

Pontoons are being rented again, jet skis are in the water, all the places in town are back open as the 4-5 week spring break season is in full swing. Now if the weather cooperates the beaches will be packed otherwise look out at the bowling alley!

Have a great week. See ya next Monday!

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Here come the Spring Breakers to Destin

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Destin is in that weird time warp where the generations are mixing. The snowbirds are still here but they are starting to leave while Spring Break is beginning with the first schools being off this week. This is the time of the year when cars are either going 20 or 80 MPH….there is no middle ground. LOL  The Gulf of Mexico is pretty cold so I am sure not too many people will be getting in but they will hit the beach and the bars. The winter season was busy so it will be interesting to see how busy Spring Break will be. I have a feeling we will be very busy.

Sunshine Cindy and I got out and about a little the last few days. Thursday night I made a stop at The Crust Pizzeria. Charlie was there and we had a chance to catch up as I have not seen him in a while. Charlie is having a awning put up over his back deck. He plans to try and make the bar on the deck into more of a destination for happy hour. Our friend Matt might even come back to work one night a week behind the bar. That would be fun. It also looks like the Parrot Heads will have a Phlocking at The Crust in April. We had a blast there last year. After a couple Fireballs and beers with Charlie, it was time to head home.

The Parrot Heads were busy this weekend. We had a Phlocking at The American Legion on Friday night. Jan and Kenny played and did a great job. We had a big crowd of over 100 folks show up to support the Legion and the PH’s.

Saturday was the Chili Cook-Off on the harbor that the PH’s sponsor. It is a big fund raiser that is a lot of fun. I had some chili from almost all the booths. I loved Landshark’s Ghost Pepper chili. It was very hot but had a great flavor. With all the different types of chili, it is hard to pick just one that is the best but Landshark’s got my vote. It was breezy and cool on the harbor but that made it perfect chili weather.

As the cook-off wound down we moved over to Crab Island Cantina for a concert by Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef. A big crowd enjoyed Jerry’s Trop Rock music. We had friends from all up and down the Emerald Coast show up. It was great seeing all of them as well as our local friends. Jerry and the guys sounded great as they warmed up the cool evening. If you ever get a chance to hear Jerry live do it, you won’t be disappointed.

I am sorry to say our show at Crab Island Cantina caused a problem with Harry T’s. It looks like Crab Island Mambo won’t be spending any time or money at Harry T’s anymore. Sometimes you cut off your nose to spite your face and that happened here. Too bad…

This weekend I made a couple stops at Landshark Pizza. Friday I had a pizza and Sunday I got some wings for Sunshine Cindy and myself. Landshark Pizza is like Destin’s own “Cheers” kind of place. It is cozy and a real locals place. It does not hurt that they have some of the best wings and pizza in town too!

Most of the places that have been closed for the winter are reopening. Gilligan’s and The Other End are both reopening. The old Malibu Jack’s will be opening soon too as a new venture. I am curious to see what it will be and how they do. Plus the Destin Diner reopened today too! I can’t wait to try it out also.

Have a great week. See ya next Monday!

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The Evolving Destin Scene

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Over the past week, Sunshine Cindy and I have been out and about a little. One night we went to the original La Famiglia Restaurant in Destin. This is the place close to the Red Door Saloon. We love the atmosphere in the place. It kind of feels like my old Italian family home we would visit on Sunday. As always the food was fantastic. We did learn they are closing this location and will relocate to the old Hard Rock location in the Destin Commons in March. That makes sense as they have a second restaurant just down the road above Crab Island Cantina. We wish them well in their move.

We also visited World of Beer again which is also in the Commons. Just like our first visit, the place was packed. Sunshine Cindy and I shared a Ahi Tuna appetizer. It was really good. I think I was the only person in the place drinking beer out of a can. I wanted Abita Amber and they only had some Mardi Gras promotional cans left but they were just $3 each so I was happy.

Another stop we made was at Uncle Bucks which is right across from World of Beer. Scott was behind the bar again. He remembered us from the last time we stopped in. John was also working the bar. John used to be the GM of The Block for many years. He told us a bunch of stories about some of the country music stars they had play there. He said they tried hard to get Willie Nelson to play there even meeting his tour bus at a truck stop and giving him a case of Jack Daniels but it was not enough to sway Willie to come to Fort Walton Beach to play.

Brian at Landshark Pizza was doing a special Rib Eye Steak special on Saturday. Like our friend Eric Stone said, “Having steak at a pizza place is like having sushi at a bait and tackle shop.” It does sound weird but the steaks were very good. Brian was also smoking chicken wings. They looked great but I was stuffed already. Hopefully he will smoke some more wings again soon.

