"Home is where the Navy sends us."
Such a true quote and it is one of the many reasons we chose "Home" by Phillip Phillips to exit our wedding ceremony. It just fits us. No matter where the God chooses to send us, we are home because we are together.
**Sidenote- This will be a page at the top of my blog but I wanted to get this post out there in cyber world for ladies like me who was looking for any and everything I could find out about where I was moving. I will update it through the tab named "Home is where the Navy sends us."
I hope you can use this as a little fun, informational guide if you are stationed (or vacationing!!) in the places we have been stationed! I want you to know my favorite things to do, places to eat, and places to maybe make a lifelong friend or two! Please email me if you have any questions about the areas I talk about, or Navy/Military in general. If I can't answer a question, you can be sure I will point you in the right direction to find out the best solution! I will continue to add to this page through out the year so it can be as updated and accurate as possible! Work in progress here, ladies!
1. Fort Walton, FL- Eglin AFB. ( We live in Niceville, FL)
-Surrounding areas you will hear about because this is SUCH a big base:
Destin, Niceville, Blue Water Bay, Valparaiso, Shalimar, Crestview.
We like living off base, but I have friends who are die hard on-base housing fans! It's all about your personal preferences! We love Niceville. It's safe. Its close to his schoolhouse and its close to the gym I love. It take me 15-20 to get on base ( I go through the East Gate in Valparaiso). I know this makes zero sense if you have not lived here, but once you see it, it clicks!
E.O.D. school house wives- Blue Water Bay/Niceville is the closest you will be to your hubby's school house. This is what I suggest if you want to be within 15 minutes of the schoolhouse.. Note that the schoolhouse is at a different location than the main base. Confusing, I know. My list from closest to furthest away from the EOD school house is Blue Water Bay, Niceville, Valparaiso, Shalimar, Crestview, and Fort Walton. Destin is the odd ball. It is SUPER close but you will pay a toll to and from school and the traffic in the spring/summer is not fun when your husband is ready to be home from school in the afternoons! Please email me and I can find out different places for you to call about houses for rent. We used Craigslist.com and it worked out GREAT for us. Others use ahrn.com. Unfortunately, we dont have a military email until he graduates training, so I can't wait to get on that website! There are tons more housing topics I can talk about so contact me if you need any help, seriously!
If your husband works on base, most all the towns are close to base because of all the different entrance gates. There are SO many options of places to live. I wish I was more familiar with on-base housing. You would never have to leave the base with the commissary, BX, beach, camping site and much, much more!
THINGS TO DO:
The beach...hellloooo?? Who moves to Destin, FL and doesn't go to the beach? Take advantage of this weather! Mild winters and hot summers. Take a towel and a book..you will be set!
Seaside, FL- Our favorite day trip town! 35 minutes down HWY 98! Our wedding photographer found this little nugget when we came to Destin for our engagements last summer! Amphitheater, cute shops, beautiful beach, seaside restaurants, and a farmer's market in the summer! I'm holding back from jumping in my car right now!
AMC Theater- Destin Commons Mall
Harborwalk Village (Destin)- Concerts and fireworks in the summer and a festival for almost every holiday. Very Family Friendly! Like them on FB for updates on activites!
Baytowne (San Destin)- One of the neatest places we have explored so far. Shops, a pond, ice skating in the winter, restaurants, and yes...a zipline.
Turkey Creek(Val-P)- A nature walk that runs about 3/4 of a mile. You can jump in the little creek and go swimming in the summer time!
Niceville Dog Park- Literally the only place where dogs are allowed. They can run free (bring a clean up bag!) and play with their furry friends. It is a huge fenced in area so you don't even have to watch them!!....just kidding. Watch your dogs.
Boggy Bayou Mullet Fest- I haven't been yet, but I have heard it's the bomb. No it's not to honor the coolest haircut ever worn. Mullet is a fish that is apparently cool enough to have a festival about. Just your not so average concert festival with tons of people! Hope I'm here for the next one!
FAVORITE RESTAURANTS (so far):
Pepito's Restaurant (BWB)
The Crab Trap (Destin)
The Back Porch (Destin)
Marina Cafe (Destin)
Tucker Duke's(VAL-P) Get the maple syrup and bacon popcorn. Don't ask, just thank me later.
Dockside Grille (Niceville)
Red Ginger (Niceville)
This is an area we struggled with at first. We absolutely love our church back home in Mississippi. There are some great churches here who have people who love Jesus. That is what matters, not if they take offering before or after the service, or even if they raise their hands to worship! Get somewhere. Get involved. Serve. Don't judge it by the first service. We have visited Cinco Baptist in Shalimar, First Baptist in Nicevillle, and Village Baptist in Destin. All great churches and there are tons more! Go check some out online and then go visit! We have less than 6 months left. I know that can be an excuse to just "wait for where we will be stationed", but it's not a very good excuse. Bloom where you are planted!
My biggest piece of advice has to be get involved in something. I have made some amazing friends in the short time I have lived here by getting involved in the FRG and joining bible studies in town. I joined a bible study at FBC in Niceville and have been so blessed by it. They have classes going on all of the time for ladies. The one I have done so far was on Monday mornings, but they have studies during Wednesay night schedule also! There are free classes on base that can help with money, relationships, career paths and more. Let people help you! The staff in the Family Readiness building wants to help you. They want you to make friends. They want you to love where you live!
Hope this is helpful! Seriously, contact me about anything or if you just want someone praying for you as you move away from family and friends into the unknown. It's scary but I promise you will have fun!