We made it to Destin a little over an hour before our hotel’s check-in, so we decided to take advantage of that time by continuing on the 98 West toward Fort Walton. Again, another great choice on our part, for we crossed what was probably the coolest stretch of road we’d ever seen. With the bay on one side of the strip and the gulf on the other, strangely, it very much gives you the feeling that you’re on the water as you cruise.
The goal once we got to the other side was to find a coffee shop to chill and do a little work on our latest web design project (TheCaliforniaMom.com). Down the street we drove until we ran into the character-filled downtown area, and eventually a coffee shop caught my eye. Maas Coffee Roasters sounded like a good bet.
We stepped in the door to discover a quintessential hippie beach coffee shop, with wooden surfaces everywhere, random signs scattered out on the walls, a handful of obviously loyal customers, and the smell of fresh java permeating the air. In a few moments we would also discover that the bathroom door housed a sign that reads “The Office.”
Two iced mochas were ordered and we settled in to look at the site. A little while thereafter we got drawn into conversation with a man sitting on a stool by the door whose daughter was the barista on duty. And after that another regular joined in the chat. We heard all kinds of stories from James (the dad) and Steve With Gray Hair (an artist with a good sense of humor).
Probably an hour passed passing stories back and forth before we headed to the hotel. As we got into the car I couldn’t help thinking that random meetings like this are one of the best features of travelling and I couldn’t imagine feeling happier than I did crossing back over The Miracle Strip to Destin on that flawless, sunny afternoon.