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The emer ald CoasT maga zine

Ending Modern Slavery Fighting it where it lives, in the shadows of faraway places — and in plain sight right here on the Emerald Coast




AUG-SEP 2013

tammy Binkley sojourned to india as part of a yogainspired grassroots group to aid victims of sex trafficking.

A product of Rowland Publishing, Inc.

Steven J. Clark M.D., D.M.D. FACS

Bluewater Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Center ASK DR. CLARK

WHAT IS YOUR PRACTICE MISSION? Our goal is to make a patient’s experience with us seamless and first class in every aspect. My staff and I are trained to deliver nothing less than exceptional care. DESCRIBE ANY NEW PROCEDURES OCCURRING IN YOUR PRACTICE. Over the past two years, I have been performing permanent lip augmentation with Permalip implants. This procedure is a great benefit for patients who would like to enhance the size of their lips but do not want the constant maintance of filler injections. Permanent lip augmentation can be performed in our office setting under local anesthesia with very little patient discomfort. Both the upper and lower lips can be enhanced through small incisions inside the corners of the mouth. The lip heals incredibly well, so scarring is not an issue. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE ‘SECRET’OF YOUR MEDICAL SUCCESS? Our reputation for superior results is well known on the Emerald Coast and within the Sacred Heart medical community. Our patient and physician referrals have always kept our office busy. We are pleased to say that word of mouth and reputation are very powerful in this community.

“Word of mouth drives the success of my business.” — Dr. Steven J. Clark

Steven J. Clark M.D., D.M.D.

American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Over the last 15 years on the Emerald Coast I have built a reputation amongst my patients and those who see me in action every day — operating room nurses and surgeons at Sacred Heart Hospital. This does not come easy! I give 100% to each patient I treat assuring safety, good clinical judgment and meticulous care. If you are considering plastic surgery, I recommend to, “Do your homework, and ask an operating room nurse for their recommendations!”



This is a demonstration of how a small procedure can change facial contours.

Liposuction of the neck



Steven J. Clark M.D., D.M.D.

Services Offered Breast Augmentation Mastopexy/Breast Lift Breast Reduction Liposuction Tummy Tuck Facelift Malar Lift/Mid-Face Lift Endoscopic Brow Lift/Forehead Lift Blepharoplasty/Eyelid Surgery Laser Skin Resurfacing Dermabrasion Rhinoplasty Otoplasty/Ear Reshaping Gynecomastia/Male Breast Reduction Post-Gastric Body Contouring Brachioplasty/Arm Lift Lower Body Lift Thigh Lift Scar Revision Botox Juvederm Radiesse Skin Care Services (offered by our Medical Aesthetician)

American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ABOUT DR. CLARK

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? I feel fortunate to possess the ability to make a profound impact on a patient’s life. Enhancing their appearance, in turn, improves their confidence and self image. It is rewarding to see a patient’s transformation both inside and out. At the end of the day, I know I have changed someone’s life for the better. WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT STYLE? I consider each patient the embodiment of my practice and, as such, treat each individual as if she


or he were the only patient in my practice. I set the bar high for myself and whoever works with me. Only by satisfying my own high standards can I ensure that each patient’s needs are met and expectations surpassed. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU ARE NEVER WITHOUT? Perspective. My patients have placed the ultimate trust in me, and I, in turn, willingly take on the responsibility of caring for them and their needs. Ultimately, their well-being and safety are of prime importance, and I never forget that.

LOCATION Miramar Beach Medical Office Building at Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast

CONTACT 850.267.4582

To learn more about our practice visit August–September 2013


Be Who You Are

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4 August–September 2013

The Emerald Coast Magazine August + September 2013


photos courtesy University of West Florida, John Blackie

Wesley Perrine, a recent graduate of University of West Florida, holds a limestone cannonball recovered from the second Emanuel Point shipwreck. Hand pecked from limestone, presumably, the 16thcentury weapons were designed to shatter on impact and break up into shrapnel.

50 features


86  Flavor The Emerald Coast is rich in this delicious liquid gold.

42 Modern Slavery Community groups take on human trafficking along the Emerald Coast, and yogi Tammy Binkley goes to the mat for change.

27 Spotlight Go fly a (Kitty Hawk) kite!

91 Dining Let us guide you to savor the flavors of the Emerald Coast.

50 D  igging Deep with Dr. Judy Bense Unearthing the untouched secrets, history of Northwest Florida archaeology.

37 Social Studies Framing up the EC scene one fabulous event at a time.

in the e.c.

71 Eudaimonia A MINI club with a huge fan factor.

15  Snapshot How sculptor Linda King shapes her life.

72 Going Places Venture to the southern tip of South America and discover pretty Patagonia.

17  Chat We make a “social” call on Julio Fernandez. 20  Well-Worded The surf is up in this first-ever Florida documentary film on the sport. 24  Scene New news on the EC? We have it for you.

Follow us @emeraldcoastmag

28 Culture Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation has come of age! 34  Calendar Let us fill your social calendar with festive fall events.

the good life

78 In Motion This activity will have you flying sky high. 81 Gardening Hot topics and tips for your favorite tropicals.

92  On the Menu Galettes, tortas and

the Lidias, oh my!

96 A Taste For … fresh Florida scallops!

A word with You 08 10 11 98

F rom the Publisher Editor’s Note Feedback The Last Word


57 Professional Profiles 64 Deal Estate


84 FYI Helping kids cope and keep hope when grandma has Alzheimer’s.

Like us at August–September 2013


Vol. 14, No. 4 August–September 2013 The Emerald Coast Magazine


Brian E. Rowland


Director of Editorial Services Linda Kleindienst Editor Zandra Wolfgram Staff Writer Jason Dehart Editorial Coordinator Laura Bradley Contributing Writers Susan Benton, Stacey May Brady, Laura Bradley, Danielle Buenrostro, Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite, Mary Leslie, Cheryl McAleavy, Audrey Post, Zandra Wolfgram Editorial Intern Chay D. Baxley Prepress Specialist Melinda Lanigan


Creative Director Lawrence Davidson Assistant Creative Director Saige Roberts Senior Graphic Designer Jennifer Ekrut Graphic Designers Lizzie Moore, Shruti Shah Production Manager/Network Administrator Daniel Vitter Staff Photographer Scott Holstein Contributing Photographers Kay Phelan, Kansas Pitts Photography, Howard Robinson, Jacqueline Ward Images, Zandra Wolfgram, Allison Yii


Marketing and Sales Manager McKenzie Burleigh Director of New Business Daniel Parisi Traffic Coordinator Lisa Sostre Sales Executives Rhonda Lynn Murray, Jon Fistel, Darla Harrison, Tracy Mulligan, Chris St. John, Drew Gregg Westling

Special Projects and EVENTS

Special Projects And Events Manager Caroline Conway Special Projects And Events Coordinator Lynda Belcher

We have the

SECRET to Youthful, Beautiful Skin!


Administrative Services Manager Melissa Tease Accounting Specialists Josh Faulds, Tabby Hamilton Receptionists Chay D. Baxley, Jazmeen Sule


Social Media/Systems Management Specialist Carlin Trammel Emerald Coast Magazine Rowland Publishing


One Year (6 issues) is $30 Call (850) 878-0554 or go online to Single copies are $3.95 Purchase at Barnes and Noble in Destin and Books-A-Million in Destin and at Sun Plaza in Mary Esther.

Editorial Office 1932 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL, 32308 Customer Service & Submissions EC Magazine and Rowland Publishing, Inc. are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork. Editorial contributions are welcomed and encouraged but will not be returned. EC Magazine reserves the right to publish any letters to the editor.

34904 Emerald Coast Parkway (Next to Barnes & Noble) | 850.424.7400 6 August–September 2013

Copyright August 2013 Emerald Coast Magazine Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

Proud member Florida Magazine Association


One of the first questions people ask when they visit our area is “How can we be sure we’re getting fresh seafood?” That’s an excellent question. There is a good chance that the seafood you will be offered traveled farther than you did. In the state of Florida, even though we are surrounded by water, more than 90% of the seafood sold this year will be imported from other countries. Throughout the United States, the huge majority of seafood is imported. Most of it is mislabeled. Frozen seafood is sold as “fresh” and imported seafood is sold as “local.” According to Oceana, 93% of fish sold as red snapper is actually some other species. 57% of tuna sold at sushi bars throughout the country is not tuna. Most of the tilapia served in this country comes from Viet Nam and Thailand and much of it is farmed in waters with sewage run-off and the source of feed is pig feces.

Harbor Docks has been selling fish through its wholesale market since 1981. We sell to markets across the United States and Canada. We also sell to select restaurants along the Gulf Coast. Harbor Docks contracts with over 100 commercial boats to insure that we have an adequate supply of fresh fish. We invite you to dine at our restaurants – Harbor Docks, in the heart of Destin, and Camille’s, overlooking the Gulf in Crystal Beach. But we’d also encourage you to try any of the wonderful, independent, local restaurants in our area that are committed to serving Florida seafood. We know who they are, because we sell them their fish.

Check our website to find out which restaurants sell certified Gulf-to-Table fish from Harbor Docks Seafood Market. DES TIN , FL | 850. 837. 2506 | H A R B O R D O C K S .CO M S E A F O O D & C O C K TA I L S

Snapper and Tuna stats: Imported seafood stat: Tilapia/pig feces: August–September 2013


from the publisher In our world there are people who lead and those who take direction from leadership. Both groups are valuable and needed to create maximum results. In a well-run business, strong leadership with a strong team of individuals who follow and execute the requests of leadership can result in an accomplished company that enjoys success. A strong leader and a team of managers working in unison is a beautiful thing to watch and to be a part of. Sure, one can learn the principals of leadership from books and mentoring, but nothing compares to experience, learning by trial and error, and listening and learning from others who have amassed major accomplishments. Tallahassee Community College (TCC) recently invested in becoming a sponsor site for Chick-fil-A’s annual Leadercast program. This is a one-day event that brings together some of the most successful leaders and brilliant minds on one stage so they can share their thoughts on and experience with leadership. When I heard about this, I didn’t hesitate to block off the day to attend with a colleague and became a note-taking student. Chick-fil-A filled the Georgia Dome that Friday in May with amazing corporate horsepower. The event was simulcast to 750 sponsored locations around the world (including Tallahassee), reaching more than 120,000 individuals who were seeking the knowledge, inspiration and motivation to become smarter, well-rounded leaders. Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski related how he accomplished the major feat of taking the individual talents and egos of a group of NBA stars and molding them into a gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic basketball team. Corporate icon/author Jack Welch spent 70 percent of his corporate CEO life as a mentor to his management team and spoke of how and why leaders need to constantly prune their corporate rose bush of employees. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained how she personally managed her time and mind doing one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in the world today. Greeting guests that day were TCC’s president Jim Murdaugh, Robin Johnston, vice president for Institutional Advancement and TCC’s Foundation director, and Kimberly Moore, vice president of Workforce Development — the driving forces behind bringing this day to Tallahassee. They are strong, visionary leaders for Tallahassee Community College and are committed to bringing this type of ongoing learning resource to our area for those seeking to learn about or fine-tune their leadership skill sets. To have an opportunity to hear any one of these leaders would cost a considerable amount of time and expense. Yet on this day, for around a hundred dollars, one could sit back and listen to eight interviews/ on the cover presentations from accomplished, high-profile leaders. The day she was able to But it wasn’t all classroom work. The emcee, Tripp Crosby, had a quick and self-deprecating wit and watch artisan families come together to give provided several short and light-hearted entertaining breaks in the action. There was also a three-course shape and purpose to catered lunch, snacks and gift portfolio. And to top it all off, everyone’s car was meticulously washed while earth, clay and straw at they attended the event. That was the best hundred dollars I’ve spent in the past year, hands down. this Potter’s Colony, in In this letter, it is difficult to express exactly all I learned. I wrote about 10 pages of notes and a week later Kolkata, India, provided took an afternoon to condense them into four categories of learning. This summer I plan to share what I a stark contrast to the countless broken, learned with my management team and then break the staff into teams so each individual can learn the ostracized women Tammy principals I took away from this event. I want to take these lessons full circle to help my most valued asset Binkley met with during — the staff of Rowland Publishing. her three-week sojourn Sadly, one observation I made that day was that just a relatively small group of Tallahassee senior to help raise funds and awareness for the all too leadership attended. Were they too busy? Do they feel there is no room for them to learn from people who pervasive crime of human will likely forget more about leadership than most will ever know? trafficking. Photo Courtesy As Tallahassee embarks on its journey to the next level, through Imagine Tallahassee, I can only urge the of Tammy Binkley community’s leadership in the private, public and political sectors to never forget to seek more knowledge. It will bring you, your staff and whatever you lead closer to maximum success. Count me in for six tickets next year, plus the sponsorship of Tallahassee and EC magazines. If you are interested in being notified of next year’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast date, just send me an email, and it will be done. This will be the best investment you make in yourself and your company in 2014 — I promise.

— Brian Rowland 8 August–September 2013

Photo by Scott Holstein

Leaders Should Never End Their Quest for Knowledge

© D. YURMAN 2013

13390 HWY 98 W. • DESTIN, FLORIDA 850.650.2262 August–September 2013


editor’s note

I moved to Cleveland, Ohio, when I was 13 years old. It wasn’t a first move for my family, we moved nearly every three years, but it wasn’t an easy one. We left the sunny shores of Virginia Beach, where I had made many good friends and had many weekends at the beach, and moved to the west side of Cleveland. My first impression that it was cloudy. But my outlook remained sunny. I liked the excitement of moving, of making new friends, a fresh new start. Still, no matter where you live the prospect of entering middle school years is scary for anyone. I walked just over a mile from my house on W. 133rd Street to Carl F. Schuler Jr. High. When I went to high school, I walked just under two miles to John Marshall High School. That is the same school attended by Amanda Berry — one of three women recently freed from a west side Cleveland home after being held captive for 10 years. From my house to the house on Seymour, where Amanda was held prisoner, raped and tortured, was just five miles. This is a haunting news story of international interest, but for me, who grew up in that area and is now the mother of a young girl, it’s literally and figuratively hitting close to home. We think of the horrific crimes of kidnapping, rape and human trafficking as something unconscionable that happens to other people in other towns. But it can hit close to home, as our cover story points out. While we are more sophisticated in technology and tracking people and processing evidence, sex crimes are increasing. In fact, sexual assault has surged by 35 percent since 2010 among the very heroes we hold in highest regard — our men and women in uniform. How ironic. With a top U.S. Air Force officer under investigation for the very crime he is supposed to be holding others accountable for, it seems no one is safe and everyone is suspect. Recently, one of our own, a company president, a respectable member of our Emerald Coast community once honored as Man of the Year, was arrested for child pornography and is now awaiting his day in court. One of the many dramatic facts about the Cleveland case is that the alleged perpetrator was just a “regular Joe.” As America’s Most Wanted John Walsh says, he is one of the many predators hiding among us “in plain sight.” On the days they were snatched, Amanda Berry was a young teen coming home from a part time job at Burger King; Gina DeJesus was walking home from school; Michelle Knight was heading to a family member’s home. I graduated from John Marshall High School, the very high school Amanda Berry attended. When I was around 22, I got my own apartment and while living on my own celebrated eight more birthdays with family and friends before moving away from Cleveland. During that time, Amanda Berry was raped, became pregnant and raised her daughter in captivity. While I was going through my 20s trying to build a career and dating, Amanda Berry was trying simply to survive and trying to be noticed from one of the few uncovered windows in her prison. It is reported that her abductor changed her birthday to the day she was kidnapped. After taking everything from her, he even took her birthday. In many ways we have isolated ourselves from one another. We line our yards with fences and trees to be sure to give our neighbors and ourselves space and privacy. But if we hope to see our children enjoy the simple pleasures of growing up, we must be vigilant in creating a safe neighborhood and being a good neighbor. We must pay closer attention to what is going on around us. We must go the extra mile, so our children do not walk in fear to school, a first job or a friend or neighbor’s house. We must go the extra mile to protect our sisters, mothers and most vulnerable, our children. We must go the extra mile so all of our children have all of their birthdays enjoying a basic human civil right — freedom. Isn’t that the least we can do?

—Z  andra Wolfgram

10 August–September 2013

Photo Courtesy Apricot Lane in Destin Comwmons

Going the Extra Mile for Freedom

editor’s picks Strands of Hope 3Strands Global in partnership with Agape International Missions (AIM) is doing something to help make a difference in the lives of human trafficking victims in Cambodia. With the sale of every handmade 3Strands handmade bracelet and gift box, money is raised to help empower, teach and employ young women who have been rescued from sex trafficking. In addition to higher than average wages, the Agape Training Center, where these bracelets are created, provides counseling and educational services as well as lunch and medical benefits to the women workers. But above all — an environment filled with respect and compassion. To purchase a bracelet that can give a woman a new strand of hope, visit or Apricot Lane Boutique in Destin Commons. A Hero’s Welcome Home It is heartening to see Army Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale honored with a brand new Santa Rosa Beach home through the Building Homes for Heroes program. We featured SSG Hale and his wonderful family in our Giving Back column in the October/November 2012 issue. Hats off to Chase Bank and Randy Wise Homes for recognizing the tremendous sacrifices of SSG Hale and his family. Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization committed to supporting our severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The Hales’ home is one of 15 in Florida and one of 30 built across the nation that have been provided to military families this year. To learn more about how you can support this special organization visit

feedback Have a thought? Let us know what you think at editor@emeraldcoastmagazine. com, or through twitter @emeraldcoastmag.

Your publisher’s letter [“Here’s To You, Rhonda” June/July 2013] in EC Magazine made me tear up. She is certainly an asset to your company, and I don’t think you would ever find someone else as smart, dependable and personable as her to represent Rowland Publishing Inc. Congrats to you for having her as part of the family and for appreciating and recognizing her talent and commitment. I know she is lucky to have you as her fearless leader as well.

Nancy Stanley Santa Rosa Beach

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ec online We are excited about our new “home.” You can find a new online version of EC Magazine and much more at Thank you loyal EC Magazine readers for all of your feedback and comments. Some of them are below. I love the cover and everything about this new issue [June/July 2013] of Emerald Coast Magazine! Congrats to Zandra Wolfgram and her team!

Stacey Brady Destin

Loving the new website! Thanks for including me in the current issue [“Coastal Dining Do-overs” June/July 2013].

Susan Benton 30A Eats, Santa Rosa Beach

Love the new website. Kudos!


Love it! You guys rock!