Last week the American Legion in Destin had a special fundraiser. They had Kevin Black (Clint Black’s brother) playing. He was really good. A big crowd was there and a lot of money was raised for some of the local Veteran’s hospitals and services. The Legion is the home of many of our vets and they can use your support. Stop in sometime and help keep the Legion going strong.

After the show Julie, Loujean, Jan, Sunshine Cindy and myself all stopped at Hooters for some dinner. It was late and the place was nearly empty but we had a good time like we always do. I tried their chili and it was actually very good.

Speaking of chili…This coming Saturday is the Emerald Coast Parrot Head Clubs Chili Cook-Off in Harborwalk Village. Up to 20 different restaurants and individuals will be competing for the title of best chili in Destin. You can taste test the chili with an armband that is $10 per person pre-sale or $15 at the event. All proceeds will benefit Horizons and Relay for Life.

As the cook-off winds down on Saturday, Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef will be playing at Crab Island Cantina from 3-7 pm. Jerry and the band is an award winning Trop Rock band from Texas. There is no cover charge and everyone is welcome to party with band.

Spring break is now starting. The next couple of weeks we will have a transition from snowbirds to young party animals. The authorities have been cracking down on the rowdiness as they don’t want this area to become like Panama City Beach. We want everyone to come and have a good time but to respect our beaches and town.

Have a great week. See ya next Monday!!!

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Out and about in Destin

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Destin continues to be busy for our so-called off season. It looks like Destin is really becoming a year round destination. We even heard Destin mention on Good Morning America the other day. I guess the secret is out.

Friday night Sunshine Cindy and I went to Panama City Beach to party with our Parrot Head friends over there. Jeff and the Camaro’s were having a CD release party. Steve and Dottie also went from our club to party with our friends in PCB. No one knew we were coming so it was a surprise. We had a blast. Driving over traffic was heavy taking us over an hour to get there. Then coming home we made it in 45 minutes. Much easier!

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. Personally I don’t think you need to show the love of your life that you love them only once a year. You should do it every day. But I know, if we did that the Hallmark’s and candy companies would not make any money!

We went to Niceville to visit with her parents. We all went to a late lunch at The Boathouse in Val-P. It was a nice time. When we headed back across the Mid-Bay bridge we were amazed at the amount of traffic heading north. It was a steady stream. In Destin we stopped at TGI-Friday’s for a nightcap. There was a line waiting for tables. I don’t know but I can think of a few better places for a romantic dinner. lol  Friday’s has been going downhill recently. But they did have some new bartenders who were hustling making sure everyone was taken care of. That’s a good first step.

Sunday Funday saw Sunshine Cindy and I down on the harbor. I had a chance to talk to Carlos about our upcoming Trop Rock music at the Cantina. We are working on getting a schedule together. Sunshine Cindy and I listened to Flash Flood perform on the big stage then walked down and talked to Matt at his charter booth. We kept going heading to the Boathouse. On the way we saw and talked to Jonelle. She also books charters for some of the boats.

At The Boathouse we ran into a bunch of friends including some folks from Louisiana who we had not seen since the fall. They were back in town for a few days. I also ran into some guys that I work with. Everyone was having a good time. The Boathouse was packed. After Kelly Byrd finished playing we went up to the Red Door Saloon. We hung out there for a while then tried to get in to see Rusty at The Boathouse. The snowbirds had the placed packed. We didn’t want to sit outside so we took off.

We made a stop at Landshark Pizza for some food. They had a decent crowd in there. Hailey and Ryan were working and they were training a new girl, Liz. We got some food and headed home to call it a night.

I know most of the country is in the deep freeze. It’s colder than normal in Destin but not too bad. We are still in the 60’s during the day and will be in the low 40’s at night with a few nights coming up in the 30’s. It’s still better than below zero and tons of snow!

Have a great week. See ya next Monday!

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Changes to my blog schedule

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Nothing ever stays the same and it is true with my blog. As of today, I will be posting the blog once a week. My work load has increased with Crab Island Mambo and the time to put the blog together is one place I am cutting back I’m sorry to say. I will be making some other changes in my Mambo writings too but that will be talked about at a different time.

I will still focus on the things that make Destin a fun place to live and vacation in. I will still give a brief account of some of the activities Sunshine Cindy and I engaged in during the week too. And of course as local places open and close I will mention them too.

My hope is you will still enjoy my once a week musings about Destin. This past weekend we had some folks over to the house and that was fun. Sunday was the Super Bowl at Landshark Pizza. They were selling wings and pizza’s like they were going out of style. Good for them. It rained almost all day Sunday but even with the bad weather they had a good crowd.

Everyone have a great week. See ya next Monday!

