Travel Notes: Destin, Florida

Travel Notes: Destin, Florida

Tucked away in the Florida Panhandle on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay lies Destin, otherwise known as “the world’s luckiest fishing village.” If you’re Destin-ation bound (heehee), Destin’s white sands and emerald green waters are sure to please. Here are our notes from our weekend in Destin. Have fun!

Getting There and Around

The closest airport to Destin is Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS), followed by Pensacola (PNS) and Panama City (ECP). VPS is approximately 20 minutes away from Destin, while PNS and ECP are approximately 1 hour away. You’ll need a car to get around; I didn’t see much by the way of public transportation.

Stay

We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson for 28,000 Club Carlson points. The hotel was no-frills, but it had free Internet and breakfast, so for 28k points you can’t really complain. It is located across from Henderson Beach State Park and right in the middle of Destin, so location was ideal. The hotel also had free fresh-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies nightly!

Travel Notes: Destin, Florida

Eat

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10 Beach Bag Essentials

BeachToteEssentials

The number one reason summertime is awesome? How about getting the golden glow of a nice tan – a great pick-me-up to leave those doldrums of winter behind.  If you’re going out to the beach this summer, make sure to take these along with you:

1. Oversized tote.

This J.Crew tote is neutral enough that I wouldn’t feel guilty passing it off to Darren if I got tired of carrying it *ahem*. I like the versatile look of this one from Land’s End, which will take you into fall and beyond. Need something punchier? This Target tote has a fun print and won’t break the bank, and this PVC one will keep your goodies dry.

2. Oversized beach towel.

It’s happened to us all- you fall asleep on the beach, roll over, and face plant into a mouthful of sand. This towel is 39″ x 67″, so no sand-munching. I also like the tassels on this preppy number. Not big enough for you? This blanket has weighted pockets to hold down unruly corners, and this one folds into its own pocket.

3. Sunscreen.

I’ve tried the spray kind, and while convenient, it just doesn’t offer adequate coverage for me. This Neutrogena one can be used on both face and body (it’s non-comedogenic). If you tend to get sweaty, I recommend a waterproof + sweatproof option. I also use this on my face before I run outdoors, and it doesn’t budge. Don’t forget to protect your lips either! And if you’re still not an SPF believer, hopefully this NYT article will convince you otherwise.

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Weekend Snapshots, Destin Edition

Hello friends! Darren and I spent an extended weekend in Destin, Florida- otherwise known as the Emerald Coast and/or The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village. We had perfect weather for one day out of our 36 hour trip, followed by two days of rain, rain, and more rain. Yesterday, our U.S. Airways return flight was cancelled *glares*, leading to a last-minute chaotic frenzy of airline phone calls. Nonetheless, we had a relaxing trip and would return to Destin again in a heartbeat! I’ll follow up with some tips for if you plan on visiting the area, along with a few beach-bound shopping picks. We’ve got quite a backlog of travel posts to share from Portland (and a few stragglers from our Philly trip), along with some new recipes and DIY, so check back often or follow us on Bloglovin for updates.

Destin, Florida Destin, Florida
Strong sun means floppy hats // Found this guy while walking on Crystal Sands beach

Destin, Florida- Back Porch destin, florida
Oysters were SO cheap down South- I’m talking $7.95/dozen, compared to $24 in the DC/MD/VA area (non-happy hour prices). Oh, and they were gimongo- the one on the right was the size of my hand. Gulp.

Destin, Florida- Vintij Wine Boutique and Bistro destin6
Visited a wine shop/restaurant called Vintij Wine Boutique and Bistro and had the most amazing shrimp and grits. The wines were pretty tasty too!

Destin, Florida- Boathouse Oyster Bar Destin, Florida- Boathouse Oyster Bar
Visited the divey-est of dives, Boathouse Oyster Bar. More cheap oysters, and fried gator bites (left)

Destin, Florida Destin, Florida
On Crystal Sands beach // Testing out some cool shades at the local Target during a rain shower

Want more? Follow us on Instagram @winnie_dora and @thedarebear

10 Things to Do in Portland

Keep Portland Weird

We spent a fair amount of our recent four-day trip in Portland hanging out with family, which made for a bit of an erratic schedule. In lieu of a complete itinerary, we’ve boiled down the City of Roses into a checklist of 10 must-see/do activities if you visit. Without further ado…

waterfront, portland, or waterfront, portland, or
http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-waterfront1.jpg http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-waterfront1.jpg
waterfront, portland, or http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-waterfront1.jpg

1. Run/walk/bike the Governor Tom McCall waterfront.

You’ll find fantastic views of the city’s many bridges. The backdrop also makes a great setting for a picnic.