Lauren Tate Gall Miramar Beach

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Missy 4 - 20 Plus Sizes to 32W Long Torso & Bra-sized Mastectomy Girls & Pre-Teen The new EC Magazine website  …  your source for the best the Emerald Coast has to offer. » A complete list of all current and past “Best Of the Emerald Coast” winners, as voted by our readers » A new “Deal Estate” section, with property listings and information about buying and selling real estate » Dynamic photo galleries showcasing our area’s premier events and fundraisers » An all-new searchable and Matt Williams sortable guide to the top dining establishments along the Emerald Coast » The area’s most comprehensive calendar of community events, gatherings and entertainment » A searchable archive of past EC Magazine issues » Our latest digital flipbook » Plus, more stories, photos and exclusive behind-thescenes web content August–September 2013


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Sculpting a Legacy

After retiring from accounting, Valparaiso resident Linda King craved change. “I didn’t want to work with numbers or financials anymore; I wanted to do something with my hands,” she said. Now, King shapes figurative and portrait sculptures. Bronze sculpting is complicated and takes roughly three months. It starts with a wire figure onto which King applies clay, forming the sculpture. Then she makes multiple molds from different materials, coated on and inside each other: rubber and plaster, wax, ceramic and, finally, bronze. After sand blasting with glass beads, King applies patinas for color and mounts the sculpture to the base. King designed the prestigious Taylor Haugen Foundation trophy and builds it each year. Brian and Kathy Haugen scoured the country for the right sculptor, eventually selecting King from their own backyard. After hearing the foundation’s story, King began her design. The eagle, poised looking upwards to take flight, traditionally conveys majesty; the upward spiral it perches on represents Taylor Haugen’s life and ascendance. “I knew that his 15 years of being on this earth was [for a] very special reason and there are more important things to come of it,” King explained. The trophy had to be as distinguished as the boy for whom it was named.—Laura Bradley

Photo by Scott Holstein August–September 2013


16 August–September 2013


Julio Fernandez The Gospel Truth From a Social Media Evangelist By Zandra Wolfgram


he Emerald Coast tops all kinds of lists and polls with the most elite of international travel magazines, but according to social media expert Julio Fernandez this stretch of beach would be much cooler if there were more geeks here. Born and raised in Columbia, Fernandez moved to the United States in the 1980s and later graduated from the University of Miami, where he was “the guy who ran the computer lab.” He became an official citizen in 1993 and just a year later started his first successful “dot com” company. Fernandez was business manager of his college paper, which parlayed well into a news editor and senior web producer positions for several online publications with Miami Herald Publishing. His industry connections deepened, landing him on Google’s B2B (Business to Business) Technology Council as an “evangelist” who gives candid feedback to Google on their latest products and services. As his online experience grew, so did his big time corporate roles, including global responsibilities at national companies such as Oracle and Ogilvy, where he was hired on the spot to grow its social media program. His wife, Sherry, is a local who went to Niceville High School. When her father died three years ago, the couple settled in Bluewater Bay in Niceville to be closer to Sherry’s mother. With few fellow geeks around to connect with, Fernandez did the only thing a fearless socially deprived social media nerd could … he created a platform to meet them. Now, free social media workshops are hosted by the Destin Chamber every month. But Fernandez didn’t stop there. He formed Destinwebpages. com as a community service to help businesses promote themselves online and, a mobile guide for Emerald Coast businesses to get on the radar of the social media mother ship — Google. But it’s Social Media Shelf Space, a consulting firm, which Fernandez founded in 2012 that “pays the bills.” Though many locals consider him the “go to” social media guru, warm and friendly with a quick smile, Fernandez prefers to be called a search marketing analyst saying, “As soon as someone tells me they are a guru or a ninja, I don’t want to call them back. Nobody knows everything they need to know.” But Fernandez does know a lot about how to navigate and leverage Social Media channels. We checked in with him at Panera Bread in Destin Commons, where we found he was already “checked in” on Four Square, a geographicbased app, on not one, but three devices: a Samsung X3 (he got for serving as a global blogger at the 2013 Winter Olympics in London), iPhone5 and a brand new 17〞 Lenovo laptop thanks to someone with sticky fingers at the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference.

Q&A EC: Your entire world is connected to your computer. Did it come to an end as you know it when your laptop was stolen? JF: I had it only two weeks. But, no it’s OK, because I back up everything on the Cloud. EC: What is your opinion of the Google Cloud? JF: Everything is going to the Cloud and big data. One of my biggest clients is Adobe. You used to buy a floppy disk, then you could buy a couple CDs then one DVD and now you can buy the entire family on a series of DVDs. But as of last year Adobe is making a transformation where you can subscribe to the service and pay a monthly membership. It’s so clever … when you subscribe to tools, the second the feature is updated, you log in and you have that feature on your computer, because it’s on the Cloud. EC: What do you think about Cloudbased computers and technology? JF: I like it. My mom is a good example. She is 60-something and uses the August–September 2013



Google Chrome Book and it is set to automatically open on her Facebook homepage, which is set in Spanish. She doesn’t have to do anything else. Why buy an $800 computer when you can get a Chrome book for $250 and use the Google Cloud, which has Gmail, spreadsheets, calendars and Word documents? It’s great for small businesses, too. EC: You have an iPhone and a Samsung, do you prefer one over the other? JF: I tell my friends to consider both, because even though the iPhone 5 is larger than iPhone 4, the X3 is larger. I can carry an extra battery, add extra memory and technology-wise this one has NFC, which iPhones don’t have. EC: What is NFC? JF: Near Field Communication allows you to share information. For example, if I take a menu with me that has an NFC sticker I can take away information, perhaps see a video, see the restaurant’s page. It’s like a QR code but more powerful. In Japan you tap a place to buy a pass and you purchase admission to a train. You can put it on a shirt, tap it and buy it. For DVDs, you can tap it and get a two-minute preview. It’s really up to us to decide what we do with it. For realtors it would be great. You could get a 360-degree tour of a house. We’ll get there …

Destin's Favorite Gift Shop & Award-Winning Design.

EC: What is hot on the social media scene? JF: Anything that takes advantage of my location. Locationbased services like NFC. We’re at Panera Bread now. If I open Four Square, it should show me what’s around me when I check-in and offer me relevant specials. EC: What about cyber warfare and privacy issues? Do you have concerns that it’s hard to roll it back once you put something out there? JF: There are challenges and issues with location and personal privacy. If I can learn that someone goes to a gym every night at a certain time that could be a problem. But don’t feel that if you don’t check in people can’t still find you. They could track you 20 years ago. Now, if I am at home and I check in to Four Square, the Google map only shows a general area instead of a dot on a house. But if you buy a house I could go to public records and find out where your house is and how much you paid for it. EC: Give us some Social Media 101. JF: The first thing I recommend to my clients is what I call an account audit. You need to understand what accounts you control and what your competitors have. I did this for Adobe. Four years ago they didn’t have accounts for their trademarks. I set up 26 for them. Not only look at your company name and trademark, but domains, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and so on. Then I would suggest keyword research to understand how your customer and prospects are searching for you, which may or may not be what your company is called or known for. And when you are ready to engage in social media, you need to consider the best content for each channel. For example, You Tube is a great place for “how to” videos. At the same time, it’s important to understand that tools are not the solution to marketing. It drives me crazy when people say, “We need a Pinterest strategy.” It’s just a tool. If people don’t know your brand, engaging on Pinterest isn’t going to help. EC: You say at 7 years old Twitter is old. Is it still viable? JF: If you use Twitter be aware of optimization. If you send a message include a link that you can track. If there is a “call to action” in all of your social media you can see what channel is working best for you. EC: What’s the biggest social media misnomer? JF: People thinking they have privacy. The info is out there already. You need to know what you can control. For example, using Facebook settings to manage your page … keep in mind, anything you can “Like” is a way for Facebook to find you.







EC: What is your social media pet peeve? JF: When you want to call me, I don’t give you a photo of a phone. I give you a number. Stop putting icons out there if you don’t know how to use them.



34940 Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 114 Destin next door to Ulta & Michaels


phone 850.424.5155

18 August–September 2013

EC: Is it hard for you to connect with people who are not on social media? JF: I do have some old friends who do not use Facebook and some who don’t have email. I like to stay in touch with family and put out videos of my nieces doing sports on Twitter or post on Facebook. I always find a way to get online. It’s so frustrating, because I want to share. ec August–September 2013



Surf’s Up!

Emerald Coast Surfing History Documented in New Film By Zandra Wolfgram

Surfing originated in Hawaii, made its way to California and local Navy seamen who had seen surfers while stationed overseas eventually made it popular on the Gulf Coast. Though Barnes says it has an 80-year history in Florida, in the 1960s and 1970s the wave of this watersport crested on the Pensacola beaches in particular. Cotton and Barnes, who have nearly 90 years of film, video, TV and photography experience between them, hit the beach in Northwest Florida and uncovered the history — along with a lot of heart and soul — of Florida’s surfing scene through the memories and stories of die-hard surfers who were mainstays along the Gulf Coast beaches when surfing was all the rage. Most of the local surfers featured in the film were teens in the 1960s and 1970s. That includes Dave Rauschkolb, who simply loved

Clockwise from top: Mike Cotton and Dave Barnes after filming 15 interviews at the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum; Dave “Slick” Aaron (far right) started surfing balsa wood boards in 1942 in Palm Beach County. Now 84, he is one of the oldest living surfers from Florida; Pro surfing legend Brenda Stokes pictured with her big brother in Fort Walton Beach in 1966.

20 August–September 2013

photos courtesy Mike Cotton Dave Barnes Productions, Dave Aaron and Brenda Stokes


hen hippies came along it saved the face of surfers,” says surfboard builder Hank Warner. Warner is just one of several salty old-time Emerald Coast surfers whose recollections and passion are captured in an engaging, interesting and entertaining first-time documentary film called “Florida’s Surfing History,” created by local producers Mike Cotton and Dave Barnes. When Cotton, a 50-year seasoned surfer, collaborated on the museum exhibit “Surfing Florida, A Photographic History” at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, he found one thing missing — video. For this producer, there was no question that film footage would bring the story of Florida Surfing alive. And with the exhibit being “the only real take on Florida surfing culture” around, he wanted to be sure it was done right.

the sport (and perhaps hoped to score a few girls by doing it). Some, like David Brown, became owners of surf shops, while others like Tom Stack became surfboard makers and collectors like J. Michael Stewart. Kids like Dan Stone were lifeguards at the time. A few great surfers, such as Mark Rush, Brenda Stokes and Yancy Spencer IV went pro. One especially talented blonde surfer girl, Patricia Scholtz-Wilcox from Gulf Breeze, was inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame. The unscripted, eclectic mix of first-person interviews gives the film an accessible, authentic feel, which was Cotton’s goal. “This isn’t a surfer movie. It’s a movie about surfing, and we are hoping to appeal to all kinds of people,” Cotton says. August–September 2013


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“Surfer chicks” from the late 1960s like Patricia Scholtz-Wilcox and Lisa Muir Wakley (pictured with Mike Cotton after their interview) pioneered the sport for women. When they began competing, they had to surf against men because of a lack of female challengers. Today, both ladies are in the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and still compete.

All of them have one thing in common — it’s hard for them to describe just how sublime they feel when they catch and ride in on a great wave. No matter their age or skill level, surfing is a common “beach bond” and it comes through clearly in the film. As David Brown from Panama City says, “All of us have saltwater in our veins.” The producers spent the summer of 2012 filming casual interviews on the beach and in surf shops with local old-time surfers and stockpiling vintage film footage, photos and newspaper articles, posters and other memorabilia in order to tell the story of surfing in the Sunshine State. “Our mission is to offer this project as an opportunity to tell a story about the progression of surfing, the memories of this era and the surf culture during the past 50 years,” Cotton says. The first segment of the documentary “Florida’s Surfing History Part One: The Panhandle” was first screened at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in January. The producers will continue to document surfing in the rest of Florida by coastal region: First Coast, Space Coast, Treasure Coast and Gold Coast, continuing to film through 2013. The finished project will be a five DVD box set with bonus content. The Panhandle DVD is available now for purchase for $15 plus $2 shipping. The museum exhibit continues to tour surfing expos and museums as well. For more information on the documentary, contact Mike Cotton at (850) 384-1484 or find the film duo on Facebook at Mike Cotton Dave Barnes Productions. Florida surfing isn’t the only film producer Mike Cotton would like to see in Northwest Florida. He credits Pensacola Film Commissioner Gail Morgan with making this documentary possible and hopes to collaborate with the commission on more projects that will shine a light on what he says is “considerable talent” in the area. “The main goal underneath all of these things we’re doing is we’d like to have a regional film festival that would bring in some nationally known people and would feature all of these talented producers,” Cotton says. If Cotton and Barnes have their way, it looks like the surf movies, and much more, will soon be all the rage on our beaches. Now, that’s how we like to “close out.” ec

photo courtesy Mike Cotton Dave Barnes Productions


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scene This is a little of what we’ve seen and heard while out and about on the EC …

▪ Caroline Oswalt has been crowned Miss Destin 2013. Miss Destin is judged on her personality, school and Oswalt community involvement, communication skills and grade point average. She serves as a public figure throughout the year, representing Destin at many functions, including the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. She was awarded a $2,000 academic scholarship. ▪ Legendary Marine has announced that Greg Featherston has been named marina manager. Featherston comes to Legendary Marine from the position of harbor Featherston master at HarborWalk Marina in Destin, a job he held for four years. NEW NEWS … ▪ The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has launched a new multi-million dollar capital improvement project. Scheduled to begin Oct. 1, the five-month project will include a complete redesign and refurnishing of all Spa Tower rooms, upgrade of the award-winning, 11,000-square-foot Serenity by the sea Spa, and an enhanced entrance and lobby, providing guests an even better view of the Emerald Coast immediately upon arrival.

A poster designed by artist Justin Lyons was the creative face of the 25th Annual ArtsQuest Arts & Music Festival hosted by The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County in a new location this year — WaterColor. Lyons was voted “Best in Mixed Media” at the 2012 ArtsQuest Festival. His original artwork is on display at A. Wickey Studio-Gallery in Rosemary Beach, Exhibit7 (inside Artesano Jewels) and Full Circle Gallery in Fort Walton Beach.

▪ Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward joined the Pensacola Fire Department staff to christen the city’s first dedicated fire boat. The boat will allow the Pensacola Fire Department to provide firefighting as well as medical and rescue services across Pensacola’s waterfront, Pensacola Bay and surrounding communities like Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach. CONGRATULATIONS AND KUDOS … ▪ The Travel Channel has designated Destin as the Best Family Beach of 2013. Destin won 43 percent of the vote. Other destinations in the running were the Outer Banks, N.C., Paradise Island, Bahamas and Cape Cod, Mass. ▪ Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has received the 2013-14 Green Meetings approval by ConventionSouth magazine. The annual certification program evaluates and recognizes properties for their green meeting initiatives. ec Pensacola Police Chief Chip Simmons and Mayor Ashton Hayward with City Councilmen Brian Spencer, Charles Bare and Andy Terhaar.

24 August–September 2013

Poster Art Justin Lyons, Photo By Scott Holstein (Featherston), photos courtesy the City of Pensacola (Hayward/fire department), amy Oswalt (Oswalt) and Bill Strength (chefs)


Chefs Dan Dunn of H2O at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, Irv Miller of Jackson’s Steakhouse, Jim Shirley of the Fish House and Gus Silivos of Skopelos/ Nancy’s Haute Affairs celebrated Florida’s 500 year history by showcasing their culinary talents at the acclaimed James Beard House in New York. The event — titled “Viva Pensacola! A Culinary Exploration Commemorating the Influences of Spain” — celebrated Spanish culinary influences, fusing modern Gulf Coast cuisine with gustatory inspirations from the first nation to fly its flag over the Pensacola Bay Area.

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Thanks to your nominations, the 10 salons have been selected! Look for them in the October/November issue of EC Magazine. For more information on the event visit

26 June–July 2013


happenings Events + Culture + Causes


Oh, Go Fly a Kite!

Photo Courtesy Legendary Inc./Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

The 5th Annual Kitty Hawk Kite Festival and Paddleboard Race is a festive and family-friendly fall event that will get your spirits soaring! All ages will appreciate seeing professional stunt flyers giving kite-flying demonstrations at Kitty Hawk Kites in HarborWalk Village August 24–26. Join in the fun by bringing your kite and learning tricks from the pros. Kids will especially enjoy hands-on, kite-making tips, craft activities and games. Paddle your way to terrific prizes by entering the paddleboard race around the Destin Bridge. Stay until sunset to see the Kites With Lights show over Noriega Point (weather permitting). For more event information and details, call the Emerald Grande at (850) 424-0600 or visit — Zandra Wolfgram August–September 2013



MKAF comes of age The 18-year-old Destin art organization unveils a new brand image, expanded art programs and a new performing arts space By Zandra Wolfgram \\ Photos by Kansas Pitts Photography Â

28 August–September 2013

They say you can measure the heart of a community by the health of its arts scene. If that’s the case, then the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation has breathed plenty of new life into Emerald Coast. Before this organization was formed 18 years ago in honor of the late Destin matriarch, Mattie Kelly, to bring art and cultural experiences to the area, there was no music series, there was no art festival and there were fewer kids enjoying the joy of art in their elementary schools. Now that this non-profit has “come of age,” it is celebrating with a refreshed brand image, expanded programming and by opening a new performing arts pavilion that has been years in the making.

Music loving families, friends and business colleagues have made a tradition out of gathering each summer for live entertainment and picnic suppers during the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s newly expanded Concerts in the Village series, now staged at the Dugas Pavilion on the Village Green. August–September 2013



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Magazine to benefit the Junior League of the Emerald Coast. The 2013 winners will be on display at Grand Boulevard. The public is invited to an evening of food, fun, fashion and entertainment. Join us at our 13th annual event as we sample from the best restaurants, shopping and businesses on the Emerald Coast.

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30 August–September 2013


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EMERALDCOAST MAGAZINE.COM $30 in advance ($40 day of event)

Photo courtesy Mattie Kelly arts foundation (child painting)


A Lasting Legacy Looking back on 18 years, MKAF has made the grade by providing robust art education programs, lively music and art events that not only entertain and feed the soul of locals starving for art but also to support artists in need of a stage or platform to launch (and sell) their work and wares. The Destin Festival of the Arts was first staged in 1995 on undeveloped land at the Kelly Plantation Outdoor Theatre. In recent years, the event has expanded to include 100 artists showcasing art in nearly every medium at Henderson Beach Park. This year’s event, slated for Oct. 26-27, has been renamed the Festival of the Arts to suggest an even broader reach and will be relocated to the newly formed Cultural Arts Village at 4323 Commons Drive in Destin. As part of the changes the Concerts in the Park music series was renamed Concerts in the Village and expanded to 10 weeks (May through early July). It will continue to feature a range of music and musical performances for locals seated in lawn chairs, on blankets and gathered around picnic tables for “supper clubs.” Fundraising remains integral to filling the coffers of the organization. A new event slated for Nov. 9 will again partner MKAF and the George Rodrigue Foundation, named for the master painter of vivid “blue dog” paintings. The Foundation will arrange for a 100-year-old Steinway piano painted by the master artist to serve as the centerpiece of the gala event. Plans are in the works to invite local musicians and pianist David Seering to play a range of music from jazz to Broadway on the one-of-a-kind piano at an exclusive event. Proceeds will help support a cornerstone component to the Foundation’s mission — All Kinds of Art (AKA), the arts education program.

Children channel their inner Picasso at the Kids Artstop during the Festival of the Arts held each October. Since 1995, more than 250,000 children have been inspired through the MKAF’s educational outreach program, All Kinds of Art, in 55 schools in Okaloosa and Walton counties. “Welcoming Arms,” (above) a 20-foot puzzle-like sculpture by metal artist Frank Ledbetter, greets guests at the entryway to the newly unveiled Cultural Arts Village. It is one of the first public art sculptures to be commissioned in Destin. August–September 2013


culture 2012

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AKA was founded in 1995 and has since supplemented art instruction by bringing visual, performing and even culinary arts to more than 250,000 students in more than 55 schools in Okaloosa and Walton counties. It too is expanding to include a collaborative alliance with a new partner, the Emerald Coast Theatre Company founded by producing artistic director Nathanael Fisher. Making an Impact The biggest impact of AKA is likely made on the smallest of our citizens. Eight-year-old Gabriel Stevens of Destin started attending the AKA art and theater camps when he was in kindergarten. Each year he’s one of the first kids to sign up. His mom, Ruth Anne Stevens, loves the range of art experiences AKA offers. “They’re able to explore multiple disciplines — drama, art, culinary, dance — and find out what their true interests are,” she says. The theater program, in particular, has coaxed Gabriel out of his shell and into the casts of “Robin Hood,” “Jack and the Magic Beans” and this year “Aladdin.” The program has given Gabriel more than stage credits and frameable art for his family’s walls. “I’ve seen his confidence grow each year, and that’s invaluable for a child,” Stevens says. Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Dugas Family Foundation, locals will get the chance to enjoy live theater and more. After breaking ground in 2005, the grant has enabled MKAF to work with DAG architects to design and build a flexible 79,550-square-foot arts pavilion space that can accommodate an audience of nearly 5,000. The first phase (open now) includes the Dugas Pavilion, a 1,600-square-foot permanent stage covered by a canvas canopy that opens onto the Village Green. When the space is not in use by MKAF and partner art organizations, it will be available for events and functions on a rental basis. Welcoming guests to the new Cultural Arts Village is a commanding 20-foot metal sculpture entryway designed by metal artist Frank Ledbetter. The puzzle-like artwork is Ledbetter’s largest sculpture to date and is one of the few pieces of public art in Destin. Named “Welcoming Arms,” it is made of 5,000 pounds of aluminum and stainless steel. It glimmers during the daylight and will be illuminated at night. “It will be a shining beacon to welcome all,” says Marcia Hull, the arts advocate who leads the foundation Tracy Wood of Niceville has always been an arts lover and has always felt welcome at MKAF events. When she and her husband, Alan, moved to Destin from a big Alabama college town teeming with cultural arts offerings, they were happy to discover MKAF. Today, Alan serves on the board, and Tracy, a realtor with Century 21, has chaired two fundraising luncheons for the charity. And thanks to CCB Community Bank, where Alan works, the couple has enjoyed the Village Concert Series from corporate-sponsored “supper club tables” for three years. “We just love it. The atmosphere is amazing and fun, and it’s a good way for us to network with friends and clients,” Stevens says.

