The Village at Baytowne Wharf Sandestin, FL | TravelWednesday, July 13, 2016
I am finally getting to more of our vacation photos and the recap from the trip. Since we were gone a full week this year, there is so much to talk about. We really had a great time but vacationing with kids can be challenging. I recently saw someone say that they didn't call their summer trips with kids "vacations" they called them "Memory Trips". I need to hang on to that because I think when you reframe your vacation into a trip meant for the memories they will have for a lifetime, you see your role on the trip differently. This particular day, we definitely needed that. I actually wrote a little about that a few years ago when we took Jonah to the beach - he was actually around Ezra's age then. Even though I still hold those thoughts in my heart, I should have read that post prior to leaving this year.
Since, Jonah (4 3/4) is now at a point where he is making the memories that he will take with him from year to year and that he already looks back on as magical, Baytowne Wharf was the perfect night for him! The minute you walk into The Village, you are really transported out of the high rise condo life that Destin and many beach towns can seem to be overwhelmed by and into a full experience that a little fishing village once was. Don't get me wrong, everything about this place is commercial and for 4-6 year olds, most everything that they enjoyed cost money! For me though, we were surrounded by water, we could hear music playing everywhere and the sunset was gorgeous.
We decided to eat at Hammerhead's, which has a long fishing pier right next to it and we made the decision to sit on the uncovered patio, because we could watch the sun go down, the pier was right there so the kids could go for a walk and once the sun went down, we thought it would be nice.
I want to stop here for a minute and tell you all a little tip. We had 13 people total (including Ezra). So, we needed 12 chairs and 1 high chair. That equals 13 right? Wrong! This kept getting us on this trip and it was beyond frustrating! We kept getting 11 chairs and then a highchair may or may not show up. So, we learned to say "party of 13, we will need 1 high chair please." If an extra chair showed up, so be it, but goodness this was the most seemingly simple thing that just irked me. NOT that my wild child sits in a chair for very long but we needed that chair! lolMoving on, I just have to say that Hammerhead's, while in a great location, with some great outdoor entertainment, was not somewhere I will be eating again. Last year, my sisters said they had a great time there, but our service was terrible. From the hostess to the waiter, to any management staff that may have been within a mile of the place, because I didn't see them once. An unexpected rain shower showed up, after we'd ordered our food, but had already gotten our drinks, so it sent us with our things under the covered patio. It was an utter disaster. Now, I know that the rain isn't there fault OBVIOUSLY, but surely that has happened before. A restaurant on the gulf, with an uncovered dining area. Surely there is some protocol. When we found our own spare seats under the covered patio, pushing our tables next to other families, splitting us up - after we had agreed to share appetizers. Then, no-one actually helped us get new drinks, napkins, and although they were busy and we expected our food to take a while, it wasn't even that good and definitely not worth enjoying at a squished wet table. I could go on about how it took us over an hour after we'd finished our meal to get our check, when the waiter had clearly divided it when we ordered. We were charged for every refill (even the ones that got wet in the rain), milk, soda, water, etc. Then we were charged twice for a kid's meal when the waiter said he could work out what we asked for. No, we didn't get twice the food. At the end of it all by the time we actually got our checks, I would have paid double to just get out of there and try to enjoy the rest of the night - what little of it we had left - since the check took so long. I am clearly not over it. lol
That dock though, at sunset, amazing!
We were clearly tired by the end of dinner, but managed to get in a little dancing, some kiddie zip lining, and we had some good ice cream, while the fireworks went off outside!
I think this might have been one of the high points of the vacation for Jonah and he wants to come back every summer and drive the remote control boats and go zip lining and eat ice cream and go on the fishing pier. I mean, it is a pretty fun place! Next time we will eat on-the-go and do more activities and eat more dessert instead of dinner.
Any Destin vacationers out there? Where are your favorite places to go in the area?