portland saturday market, portland, or http://darwindiscovered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/darwindiscovered_portland_10things-rose3.jpg

2. Visit the Portland Saturday Market.

Located by the Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza, the Saturday Market is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s open on both Saturday AND Sunday. A wide variety of arts, crafts, and food vendors can be found. The Skidmore Market is also located adjacent to the Saturday Market, so plan on spending a few hours perusing all of the goodies!

voodoo doughnuts, portland, or

voodoo doughnuts, portland, or voodoo doughnuts, portland, or

3. Grab a doughnut at Voodoo.

As they say, “The magic is in the hole.” The line extends across the block on weekends, but a bite of the Maple Bacon doughnut and Butterfingering (shown above) will make the wait worthwhile.

stumptown, portland, or

darwindiscovered_portland_10things-stumptown2

4. Wash it down at Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Quality roasts, great people watching, fair prices. They’ve expanded to NYC and Seattle in recent years, but this is where it all began. The cold brew comes in cool bottles, too.

international rose test garden, portland, or international rose test garden, portland, or

international rose test garden, portland, or

5. Visit the International Rose Test Garden.

It’s free and picturesque for all you budding photographers out there. The garden serves as a testing ground for new rose varieties, so expect a dazzling array of colors, shapes, and sizes. If you have extra time, the Japanese Garden is right next door and spans 5.5 acres of tranquility. Admission to the Japanese garden costs $9.50 ($7.75 with College ID).

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: Harry’s Shaving Set (From the Makers of Warby Parker)

Harry's by Warby Parker- Review

For a special Father’s Day gift idea, I thought I’d introduce you to the manliest thing possible: shaving in style.

Being a fairly hairless Asian male, let’s just say shaving isn’t something that bothers me on a consistent basis. Don’t get me wrong, I still do an electric trim each morning to get rid of some unwanted stubble, but considering my hair pretty much only grows in a few places, I’m usually okay with the bare minimum.
Harry's Warby Parker Review Harry's Warby Parker Review
Enter Harry’s. Started by the co-founder of Warby Parker, Harry’s places itself squarely in the market for those who are looking for a quality shave, but who aren’t looking to break the bank with one of these or one of these. Sure, you can get the same job done with a cheap BIC (or even if you splurge on a Mach 3 or Fusion, which will run you about $10 at the convenience store), but if you want something permanent to class it up a bit (I’m talking weight balanced and contoured handle, with German-engineered steel blades), Harry’s makes sure you won’t pay for it.

Harry's Warby Parker Review
At $15 (shipped) for the Truman Set (handle, three 5 blade cartridges, and a tube of shaving cream made with extracts of licorice, cucumber, and milk thistle, with Vitamins E and B5 and loaded with marula and coconut oils for moisturizing), a start is not much more expensive than a disposable razor at your local CVS or Duane Reade. The kicker is that while the drugstore brands like Gillette give you the razor for $10, they mark up the blades, often selling an 8-pack for about $20-25. Harry’s sells replacement steel blade cartridges for $2 or less ($8 for four, $15 for 8, $20 for 12, and $25 for 16), plus free shipping for the 8-, 12-, or 16-blade sets.

Harry's Warby Parker Review

On my test run, the shaving cream lathered thick and spread smooth on my face (must be the thistle!), and the oils really helped avoid any sort of razor burn. The Truman handle was well balanced in weight, and holding it felt effortless. The blades hugged my skin thanks to a rubber pivot that allows the blades to match the appropriate angle of my face. While I won’t say the shave will knock your socks off (especially if you are particularly adept at the task already), something about the feel of quality in the handle, and sincerity in the blade, made me feel satisfied, if even for a brief moment. At $15 bucks and less than $2 a blade, you could hardly do better.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think! Happy Father’s Day!

Weekend Snapshots, Portland Edition

Happy Memorial Day, friends! Darren and I are still in Portland, so here are a few Instagram shots from the past few days:

Natty Boh and Crabs Darwin Discovered, Portland Instagram
Kicked off the weekend with Maryland blue crabs and Natty Boh //  Flew to Portland and met this munchkin for the first time (Darren’s niece)

image Nuvrei Patisserie and Cafe, Portland
Visited the Japanese gardens on a rare sunny day // Macarons from Nuvrei Patisserie and Cafe in Pearl District

Lardo, Portland International Rose Test Garden, Portland
Pork meatball banh mi sandwich, Lardo  // International Rose Test Garden

Multnomah Falls, Oregon Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland
Woke up at 5 AM to visit Multnomah Falls. Despite the rain, it was well worth the trip since we had the waterfall to ourselves for over an hour // Voodoo Donuts- Maple Bacon Donut…a gluttonous delight

If you don’t already, you can follow us on Instagram @winnie_dora and @thedarebear

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