How I found paradise

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I grew up in California going to some very beautiful beaches. The water was always a tad cold but hey, it was paradise so you put up with a few things not being quite so perfect.

When we started our family, we moved to Dallas to be closer to our extended family so we could have additional hands raising the kids. We were able to visit California several times but not nearly often enough when you used to live at the beach.

My job allowed me to work from home. That is a good thing except some time, you get a little housebound. I remember one Monday morning, I told my wife to get her hiking shoes ready. I had to get away. We were planning to get a way for the day on Saturday. She’s not really much of a hiker, but she is a trooper and will follow her husband when she sees he’s desperate for outdoor activity.

By Wednesday, I was getting really anxious to get away. While we were having lunch, my daughter asked why we were going hiking when what I really wanted was the beach? I had turned my nose up to Florida beaches. They couldn’t possibly hold the attention of a California native. Well, I was wrong.

I turned to my daughter and said, “you know, you’re right!” I checked the weather in Destin for the weekend, called my boss and got some much needed PTO, told my wife to pack, booked a hotel, and by 3:45 Wednesday afternoon, we were driving to the beach. I drove straight through. Pulled into Pensacola at 3:30 in the morning. I thought the front-desk clerk was going to give me a breathalyzer. I think she thought I was drunk because nobody could be that crazy. We stayed the night in Pensacola and drove on over to our hotel in Destin the next day.

It was the best and most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done. My wife and I had a fantastic time and fell in love with Destin. Obviously, we spend a lot of time there now and plan to move there full-time one day soon.

It took me 15 years of living in Texas before I consented to visit Destin (Paradise). Look what I was missing all that time.

The moral of the story is, don’t stick your nose up at what you don’t know much about.

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