We had planned to start north on Thursday, taking Route 45 through Tupelo, Mississippi (a new state for us!) and Paducah, KY (a 2-night stay with a visit to the Quilt Museum), and then taking I-69 to Indianapolis, IN before arriving in Decatur, IN for our Tuesday service appointment at Monaco.
It sounded like a good plan . . . until we started listening to the weathermen on Wednesday! They were calling for severe storms and possible tornados in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama all day on Thursday and Thursday night. Not good!
We briefly considered leaving a day early on Wednesday and staying an extra day at our first stop . . . but we had dinner plans, AND it would be like going from the frying pan into the fire. Tupelo, MS (our planned stop for Thursday had a big red bullseye on it!) Leaving on Thursday, though, looked like it would have us driving in heavy rain all day . . . which didn’t at all sound fun!
So, we checked to see if we could stay an extra day, and we could, but we had to move sites. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise . . . our first site was under a huge live oak that had been dropping branches and leaves on our RV all week, and the new site was out in the open, with no trees. We worked it out that we could move on Wednesday, so Tom got the roof and the tops of the slides cleaned off, and we moved over to the new site. Now the RV would stay clean even in the rain!
Since we were leaving a day later, we changed our route too . . . we wouldn’t be able to do any sightseeing, so we decided to just take I-65 all the way to Indianapolis. It would mean 3 straight days of driving, but should avoid the worst of the weather.
With those plans worked out, it was time to drive to Destin for dinner with our friends, Nancy and Andy. Nancy was our daycare provider back when the boys were little, and her husband was a fellow Ford engineer, so even after the boys moved on to school, we’ve remained friends and try to get together whenever we can. They were in Panama City Beach for spring break, so we made plans to meet at McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin. None of us had been there before, except Bryce who had gone there last summer with our friend, Tim. Their 3/4 lb. burgers are supposed to be excellent.
McGuire’s is a very popular place, but it’s HUGE inside, so we didn’t have to wait at all for a table.
Over the door it says “Feasting, Imbibery, and Debauchery” I guess that’s Irish for “Eat, Drink and Be Merry!”
When you walk inside, the first thing you notice is the $1 bills – they’re everywhere!
The walls and the ceiling are covered with bills. According to legend, there is over $1 Billion dollars in singles stapled to the walls and ceiling at McGuire’s!
We enjoyed our dinner – yes, the burgers are quite good, although I took half of mine home!, and afterwards we walked it off a little across the street at Harborwalk Village.
There are numerous restaurants, bars and shops, as well as a couple of the large resorts and activities for the kids.
Along the jetty, there are multiple fishing charter companies, sightseeing tours, dolphin-watching tours, and party boat rentals . . . as we walked along the dock, they were all coming into the jetty.
There’s a sand dune between the jetty and the gulf, and in the summer people will beach their boats along there and swim in the crystal-clear green water that Destin is famous for. There was just a lone Great Blue Heron hanging out there tonight.
Destin is a popular vacation destination . . . I think even more so in the summer than it is at spring break . . . although there was no shortage of people around! Lot’s of interesting places in Destin!
It’s a crazy, crowded place, but we had a nice visit with Nancy and Andy!
Back in Pensacola . . . the rain was supposed to arrive overnight on Wednesday, but it didn’t . . . then it was going to storm all day on Thursday . . . but it didn’t! Why do we listen to the weathermen!!??!!
To be totally fair, though, north of us in Alabama and Mississippi, they were getting hammered with rain and storms . . . and even a few tornadoes . . . so it’s still probably good that we waited the extra day to move.
We got up early on Friday so we could get packed up while we were still dry (because once again, they were calling for rainstorms), and we were on the road by 8:15am.
About a half hour into the drive, the rain hit us!
It was heavy at times, and there was a fair amount of lightening, but we continued on, knowing that all we had to do was get through Montgomery, and we would be out of it.
Whew – we made it, and the drive improved!
Even going through Birmingham was no big deal!
Who knew northern Alabama was so pretty . . . we’ll have to come back and stay a while!
Finally, after 312 miles, we pulled into KV’s RV & Storage for the night – not a bad overnight stop, especially at the Passport America rate of $15.
We’ll rest up for the night, and continue our northern trek tomorrow!