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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Destin, FL Recap

 Hi Everyone! It has been a while since I have written a blog post (I haven't since November to be exact). It has been a wild few months but we recently returned from our first trip since pre-covid so I wanted to give you all a quick recap of where we went and what it was like traveling right now with the pandemic. Please note, I am in no way saying you should be traveling or not be traveling right now. Do what feels right to you and take the proper precautions before, during, and after your trip. I do believe you can travel safely but you have to do what you are comfortable with. 

Where We Went & Where We Stayed

A small group of friends and I wanted to get away for a week somewhere close(ish) that did not require a long plane ride as well as a location we would feel safe and be able to control the amount of people we were exposed to. Initially we discussed places like Aruba or Bahamas but decided that international travel was not for us right now and decided on Destin, FL. Destin is a quick 2.5hr flight from here (we flew out of Philly) and it was then an hour drive from the airport in Pensacola. We decided on a rental so that we did not have to share spaces with anyone else. When searching for a rental we looked for something that could fit us all, was walking distance to the beach, and had a pool. We found all of this in the Avant Stay property that we chose (direct house link here). 

Destin, Florida, Avant Stay, Airbnb

Avant Stay, Destin, Florida, Destin FL, Airbnb

The property was absolutely beautiful! As mentioned, we had our own pool and we were walking distance to the beach. The house is also super close to many stores and restaurants. We loved the location as well as the amenities that it had. The pool is heated, you do have to pay extra for this but it is very worth it if you are going this time of year. The weather was kind of iffy there and it did not get very hot there all week so it was definitely a must have. The house had a lot of little necessities that you wouldn't want to have to buy such as extra toilet paper, extra paper towels, and laundry detergent (although we bought our own because I have a lot of skin sensitivities). We loved being able to wash clothes when we needed. 

The house has 4 bedrooms and we loved how spaced out the bedrooms were. We basically all had our own section of the house due to the layout. We also ended up each having our own bathroom. My husband and I had the upstairs part of the house and our bedroom had double doors that led out to the balcony. One of my favorite parts of the trip was waking up to the view of palm trees (I actually said to my husband several times that if it were warmer year round in Jersey I would definitely have palm trees in my yard lol). 

Since we had a goal of being around as few people as possible, we opted for an Instacart delivery for groceries.  We rented a car at the Pensacola Airport for our drive to Destin so on our way to the house we put together our Instacart order to get us through the first half of the week. We went with simple meals and of course things we could grill. I am talking things like burgers, hot dogs, ingredients for a taco night, ect. We were also able to order alcohol with our groceries as well (we loved the Bud Light Out of Office pack). We did have to make a second order mid week, but each time we got the groceries within a very reasonable time frame and it was very helpful because we did not have to spend hours in a supermarket. I highly recommend this option if you are traveling with a group and have a kitchen. We did do takeout one night from a place called Millers Ale House. I highly recommend their Mac n Cheese (it has buffalo wing bites in it) and the donuts for dessert! 

What We Did

I don't have to much to share on this end because really we went there with the intention of relaxing, hanging by the pool, and staying away from anyone outside our group. We did not venture out of the house much except to take some pictures at the beach and watch the sunset. The beaches in Destin are absolutely gorgeous! I am talking crystal blue-green waters and powdery white sand that feels like a cloud under your feet. 

Destin, Florida, Destin FL, Lost and Wander, Beach


Outfit Links: Top // Shorts (similar)

We did not spend much time at the beach during the day because it was a bit crowded. I will say the spot we were at has a lot of hotels/condos and most of them have private beach space. This did limit the public beach space to a very small section at the public entrance that was closest to the house. There was additional public space if you walked down a bit more, however we did not go down to check it out. This is just something to keep in mind if you prefer the beach over the pool as you may want to drive to a different spot for the beach. At sunset the hotels/condos took down all of their private chairs and barriers so the beach was completely open and empty at sunset.

 Since we did not spend much time at the beach, we spent our days by the pool at the house just relaxing. We did get rain one full day while we were there but we planned the day out in advance and placed a Walmart pickup order for a few games as well as we came up with a few ourselves to keep the day busy. Although it rained all day we had a blast inside playing games, dancing to music, and making fun cocktails. Total side note, but the game Throw Throw Burrito was a blast! 

Destin, Florida, Airbnb, Avant Stay, Destin Stays
Outfit Links: Bikini Top // Bikini Bottom

Destin, Florida, Destin Spots
Top // Shorts // Bag // Sunglasses 

Airport & Traveling During COVID

Before I wrap up, I did want to give you all some additional information about my experience with getting on a plane and traveling right now. As I mentioned earlier, I do think you can safely travel at this time as long as you take the proper precautions. Before our trip, the group decided to self quarantine and not see anyone for the week prior to our departure. This was to ensure we were not potentially exposing ourselves. In the airport we all wore two masks (one surgical with our fabric mask over it) and washed our hands whenever we touched something. We of course had a bunch of wipes and sanitizer on hand as well. Philly airport was pretty empty. We had our own area at one of the stand up tables in our terminal and no one was near us at all. Everyone in Philly for the most part respected the mask mandate and we only saw a few people trying to get away with wearing it under their nose or with it off. This was addressed when airport personnel saw it. When we got on the plane we used Lysol wipes to clean our seat, buckles, handles, and tray tables. They did give you a wipe when boarding the plane but we also had our own. Personally our group did not eat or drink on the plane however, if you did then that was the only time you were permitted to remove your mask. We also did not use the bathroom on the plane but I am sure if we had a longer flight we would have had to. Pensacola airport was definitely a bit more crowded and we did see a bit more people not following the mask mandate in the airport for our flight home. Overall we were able to distance and I felt safe. 

Final Thoughts 

I can't say enough how nice it was to just unplug for a few days. I did not spend a lot of time creating content and I didn't really post during the week either as I usually do. It is so important to really be present when on vacation and spend time with your loved ones. The memories made will last a lifetime and there is more to life than getting the perfect "insta worthy" picture. I left there really refreshed and the break was just what I needed! 

Till next time Destin!

xoxo,

Nicole 

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