Raising Her Voice Even Higher For Marica Hull, who was born and raised on the Emerald Coast and has led MKAF as executive director for the past 15 years, being “the face” of MKAF comes naturally and serving as “the voice” of the arts in Northwest Florida is personal. Beyond MKAF’s mission, Hull has taken up the mantel to place the arts center stage in the minds and hearts of Floridians beyond the town of Destin, where she makes her home with her husband, Dale. Modeling after larger cities with robust cultural arts offerings, Hull is collaborating with city and state officials and civic leaders to make the arts more of a priority and therefore elevate its value to the community. “We need a cultural infrastructure,” she explains. The path this art advocate is blazing has made important inroads. In 2011 she lobbied to have the arts included for the first time on an Okaloosa County Economic Development panel discussion. In March, she also led key community leaders in an arts-focused discussion as part of a strategic planning process hosted by the Florida Chamber Foundation called Six Pillars. The session was designed to help Okaloosa County prioritize its future plans. “This is about creating a quality of place. (The arts) is a proven catalyst for growth, quality of life and economic prosperity,” she says. “I personally just can’t imagine a community without art.”




This is about creating a quality of place. (The arts) is a proven catalyst for growth, quality of life and economic prosperity.” — Marica Hull, MKAF’s executive director

Hull’s voice has not fallen on deaf ears. Destin Mayor Sam Seevers characterized the opening of The Dugas Pavilion as “game changer” for the community. “This will bring so many cultural arts that we don’t have. We need this. This is huge,” Seevers says. At 18, MKAF is just now an “adult” and it appears the arts on the Emerald Coast are growing up. For Hull, the successes to date are to be shared with the organization’s active board and 300-member volunteer base. “It takes a village to make a village,” she says. “And this year, in particular, she has really grown up.” ec


Loca Lo cate ca tedd Ac te Acro ross ro sss fro rom m De D st stin in n Com ommo m ns mo n . Ne Next xt to Pu P bl blix ixx.

2012 August–September 2013


thecalendar august + september

The Sunshine State is marking its 500th anniversary with festive flair. Viva Florida 500 is a statewide initiative designed to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León to the land he named La Florida in 1513. While Florida’s Native American heritage dates back more than 12,000 years, Spain’s claim in 1513 began a new era. 2013 marks 500 years of history and diverse cultural heritage in Florida — a claim no other state in America can make — and Viva Florida 500 promotes the place where the world’s cultures began to unite and transform into the great nation we know today as the United States of America. The Viva Florida 500 commemoration is ongoing throughout 2013 and includes more than 200 events statewide. The goal is to promote 500 years of Florida’s history — its people, places and cultural achievements — and this important milestone in American and Florida history. Here are a few events that are free and open to the public in the area that you can participate in to celebrate. For a full roster of happenings throughout the state in honor of Viva Florida 500 visit

34 August–September 2013

Photo courtesy Glenn Hastings

Viva Florida 500!

Compiled by Laura Bradley and Zandra Wolfgram For more events in the EC, visit

+events Florida history buffs stage a reenactment of the arrival of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés (Feb. 15, 1519–Sept. 17, 1574) to St. Augustine in 1565. One of the first things the Spanish admiral’s exploration party did was to celebrate Mass — hence the friar. La Florida was the first successful Spanish foothold and continued to be the most significant city in the region for nearly three hundred years. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited Europeanestablished settlement in the continental United States.

Fall Wildflowers of the Panacea Sandhills Sept. 28 On Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Sarracenia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will guide a hike to see wildflowers in the Panacea Unit of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

members. Sandestin Tennis Center, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. 4–5 p.m. Email your child’s name, age and desired clinic dates to (850) 267-7060,

Through Sept. 28

Adult Tennis Clinics Enjoy a high-energy workout as you learn the fundamentals of tennis. RSVP by email to $25. Sandestin Tennis Center, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. Mon–Sat., 9–10 a.m. (850) 267-7060,

Through Sept. 29

Mixed Doubles Round Robins Sandestin’s tennis staff welcomes all levels of participation in its round robin tennis tournament events. Tournaments include balls, drinks, prizes and court time. RSVP to tennis@ and indicate ability level. $30 public rate, $25 for resort guests includes balls, drinks, prizes and court time. Sandestin Tennis Center, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. Saturday 10 a.m. for all levels, Sunday 9 a.m. for all levels. (850) 267-7060,

Through Sept. 25

Wednesday Night Concert Series Enjoy the continuation of the Wednesday Night Concert Series through the months of August and September. The Village will be tantalizing your musical taste buds with musicians to entertain all of their guests. FREE. The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. 7–9 p.m. (866) 912-3224,

Through Sept. 26

Junior Tennis Quick Start Program at Sandestin Junior tennis camps that range from USTA QuickStart Tennis beginners to future collegiate athletes. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for children ages 5–8, Mondays and Wednesdays for ages 8–10. $15 for resort guests, $10 for locals/

Fridays throughout the year

Downtown Art Walk Stroll Fort Walton Beach’s historic district and visit with merchants from participating shops and restaurants while enjoying a farmer’s market, art demonstrations, live music, complimentary refreshments and special discounts. FREE. Downtown Fort Walton Beach. 5:30–8:30 p.m. For more information on how you can take part in the festivities, contact Jennifer Bundrick at

Aug. 1, 5, 8

Adventures in Alys Join the Seaside Repertory Theatre for a completely original storytelling experience for children of all ages. Watch a new, one-ofa-kind Adventure in Alys, created by the audiences, (and maybe even join in the stories yourselves). FREE. Seaside Repertory Theatre, 147 La Garza Lane, Alys Beach. 10–10:30 a.m.

Aug. 1–5

Back-to-School & Fall Preview Sale Get ready to head back to school in style with this special event at Silver Sands Premium Outlets. Enjoy extra discounts on top of the center’s savings of 25 to 65 percent off every day. FREE. 10562 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin. Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (850) 654-9771,

Aug. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15

Summer Camp with Abrakadoodle Meet at the Community Center for a morning filled with outside play, snacks, art projects, games and a movie. Open to children ages 4 and up. $30 per child. 60 McGee Drive, Alys Beach. 9 a.m.–noon. (850) 424-5058,

Aug. 1, 8

Kickball on Kelly Green Grab the entire family for a pick-up game of kickball. FREE. South Somerset St., Alys Beach. 3 p.m.

Aug. 1–9

Stories by the Sea Join the Seaside Repertory Theatre as they present a one-of-a-kind storytelling experience for children of all ages. Each day will offer a new story and there might even be opportunities for your participation. FREE. Seaside Amphitheater, Seaside. Mon–Fri 4 p.m. (850) 231-6107,

Aug. 1–31

Ongoing Window Art Display Drive by and stop to see the works of Larry Griffin, artist working in oils, on display during the month of August in the studio windows of the Art Center. FREE. Art Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. (850) 244-1271,

Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Red, White and Blue Celebration The Red, White and Blue Celebration at HarborWalk Village celebrates local heroes who go above and beyond. Enjoy live entertainment, August–September 2013


thecalendar +arts

William Lee Golden Art Exhibition: The Singing Painter’s Visual Diary of His Journeys Saturdays through Aug. 31 Country and gospel musician William Lee Golden, best known as the prominent baritone of The Oak Ridge Boys, will display his landscape artwork at the Pensacola Museum of Art, in addition to a new landscape painting of Pensacola to commemorate the state’s Viva Florida 500 celebration. Concurrently, the Pensacola International Airport will have displays of his photography, often an inspiration for his canvases. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 31.

face painting, free kids’ crafts and a WWII replica flyover. A spectacular fireworks display over the Destin Harbor tops off the evening. FREE. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. 6:30 p.m. (850) 424-0600,

offerings on Saturday mornings. Special cooking demos and activities are sure to liven up your morning, while your purchase of local specialties helps sustain area growers. Held behind Raw & Juicy. FREE. Seaside Amphitheater, Seaside. 8 a.m.–noon.

Aug. 2

Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Awkward Oxen with the Seaside Rep Join the Awkward Oxen performers as they play improv games, and make up scenes and songs on the spot based on audience suggestions. FREE. Fonville Press, 147 La Garza Lane, Alys Beach. 2 p.m.

Aug. 2

‘First Friday’ ArtWalk Enjoy live music and view beautiful works of art and artist demos at the galleries and shops of Ruskin Place and select Central Square merchants. FREE. Ruskin Place and Central Square, Seaside. 5–8 p.m.

Aug. 2, 9

Parents’ Night Out With Abrakadoodle Enjoy dinner out with the grownups while the kids (ages 4 and up) enjoy a night of art, games and a movie at the Community Center. Snacks provided. $30 per child. 60 McGee Drive, Alys Beach. 7–10 p.m. (850) 424-5058,

Aug. 2, 9, 16

Central Square Cinema Grab your blankets and head to the Amphitheater for movies under the stars. Enjoy blockbusters and classics alike during this series. FREE. Seaside Amphitheater, Seaside. 8 p.m.

Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Seaside Farmers Market Get your pick of fresh produce, baked goods, dairy products, native plants and other unique 36 August–September 2013

Rock the Docks Make it a weekend to remember at public concerts on the HarborWalk Village stage every Saturday night. FREE. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. 7–9 p.m. (850) 424-0600,

Aug. 5, 12, 19

Children’s Theatre Performance Join the REP for a magical children’s theatre performance in the Seaside Amphitheater. Each Monday night throughout the summer, enjoy an educational and entertaining experience for kids of all ages. FREE. Seaside. 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 5–9, 12–16

SummerWILD Children’s Summer Camps Summer goes WILD at HarborWalk Village with Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Children in first through sixth grade can spend an exciting week on the Destin Harbor learning about exotic animals and their natural habitats. Children will talk with a real marine biologist, do arts and crafts, and encounter animals like owls, tortoises, gray foxes and raccoons. Learn about dolphins, sharks, seashells, sandcastles and more! $150 for all five days (daily rates and family discounts available). Second level of HarborWalk Village, Unit 242, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. 9 a.m.– 3 p.m. Susan Leveille, ECWR Camp Director. (850) 830-3933,,

Aug. 6, 13

Cinema Under the Stars at Alys Beach

Bring blankets and low-back chairs to enjoy a movie under the stars. Piper’s will offer food and beverages. “Swiss Family Robinson” will play on Aug. 6, and Aug. 13 will feature “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.” FREE. Alys Beach Ampitheatre, North Somerset St., Alys Beach. 8 p.m.

Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27

Pardi Gras Who wants some beads? Join in all summer long as HarborWalk Village transforms into “The Big Easy” every Tuesday night. Enjoy dazzling floats, beads, the Village Brass Band, stilt walkers, jugglers and excitement around every corner during this free parade through HarborWalk Village. Laissez les bons temps rouler! FREE. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. 6–10 p.m. (850) 424-0600,

Aug. 6–Sept. 6

ADSO Instructors’ Show This exhibit showcases the work of ADSO instructors, which covers a wide and exciting spectrum. Reception Aug. 9, 6–8 p.m. FREE. Art Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. Gallery hours Tue–Fri noon–4 p.m., Sat 1–4 p.m. (850) 244-1271,

Aug. 7, 14

Seaside Summer Concert Series Celebrate the summer season with friends and neighbors as Seaside welcomes the sounds of some of the region’s top musical acts. Music will fill Central Square and entertain guests of all ages. FREE. Seaside Ampitheater, Seaside. 7 p.m.

Aug. 7, 14

Alys Beach Summer Concert Series Join in for live music weekly in the Alys Beach Amphitheatre, with food and beverages from Piper’s. Delta Reign will play Aug. 7, followed by

socialstudies South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival April 25–28, 2013. Wine lovers descended upon Grand Boulevard to sample more than 800 wines during the four-day celebration of wine and food to benefit the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation. Appearances and demonstrations by celebrity winemakers and chefs brought the notion of the festival’s “grand tasting” to a whole new level. Photos by Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite and Kay Phelan

Joan Carter, Mary McFerrin-Silva, Jeanne Dailey and Brenden Orr

Peter Mondavie Jr. and Kristin Ogles

Joseph Rogers and Deke Lee

Kosta Vlahos

Aaron Barker with Christi Sheffield August–September 2013


thecalendar +events

W.A.V.E. 2013 A Day on the Bay Aug. 10 On Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., six Greater Pensacola yacht clubs will host a day sail and other activities for wounded veterans at Plaza de Luna Park in Pensacola. The fleet for this year’s W.A.V.E. (Wounded American Veterans Event) will be comprised of private boats from Pensacola Yacht Club, Navy Yacht Club Pensacola, Eglin Yacht Club, Pensacola Beach Yacht Club, Fort Walton Yacht Club and Point Yacht Club. Along with the sail, wounded veterans and an adult guest will be offered a complimentary lunch. If it rains on Aug. 10, the event will be moved to Aug. 11.

Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes on Aug. 14. Alys Beach Ampitheatre, North Somerset St., Alys Beach. 7–9 p.m.

Aug. 24

Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market Fresh locally grown produce, plants, canned goods, local honey, organic products, handmade soaps and lotions, handmade bird houses and more. FREE. 201 S.E. Miracle Strip Pkwy. & Ferry Rd. Downtown Fort Walton Beach. 8 a.m.–noon.

27th Annual Sandestin Triathlon A local tradition, this triathlon attracts 700 participants who endure a half-mile Gulf of Mexico swim, a 20-mile bike along the coast and a 4-mile run through Sandestin’s beach and bayside community. $110. Proceeds benefit Sacred Heart Hospital of the Emerald Coast. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. 6:30 a.m. (877) 276-8860,,

Aug. 10

Aug. 30–31

Aug. 10

Third Annual YOLO Board Mileage Builder Series The final summer race to crown the “2013 YOLO Board Mileage Builder Series” winner. The August race is four miles, and registration starts at 8 a.m., followed by pre-race clinic at 8:30 a.m. and races at 9 a.m. FREE for spectators. $35 the day of the event. YOLO Board Adventures at Baytowne Marina at Sandestin, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. 8:30–11 a.m. (850) 622-5760, info@,

Aug. 14 & Sept. 11

Wealth and Wisdom Series Seminar series presented by Brian Haugen and Steve Cann from Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors of Raymond James. With guest speakers ranging from estate planning attorneys and CPAs, to physicians and local historians, these interactive, social meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at Vue on 30A. FREE. 4801 W. County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach. 8:30–9:30 a.m. (850) 650-0990, 38 August–September 2013

Labor Day Weekend Celebration The Merchants of Seaside host an end-ofsummer celebration with a host of events ranging from music to movies to crafts for the kids. There is no better way to say goodbye to a spectacular summer season and gear up for another busy fall of exciting events. FREE. Seaside Ampitheater, Seaside. All day.

Aug. 30–Sept. 1

Labor Day Weekend Celebration Summer 2013 ends with a huge Labor Day Concert Celebration. Enjoy a full weekend of family activities, free concerts and fireworks over the Destin Harbor. FREE. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. Call for times. (850) 424-0600,

Aug. 30–Sept. 1

Baytowne Wharf Art Walk This three-day festival features artists, music, family fun and more. FREE. The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West, Miramar Beach. 5–10 p.m. (866) 912-3224,

Aug. 30–Sept. 2

Labor Day Sale Shop the annual Labor Day Sale at Silver Sands Premium Outlets and enjoy extra discounts on top of the center’s savings up to 65 percent off everyday prices. FREE. Silver Sands Premium Outlets, 10562 Emerald Coast Parkway, Destin. Mon–Sat 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (850) 654-9771,

­­Sept. 1

Second Annual Alys Beach 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run Located along Highway 30A, the course winds through the beautiful town of Alys Beach and ends with music, food and beverages. Registration is available online through 5K Fun Run is $20 for adults, $10 for kids (ages 12 and under). The 1-Mile Fun Run is $10 for kids (ages 12 and under). Day of registration is $35 for adults. The 5K Race begins at 8 a.m. and the Fun Run begins 9:30 a.m. at the Amphitheatre.

Sept. 1–30

Ongoing Window Display The works of Dale Gauvin, artist in oils and watercolors, specializing in the use of chiaroscuro, will be on display during the month of September, in the studio windows of the Art Center. FREE. Art Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. (850) 244-1271,

Sept. 1–30

Student/Teacher Appreciation Month Teachers and students, stop by the Information Center at Silver Sands Premium Outlets during the month of September and show your teacher/student ID to receive a free VIP Coupon Book, retail value $5. FREE. Silver Sands Premium Outlets, 10562 Emerald Coast


The Okaloosa-Walton Heart Ball May 4, 2013. And they’re off! This year’s Heart Ball was off to the races with a Kentucky Derby-themed evening of dinner, dancing and entertainment by The Mulligans. More than 130 guests opened their hearts and wallets, raising more than $50,000 to fight heart disease and stroke. Photos by Jacqueline Ward Images

Jennifer Laskaskie and Jenny Modelski

Cloyce and Sharilyn Darnell

Wes and Kim Battiste

Martha and Dr. James Moody

Sneak Preview of Boulevard 10 March 28, 2013. To the delight of movie buffs all along the Emerald Coast, Grand Boulevard unveiled its state-of-the-art silver screen cinema complex with much fanfare. Guest sampled fare from the Ovation Club dinner menu, snacked on gourmet popcorn and other concession confections and enjoyed a movie preview in the Big D Auditorium. What an Oscar-worthy opening party! Photos by Zandra Wolfgram

Stacey Brady, Alena Peterson and Marica Hull

Chuck and Shirley Simpson

Michelle McBride and Lori Saczynski August–September 2013


thecalendar Parkway, Destin. Mon–Sat 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (850) 654-9771,

Sept. 6

‘First Friday’ ArtWalk Enjoy live music and view beautiful works of art and artist demos at the galleries and shops of Ruskin Place and select Central Square merchants. FREE. Seaside. 5–8 p.m.

Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27

Central Square Cinema Join us as the summer movie series continues through September with a variety of films geared towards the whole family on the 35-foot screen. FREE. Seaside Ampitheater, Seaside. 7 p.m.

Sept. 7–8

17th Annual Emerald Coast Home Show Enjoy a home show, health fair and business expo all in one location. Take advantage of free health, dental, eye, hearing, chiropractic evaluations and advice and products about weight loss and nutrition, and meet local vendors at their booths. FREE. Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1250 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach. Sat 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28

Seaside Farmers Market Get your pick of fresh produce, baked goods, dairy products, native plants and other unique offerings on Saturday mornings. Held behind Raw & Juicy. FREE. Seaside Amphitheater, Seaside. 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Sept. 10–Oct. 11

14th Annual Photography and Digital Arts Show Come by for a showcase of outstanding photography and digital arts by ADSO members and other area photographers. Opening reception Sept. 13, 6–8 p.m. FREE. Art Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. Gallery hours Tue–Fri noon–4 p.m., Sat 1–4 p.m. (850) 244-1271,

Sept. 14

Fort Walton Beach Farmers Market Fresh locally grown produce, plants, canned goods, local honey, organic products, handmade soaps and lotions, handmade bird houses and more. FREE. 201 S.E. Miracle Strip Pkwy. and Ferry Rd. Downtown Fort Walton Beach. 8 a.m.­–noon.

