She became my guide and good friend and, even though our lives took us in separate directions after high school I never forgot her kindness.
Then, about 5 years ago, Arch and I were in Toronto doing some tourism promotion work and a couple stopped by our booth and asked if we knew Nova Scotia author and journalist Stephen Kimber. "Well yes," I answered, "but I know his sister Judy much better - she was my great friend in high school. But I haven't seen her in years."
I cannot tell you how excited the woman became. It turned out that Stephen's sister, Judith and her husband Ross were great friends of she and her husband and were coming to a party at their house that night. Nothing would do but we come to the party and surprise Judith. Which we did and, as a result, we have been in touch with Judith and Ross ever since and get together when they holiday in Nova Scotia each summer.
Judith and Ross "winter" in Destin, Fl so we planned a stop there to see them and learn about Destin.
We had a lovely dinner with them one night - I would show you pictures but I made a mess of them so I won't.
The next day they took us on a guided tour of the Destin area. After visiting fishing village after fishing village after we left Tampa, Destin was not what we expected. I expected a city much like Fort Myers or Naples, Arch expected a fishing village. It was neither. Instead we found a very sophisticated beach community that has grown from a population of 15,000 in the off season to over 100,000 in the summer season. And it was spring break so the place was teeming with students.
The beach is beautiful - wide and covered with white, very fine sand:
But these surfers and a father with his child were ignoring the warning:
The western entrance to Destin is lined with sand dunes:
And to the east is a series of small beach communities that are rapidly developing into a playground for the rich and famous. Who are building some amazingly extravagant homes there. View at the proper angle (which I couldn't get) this one looks like a sail boat:
But most were simply large homes, many with "widow's walks" to provide a view of the ocean:
Bike trails and lanes are plentiful and we couldn't help but notice that bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in this area:
Judith and Ross showed us all the best restaurants and watering holes. This one, The Red Bar, is especially well known:
But we simply stopped for coffee. A Starbucks wasn't too difficult to find in this neighbourhood:
Thank you Ross and Judith for a great meal and a great tour of Destin. Hope to see you in NS this summer.
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