Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA

30 December 2019 to 22 March 2020


Given the amount of hyperlinks within the web page, I have created a table of contents (TOC) list so when you access a hyperlink, it will bring you back to the TOC and from there you just click on the section that you left.


Okaloosa Island



New Orleans





1. Intro

Before we get into the actual memories of the shortened Snowbirding event, I just wanted to share two pictures with you in case they get overlooked with everything that I am presenting.

First we have a jumping dolphin . This was taken on the 10th of March and was at the extended range of my longest lens so I had to crop and work it so you could see what I was lucky enough to capture.

The second picture that I would like to share are of Ospreys

Sharon and I left Kingston on the 29th beginning the trek towards the Gulf coast where Ft Walton, specifically Okaloosa Island- is located. We were undecided if we should take 4 or 5 days to get there.

I know you're most likely wondering "why am I in the picture" if Virginia is for lovers? Get over it!!

We stopped in to see John Dickhute as he occupied himself with some work at Costco. We were not going to have enough time to stop in and see his wife, Betty as we had hotel reservations and some traveling to do before we felt the strain of the trip creep up on us.

We splurged and had lunch with John.

On the trip down we always stopped at Cracker Barrels every 2 hours or so. We did that to use the facilities, get coffee, stretch our legs or have lunch. If you've never tried this chain, I would recommend it to everyone. It is not for everyone as our friends Milli and Frank would tell you.

We arrived in Okaloosa Island Florida

Our first days we enjoyed our great proximity to the beach and the beautiful view

The fun walks on the beach. The sand was so soft that I had a hard time walking on it and chose to walk on the roads instead. I found I was not alone and many seniors had made the same decision.

Doesn't mean I didn't walk the beach on occasion!

We went out for our first meal at a place called PROPS

They had some different beer!!

You will notice that there is a lot of mention of PLANES throughout the Fort Walton experience. I dedicated a page to some of those aircraft that we saw during our time in Fort Walton

But now a bit of the story. We had left Kingston in such a rush to beat the winter storm that they had forecasted, that I left behind my two very important telephoto lenses that without which, some of the animal and aircraft pictures you'll see, would not have been able to be taken. To solve the problem, I discussed with Thomas on where they were. First he had to get into the house. Here was Thomas at our home talking to us

Well, we finally got him into our secured home (lol) and he got the lenses and a few other items we thought about. When it was all put together, we realized that for a little bit more money, we could actually fly Thomas down with the items and they would be safer and get there faster--but first Thomas and Kheayali had to agree (though I was flying only Thomas-they were now married so Kheayali's agreement would need to be sought). Once everyone was in agreement, Thomas secured the airplane tickets, got some time off work, and made his was to Fort Walton Florida.

A funny story on our way to pick up Thomas. In any city, we just input airport and follow the directions. We did that here and were confused. Once you call up this map, you'll understand why. The GPS was bringing us to Destin Airport (way on the right) but Thomas was landing at VPS airport. I had to look at his tickets to ensure which airport and then we rushed to the proper one to meet up with him.

Thomas' Time in Florida for his visit. Of course, with good military planning, we made it in time to meet him.

The first place we brought him was to a restaurant which Tom Little had recommended when Tom was down with Marigene and they liked it. It is called Ole Times Country Buffet. I can't give you a link because of COVID-19, there is no link but a general warning. More on that later.

I'll post a few pictures of Thomas' meeting with the waves of the Gulf waters but you can read about the meeting by clicking here.

A happy mother

We wanted to treat Thomas to many outings as we only had him with us for a few days and he did do all the getting of the camera stuff and did all the flying....

When Thomas left, we did some site seeing around Destin

This bridge, since they chose a difficult name, is called the Destin Bridge which connects Fort Walton Beach to Destin.

Sharon picked up a great jacket with Disney on it

Pensacola was our next stop. Thomas left and we were off to see Travis Tritt

This sign was very important as it was the intersection of the street where our car was parked. lol

We're actually eating in an Italian restaurant called Angelenas, in front of the World of Beer lol

Not a great picture but you have to remember, I wasn't allowed to take pictures...