Sept. 25

ADSO Luncheon Make your reservations to hear Rick Otoupalik, graphic artist and sculptor, speak on his career in graphic art. Reservations are $12, $15 after Sept. 23. Art Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. 11:30 a.m. (850) 244-1271,

Sept. 27

9th Annual Hurricane Party Bud & Alleys, in the heart of Seaside, is the backdrop for this charity event that promises an enjoyable evening of great food and fun entertainment. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are served at 6 p.m. followed by a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting Children’s Volunteer Health Network. $65 in advance, $70 at the door. Bud & Alley’s Restaurant, 2236 E. County Road 30A, Seaside. 6 p.m. (850) 622-3200,

Sept. 28

Okaloosa Walton Heart Walk The Heart Walk is a 5K non-competitive walk that blends the benefits of physical activity, community involvement and personal giving to fight the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers: cardiovascular diseases and stroke. FREE. Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd., Niceville. 8 a.m. (800) 257-6941 ext. 6082, ec 40 August–September 2013

socialstudies The Little Black Dress Party May 18, 2013. Pin-striped gangsters and dolled-up dames channeling their best Gatsby-style garb brought the Roaring ’20s theme to full tilt fun at this year’s Little Black Dress Party. Proceeds from a cash bar and live and silent auctions will benefit Shelter House, Opportunity Place, the local chapters of the American Heart Association and the White-Wilson Community Foundation. Photos by Kay Phelan and Grieg Buckley

Andi Mahoney, Dr. Ken Basking and Lauren Haggett

Christy Milliken and Justin Gaffrey

Rhonda Comparin, Susan Authement and Lisa Leath Turpin

Kay Phelan and Aimee Shaffer August–September 2013



Slavery Community Groups Take On Human Trafficking Along the Emerald Coast By Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite

The 12-year old girl came from a troubled home where

she suffered abuse at the hands of a sexual predator. Without counseling and help, she became an easy target and victim. “An older boy in middle school befriended her. He introduced her to his elder brother, who was a pimp. He ran several girls,” said Brad Dennis, Pensacola’s Eden Fellowship Church pastor and National Search Director for Klaas Kids Foundation, an organization founded by Polly Klaas’ father following her abduction and killing in 1993. “The first time we were able to get her away from him [the pimp], she was hospitalized for multiple internal traumas,” said Dennis who learned details of more inhumane trauma the girl suffered while held in captivity. “Sick and twisted little things … ” said Dennis. “He played Russian roulette. He broke a bottle and held the edge on her neck until it bled.”

42 August–September 2013

August–September 2013 43

t ought to concern every person, every community, every business and every nation. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.” — President Obama during the Clinton Global Initiative meeting last September in New York

This was the first time Dennis, who retired from the U.S. Navy in 2003, had come across sexual trafficking, a growing problem nationwide and along Florida’s Emerald Coast. “Sexual trafficking is in every state. It happens everywhere. Since we started this in 2005, I’ve traveled around the country and was able to rescue a lot of kids. It seems to be in every small town, every big town.” Dennis is one of the leaders in Florida’s fight to stop human trafficking. He founded a faith-based not-for-profit, Called2Rescue, which launched on March 22 this year at Liberty Church, Blue Angel Campus in Pensacola. Presenters included Anna I. Rodriguez, founder of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Dennis and a survivor. Taking the lessons he’s learned on the street to other growing volunteer networks eager to combat human trafficking he helped Santiago Rodriguez, an outreach pastor for Destiny Worship Center in Destin, engage volunteers. The result: Emerald Coast Humanity Outreach (ECHO) a non-profit formed in 2012 to serve Okaloosa and Walton counties. ECHO and Called2Rescue have partnered with local law enforcement and state agencies to eradicate slavery, focusing on the region between Pensacola and Panama City. Called2Rescue’s 30 members and ECHO’s 190 members strive to promote awareness, provide training on the issue and give people the tools to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to report what they witness or suspect to local law enforcement. “We’ve flooded every hotel in the area on how to look for signs of human trafficking,” said Peggy Morgan, president of ECHO. “The reaction from managers and the Rotary Club is shock. They say, ‘That stuff doesn’t happen here. Slavery? Are you kidding me?’ ” Florida was ranked third behind Texas and California in 2011 for the number of calls received by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline, a confidential tip line that receives reports from every state. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates as of June 1, 2012, that “55 percent of forced labor victims are women and girls as are 98 percent of sex trafficking victims.” According to NHTRC, 27 million people are enslaved and 2.5 million are in the United States. “It ought to concern every person, every community, every business and every nation,” said President Obama during the Clinton Global 44 August–September 2013

Initiative meeting last September in New York. “I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name — modern slavery.” Challenges exist. Cases are hard to track and tally and are very difficult to prosecute. In fact, its existence is often denied. “What you can prove in court is a far cry from what’s happening on the street,” said George Collins, a member of a domestic security task force for the Okaloosa County Sherriff’s Office. His territory encompasses coastal cities like Destin as well as inland towns near Interstate 10. “Wherever there is a transient population of geographic bachelors, you have a market for sex trafficking. And wherever you have a high demand for unskilled labor you also have an environment where labor trafficking can flourish. It’s not always obvious,” he said. Collins investigated a case in 2008 where the evidence pointed to sexual trafficking. Collins said crews of girls who looked to be 14 or 15 years old were being brought in from Atlanta to Fort Walton Beach to work at bars as “taxi dancers” — paid to go to a hotel or a car with patrons. During a walk-through of the bar, frequented by immigrants, everyone said they were 21. “There’s no regulation to have ID if not served booze,” said Collins. “It’s not like the world on television — they can easily smell an undercover a mile away. It’s a very slick operation, very difficult to penetrate.” Collins did bust the front man, an American bar owner, for income tax evasion but could not prove trafficking of immigrants from South America, Eastern Europe and Russia. “It took me four years to prosecute,” said Collins. “In that time, there were over 1,000 victims, and I still didn’t get a prosecution for trafficking.” The lesson Collins learned? Prosecute what will hold up in court to stop the suffering. The national tracking center reports types of abuse are usually under the radar and include commercial compelled labor and sex acts through the use of force, wage theft, excessive working hours, workplace discrimination and harassment, child labor violations, unsafe or unsanitary working or living conditions and visa fraud. Common control methods include restriction of movement, harmful living and/or working conditions, which can traumatize the victim into a spiral of anxiety, helplessness and fear.

The Law is Listening “Human trafficking robs people of their dignity and deprives them of their most basic human rights,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said. In recent years, political voices like Bondi have upped the ante in their battle against human trafficking, grabbing the public’s attention with thought-provoking turns of phrase and firsthand accounts of the atrocities occurring right in our own backyard. The message has been received, especially in the Florida Legislature. In July 2012, state lawmakers combined three existing human trafficking statutes into a single law, making it more user-friendly for law enforcement. The new legislation increased the penalty for the crime of human smuggling from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony (which carries state prison time) and allows a court to designate those convicted of human sex trafficking as sex offenders and sexual predators. This year, other political forces, including Gov. Rick Scott, joined the fight. On May 30, Scott signed into law crucial legislation designed to address the aftermath of human trafficking. Two new statutes were created to give the victims of trafficking a chance at a brighter future, by expunging any charges of crimes committed while the victim was being forced, threatened or coerced into illegal activities. This newest legislation is, in many ways, an extension of Florida’s Safe Harbor Act, which took effect at the first of the year. The Act addresses the issue of child sex slavery by increasing fines for soliciting prostitutes, and using those fines to help fund the creation of secure “safe houses” with special living quarters for sexually exploited kids. — Chay D. Baxley

August–September 2013 45

ithin 72-hours two-thirds of those [on the street] are approached, recruited or abducted into sex exploitation. Every child running to attention and love or running from abuse or whatever has needs. If I’m looking for a victim, I just find out what they need and show I can meet those needs. It happens that simply.” — Brad Dennis, founder of Called2Rescue Both Called2Rescue and ECHO’s grassroots efforts to boost awareness and curb trafficking are mindful of not crossing law enforcement authorities. “We would not be wise to take a vigilante role,” said Santiago Rodriguez. “If you want to kick in doors, join the police force.” Rodriguez instead suggests utilizing hotlines and resources trained to investigate crimes. Of the 75 child trafficking cases Dennis has been directly involved with since 2005, 34 children have been rescued, alive. Human trafficking, he explained, is different in degrees, based on the size of the city. “A small town has a smaller market,” he said. “You get a lot of home grown trafficking where parents, family members turn children out for sex. And I’m just talking about U.S. citizens.” In the United States, Dennis said, the kids who often get caught up in sex trafficking are part of the more than 2,000 children who are reported missing every day, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited

Emerald Coast Humanity Outreach Takes Ownership of our Kids ECHO was founded through the power of prayer. Santiago Rodriguez, an outreach pastor for Destiny Worship Center in Destin was struck by a young woman’s story about the existence of human trafficking in the small, coastal town during a meeting at the center two years ago. “To God, every human being is the same worth. I had to further that thought,” said Rodriguez, who has a young daughter. He was concerned local young women could be at risk. Starting with a prayer group, he called 46 August–September 2013

Children (NCMEC). It categorizes the children into case types: runaway, family abduction or non-family abduction, lost, injured or missing. “Within 72-hours two-thirds of those [on the street] are approached, recruited or abducted into sex exploitation,” said Dennis. “Every child running to attention and love or running from abuse or whatever has needs. If I’m looking for a victim, I just find out what they need and show I can meet those needs. It happens that simply.” The world consists of three types of people, he said. The wolf, the shepherd and the sheep, the latter being the “people in our society do not believe anything bad can happen to them.” Local churches, he added, need to wake up. Trafficking is happening in their communities, taking victims from their flock. This is not just an issue for foreign countries — this is a call for action in America. Dennis invites more people to make a difference in this fight. He called out to veterans who he affectionately referred to as sheepdogs. “They have been the tip of

upon volunteers from area churches to meet in January 2011 at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin. Rodriguez also met with law enforcement authorities in Okaloosa County. The result was Emerald Coast Humanity Outreach (ECHO), a notfor-profit group of concerned citizens working with law enforcement to boost awareness and reporting of suspicious human trafficking situations. Since 2012, members have trained teachers, social workers, healthcare providers and businesses to recognize the signs and report what they suspect or see to law enforcement. “This is not like a church thing or one group. It’s about communities knowing and taking ownership of their kids,” said Peggy Morgan, president of ECHO. Outreach plans include partnering with other like-minded groups like Called2Rescue based in Pensacola and

the spear and have a lot of tools. They are willing to go into harm’s way ... shepherds are given a flock of people to oversee and protect. If we can do that, then we can protect a lot more of our children,” he said.

How You Can Help To get involved contact: Emerald Coast Humanity Outreach To report human trafficking: Contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline to confidentially report or submit a tip by calling (888) 373-7888. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) (800) THE-LOST (800) 843-5678

presentations to schools. ECHO recently visited South Walton and Freeport High schools in Walton County. “It’s not a great topic, but ECHO opened their eyes that this is happening in our world. It can happen here in Freeport just as well as a large city,” said Kim Caudill, guidance aide for Freeport High School, who attended the student body presentation. “They encouraged students to seek help from within the school or a friend if they are concerned.” During Spring Break 2013, ECHO’s awareness campaign included visits to every hotel along Interstate 10 in Okaloosa County and towns including Crestview, DeFuniak Springs, Destin and Niceville. “Let’s teach people how to see and teach people how to hear,” said Morgan. “We need to let them [human traffickers] know that we know they are here.” — Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite


Going to the Mat for


More than $46,000 raised from community helps make a difference in lives of many in India, South Africa and Costa Rica

Photo by Scott Holstein

By Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite Tammy Binkley wanted to run, to escape the rows of attractively dressed young women lining Kolkata’s red light district sidewalks waiting for work. In a busy and bustling part of town, the narrow, foul smelling road was lined with soot-covered buildings. Binkley, accompanied by a dozen yoga practitioners, hurried after their guide. Passing through a center square, they merged deep inside a gloomy alley to visit a drop-in center Tammy Binkley for children of sex workers. ventured to Instructed to leave before India to use the teachings evening, little time remained of the ancient before dusk turned to darkness art of yoga — known for that Friday night. physical, mental Binkley, 39, is a yoga and spiritual instructor for Balance Health disciplines — to form a Studio on 30A. Over the past connection with year, she has raised $20,000 to the abused girls. meet Off the Mat and Into the World’s (OTM) Global Seva Challenge India. The effort was directed toward the country’s victims of sex trafficking — people who are forced into the commercial sex trade against their will. OTM, a California based not-for-profit which bridges yoga and sustainable activism to ignite grassroots social change, flew Binkley and 39 other yogis — who also met the individual financial goal — to India for two weeks in March 2013. They spent full days in trafficking shelters and community centers with women and children, providing them training in new skills, teaching them yoga and visiting the sustainable structures and organizations that have benefitted from the group’s combined $1 million dollar donation. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for change following her July 2012 visit to a trafficking shelter in Kolkata similar to the one Binkley witnessed. “This is a moment for people to ask themselves not just what the government can do

to end modern slavery, but what can I do, what can we do together,” Clinton said, reported “Everything became real very quickly,” said Binkley of her India mission to make an impact on slavery. “I had watched movies about it … heard the tales of horror on TV … but walking down the dark, dank alley and seeing rows of women dressed in beautiful saris and brothel women standing large and in charge, there was a sense for me of, ‘What do I do? Do I look at these people in the eye and smile and wave? Or do I look at them with pity and don’t look them in the eye?’ ” Binkley chose to smile and wave. Many girls waved back. Binkley enjoyed working with the girls every day, teaching yoga, swapping hair-styling tips, helping them make jewelry and learn to sew — skills they could eventually use to support themselves in a new lifestyle, one of dignity and respect. While among the survivors, returning to interact with them for full days over the two weeks, Binkley felt welcomed by these women who had survived difficult, abusive experiences. Binkley shared a lot of hugs, exchanged smiles and painted a lot of fingernails. “The places we went rarely saw white people,” she said. “We were the white people rock stars.” Binkley took action and found charitable support from the community to help combat slavery through her passion for yoga. “It never occurred to me to use my

August–September 2013 47

For Binkley, India is a land of great beauty, heartache and inspiration.

48 August–September 2013

Photos Courtesy Tammy Binkley

talents and what I have learned from yoga to impact the world,” she said of her choice to join OTM in 2009. She signed up for two OTM Seva Challenges. The first, in 2011, was a mission to raise $20,000 to support orphaned children with HIV in South Africa. “I did workshops, yoga retreats, yard sales, boat cruises, poker games,” she said. “Being in a small town, I knew that’s the way [fundraising] would go. I figured if I could do 20 events at $1,000 dollars each … it’s doable.” Tommy, her husband, tirelessly supported her goals and fundraising challenges, pulling in more than $46,000 for events during the last three years. Helping out wherever needed, he solicited suppliers he worked for to donate mountain bikes, grills and coolers for the poker tournament prizes. “She’s the idea, and I’m most of the time the muscle,” he said. Raising money for India was Binkley’s second OTM challenge. “What I found out as I was doing the fundraising was people wanted to support me because they believed in what I was doing. They believed in the yoga. They believed in someone wanting to make a change, do good and inspire others.” Partnering with Emerald Coast yogis Amy Likins, owner of All One Yoga in Fort Walton Beach, and Stephanie and Matt Penhollow of Destin Hot Yoga, the team independently raised $6,600 to build a playground in Costa Rica, traveling there in 2012. “We got to see the playground, play with the kids in school and have a little party,” said Binkley. The remaining funds they raised provided two needy families with an abundance of groceries. Amy Likins has known Binkley for 11 years and traveled to Costa Rica with her. “It has all been very selfless,” Likins said. “She hasn’t been funded by a big not-for-profit organization where she’s getting a paycheck ... She’s done it because she believes that the world can be a better place.” Binkley first stepped on her mat in search of happiness and health after a 1998 diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome — a condition that does not improve with rest. A year later, she was teaching yoga, inspired by the balance, contentment and awareness the poses brought to her life. Yoga has helped shape her 20-year marriage. “For us, it’s not just about being on the mat, breathing and the poses and walking away with those few moments of clarity and peace. It has changed our lives. It helps us to see things not just for what they are, but helps us realize we can change things,” said Tommy. Yoga has given Binkley a sense of selfawareness and deepened her desire to help others. “What I tell people is that yoga believes we are all connected. When we start to separate and divide countries, religions,

Binkley has worked with other local yoga instructors to help raise funds for projects in Costa Rica, like this eco-friendly playground built in 2012. (Below) Binkley spent two days at the Baphumelele Children's Home in Khayelitsha, South Africa. This young boy gravitated towards her the day she was leaving. "He crawled up me and hugged me for a few minutes," she said.

For us, it’s not just about being on the mat, breathing and the poses and walking away with those few moments of clarity and peace. It has changed our lives. It helps us to see things not just for what they are, but helps us realize we can change things." — Tommy Binkley, husband politics that’s where the suffering happens,” said Binkley. “So with my yoga background, believing everything is one, to me, it’s all going to create a positive change.” Yoga originated in India. Binkley used the teachings of the ancient art — known for physical, mental and spiritual disciplines — to form a connection with the abused girls and herself. The morning following the visit to the red light district, Binkley dedicated the daily yoga practice to the girls she encountered. She led the group with prayers and song, tears flowed, energy emanated as she sang, “OM mani pad me hum. May all beings be free from suffering. May the women and children be free … now.” For Binkley, India is a land of great beauty, heartache and inspiration. A plump, darkeyed and black-haired 15-year-old named Sumaiya, who wore glasses and a shiny blue plastic headband, embodied this realization with kindness for Binkley over days spent together in the shelter. Unlike the other girls, she was unnecessarily concerned about Binkley’s safety in the workshop, insisting Binkley wear safety goggles.

When it was time for Binkley to return to Florida, Sumaiya started giving more — chocolates, a “Switzerland” tiepin, a letter and drawing. “She didn’t have much, but she was going to give to me what she could and what she had,” said Binkley. “That day she was my teacher, and I learned about generosity.” Binkley said Sumaiya and the other girls are no different from American girls. They want a family, love and happiness. Yet, Binkley learned something more. “The girls taught me that no matter what has happened to you in the past — and no matter how uncertain the future — to keep smiling, never lose hope and never give up,” said Binkley. Binkley will pay forward what she has learned by mentoring fellow yogi Angela Ragsdale with her OTM challenge — helping to protect the Ecuadorian Amazon from deforestation and devastation. She will also start a seven-week local collaboration called “Yoga in Action,” part of OTM’s grassroots movement. “I want people to realize that one person can make a difference,” she said. “You should find your passion and your purpose and follow it whatever it might be.” ec

August–September 2013 49

Digging Deep with Dr. Judy Bense

Unearthing the untouched secrets, history of Northwest Florida archaeology

As Florida’s 500th anniversary is celebrated throughout the state, marking the year that Juan Ponce de León arrived on La Florida’s coast in 1513, there has been a renewed interest in Florida’s rich and vibrant history. And one of the individuals most familiar with Florida’s origins, interestingly, is also at the forefront of its progressive growth. Dr. Judy Bense, president of Pensacola’s University of West Florida (UWF), is able to seamlessly jump from discussing 2,000-year-old villages and Spanish colonial settlements to conversing about Pensacola’s emerging cybersecurity sector and Northwest Florida’s aim to become a tech industry leader. An anthropologist by training, she is known for her contributions to the field of archaeology, a branch of anthropology, having founded the Anthropology/Archaeology program at UWF, establishing the university’s Archaeology Institute and founding the Florida Public Archaeology Network. Many Northwest Floridians know her voice from her bite-sized recurring radio spots on UWF’s public radio station called “Unearthing Florida,” a partnership between WUWF Public Media and the Florida Public Archaeology Network, in which she tells the extraordinary tales of the people and cultures from Florida history through the artifacts that are hidden just under so many of the surfaces we see today. Boasting the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, Florida is home to many ancient artifacts that are submerged in bodies of water, including numerous items from various shipwrecks and prehistoric canoes that are more than 3,000 years old. These, along with countless other finds, provide fodder for the regular doses of dig drama she doles out over the airwaves.