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Jamaican Curry Goat Recipe

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Jamaican Curry Goat Recipe


3 lbs Goat meat, chopped in cubes
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black pepper
5-6 Tbsp Curry powder
1 large Onion, sliced
4-6 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, slice and discard seeds (handle with care)
4 Tbsp Cooking oil
4 cups boiling Water
1 large spring Thyme
1 medium Onion, chopped
3 medium Potatoes, each cut in 3 pieces
1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup

Season Meat
Mix together goat meat, salt, black pepper, 4 Tbsp curry powder, 1 large onion sliced, garlic, Scotch bonnet pepper. Please in the fridge overnight (or at least 5 hours) to marinate.


  1. Remove the sliced onions and scotch bonnet pepper from the bowl of marinated goat meat and set aside.
  2. Heat cooking oil in large saucepan on High. Place goat meat in pan and brown to seal in juices.
  3. Once the meat is browned add thyme and 2 cups of boiling water; cover, lower heat to Medium-Low and simmer for about 1 hour
  4. Chop 1 medium onion and add to pot along with the sliced onion and Scotch bonnet pepper that was set aside earlier
  5. Add 2 cups of boiling water and bring to a boil
  6. Taste and remove Scotch bonnet pepper based on your taste; add more curry powder to taste
  7. Add potatoes and tomato ketchup; simmer on low heat for 1/2 hour, or until the meat is falling off the bone


Not much to report…

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It has been a slow week around Destin. Sunshine Cindy and I have not been out this week. We did have some warm days with the temps getting up to 75 yesterday. I wish I could have been out to enjoy it and not stuck at work.

We have heard of a few businesses coming and going. The Puerto Rican restaurant that went into the old Malibu Jack’s on Hwy. 98 a few doors down from Hogs Breath has closed down. I always thought that was too small a place to try and run a restaurant out of. The building is back up for lease but it is pretty high rent for that small a place.

I have heard The Boathouse down on the harbor is taking over Dockside that is right next to The Boathouse. I have not confirmed that and I am not sure what they will do with that place. It is also pretty small.

This past Monday World of Beer opened in the Destin Commons. I saw some pictures from the opening and they had a big crowd there. We will be checking it out soon and I will have a report for everyone.

We don’t have a lot going on this weekend. We will be at our Parrot Head clubs get together on Friday night at Chip’s but nothing else really is planned. I am sure we will come up with something!

Have a great weekend. See ya Monday.

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Gas under $2 in Destin

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We have seen pictures from other parts of the country of gas below $2 and now it has come to Destin. Several stations in town have gas for $1.99 per gallon. Let’s see how low it can go!

Sunshine Cindy and I got out a little this weekend. It started on Thursday. I went to Landshark Pizza in the afternoon for a while. I hung out and had some wings and a few PBR’s. It was relaxing. As I was leaving Brian said he was going to stop in at Beach Liquor to have a few craft beers. They have a small bar area with a dozen craft beers on tap. Each Thursday they have a 2 for 1 happy hour. While we were there a guy from Vermont, Rick, was buying some beer. He stopped by and had a few beers with us. This guy was a trip. I will leave it at that.

Friday Sunshine Cindy and I had a few errands to run. We ended up at Cheeseburger in Paradise for some lunch. The bartender who waited on us had moved to Destin from Helen, GA last summer. We chatted with her as we ate our lunch. We left there and decided to stop at a new place on the gulf called the Surf Hut. This place sits right on the water. It reminded us of places we visit in Panama City Beach. There were great views of the gulf and a nice vibe to the place. We were pleasantly surprised to see our old friend Glen (Jager) behind the bar. We had not seen him in about a year.

While we were there at about five minutes to four a big group of snowbirds descended on the place. Sunshine Cindy and I asked Jager what was up with that. Well, their happy hour started at 4 and the snowbirds were there to take advantage of it. That was funny seeing them all come in at the same time. We left the Surf Hut and decided to stop at Cuvee Bistro to see if our friend Dominic was working. He was. The last time we saw Dominic was at our wedding. It was good catching up with him.

As we headed home we decided to make one final stop at Chip’s. Brian, Glen and Bruce were there so we joined them. The guys like to smoke cigars. At one point Sunshine Cindy went up to Bruce to talk to him. As she did, Bruce’s cigar flamed up. We told him she made him spontaneously combust. He needed to be careful around her!

Saturday was a lazy day for us. We did get out to the Olive Garden for lunch. But that was about it. We spent the rest of the just relaxing around the house. Sunday we went to Landshark to watch the Packers game. Landshark is the local Packer fan headquarters. The place was packed. We had fun but the Pack lost it in the end. All the fans were bummed.

One final public service announcement….the Okaloosa County cops now have laser radar guns. There are a whole lot harder to avoid. They have been set up the last few mornings on Hwy. 98 using the laser gun to find speeders.

Have a great week. See ya Thursday

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