Friday - Monday
The weather couldn't have been more perfect. 80's and sunny.
Calypso was beautiful. I would definitely recommend it. The pool was clean and warm, and I have never seen such a clean poolside restroom. It sparkled, there had to be a cleaning person just stationed there. Also LOVED the no hands foot sprayer thingy when you come off the beach. We had a west end corner unit so the wrap around view was amazing, so many shades of blue!
Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise was worth every penny! The kids had a blast, even the older ones. I was amazed how they kept them busy the entire time. The drinks and snacks were reasonable, the music was fun, the pirates were patient and hillarious, just a great time!
Gulf World was also fantastic. We loved that it was small and not as commercial-like as Sea World. It's really nice for little ones, you can sit up close for the shows, no waiting in lines and it's not a super tiring long hot day kind of place. It was also clean with reasonably priced snacks.
Shukums was ok, asked for butter with the oysters and got cold packages of butter, lol, thought an oyster place would know to give you drawn butter?
Dusty's oysters were better, but beer and wine only, so no pina colada : ( and the clam chowder was pretty bland, but the wings were good.
Did a pub crawl at Pier Park so we had the spicy egg rolls and the sweet potato fries at Reggae J's which were good but we all thought they could have used some better dipping sauces.
We had a pretzel at the beer garden which was hot and yummy and big enough for all of us to share, surprised they didn't have Yager, but the guitarist played us a John Prine song, so all was good.
The kids did the caurosel and the jump thing which I thought for $10 wasn't bad.
We ran into Tootsies to dance with the kids to Steve Earl's Copperhead Road for a second. The band sounded really good and kids are allowed until 9:00 but it seemed too adult like to stay long.
We ended with sharing a cheeseburger at Margaritaville which was good, but I had to send my pina colada back because it was sour. The music was terrible, ear piercing loud, couldn't hear the waiter and the kids were miserable. The one at Universal just plays JB videos on a big screen, so we were kind of surprised.
We only tried places that were walkable, so we never had a knock your socks off meal. The Calypso Cafe was also just ok. Sis and
Bil said the Back Porch was really good but expensive.
I'd have to the best place we ate at over all was the Beach Club. The kids meals were big, the sandwhiches were all hot on fresh rolls, and the service was excellent.
Dh and bil did some fishing from the pier, but no luck. They got the frozen bait from Wal-mart. Thank you all for that info.
Boy, I never knew what double red flags meant before this trip. How scary! We heard that there were a few drownings, but didn't inquire more or listen to the news. We preferred to think/hope that maybe they were rescues and not drownings while we were there....read about them on line this morning, prayers out to those families.
The beach police did an excellent job of warning people. We heard sirens and saw them fly down the beach a couple of times, saw the red flag airplane fly over twice, and we saw the helicopter come down over the water 4 different times to tell people to get out of the water and with binoculars down the beach farther we saw what might have been a rescue.
We had a fantastic time. Can't wait to go back. Maybe next year we'll hit the Seafood festival. We decided to take the scenic route in but did 79 to 10 on the way home and it was a lot faster...followed all the other GA people : )
Thanks everyone for all the info, hope this helps someone else.