50 August–September 2013

Tallahassee artist John Locastro's drawing depicts the shipwreck excavation of the first Emanuel Point shipwreck. Above the excavation, he has ghosted an image of what is believed to have been a large Spanish galleon that sailed into Pensacola Bay in 1559.

Drawing courtesy of University of West Florida, John Locastro

By Mary Leslie

Digging Deep with Dr. Judy Bense

August–September 2013 51

I have always had a natural interest and curiosity about how things have come to be the way they are. I was interested in history; I was interested in geology; I was interested in natural science.” — Dr. Judy Bense, president of Pensacola’s University of West Florida

52 August–September 2013

Digging Deep with Dr. Judy Bense

An Archaeological Instinct

Some might say that it is more than appropriate that the head of an educational institution like UWF has an insatiable inquisitiveness, a trait that she’s had as long as she can remember. “I have always had a natural interest and curiosity about how things have come to be the way they are,” she said. “I was interested in history; I was interested in geology; I was interested in natural science.” The Panama City native recalls reading “National Geographic” magazine and even going on vacation to state historical parks with her family when she was in elementary school, fostering her interest in the differences between the way generations of people lived. “I found it so fascinating that all these things happened where I was [standing], and they were so long ago,” she said. Although her ultimate goal was to “go to Egypt and dig up mummies,” Bense said she realized it would take an Ivy League education and cost thousands of dollars to become a low-paid Egyptologist, so she relinquished the pursuit. “I haven’t been to Egypt yet,” she said, “but yes, it’s on my bucket list.”

photos courtesy University of West Florida, John Blackie

Plotting Pensacola

In the 1960s there weren’t many archaeology programs that accepted women, but Bense found one at Florida State University in Tallahassee. After attending FSU, she learned that the archaeology in Pensacola was both untouched and well preserved — a rarity, considering there aren’t many places in the United States that are relatively undisturbed, especially in a state with nearly 20 million people — and a dream come true for an archaeologist. “There is more preserved here,” she said, pointing out that such places as Miami, Tampa and Orlando have lost a lot of archaeological artifacts to bulldozers and development. “So instead of being at another university and traveling here in the summer to do research, I decided to come here, start a program and do research in my own backyard.” Dubbed “The City of Five Flags,” Pensacola has the distinction of having five countries — Spain, France, Great Britain, the Confederate States of America and the United States — lay claim to its land, making for a treasure trove of archaeological finds.

The main reason for Pensacola’s popularity throughout the centuries is its naturally open, deep-water pass that could accommodate big ships from the colonial period, the present day Perdido Key and Santa Rosa Island area.

‘We Are Like Detectives’

After more than three decades spent in her field of study, Bense has seen many changes and advancements but none more dramatic than the way technology has affected archaeology, specifically the computerization of data. Everything, she said, is counted and classified. “The way we are like detectives, the way we draw conclusions, is by seeing patterns in the data,” said Bense. “You can make deductions as to who was living where.” By being able to load data into a computer program, use mapping software to determine topography and digitally catalog artifacts, Bense said a geography project that used to take six weeks might now take three days with no more than a backpack and an antenna. There is also the added benefit of sharing data within professional circles and being able to view artifacts remotely instead of having to travel to see them in person as was previously required. Archaeologists can even examine artifacts “virtually” by lifting them, turning them and even cutting them in half.  It’s a far cry from what many people may still imagine archaeologists to be — more Indiana Jones than scientific researcher. Bense

Pensacola Colonial Frontiers field school at the archaeological site of Mission San Joseph de Escambe (circa 1741-1761) in Molino, Fla., though additional survey fieldwork may be scheduled in search of another contemporaneous mission site. The fifth year of fieldwork at Escambe will center on block excavations at the stockade, the probable church/friary compound and the possible 1760 cavalry barracks. During the summer, field school students will be exposed to a broad range of archaeological field techniques, ranging from excavation and surveying to scale drawing and record keeping.

August–September 2013 53

Clues to Pensacola’s history dating back more than three centuries lie hidden beneath many layers of dirt and vegetation in the downtown area. University of West Florida archaeology students are currently investigating a section of downtown called the Governor’s Garden and its use by Spanish and British colonial governors in the 1700s. By using maps from the 18th century, the students can determine the location of wells, walkways and planted gardens. They hope their excavations will provide a more clear understanding of the cultural evolution that began when the Old World met the New World. The work in the Governor’s Garden is part of Viva Florida 500, a Florida Department of State project celebrating the 500th anniversary of Ponce de León’s arrival on Florida’s east coast. Viva Florida 500 commemorates Florida's rich heritage and diverse cultural history through 2013. 54 August–September 2013

Digging Deep with Dr. Judy Bense

said people often think archaeologists are searching for, and often find, gold or think that professional archaeologists don’t make much money; neither is true. However, archaeology has taken Bense all over the world, from Russia to Spain. The archaeology profession is still today very male dominated, as is the role of university president. In fact, said Bense, the issue of the stagnant percentage of female university presidents — roughly 23 percent, which has remained largely unchanged in 10 years — is one that has come up at presidential conferences she’s attended. In June of this year, she celebrated five years as the school’s president, although she has been a part of the UWF family for more than three decades, having served as the director of the Archaeology Institute for two of them. And while UWF’s biggest cheerleader may very well be sitting at its helm, she isn’t just cheering from the sidelines when it comes to drumming up interest in Florida’s past. Much of the state’s 500th anniversary bash is being celebrated regionally, but people like Bense want to make sure the those who live in

photos courtesy University of West Florida, John Blackie

The Emerald Coast’s Remarkable Finds The Wine Cooler — Dr. Judy Bense and her team from the University of West Florida discovered a circular hole that had been excavated deep into the water table in downtown Pensacola, which contained a frame of small logs that held a nearly intact wine bottle. Nothing of its kind had ever been found before, and archaeologists believe that the hole was not a water well but rather a sort of cooler, similar to a root cellar. Based on her research, she believes that this storage compartment belonged to, and may have been constructed by, Spaniard

When no one else has seen [an artifact] for hundreds or thousands of years, no one seeing it or knowing it was there, it is a magical feeling. It is really what drives archaeologists — the discovery element.” — Dr. Judy Bense, president of Pensacola’s University of West Florida other states are also aware of Florida’s Quincentennial through such events as the annual Celebrity Chefs showcase held in New York City. Margo Stringfield with the Archaeological Institute attended the James Beard House food fest earlier this year, an always sold-out event, to ensure Florida’s history was accurately represented with archaeological artifacts and that the food was Spanish inspired. Also in attendance were representatives from the Greater

Luis de Ullate in the 1750s and is very likely the oldest “wine cooler” in all of Spanish Florida.

The Rosario — Also in 1992, University of West Florida archaeologists discovered a 300-year-old Spanish fragata in Pensacola Bay. On Sept. 3, 1705, the ship was to leave Pensacola for Veracruz but was run aground by a hurricane and broke to pieces. Archaeologists believe the ship is The Rosario, an 18th-century ship designed to escort Spanish cargo vessels,

Pensacola Chamber and Visit Pensacola, the Chamber’s tourism arm, to drum up interest in both visiting and starting businesses on the Emerald Coast.

‘The thrill of Discovery’

While it is apparent that Bense loves her role and the opportunities it provides, her eyes still light up when she talks about archaeological projects and how she is continually surprised by what is uncovered and what it feels like to be the one who makes the find. “When no one else has seen [an artifact] for hundreds or thousands of years, no one seeing it or knowing it was there, it is a magical feeling,” said Bense. “It is really what drives archaeologists — the discovery element.” She was careful to emphasize that discovery, while often associated with unearthing exotic artifacts in foreign lands, is not unique to archaeology. She said there are discoveries — both physical and abstract — in chemistry, biology and physics as well. “It’s the thrill of discovery,” she said, “and what we really do in the academic world is discover.” ec

because of where it was found, its massive size and the materials it was carrying. Camp Walton — In 1861, a Confederate militia called the Walton Guards established Camp Walton in modern-day Fort Walton Beach along Santa Rosa Sound. Guards mounted a cannon along the shore of the narrow waterway to attack gunboats, but it was later dismantled and buried so that Union soldiers wouldn’t be able to use it against them. The cannon was discovered in 1932 and remains the largest artifact ever found from this militia. It can be seen today along U.S. Highway 98 at the original campsite.

originally sailed to the Emerald Coast to establish the first Spanish settlement north of Mexico, but in 1559 seven of de Luna’s 13 ships sank during a hurricane along with all of their contents. An underwater archaeologist found one of the ships in 1992, including its 10-foottall anchor and a silhouette carving of the ship. A second ship was discovered a mere 400 yards away more than a decade later, making Pensacola home to the second-oldest shipwrecks ever found in U.S. waters.

The Luna Shipwreck — Tristan de Luna, a governor and conquistador, had

August–September 2013 55 | 850.664.2954 323 Page Bacon Rd., Mary Esther, FL 32569


56 August–September 2013


special advertising section



It’s all about trust. Choices are made every day to consult professionals on matters as varied as event catering and legal representation. In this special advertising section of EC Magazine, you’ll meet some of the area’s top professionals in their fields who are dedicated to earning your business by providing solutions and services you can trust.

August–September 2013 57

special advertising section

Daniel W. Uhlfelder, P.A. Areas of specialty: Real Estate, Divorce, Litigation, Foreclosures, Condo/Association, Business Law and Estate Planning/Asset Protection Why did you enter this profession? I have always wanted to be an attorney, because it allows me to channel my curiosity, competitive passion for solving problems and fighting for fairness. Why do you choose to base your practice on the Emerald Coast? I was raised in North Florida. After attending Stanford University, Georgetown University Law Center, University of Florida College of Law and working and practicing in Washington D.C., California and Miami, I decided 12 years ago to return to my roots. In this growing and exciting region I have been able to run a thriving practice by using my unique set of skills, background and education to provide high-quality, personalized legal counsel and services. My clients are not “just a case” at my office because I am truly invested in their legal success.

“The practice of law requires attention to detail, determination, patience and good listening skills. My firm’s goal is to provide our clients with all the legal services they need to address their problems, whatever they may entail. I enjoy the challenges involved in taking on complex cases, which other attorneys may shy away from. The bigger the challenge, or the bigger the opponent, the better has often been my philosophy.”

58 August–September 2013

What is your approach to business? We strive to fully understand our client’s objectives and aggressively, creatively and honestly aim to achieve those targets. Our strategy is to work within the bounds of the system to make sure all viable options are pursued whether they involve negotiation, mediation or litigation in federal or state trial or appellate court. Because of my experience working all over the country, I am very good at looking at a case from a variety of angles and coming up with successful solutions that another attorney might not attempt.

Daniel W. Uhlfelder, P.A.

124 E. County Highway 30A Santa Rosa Beach

850.534.0246 I

special advertising section

Massage Envy Spa

Massage Envy Spa Staff

Photo by Scott Holstein (Massage Envy)

At Massage Envy, we provide a pathway to wellness, well-being and worth through professional, convenient and affordable massage therapy and spa services. Research has shown massage decreases pain, increases immune function and relieves stress. Our professional massage therapists customize massages to guests’ needs, using a variety of techniques. Our Massages » Relaxation massage releases muscle tension and provides deep pain relief for those looking to naturally manage stressrelated conditions and chronic pain. » Deep muscle massage releases muscle tension, provides deep pain relief, loosens scar tissue, lengthens muscles and is good for chronic and overuse injuries.

» Sports massage is particularly beneficial

for athletes in training, and for anyone who routinely stretches physical limits through movement. » Prenatal massage relieves normal pregnancy discomforts including backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches, joint pain and edema. » Cranial sacral therapy gently releases muscle/joint tension and tissue restriction — promoting balance while decreasing stress and relieving headaches, TMJD and back/neck pain. » Geriatric massage increases blood circulation, combats depression, improves balance and flexibility, reduces the pain of arthritis, increases joint mobility, improves posture and encourages overall well-being.

The Extras Our guests also enjoy a wide variety of enhancements to their massages, including aromatherapy, sugar foot scrub therapy and deep muscle therapy. We also offer four revitalizing Healthy Skin facials with groundbreaking Murad® products specially formulated for Massage Envy Spa. Enjoy lasting wellness at a low rate with a Massage Envy Spa Membership; the healthy benefits of massage and facials are compounded with regular sessions.

Massage Envy Spa 34904 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Suite 132 Destin 850.650.8500 I

August–September 2013 59

special advertising section

Bistro Bijoux and RSVP Events

Leslie and Bob Bulgarella, Owners

60 August–September 2013

do simple to extravagant events and weddings. We also work closely with local event planning companies who need our services and are a preferred vendor at several event venues along the Emerald Coast. Why is your business on the Emerald Coast? We had been visiting the area for years and wanted to settle down here with our three children. Upon learning that Bistro Bijoux, our favorite area restaurant, was for sale we knew we had found our place on the Emerald Coast. You have garnered many awards. Tell us about them. Some awards we take pride in receiving

are Trip Advisor (five stars for 2013), EC Magazine’s Best of the Emerald Coast (multiple-year), Restaurant of the Year by Northwest Florida Daily News, Yelp award winner and Wine Spectator (multiple award winner). RSVP Events 2 Industrial Park Lane Suite C-8, Destin 850.837.6595 I Bistro Bijoux The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West Miramar Beach 850.622.0760 I

Photo by GwyneMark Photography (Bistro Bijoux)

Tell us about your businesses. We offer unique catering options from an award-winning chef and restaurant. Chef Jack McGuckin has the flexibility to create menus based on our clients’ needs. We have owned and operated Bistro Bijoux at Sandestin since July 2008. Last year we expanded our services to include RSVP, a full-service, rental and event planning boutique with in-house catering from Bijoux Catering. The people we work with are our family, and we foster that family environment. We attribute our success to the longevity of our team and our work environment. Our staff takes care of our business, and our clients, as a family member would. We serve both locals and out of town guests which is a nice mix. We can

special advertising section

John Paul Somers, Owner/Broker Tell us about the services your company provides. Somers & Company is a boutique real estate brokerage specializing in premier residential and commercial properties along the Emerald Coast of Florida. What attracted you to the field of real estate? My father was a patent attorney who always kept me immersed in his sideline passion of real estate. At the age of 16, I was fortunate enough to procure a job as a real estate broker’s assistant at the Country Club of the South in Alpharetta, Ga. I realized then my future livelihood would revolve around the real estate industry. What is your educational background? I majored in business at the University of Georgia and minored in real estate at Georgia State University. What is your business philosophy? It’s quite simple ... it utilizes three basic elements: common business sense, thoughtful interpersonal skills and focused work ethics. What is the secret to your success? Tenacity, diligence, obsession, overproductivity and never losing touch with the relationship-driven aspects of my business have been my focus for 25 years. What are your interests outside of work? I am a wildlife and nature enthusiast. Why did you base your business here? I chose to establish a business on the Emerald Coast simply because the lifestyle and location make it one of the finest places to live and work in our country.

John Paul Somers, Owner/Broker

36164 Emerald Coast Parkway, Suite 8 Destin 850.654.7777 I

“I’m interested in real estate sales and development that promote a quality lifestyle and positively influence our community.”

August–September 2013 61

special advertising section

Matthews & Jones, LLP

Michael Jones and Dana Matthews

What is your business philosophy? We truly believe hard work and our free enterprise system in a democratic society make it possible to turn dreams into reality. When you incorporate that concept into the desire to provide unparalleled service to clients in need, success and client satisfaction will result.

62 August–September 2013

What is the “secret” to your success? Client service is key to our law practice. Our clients can expect an honest assessment of their legal situation without empty promises. We strive to develop relationships with each and every client so that our attorneys and staff have a clear understanding of each individual client’s personal and business needs. Tell us about your recent expansion of staff and services. Dana Matthews started the Destin firm in 1983. Michael Jones had his own firm and since 1984 served our region with diligence, compassion and integrity in the areas of personal injury, probrate and estate planning. “Mike and I have been best friends since age 12 and decided to spend the rest of our careers working side by side,” says Dana Matthews.

Over the past year they hired two new attorneys to handle the firm’s growing litigation practice. You made a bold choice to use a panther to symbolize your firm in your marketing campaign. Why? The Florida panther’s strength, agility and tenacity are the qualities our clients expect and deserve.

Matthews & Jones, LLP 4475 Legendary Drive, Destin 850.837.3662 323 E. John Sims Parkway, Niceville 850.729.7440

Photo by Scott Holstein

What kind of law do you specialize in? Matthews & Jones transaction and litigation teams encompass a full spectrum of real estate representation, estate planning, asset protection, corporate reorganization and complex work-out transactions, bankruptcy, civil, criminal, family law and personal injury. The firm has attorneys licensed in federal and state courts in Florida, Mississippi, Texas, District of Columbia, Alaska and has offices in Destin and Niceville.

White-Wilson offers comprehensive obstetric and gynecological care, as well as H[WHQVLYHZRPHQ̵VKHDOWKDQGLPDJLQJVHUYLFHV2XUWHDPRI%RDUG&HUWLͤHGVSHFLDOLVWV has decades of experience and is supported by a friendly, considerate staff. We are committed to caring for women through every stage of life.





Fort Walton Beach 850-863-8264

Fort Walton Beach 850-863-8222

David W. Stoneking, D.O., FACOG

Melissa S. Delsid,


August–September 2013 63

DEAL Estate

in the neighborhood

Go to for REAL ESTATE listings

Look What’s New in ‘Old Destin’


estin’s history is as deep and fascinating as the Gulf itself. The remarkable tale of a sleepy fishing village that came to bear the name of the shipwrecked man who started it is long and salty. Most locals know the amazing story of a hardworking fisherman named Leonard Destin who ventured to the shores of this city from New London, Conn., in 1845 and pioneered what is now known as The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village. But you may not realize that the City of Destin was officially chartered just 29 years ago. Still, in that short time, this popular tourist town has become an internationally recognized destination known as one of the Most Beautiful Places in America, one of the Best Places to Boat and Best Beach Town in the South, to name just a few. Many would argue that Destin’s popularity has put the Emerald Coast destination on the map. This family-friendly beachfront town is considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Gulf. The City of Destin is a small beach town. It is home to 12,305 full-time residents. On the western side of town — from the William T. Marler bridge (near where Leonard Destin first made landfall) east to Airport Road and from Holiday Isle on the south to some of the first planned communities such as Indian Bayou on the north — Indian Lakes is affectionately called “Old Destin.” Destin is actually located on an island. What is called the “100 fathom curve” is located just 10 miles offshore giving this area the closest and fastest access to deepsea fishing in the entire Gulf of Mexico.