To see a walk we took through the Veterans Memorial here

We always stay at Hampton Inns whenever we travel. Here is the one in Pensacola where we stayed before going to the concert

Back to Fort Walton

We headed up to a place on Legendary Drive and found some very neat things that shouted out to Christmas. Obviously, they haven't taken it down yet. And why not, Heck, Hallmark plays Christmas movies all year long! lol

A train ride for the kids. They do it right!!

And of course we stopped by JUSTICE to show Kathryn the setup...

Back to the beach and a glass of wine

I am taking pictures of birds and airplanes. more on the man made items later

The animals bring us back to nature

Another bright sunny day trying to get from behind those clouds

By the light of the moon

Given the military just up and down the beach, there were going to be some pictures of them training in the water.

Well, the end of January is coming and we need to get to New Orleans before the big Mardi Gras parties start

New Orleans

For a full pictorial of what Sharon and I went through in New Orleans, click here.

Well, back to Fort Walton

Went for a walk along the beach

Do we see dolphins? Here are two of them

Mardi Gras is celebrated everywhere...

Also enjoyed by young and old lol Hat looks good hon

We went for another Tuesday supper at Mcguire's Irish Pub

Our server is also a great singer-I think her name was Dallas

Steve comes down for a visit

My first thoughts as we went to pick up Steve (Sharon's brother) was: "Is that a pizza he is holding in his hands"?

We visited the boardwalk

I looked over at Sharon and asked if I lost weight? Seems this chair was a little big for me right now! lol

Well, more walks. The "pier" was not as far as it was in North Myrtle Beach. It was still a challenge as the sand was not very conducive to a nice walk. You tended to sink more with each step.

$2? Well, I don't need to walk it today

During the time Steve was visiting, we had some news. While Chris and Kathryn were in Disney (Florida) -Chris proposed to Kathryn. That is Katryna behind Chris making sure everything is done just right ;)

Kathryn said "YES"

We had a fun filled 14 days or so with Steve and more pictures, more memories of that time can be found here: click here

We had a great full moon

But I had work to do. Matthew and the family were going to arrive the day after Steve left. Wash down a few walls and the table. Thankfully I had help.

What great wild life we see from the balcony

Another moon shot. We have great views from Fort Walton

Matthew and Family arrive

I went for a stroll with Sharon and Matthew caught us on my camera. I was giving my lovely wife a kiss.

I am so lucky to have her in my life

Mom and I were dancing to a song she loves

For more pictures of Matthew's visit click here

Our last week or so

A lady got a ticket for walking the dog without a leash

We were also surprised to see a whale just at the end of my lense...this is cropped from that picture.

After all our visitors left...Sharon and I felt sad so we went out for a drink and supper to Rockin Tacos

This little plane landed right there where we were having lunch

Looking out over the water and deciding when it is time to go

I hear it is wine time...

A final sunset before we leave to go home.

COVID-19 has caused Canada to issue an advisory to all Canadians abroad to return home. We received a notice that our travel insurance would be cut off 10 days after Canada's travel advisory. We had to make it back by 23rd March. 2 weeks earlier than planned.

Our first place we stopped in Crackle Barrel was open with no difficulties at all. We just ensured that there was space between where we sat and other patrons.

A walk around our hotel

Sharon doesn't normally take the wheel during our drives. We usually only go for 4 or 4 1/2 hrs anyways between hotels. Today we were doing 9 hours

We made it to NY State lines and stopped for a restroom break. By the way, not all rest stops were open.

When we arrived home, we self-isolated and sent a list to Thomas & Kheayali of items that we would need.

Thank you kind shoppers

Also, Kathryn and the kids bringing us coffee

Thank you one and all for visiting the adventures of Tassé Snow Birding in 2020

To return to the Trip website click here