By Zandra wolfgram

Waterfront property is also nestled along the Choctawhatchee Bay, as well as on several large lakes and bayous, making Destin’s coastal lifestyle available in many different ways and at many varied price points. At the heart of Destin is its bustling scenic Harbor filled with dining, shopping, entertainment and, of course, nearly every kind of water sport you can imagine. The 100 Fathom curve draws closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida, providing the speediest deep-water access. And almost as popular as the sugar-white sand beaches is the golf scene. There are nearly 1,000 holes of golf along the Emerald Coast, and nearly a dozen of those courses are located in Destin. A thriving downtown, strong elementary school, professional daycare, beautiful library, active community center, brand new dog park and state-of-the-art sports complex are just a few of the city’s convenient amenities. The unassuming, laid-back charm of the area attracts buyers looking for their first home, second home, investment property or an ideal place to enjoy retirement. And though inventory is not as plentiful as it was even a year ago, there is still a range of real estate, from luxury homes that front the beach, bay or Destin harbor to condos that range from studios to penthouses to affordable single-family homes in tree-lined neighborhoods only blocks from the beach. According to Matthew Williams, a realtor with Remax Southern Realty, there are 43 active listings in the Old Destin area (at the time this story went to press) that range from $99,000 to more than $4.9 million

105 Country Club Drive West 64 August–September 2013

Dog Park — making this Florida lifestyle one that nearly everyone can afford. And with most homes in Destin on the market fewer days than the national average, it is a lifestyle that many are snatching up. Williams says that from May 2012 to May 2013 a typical detached single family home was on the market only 83 days with an average sale price of $260,987. For sellers, the market continues to be kind with an average sale price to list price ratio of 96 percent. Williams has been in real estate for 13 years. Last year he was top in Sales Volume, Transactions and Listings at Remax Southern Reality. Though he works with clients all along the Emerald Coast, nearly half of his listings are located in the Destin area. Beyond the conveniences and endless amenities, Williams says that a “Destin address” is still a selling point. “The brand of the world’s most beautiful beaches still affords a great lifestyle. There is world-class fishing, golfing and dining. You put it all together, and the Destin name has strong appeal that translates into real value for all properties located here,” says Williams. The classic charm of this engaging fishing village has only deepened since the Destin, Marler, Melvin and Calhoun founding families began to settle here. But some things do change, and over the past 10 years the city’s demographics reflect that. “I am seeing Old Destin appeal to more and more young adult couples. At the same time, there’s still a good-sized segment of retired people, so there’s a nice mix,” Williams says. Buyers can take a note from the many loyal annual visitors who flock to this stretch of the beach again and again. There’s certainly something to be said for the town voted “Favorite Family Vacation Destination” for 14 consecutive years by Southern Living magazine. ec

Photos by Scott holstein

The ‘Best Beach Town in the South’ Is Getting Younger

REAL ESTATE IS GETTING A FACELIFT How One Man is Transforming the Real Estate Industry By Jonathan Peacock


ow does one go about changing the existing Real Estate brokerage paradigm–a paradigm that is long overdue for an overhaul? That’s precisely the vision of Destin local Richard Eimers, founder and president of Eimers Group Real Estate & Land. He is going about this in a seemingly basic, yet novel way: compartmentalizing the job. As a former agent for RE/MAX Southern Realty for over thirteen years, Eimers saw a troubling trend in his line of work: an agent was expected to be nothing less than a jack-of-all-trades in order to close a deal. They had to input and update listings in the MLS, schedule showings, coordinate inspections, contact and work closely with lenders, and perform a host of other tedious tasks, all of which detract from income generation. The logical thing to do was turn to compartmentalization to reform this tired system, which he did. Six years after starting Eimers Group, he now manages a team of around twenty people, all of whom are specialists at what they do. The agents are out on the front lines, doing what they do best: g their market knowledge, generating income, sharing and building the relationships that will eventually lead to closed deals. Behind the scenes, his other staff members are working diligently with all the more detail-oriented aspects typically assigned to a Real Estate agent. Essentially, the staff works as a unit to carry out Eimers’ tried and true mantra: “Deliver unto the buyer as you would like your newly purchased real estate delivered unto you.”

The repeated theme behind Eimers’ vision is that he does not consider his agents to be agents; rather they are professional salespeople. It is this reimagining of job class, in conjunction with the employment of the compartmentalized model that has lead Eimers Group R Real Estate & Land to be tthe powerhouse they are toth dday. Eimers Group comm mands over $44,000,000 in sales annually, and recently bought their current office offi building at 4636 Gulfstarr Drive, in Destin.

“Deliver unto the buyer as you would like your newly purchased real estate delivered unto you.”

The underbelly of this successful model is Eimers’ concept of real estate being a three-legged stool. The seller controls two of the three legs, and his team controls the other. This ensures his sellers that they will always be in control. With the seller in the driver’s seat, all potential conflicts between them and the agent are alleviated.

However, Eimers is not merely chasing dollar signs and profits. His real focus is growth. He is always on the lookout for fresh and progressive agents to become part of his team. He welcomes any agent who is eager for a change of pace to get in touch with him, and try his approach at Real Estate for themselves. Eimers conforms to no mold and fits in no box; his avant-garde approach to Real Estate is what has propelled Eimers Group to be one of the fastest-rising brokerages on the Emerald Coast. Eimers has become the premier name in Real Estate along the Emerald Coast, and he shows no signs of slowing down.


August–September 2013 65

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just listed

Go to for REAL ESTATE listings

All statistics listed below pertain to sales in April 2013 and are provided by the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, Florida Realtor and the National Association of Realtors.


The median sale price for single family homes in Okaloosa County was $181,000 — a 1% decrease over last April. Townhouse and condo inventory (active listings) in Walton County dropped by 23% between April 2012 and 2013.

Ultimate Coastal Living in Seagrove Beach Enjoy 68 Glorious Feet on the Gulf


hose seeking seaside luxury should look no further. From its incredible panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico to its generously spacious layout with an open-air feel and soaring ceilings, this home, called Villa Leibra, has everything a buyer could want. “Casually elegant is how I would describe Villa Leibra,” says Debbie James, broker associate and accredited luxury home specialist with Rosemary Beach Realty. “The home celebrates the art of fine living, yet is warm, inviting and comfortable. Plenty of room for everyone, but not so big where you get lost.” Located at the end of a cul-de-sac on a secluded street in Seagrove Beach, off the famed Scenic Highway 30A, this beachfront estate boasts eight bedrooms in the main house, and an additional two bedrooms in its carriage house, which also features a living area and its own fully equipped kitchen. The main house is packed with upscale building materials, including stone floors, a gourmet kitchen with Sub Zero appliances (including a double oven, two dishwashers, an icemaker and a built-in microwave) and furniture-grade cabinetry. The designer furnishings and warm color palette of soft browns and grays make the space warm and inviting to all.

66 August–September 2013

By Laura Bradley

The exterior is, of course, the best feature. The propQuick Look erty spans 68 feet of coastList Price: line on the Gulf. A heated $4,195,000 ($659.69/sqft) pool comes in addition to Square Feet: 6,359 the stellar views that light Bedrooms: 10 up and fill the living space Bathrooms: 11 full, with natural beauty. The and 1 half property has its own dune Contact: Debbie walkover, as the house rests James, Rosemary on top of a 30+ foot dune. Beach Realty, (850) The owners recently spent 450-2000, debbie@ over $80,000 on nance, and the care shows in every room of the house; it is updated and movein ready. James points out that the home’s price and versatility make it very unique. “Homes of this quality and magnitude don’t come on the market too often in our area,” she says. “The fact that this estate would also make a wonderful primary residence or 2nd home provides versatility for a buyer.” Gross rental income exceeds $200,000 per year, and there are no association fees, making it, as James points out, equally suited as a primary home or investment property. ec


On average, Florida’s closed single family home sales received 93.4% of their original list price. Florida closed 11,183 townhouse and condo sales — 8,304 of which were paid in cash. 8,698 were traditional sales, 1,338 were foreclosures and 1,147 were short sales.


Nationally, total housing inventory increased 11.9% to 2.16 million existing homes for sale. The national median time on the market for all homes was 46 days.

Photos Courtesy, Michael James

171 Chivas Lane

Matt Williams, Realtor®

Southern Realty

ABOVE THE CROWD #1 Individual in Closed Sales Volume, Transactions and Listings For 2012!

Matthew W. Williams, REALTOR®

(850) 259-MATT (6288)

Search area real estate at: 34894 Emerald Coast Pkwy | Destin, FL 32541

August–September 2013 67

DEAL Estate

just sold

Go to for REAL ESTATE listings

A Market-ready Makeover A Few Tweaks Sold this Home in Seven Days


fter this listing stood stagnant on the market for two years, a new listing agent was finally able to convince the sellers to do what they should have done long before — renovate and drop their price down to a more reasonable amount. When listing agent Lynn Bowling with Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast first considered taking the listing, she had some conditions. The house needed several repairs and improvements before she considered it market-ready; as a matter 1649 Crestone Cove of fact, previous agents for the home had suggested the same thing to the sellers, with no luck. The sellers had already moved to California and did not want to put any more funds into the home before selling. “I said, ‘It won’t sell; it’s overpriced, and the condition is not good,’” Bowling recalls. “I could not take on the listing unless the repairs were made to it. So she said she’d fly out from California to oversee the work, and she did.” Quick Look: The house’s location in Parkwood Estates did it credit; the sought-after gated community brought plenty of interList Price: $269,000 est, and the house was shown repeatedly by numerous Niceville real estate agents. But with an inflated price and ($131.22/sqft) repairs to be made, a neighborhood alone cannot sell a house. Sold For: $262,500 ($128.05/sqft) “The emphasis here is really that while location has always been a key factor in sales (this one excelled in location, Square Feet: 2,050 the gated community of Parkwood Estates), but equally important is condition, and of course price; there are really Bedrooms: 4 those three factors involved in a successful sale,” Bowling explained. Bathrooms: 2 The sellers put over $5,000 into the repairs, and additionally dropped the price by $10,000, putting it in line with the market. At the sellers’ request, the open house was held before renovations were even finished. Many interested parties stopped by, including some neighbors. The buyer came on the fourth day after the listing was activated and came back the next day with an agent to make an offer. After all of the work put into the house, it came under contract in merely seven days and sold for its list price, minus the cost of replacing the carpet and fog windows. ec

Dedicated to Luxury Real Estate Joe’s Bayou John Cook

68 August–September 2013


Coldwell Banker United, Realtors

4458 Legendary Drive

Suite 100

Destin, FL 32541

Photo Courtesy Keller Williams Realty Emerald Coast

By Laura Bradley

DEAL Estate

it's just business

Pensacola/Fort Walton Beach

▪ Navy Federal, the country’s biggest credit union, will be expanding in the Greater Pensacola Area, investing $200 million in capital expenditures to develop its campus to accommodate 2,000 employees over the next seven to ten years. The credit union will construct two new buildings, totaling 342,300 square feet at its Greater Pensacola Operations campus, creating 1,500 corporate and operational jobs. ▪ Also expanding is Global Business Solutions Inc., an innovator in information technology services and technical training; the company announced a five-year plan including expanding their Pensacola corporate headquarters and hiring up to 120 full-time employees. Details of the jobs plan include hiring a mix of government contract support, commercial IT, training and corporate support positions in Greater Pensacola.


▪ JPB Commercial Real Estate Advisers is giving The Market Shops at Sandestin a $2 million renovation and face lift, and re-tenanting with restaurants, resort and retail entities. JPB aims to finish renovating in late fall, and re-tenanting by the end of 2013, in time for the new year. ▪ The much-anticipated Destin Commons expansion is well underway, with four buildings totaling over 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; General Manager Robert Perry estimates that about five restaurants will be moving in. The newly expanded mall is expected to open in the summer of 2014, by the first of July at the latest. Perry estimates the project will create 300 construction jobs and 200-300 permanent restaurant and retail positions. ▪ City Market will be expanding on its original location, City Market Beachside, with the addition of City Market Bayside — a lifestyle complex in the same style and spirit as the original. The new site will have between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet; architectural layouts are currently in the works and mimic the style of the original. The new complex is projected to open in the summer of 2014. ▪Bryan Deane, vice president of Legendary Realty Inc. completed office lease transactions in Regatta Commons with Dubose and Sturdivant Capital Group LLC, Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. and the lease renewal for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. In addition, Deane completed office lease transactions in Destin Commons with MetLife, Broad & Cassel and South Walton Medical Group. ▪ Retail lease transactions completed in HarborWalk Village include The Fudgery Stores Inc. scheduled for a spring 2014 opening and Fish Heads Bar LLC scheduled to open spring of 2013. Other retail/specialty leases completed by Deane include U.S. Gold Gymnastics Academy Inc. which has leased 10,388 square feet on Business Center Drive, expanding their Destin operation that is currently located at 12432 Emerald Coast Pkwy. ▪ Commercial sale transactions completed by Deane include the 28,000square-foot showroom/warehouse facility at 106 Geronimo in Miramar Beach. Community Bancshares of Mississippi was the seller, and Bart Manning of Tuskers Home Stores was the buyer. Deane represented the buyer and seller on .62 acres in the Emerald Lakes Commercial Subdivision sold to Patrick Barcus.

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▪ The Village of Grand Panama is undergoing a re-tenanting process similar to that of The Market Shops at Sandestin. With Bonefish Grill and Another Broken Egg as anchors, JPB Commercial Real Estate is seeking tenants for spaces from 1,214 to 4,560 square feet — spaces that can also combine for larger requirements. ▪ Laketown Wharf, currently offering short- and long-term vacation rentals in the heart of Panama City Beach, is undergoing a $10 million renovation, adding new amenities including a grocery store and deli, leasing center, redecorated hotel lobby, conference/meeting rooms, business center, new pool and boardwalk furniture, family zone, owners’ lounge and arcade. Additional renovations include expanding the deck, adding new fountains and landscaping, opening the lake to the public and more. Plus, area residents and visitors should be on the lookout for Laketown Wharf turtles that will be coming to town soon. ▪ After seven months of construction, Harley Davidson of Panama City Beach opened its doors for business this spring. The full-service dealership is the first brand new point for Harley Davidson in three years.

August–September 2013 69

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the good life Food + Travel + Hea lth + Home


MINI Mania

John Genduso says it was on Cinco de Mayo in 2007 in Jacksonville when the MINI Cooper changed his life. He was “a construction worker living in the middle of nowhere,” shopping for a replacement for his wife’s gas guzzling Infinity SUV. The Ocala couple traveled to Jacksonville to get their car serviced and stopped in at the MINI dealer and “fell in love.” Today, Genduso, 39, is not only a proud owner of his sixth MINI Cooper — a custom 2013 blue hard top tricked out with a John Cooper Works body kit — he is a winning MINI car racer and working a “dream job” as an official motoring advisor who helped open the Sandy Sansing MINI dealership in Pensacola in 2009. “I am a MINI freak,” Genduso admits. He is also an active member of the Panhandle Chapter of the Sunshine MINIs Car Club, a social club of 101 MINI aficionados ranging in age from 16 to 80 who hail from Alabama to Panama City. The club has monthly motor meet ups at a particular destination or a special event that allows them to parade and then park their prized possessions and mix and mingle. “There is a MINI ad from Europe that says the MINI is the only car that comes standard with friends, and it’s true!” Genduso says. How is the decision to MINI-mize working out? “They’re awesome-cool-fun,” Genduso says. “It’s almost like a way of life.” — Zandra Wolfgram

*happiness is ...

John and Teri Genduso take a break from big fun motoring around in their little 2013 MINI Cooper named “Leeloo” at the Pensacola Aviation Center, where the speedy aerodynamic race car is right at home.

Photo by Howard Robinson August–September 2013


going places

To the Ends of the Earth

Back and

Again Argentina’s Patagonia Region Offers Natural Adventure and Fabulous Food By Cheryl McAleavy


rgentina is an exciting and diverse country offering everything from fine food and wine to a tumultuous political history to exhilarating nature activities. Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Feugo, located at the southernmost tip of Argentina, have magnificent views and endless trekking, canoeing and animal-watching opportunities. We were quite fortunate to partake in some of these treasures on a recent trip to the “edge of the earth.” Our trip was organized by Seattle-based Southern Explorations. They specialize in South American adventure travel, providing clients with a seamless, hassle-free experience. Carmen, a local representative for Southern Explorations, met us as we disembarked in Buenos Aires. More than three million people live in the city, and an additional three million commute into the area each day for business. Traffic can be a little overwhelming, and English is not spoken as pervasively as it is in European countries. She escorted us directly to our hotel and gave us a brief orientation with recommendations for our upcoming three days in the metropolis. Southern Explorations offers a variety of four- and five-star hotels to choose from. We chose the Novotel located in the Plaza de Mayo. This central district — or barrio, as areas in Buenos Aires are referred to — is the political center of the city and ideally located as a starting point for a visit to Argentina.

72 August–September 2013

The payoff for a challenging hike to Laguna de los Tres is this spectacular view of Mount Fitz Roy. Augustâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 2013


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Photo courtesy Southern Explorations (ushuaia)

going places Plaza de Mayo is very historical and provides a vast overview of the turmoil and vitality of Argentina, which has experienced considerable political upheaval, swinging from democratic rule to military control. The Museo del Bicentenario at the Casa Rosado has an excellent political retrospective commemorating the last 200 years of the country’s independence. You are probably most familiar with the Peron era. Juan Peron and his beloved wife, Evita, were memorialized in the Broadway musical and 1996 film, “Evita.” She died at the young age of 33 and is entombed in her family mausoleum at the Cementerio de la Recoleta. This world-famous cemetery, located in the beautiful Recoleta barrio, has over 6,400 tombs and mausoleums, and more than 70 are recognized as National Historical Monuments. There is a range of dining choices in Buenos Aires. You can find delicious food, reasonably priced, but portions are large and dining never starts before 8 p.m. I think our favorite was the upscale, traditional Fervor Restaurant in Recoleta. The fun and funky décor of this very popular local restaurant is in juxtaposition to this historical building with its huge wooden doors and antique bar. They have extraordinary beef and a good wine list. I ordered their small filet (12 ounces at least) and my husband ordered their house-recommended rib eye. No complaints, just raves for Fervor! We were very grateful to have Carmen greet us once again and safely deliver us to the domestic airport terminal for our flight to Tierra del Fuego. The international and domestic terminals are located in different parts of the city. After a three-hour flight, we arrived in the western hemisphere’s most southern city, Ushuaia. Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago where the Andean mountain range meets the sea — next stop, Antarctica. Ushuaia is the departure point for all marine expeditions to Antarctica. It is a small but significant city, because it serves as a gateway to many of the area’s natural wonders. Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego is one such treasure. It encompasses over 250 square miles of protected forest. It also includes lakes, mountains, glaciated valleys, a beautiful seacoast and more than 100 bird and animal species. We were able to hike and canoe through the park. The Pampa Alta trek is rather difficult but provides views of the Beagle Channel and beyond. The excursions were offered by a local outfitter but coordinated through Southern Explorations. Our guides were well educated and entertaining, even arranging cake and candles for my husband’s birthday. King Crab rules as the meal du jour; I could have eaten it every single day! We found that Tia Elvira, a small, family owned restaurant across from the port, won first place for this delicacy. Tierra del Fuego and Southern Patagonia are very remote, so air travel is a must. Our flight from Ushuaia north to El Calafate took about two hours. From El Calafate we were transported further north to El Chalten, where we spent the next three nights. El Chalten is the perfect base to explore the northern section of Parque Nacional The harbor Los Glaciares and El Calafate for the town of Ushuaia (top left) is the jumping-off point for excursions to Antarctica, located about 700 miles away. After a day of hiking (bottom left) there’s always something delicious waiting for dinner, such as Locro, (right) a spicy beef stew that’s a regional specialty. August–September 2013


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76 August–September 2013

southern section of the Parque. The Parque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the summer (which is our winter) this small village explodes with hikers, climbers and campers. The highest peak in the Parque is accessible from El Chalten — Mount Fitz Roy. We experienced our most difficult trek of the trip here. Our hike to Laguna de los Tres at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy was approximately 14 miles and took us over 10 hours. Had it not been for our incredible guide, Sergio, I never would have made it. At one point I said, “I do not think I can do this.” He replied, “Yes you can and you will. We will do it together step by step.” Wow, that is what I needed to hear because, as a major shock to us all, I DID IT! I must say, it was well worth it; not only for the views but the incredible sense of accomplishment I felt for just living through it. Needless to say, we chose a much less rigorous hike the next day, the leisurely hike to Laguna Torre, approximately five miles round trip from our hotel. It was the perfect spot for our tasty picnic as we basked in the summer sun, feeling grateful for finding this place near the end of the world. There are a surprising number of very good restaurants in this tiny village. We had very good meals at Estepa and Techado Negro (Black Roof). Microbreweries are very popular here too, and they often serve simply prepared regional dishes like Locro, a spicy beef stew. Our final stop was El Calafate, approximately two hours south of El Chalten, on the shore of Lago Argentino. Perhaps the most popular destination in the southern section of the park is Glaciar Perito Moreno. The glacier measures approximately 19 miles in length and 2 ₁⁄₂ miles in width, and it flows down to Lago Argentino. There are several ways to experience this spectacular wonder. Peninsula Magellanes, facing the glacier, has a chain of descending decks and walkways that allow you to see the glacier from several angles and hear the earsplitting sound as a 20-ton chunk of ice cracks off and crashes into the lake. If you are feeling more adventuresome, take a trek on the Big Ice, an eight-hour hike deep into the glacier that challenges and tests your endurance and ability to climb walls of ice. We did not do this; our exploration was something in between. Southern Explorations can arrange for you to board a large sightseeing boat at Muelle Perito Moreno, which takes you to within 100 yards of the 100-foot towering wall of aqua blue ice. There is a small camp here bordering the glacier and the forest where the boat drops you off for a tamer hike of the glacier.

One of the most spectacular views of a lifetime is the towering Galciar Perito Moreno, which stretches 2 ½ miles wide and drops massive chunks of ice into the Lago Argentino.

The carefully guided hike lasts about two hours and requires metal ice shoe crampons for navigation; it can be very dicey and several people did fall. Our guide showed us the everchanging facets of this land and served us 4 million-year-old “pure” water before sending us on our way. We found one unexpected gem right in the middle of El Calafate, Reserva Municipal Laguna Nimez, a wildlife reserve with more than 100 species of birds on the shore of Lago Argentino. A two-mile nature trail around the Reserve gets you up close and personal with the rarely seen pink flamingos, as well as scores of other species. I recommend a visit to Pura Vida Restaurant, which sits on the shore of Lago Argentino. The food is homemade and includes traditional dishes as well as excellent vegetarian meals (not easy to find in beefy Argentina). You will need a reservation. We arrived without one at 7:45, and there were already 10 other people at the door. Fortunately, we got a table — lakeside! It was a wonderful vacation. The rich, natural beauty of Argentina is awe-inspiring. The food throughout the country was surprisingly sophisticated and creative; the beef, of course, is some of the finest in the world. The Mendoza Region of Argentina supplies delightful, moderately priced wine to all the provinces, and the people are passionate about their beliefs and their culture. They have much to be proud of, and Southern Explorations takes all the rough edges off a multi-stop journey to the end of the Earth. ec


Photo Courtesy (Tarsila Do Amaral. Abaporu, 1928)

Southern Explorations Buenos Aires Museo del Bicentario Cementerio de la Recoleta Japanese Gardens Museo Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) Fervor Restaurant Oviedo Restaurant

Tierra del Fuego Ushuaia Tia Elvira Restaurant Parque Nacional Tierra Southern Patagonia El Chalten Mt. Fitz Roy Trek Picnic Friendly tourists and hikers Black Roof Restaurant (Techado Negro) El Calafate Reserva Municipal Laguna Nimez El+Calafate/835E_ Perito Moreno Glacier Perito_Moreno_Glacier Pura Vida August–September 2013


in motion

78 Augustâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 2013

Power Play


Flyboarding kicks summertime fun into high gear By Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite

PhotoS by Scott Holstein

blonde man in a dark swimsuit and ski vest rose slowly out of the green water ebbing around Crab Island. He wore jet-propelled boots attached to a skateboard-like platform, secured to a 55-foot-long red fire hose stiffened by water jetting out of a personal watercraft. He hovered around 20 feet above the water, then, looking around from his solitary perch, he smiled before taking a deep breath and diving into the water. Disappearing for only a second, he surfaced and soared up 15 feet before diving down again, resurfacing, trailing an arc of water streaming from below the boots, looking like a playful, human dolphin. As he vaulted toward the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Destin, his acrobatics stopped foot traffic on the shoreline and caught the eye of boaters and kayakers near the Destin Bridge. He finished the feat with a magical-looking elevated hover 50 feet away from the beach. The sport is called Flyboarding and the man, Ben Merrell, is bringing it to Destin for anyone with an adventurous spirit and $250 an hour. “That’s like some real-life Spiderman,” shouted Reggie Williams from the water’s edge to the daredevil Flyboarder. The Kansas City visitor and his wife paused to watch. “I’ve never seen anybody be a dolphin.” “We get called Iron Man quite a lot,” said Merrell, a 29-year old former U.S. Army serviceman who coowns Power Up Watersports with his wife, Amber. The couple launched their Flyboard rental business last summer, which also includes Aqua Cycle Water Trikes — those floating tricycles with gigantic puffy wheels you can pedal around in the surf. Joshua Sullivan, a 34-year-old local musician, is the assistant instructor and the person driving the personal watercraft. Sullivan controls the throttle to limit the height and increase stability of the rider. The craft forces the water stream through the hose. “It’s like two fire hoses of water coming out of the board,” said Sullivan of the lift’s power. Crab Island is the business’ base of operations every day (weather and water conditions permitting) from mid-May to Labor Day. A Flyboard rental includes with 20-minute demo lesson for $100, with times and prices going up from there. To get to the launch dock, you can hail a water taxi ($10 round-trip, refunded if you rent a Flyboard) or swim to it from your boat. Locals and military get a 10 percent discount on rental fees. Flyboarding is easy to learn at any age (although riders must be at least 16). “I had three teenage girls all take a 20-minute flight,” said Merrell. “It’s all intuitive — I give you three minutes of instruction and 99 percent of flyers get it, feel it. There’s a happy balance of forward and backwards and confidence — equals sweet spot.” Merrell has gone as high as 47 feet on a Flyboard but would not take a customer that high. He flies clients around 3 to 5 feet off the water and teaches them how to fall. “Show me they can control the board, then I’ll take them up to 15 feet,” he said. “I had a 67-year-old man learn in four minutes.” Merrell said recently a deaf girl swam out to him. After establishing some ground rules, “A guy on a jet ski signed her instructions and she flew,” he said. The Flyboard was patented and introduced in many countries by Zapata Racing, based in France. Merrell said he bought the first board sold and distributed in the United States in June 2012. The water sport is popular with thrill seekers in Florida, Texas and in Chicago’s harbor, where Merrell plans to demonstrate his stunts this year. While he’s a flying fish in the water, Merrell admits that on shore he’s far from athletic. “I can’t stand here and do a flip. I can do a really ugly cartwheel,” he laughed. “There’s a back flip coming soon on the board. I’m always pushing the limits.” ec

Ben Merrell (opposite page), co-owner of Power Up Watersports in Destin, transforms into gravity defying “water man” atop a flyboard, while Patrick Watford, who controls the power to the board remotely from the See-Doo wavecraft, looks on. After a 20-minute demo lesson, thrill seekers can channel their inner Superman with flips and tricks like those pictured above that will propel you high up into the sun-soaked sky like Merrell (below).

“We get called Iron Man quite a lot,” — Ben Merrell, 29-year old former U.S. Army serviceman who co-owns Power Up Watersports August–September 2013



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P R O U D LY P U B L I S H I N G E C M A G A Z I N E S I N C E 2 0 0 0 | ( 8 5 0 ) 8 7 8 - 0 5 5 4 | r o w l a n d p u b l i s h i n g . c o m 80 August–September 2013

st, Ms. Grow-I t-A y Po ll dre u A


Tropical Survivors It is Possible to Grow Warm-Weather Plants in Your North Florida Yard


Ms. Grow-It-All

By Audrey Post

Ms. Grow-It-All

Q: I’d like to give my yard a tropical look and feel, but I don’t know which plants will survive our North Florida winters. What do you suggest? A: Florida is a very diverse state in its climate and plant life, as your question illustrates. Even within North Florida, the difference between USDA Zones 8 and 9 can be the difference between a light frost and a hard freeze. Proximity to the coast is another factor, because it gets colder inland than it does along the shore. If you’re willing to dig up your tropical plants every fall and store them over our usually brief and mild winters in a greenhouse or other protective structure, you can add any tropical plants you desire to your landscape. And some people are willing to do that. For most of us, though, that’s more work than we care to commit to. Instead, we treat tropical plants like annuals, replacing them every spring. Or we plant one or two in large pots and haul

the pots inside for the cold season. Decorative pots filled with Chinese hibiscus look great on a patio, and they’re relatively easy to stash in a corner of the garage for winter — or you could bring them indoors. Just make sure you give any plant you’re bringing inside a good rinse with the garden hose first, so you don’t bring any insects along. Adding palm trees to your landscape is one way to create a tropical atmosphere quickly. The tall, swaying coconut palms of South Florida postcards won’t survive here, but there are plenty of other palms that will. The sabal palm (Sabal palmetto), also called the cabbage palm, is the state tree and does very well throughout North Florida and the Panhandle. It’s a native plant that can take salt, making it a good tree for coastal gardens. Other palms to consider are Washington palm (Washingtonia robusta), also known as the Mexican fan palm and the petticoat


palm; Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei); Pindo palm (Butia capitata); and Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa). Most palms require sunlight, but Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea micrspadix) requires shade; Depending on the microclimates in your yard, you might be able to grow a Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis), which requires sun and is hardy in Zone 9A and farther south. Most palm trees are fairly slow growing, so buy the largest tree you can afford, and be prepared to spend some money. An 8- to 10-foot palm can cost several hundred dollars. Other trees to consider are loquats, also known as Japanese plum trees, and citrus trees. Loquats do fine in our area, but young citrus need to be protected the first two or three years they’re in the ground, even if they ultimately will be cold-hardy when established. To give your yard a lush atmosphere, select green perennials August–September 2013


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such as giant split-leaf philodendron (Philodendron selloum), which needs to be in a protected area, and Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa), with its large rounded leaves punctuated by holes, hence its common name. Both are shade plants that will die back in winter but return in spring if heavily mulched. The same is true for most banana plants. Many people find the dead foliage of banana plants unappealing, but don’t cut it until new growth starts in spring, because it protects the plant. If you really hate the sight of the brown stalks, put it in an out-of-the-way location as a background plant. Other tropical-looking perennials that do well in most North Florida yards are coontie (Zamia), elephant ears (Alocasia and Colocasia) and various plants commonly called gingers but members of different botanical families. These include butterfly gingers (Hedychium spp.), peacock gingers (Kaempferia spp.) and shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet), as well as culinary ginger (Zingiber officinale). Make sure you mulch your gingers well. Bouganvillea (Bouganvillea spp.), the thorny tropical climbing vine with bountiful flowers, needs winter protection but if planted in the right spot, it will perform as a perennial. Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) is a beautiful plant that adds color to a tropical yard, but you’ll have to bring it inside over the winter. Bird of Paradise can take temperatures in the upper 20s, but its flower buds will be killed. Ti plant (Cordyline) and Croton (Croton linearis) provide lots of color, but neither can take a freeze. Both are fairly inexpensive, so treat them as annuals and replace each spring. ec ©2013 PostScript Publishing, all rights reserved. Audrey Post is a certified Advanced Master Gardener volunteer with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension in Leon County. Email her at or visit her website at Ms. Grow-It-All® is a registered trademark of PostScript Publishing.

August in the Garden » Taking care of the gardener is as important as taking care of the

garden this time of year. Do garden and yard chores early in the morning to avoid the heat. Wear a hat, use sunscreen and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

» Apply a final dose of fertilizer for the year to citrus trees. Fertilizing after August encourages new growth, which could be susceptible to early frosts and freezes in October. » Cut back leggy growth on annuals such as impatiens and begonias to encourage bushy new growth; fertilize lightly.

» Pinch back chrysanthemums and other fall-blooming perennials. » Remove suckers from tomato plants and plant in sterile potting soil. They should have established roots and be ready to transplant into the garden in September.

» Plant broccoli, collards, turnips and other fall crops in late August.

Bring home a little bit of Earth 4808 East Scenic Hwy 30A, Seagrove Beach, FL, 32459 w w w. C l a y 3 0 A . c o m August–September 2013



Stolen Memories ore than 5 million Americans are robbed of precious memories, independence and dignity from Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this irreversible neurological disorder is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States but the only one in the top 10 with no cure, prevention or way to slow its progression. In fact, Alzheimer’s mortality rate increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010 while the rest of the top 10 decreased. The numbers are staggering, and since the majority of diagnosed patients are age 65 or older, millions of grandchildren are watching this silent thief take away their grandparents’ ability to remember, carry on conversations or care for themselves. While it’s hard enough for adults to cope with the effects of Alzheimer’s on a loved one, it can be extremely frightening and confusing for a child. Through the pages of her book, “When Your Grandma Forgets,” Fort Walton Beach resident and author/advocate Maryann Makekau offers a message of hope and love to families struggling with the disease. “Kids know when things aren’t right. Sometimes they react to it with guilt or confusion,” she said. “The goal is to connect adults with kids in the same world while they are going through a tough journey together.” The idea of writing a children’s book came to Makekau in 2008 when a dear friend and school teacher was diagnosed with cancer and needed a resource to help her second grade students cope with the news. The lack of appropriate books prompted Makekau to take matters into her own hands by publishing her first book in 2009,

Maryann Makekau 84 August–September 2013

By Danielle Buenrostro

“When Your Teacher Has Cancer.” With six published books and more on the way, Makekau’s Little Pink and Little Patriot Book Series reflect a culmination of 20 years in mental health research combined with her compassionate hands-on approach to help families struggling with cancer, Alzheimer’s and deployments find a spark of hope through support groups and workshops. Her interactive books are written in the child’s voice with whimsical characters illustrated by Makekau’s son, Derek, who owns 20/30north Studios in Santa Rosa Beach. They challenge children to find humor, make memories and express their feelings in a journal and, above all, give grandma an abundance of love. “Children have a limited vocabulary and understanding, so it’s important for them to share their feelings through artistic expression and activities,” she said. “The grandma that you have always known is still there tucked inside, and the things you always have done for her still matter. Keep loving her through it, and do new things together and build new traditions ’til the end.” Makekau co-wrote this book with Bob Deits, author of “Life after Loss,” and dedicated it to her mother, Joan Rissmeyer, who was diagnosed with the disease a few years ago. She is inspired by her mother’s tenacity and her father Ernie’s patience and ability to maintain his wife’s dignity in the midst of daily repetition and clouds of confusion. “My mother helped me see there are miracles all around us,” she said. Based on the overwhelming demand and support she has received from medical professionals and families, Makekau has taken her company, Hope Matters Productions, beyond speaking engagements, book signings and support groups. Now she is equipping families with tools to find hope via the airwaves with her new radio blog Because Hope Matters Talk Radio. The show airs every Monday at 6 p.m. on Makekau and her co-host, Rob Harris, author of “We’re in this Together: A Caregiver’s Story,” offers expert guidance to listeners worldwide who are facing Alzheimer’s, cancer, deployment and other life challenges. ec

Top 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s See a doctor if you or a loved one experiences any of these warning signs. B Memory loss that disrupts daily life C Challenges in planning or solving problems D Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure E Confusion with time or place F Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships G New problems with words in speaking or writing H Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps I Decreased or poor judgment J Withdrawal from work or social activities K Changes in mood and personality Source:

Photo by Scott Holstein


Helping Children Cope When Grandma Forgets


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is for Olive Oil! The Emerald Coast Strikes Liquid Gold By Susan Benton // Photos by Scott Holstein

Revered by Homer and thought to be a gift from the Goddess Athena, olive oil was once thought by ancient civilizations to be worth its weight in gold. Today, as Americans grow exceedingly health conscious, it is viewed more like a liquid gold, containing properties that can make you smarter while possibly extending your life. A fat obtained from the fruit of the Oleaceae, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin, olive oil is extracted from ground whole olives and is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, soap and pharmaceuticals.  Consumers are interested in getting the best quality for their dollar and are digging deeper to find out more about the products they are using. And what they’re gradually learning is that the majority of olive oils in supermarkets labeled as “extra virgin” are actually adulterated imitations. Indeed, according to, 69 percent of U.S. supermarket oils labeled as extra virgin showed defects in flavor and composition when tested. 

86 August–September 2013

Check It Out … Carefully

Extra virgin is the highest grade of olive oil and must be extracted from the olive without heat or solvents. International and U.S. Department of Agriculture standards require that extra virgin olive oils meet specific criteria for chemical makeup and sensory qualities, including flavor and aroma. According to Tom Mueller, author of “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil,” extra virgin is deemed as “olive oil with zero taste flaws and some perceptible fruitiness, pepperyness or bitterness.” Because of these standards, the “extra virgin” oil commands a top price. Based on studies by UC Davis Olive Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute in California, however, most olive oils fail standards. Poser oils contain refined nut and soy oils that not only debase the olive oil’s quality but can exacerbate health conditions such as food allergies and cancer. Charmed by popular brand name labels professing veritable Italian legacies, consumers falsely assume that they are purchasing oils beneficial to their health. Unfortunately, the adulteration of olive oil is at the bottom of the list of concerns for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, there is limited legislation and few safeguards regulating the production of extra virgin olive oil. So buyer beware!

O So Good For You

Good olive oil truly is liquid gold with its many health benefits. Considered the most important component of the traditional Mediterranean diet, this extraordinary fruit juice and its effects are still not fully understood, yet some health benefits have been firmly established from consuming only two tablespoons of olive oil daily. According to, the top five most scientifically supported health benefits of olive oil today are that it lowers LDL or “bad cholesterol” due to being one of the best monounsaturated fats, lowers blood pressure, lowers risk of heart disease, helps prevent hardening of the arteries and helps with cognitive function. But be aware that heat, light and air affect the taste and health nutrients of olive oil, so store oil in a dark, room-temperature cupboard, or even in the refrigerator. Olive oil can slowly degrade over time, so it is best to use within six months to one year once opened.  

The Bodacious Olive, which Rishy Studer opened last summer, is one of the newest additions to downtown Pensacola. The bright, airy, aromatic shop sells a variety of artisanal oils and vinegars, as well as freshly baked bread, homemade pastas and wine.

Where You Can Get It

Stepping through the doors to The Bodacious Olive, an epicurean market located in Downtown Pensacola, one is instantly lured by the store’s operating mantra, “Taste before you buy,” and the sight of the professional-grade, stainless steel fusti — small tanks housing the oils. The Bodacious Olive strives to educate August–September 2013



consumers about olive oil while offering a comfortable environment where they are free to try the authentic extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars and gourmet salts from around the world. Owner Rishy Studer says, “We serve the highest quality and freshest olive oil available, from over 70 farmers in 20 countries.” The Bodacious Olive proudly stakes the claim that Pensacola is not just the first European settlement of North America, but also the birthplace of the North American olive. While Don Tristan de Luna’s settlement was destroyed by a hurricane shortly after arrival, the ships in his expedition were laden with barrels of olives, becoming the first archeologically documented olive trees in North America. The shop incorporates community-minded activities by featuring local food producers, offering tastings, and it has teamed up with Pensacola Cooks to present “Learning Lunches.” Says Studer, “The lunches are extremely popular and sell out fast. There is a waiting list.” Carrying a dizzying array of the finest artisanal olive oils available on the market, The Bodacious Olive features traditional, spiced and naturally infused selections. Though the favorite remains traditional extra virgin, popular choices include California Garlic, Whole Fruit Lemon and the Cilantro & Roasted Onion. Another sought-after oil is the handcrafted Roasted Walnut Oil made in Saumur, France, by strictly following 150-year-old traditional methods. It is slowly roasted to perfection, then expellerpressed and lightly filtered, adding a rich walnut taste to salad dressing, pasta and grilled meat. Prepare yourself for a delicious detour as you also sample hot baked breads, freshly made pastas and international selections of fine wines and cheeses.  Another olive oil store, named Olive, opened its doors in late 2012 to rave reviews. Located in the heart of Destin, Dar Zook was inspired to open Olive after a trip to California had her importing oil for personal use. Meanwhile, Gina Seton, a 88 August–September 2013

friend, had visited a store in New York similar to what Dar wanted to open on the Emerald Coast. “When I asked Gina to open Olive with me,” Zook now says, “it was serendipitous!” Wanting a supplier that provided testing, Olive sells organic oils from Veronica Foods. “The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from the freshest, highest quality olives, tested by an independent Australian lab using state-of-the-art chemical and sensory analysis and is certified to be 100 percent pure,” Zook says. The test data is available on almost all of the products in the store, so you know what you’re getting is top quality. “There are many factors from growth to harvest to production that can seriously diminish the quality and healthiness of extra virgin olive oil,” Zook explains. Extra care must be taken throughout the production process (like temperature control, storage and handling of the product) to ensure that each bottle contains the highest levels of polyphenols-Oleic and free fatty acids for optimum health benefits. “We want customers to taste and experience the oils,” Zook adds. “Our No. 1 seller is the extra virgin, but people are really loving the Tuscan Herb, Garlic, Butter, and Blood Orange infused oils as well.” Offering different bottle sizes for purchase from the sample size at a cost of $4, to the 24 ounce large bottle for $28.99, the most popular size is the medium 12.6-ounce for $16.99. With so many oil varieties and options, there truly is something for everyone.  

Bringing Menus O-live

Jason Shaw started looking at the possibility of growing olives on his family farm in Lakeland, Ga., and after experimenting with a few hundred olive trees, and investing in samplings, he and his family now produce 100 percent Arbequina olive oil. Used by many of the South’s award-winning chefs such as Jospeh Lenn at Blackberry Farm to Linton Hopkins at Restaurant Eugene, Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil can also be found on the plates at Fish Out of Water at WaterColor Inn & Resort, and is available for purchase at Modica Market in Seaside. Local Chef Edward Reese of Edward’s Fine Food & Wine in Rosemary Beach swears by the olive oil that his neighbors and friends at Mac Farms create from their trees purchased in Italy and transported to the San Joaquin Valley in California over 15 years ago. The four classic species of olives present in their blend are Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino and Pendolino. This particular variety is also used at Stinky’s Fish Camp on 30A and in Navarre. Mac Farms olive oil can be purchased online at Stinky’s Fish Camp, For The Health of It and at Modica Market in Seaside. Here’s to “gold mining” all along the Emerald Coast. ec

Clockwise from left: Mac Farms' signature olive oil, made from Italian olive trees imported to California, is served and sold at Stinky's Fish Camp in Santa Rosa Beach and Navarre; As its name suggests The Bodacious Olive invites gourmands to belly up to the bar to sample an array of artisan olive oils, balsamic vinegars and gourmet salts; Gina Seton and Dar Zook of Olive in Destin, serve up freshly baked crusty bread to drizzle with dozens of flavorinfused extra virgin olive oils harvested from Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal and California. Olive's private label olive oils start at $4.99 for a sample size up to $28.99 for a large 750 ml bottle.




The Bodacious Olive 407 D South Palafox St., Pensacola (850) 433-6505 Olive 34940 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Destin (850) 460-2210 Modica Market 109 Seaside Central Square, Seaside (850) 231-1214 For The Health of It 2217 West County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach (850) 267-0558 Stinky’s Fish Camp 5960 West County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach (850) 267-3053 Mac Farms in Santa Rosa Beach August–September 2013



Destin Commons t 4313 Legendary Dr. t 850.654.2752 t 90 Augustâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 2013

dining The Key

The restaurants that appear in this guide are included as a service to readers and not as recommendations of the EC Magazine editorial department, except where noted. ★ B l d

Best of the Emerald Coast 2012 Winner Breakfast Lunch Dinner Outdoor Dining Live Music

$ Inexpensive $$ Moderately Expensive $$$ Expensive

Alys Beach George’s at Alys Beach American. Seafood, burgers and sandwiches at the perfect beachy-casual spot. Open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. 30 Castle Harbour Dr., 850-641-0017. $$ l d

Blue Mountain Beach Grecian Gardens Restaurant Mediterranean. Traditional Greek cuisine served in an open-air atmosphere perfect for special occasions or parties. Open daily 11 a.m.– 9 p.m. 3375 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-3011. $$ l d

Marie's Bistro & Bar Mediterranean. Enjoy made-to-order seafood, steak, pasta as well as sushi in a casual atmosphere. Dine in, carry out, drive through and catering. Full bar. Serving lunch 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Tues–Fri and dinner at 5 p.m. Tues–Sun. 2260 W. County Highway 30A. 850-278-6856. $$ l d Johnny McTighe's Irish Pub Irish. A true neighborhood Irish Pub serving authentic Irish Fare and the best pizza anywhere. Happy Hour Mon–Fri 4:30–6:30 p.m. Open daily 11 a.m.–2 a.m. 2298 W. County Highway 30A. 850-267-0101. $ B l d Blue Mountain Beach Creamery Ice Cream. Homemade ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt treats. Open daily 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Cash only. 2129 S. County Highway 83. 850-278-6849. $$


AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar ★ Seafood. Choose from fresh local seafood, sandwiches, pasta, chicken or specialty dishes like the oysters Eugene or Rockefeller. Open daily 11 a.m. 116 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-1913. $$ l d Another Broken Egg café ★ Breakfast. Breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, patty melts, specials, soups, salads and desserts. Open daily 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Closed Mondays. (Open Memorial and Labor days.) 979 E. Hwy. 98, Suite F, 850-650-0499. $ B Bonefish Grill ★ Seafood. Daily seafood specials cooked on an oak-burning wood grill. Bang-Bang Shrimp is a

Graffiti Italian. Traditional Italian favorites and house specialties like seafood pizza. Sun–Thu 5–9 p.m., Fri– Sat 5–10 p.m. 707 E. Hwy. 98, 850-654-2764. $$ d

crowd-pleasing appetizer. Mon–Thu 4–10:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 4–11:30 p.m., Daily happy hour 4–7 p.m. 4447 E. Commons Dr., 850-650-3161. $$ d Callahan’s Restaurant & Deli ★ American. Voted Best Locally Owned Restaurant 2008–2012, Callahan’s serves up great sandwiches, seafood specials and prime rib. Mon–Sat 10 a.m.– 10 p.m. 791 Harbor Blvd., 850-837-6328. $ l d

Harbor Docks ★ American. This surf-and-turf restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open daily 5 a.m.–11 p.m. 538 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-2506. $$ B l d

Capt. Dave’s on the Gulf Seafood. Enjoy delicious fresh seafood dishes. Open daily 4:30 p.m. 3796 Hwy. 98, 850-837-2627. $ d Ciao Bella Pizza Da Guglielmo Italian. Authentic Italian pizza, pasta, salads and more. Open daily 11 a.m. 29 E. Hwy. 98, Silver Sands, 850-654-3040. $$ l d CRAB ISLAND CANTINA Mexican. Latin inspired Mexican cuisine in a casual waterfront dining atmosphere offering the best views of Destin Harbor. Mon–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–9 p.m. 2 Harbor Blvd. 850-424-7417. $$ l d The Crab Trap Seafood. Offering fresh seafood, steaks, salads and soups beachside. Mon–Thu 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 3500 E. Hwy. 98, 850-654-2722. $$ l d Crust Pizzeria Italian. New York-style brick oven pizza. Ask about our specials. Mon-Thu 7a.m.–9 p.m., Fri & Sat 7 a.m.– 10 p.m., Sun 7 a.m.– 2 p.m. 104 Harbor Blvd., 850-460-2288. $ B l d Cuvee Bistro ★ Fusion. Classic French, Asian and Mediterranean cuisine in a casually elegant atmosphere. Mon–Sat 5:30–10 p.m. 36120 Emerald Coast Pkwy. 850-650-8900. $$$ d Destin Ice Seafood Market & Deli ★ Gourmet Take Out. Everything you need for a fresh and delicious meal. Choose from fresh fish and seafood items, pastas, salads and side dishes, Buckhead meats, decadent deserts and an assortment of wines, cheeses, spices and more. Open daily 8 a.m.– 7 p.m. 663 Emerald Coast Pkwy. 850-837-8333. $$ l d Dewey Destin’s HarborSide ★ Seafood. One of Destin’s most popular restaurants serves up charm and award-winning seafood in a quaint house overlooking the scenic Destin Harbor. Open daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m. 202 Harbor Blvd., 850-837-7525. $$ l d Dewey Destin Seafood Restaurant & Market ★ Seafood. True local charm in an outdoor setting and some of the freshest seafood around. Open 11 a.m.– 8 p.m. 9 Calhoun Ave., 850-837-7575. $$$ B l d Donut Hole Bakery Cafe American. Head to the Donut Hole for an outof-this-world breakfast or savory lunch — don’t forget the cinnamon raisin bread. Open 24 hours. 635 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-8824. $ B l Emerald Grande Resort Grande Vista bar and grill Seafood. Fresh seafood, steak, pasta, salads, sandwiches and more. Indoor and outdoor dining available. Full bar. Open daily 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Located in HarborWalk Village. 10 Harbor Blvd., next to the Marler Bridge, 850-337-8100. $$$ B l

Hard Rock Café American. Rock ’n’ roll, great drinks and mouthwatering menu. Open daily 11 a.m. 4260 Legendary Dr., Destin Commons, 850-654-3310. $ l d HARRY T’S ★ Seafood. Lounge on the beautiful patio and watch the passing boats as you enjoy an endless variety of delicious dishes. Mon–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.–10 p.m. 46 Harbor Blvd., 850-654-4800. $$ B l d Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q ★ Barbecue. Southern smokehouse barbecue. Beer and wine. Open daily 11 a.m. 14073 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-351-1991. $ l d Johnny O’Quigley’s ★ American. Award-winning steak, seafood and barbecue in one of Destin’s favorite sports bars. Mon– Thu 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sun 11 a.m.–1 a.m, Double Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–close. 34940 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-837-1015. $ l d Louisiana Lagniappe ★ Cajun and Seafood. View the Old Pass Lagoon while dining on steaks and a wide variety of fresh seafood. Open daily 5–10 p.m. 775 Gulf Shores Dr., 850-837-0881. $$ d Marina Café American. Gourmet pizzas, Creole and American cuisine. Open daily 5–10 p.m. 404 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-7960. $$ d Miller’s Ale House ★ American. Quality food at a great value price in a casual neighborhood tavern atmosphere. Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–12 a.m. 34906 Emerald Coast Pkwy. 850-837-0694. $ l d McGuire’s Irish Pub ★ Irish American. Drinks, steaks, burgers and fries and Irish fare. Open daily 11 a.m. 33 E. Hwy. 98, 850-654-0567. $$ l d NOT JUST BAGELS ★ American. Bagels, breads, pastries, salads, soups and sandwiches. Mon–Fri 6 a.m.–3 p.m., Sat–Sun 7 a.m.–3 p.m. 4447 E. Commons Dr., Suite 112, 850-650-0465. $ B l Osaka ★ Japanese. Known for its sushi but serves a variety of dishes including chicken, steak and seafood. Lunch 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Dinner 5–10:30 p.m. 34845 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-650-4688 or 850-650-4689. $$ l d Pepito’s ★ Mexican. Voted Best Mexican on the Emerald Coast, locals love Pepito’s for its authentic Mexican cuisine and mouthwatering margaritas. Happy Hour specials all day Mondays, including small rocks margaritas and all beer and well drinks for $1.99. Open daily 11 a.m.– 10 p.m. 757 E. Hwy. 98, 850-650-7734. $$ l d


Fudpucker’s American. Burgers, sandwiches and specialties like the Fried Fudpucker (triggerfish). Open 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-654-4200. $$ d

Poppy’s Crazy Lobster Seafood. Relax with us on the beautiful Destin Harbor and enjoy the best seafood in town. Toast the setting sun with a Crazy Lobster Cooler or any number of fun cocktails. Open daily at 11 a.m. HarborWalk Village, 850-424-6744. $$ l d August–September 2013



Fort Walton Beach

Regatta Bay Golf and Country Club American. Located inside Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club. Open to the public 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. Variety of salads and sandwiches. Full bar. Specializing in on- and off-site catering including weddings, receptions and special events. 465 Regatta Bay Blvd., 850-337-8888. $ B l d

Aegean Restaurant ★ Greek. Savor the flavors of the Mediterranean at this authentic Greek restaurant. Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. 1259 Eglin Pkwy., Shalimar, 850-613-6120. $$ l d

Benjarong Thai Cuisine & BBQ Thai and Barbecue. Barbecue, chicken, ribs, steak and spicy Thai food. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m. 251 Mary Esther Blvd., 850-362-0290. $$ l d

Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Dinner: Mon–Fri 5­–9 p.m., Sat 5–9:30 p.m. Closed Sun. 75 Eglin Pkwy. 850-243-0707. $$ B l d Helen Back ★ Pizza. The world’s finest hand-tossed pizza and cold beer in a sports bar atmosphere. Locations in Pensacola, Navarre, Crestview and Valparaiso. Open daily 11 a.m.– 4 a.m. 114 Amberjack Dr. 850-796-1451. $ l d High Tide ★ Seafood. Delicious seafood dishes, award-winning gumbo and fresh Apalachicola oysters served for lunch and dinner. Mon–Sat 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 1203 Miracle Strip Pkwy. 850-244-2624. $

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steak and Seafood. New Orleans-inspired appetizers, desserts and award-winning wines. Mon–Sat 5:30–10 p.m., Sun 5:30–9 p.m. Silver Shells Resort. 1500 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-337-5108. $$$ d

Ali's Bistro American. Seafood, steak, pasta, chicken, veal, sandwiches and salads in a casually cool modern space. Tue–Sun 11 a.m.–9 p.m. 171 Brooks St., 850-226-4708. $$ l d

Sarah k’s gourmet ★ Gourmet Take-out. Chef-crafted, ready-to-heat cuisine. Jumbo lump crab cakes and fresh chicken salad are the house specialties. Open at 11 a.m. 34940 Hwy. 98, 850-269-0044. $ l d

The Black Pearl Steak and Seafood. Dig into some coconut shrimp and a juicy steak while enjoying a lovely view of the Gulf. Located in The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. Open daily 4 p.m. 1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy., 850-833-3016. $$ d

Old Bay Steamer Seafood. Fresh, steamed and grilled seafood served in a lively atmosphere. Dinner served daily from 4 p.m. No reservations. 102 Santa Rosa Blvd., 850-664-2795. $$$ d

Tuscany Italian Bistro ★ Italian. Chef and owner, Guglielmo Ianni, prepares authentic Northern Italian cuisine using the freshest of ingredients, choice meats, fresh seafood and garden vegetables. Hours TBD. 36178 Emerald Coast Pkwy. 850-650-2451. $$ d

Buffalo’s Reef Famous Wings ★ American. This restaurant is famous for hot wings and cold beer. Ask about the daily specials. Tue–Sat open at 10:30 a.m., Sun open at noon. 116 Eglin Pkwy., 850-243-9463. $ l d

Pandora’s Steak and Seafood. Early evening specials weekdays 5–6 p.m. Happy Hour weekdays 5–7 p.m. Weekdays 5–10 p.m. Weekends 5–11 p.m. 1226 Santa Rosa Blvd., 850-244-8669. $$$ d

Clemenza’s Uptown ★ Italian. This family owned restaurant features authentic Italian cuisine, a full bar and Mama Clemenza’s famous European Breakfast. Breakfast: Sat 8 a.m.–noon, Sun 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Pranzo Italian Ristorante Italian. The Montalto family has been serving classic and contemporary Italian cuisine in Fort Walton Beach for nearly 30 years. Dinner Mon–Sat, 5 p.m. 1222 Santa Rosa Blvd., 850-244-9955. $ d

ZoËs Kitchen American. Healthy sandwiches and salads. Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Destin Commons, 850-650-6525. $ l d

on the menu


Magnolia Grill ★ Steak, Seafood and Italian. Steak, seafood, pasta, soups, salads and desserts. Lunch Mon–Fri 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. Dinner Mon–Sat, open at 5 p.m. Closed Sun. 157 SE Brooks St., 850-302-0266. $$ l d

rom French pastries to hand-crafted pizza, these Emerald Coast menu selections are sure to please even the most picky paletes this summer.


KaraBoo Bakery, Miramar Beach

Kick morning hunger to the curb and put some pep in your step with a stop at this quaint bakery. We indulged in a freshly baked galette prepared with savory spinach and tomato, while sipping on a gourmet cup of local fair-trade Amavida coffee. Owner and Pastry Chef Kara Enache, known for her incredible cakes, will customize pastry flavors, including vegetarian options, a delectable way to start the day. $5.70


Cactus Flower Cafe, Pensacola

Satisfying our craving for authentic Mexican fare made fresh to order using traditional family recipes, we snapped up the flavor packed Torta layered with shredded beef, avocado, greens, creamy cheese and spicy mayo, all stacked high on a golden toasted roll. An added bonus was the cup of warm tortilla soup, bursting with flavor that came on the side. Delicioso! $8.95 Sergio’s Little Italy, Grayton Beach

Karaboo Bakery’s Spinach and Tomato Galette

92 August–September 2013

Owner Sergio Petrov claims, “the good pizza is here,” and after trying the Lidias we can see why. The pizza dough and sauce are made from scratch daily, the pizza hand-tossed then scattered with thinly sliced prosciutto, grilled chicken, pancetta, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella and stone fired to perfection. Named after Petrov’s mother, the divine combination of smoky flavors was delightful, and this coastal trattoria will soon become a culinary ritual. Buon appetito … y’all. $13.95

Photo by Scott Holstein


Sealand Steak and Seafood. Serving American cuisine as well as Thai offerings in a homey atmosphere. Lunch Sun 11 a.m. until. Dinner Tuesâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Sat from 4:30 p.m. 47 SE Miracle Strip Pkwy., 850-244-0044. $$$ B d Staffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steak, Seafood and Pasta. In operation for more than 100 years, Staffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is the oldest family-operated Florida restaurant and a local favorite serving homemade American cuisine in a casual, rustic atmosphere. Open daily for dinner from 5 p.m. 24 Miracle Strip Pkwy., 850-243-3482. $$ d Sugar Mill Sweets â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Bakery. Homemade baked goods and deli style sandwiches served in a casual atmosphere. Bakery hours: Mon­â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Fri 8 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 p.m. Lunch: 10:45 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1:45 p.m. 913 Beal Pkwy N.W. 850-862-9431. $ l

Grayton Beach

Another Broken Egg cafĂŠ â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Breakfast. Breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, patty melts, specials, soups, salads and desserts. Open 7:30 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 p.m. Closed Mondays. (Open Memorial and Labor days.) 51 Grayton Uptown Cir., 850-231-7835. $ B Pandoraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steak and Seafood. Warm, traditional steakhouse with early evening specials. Weekdays 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 p.m. Weekends 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11 p.m. 63 DeFuniak St., 850-231-4102. $$ d Picoloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s restaurant Seafood. Dine on delicious fresh seafood while listening to live music. Open daily 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 p.m. and 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 p.m. 70 Hotz Ave., 850-231-1008. $$ l d Red Bar â&#x2DC;&#x2026; American. A favorite among locals, visitors and celebrities and a must-visit when in Grayton Beach. Kick back on the funky furniture and listen to live music while enjoying great food and cocktails â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially the award-winning Bloody Mary. Breakfast 7â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10:30 a.m., Lunch 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 p.m., Dinner 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 p.m. Bar open 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11 p.m., Friâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Sat 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;midnight. Cash or check only, no credit cards. 70 Hotz Ave., 850-231-1008. $$ B l d


Trattoria Borago Italian. Enjoy a balsamic-laced pork tenderloin or pan-seared grouper from the open kitchen. Open 6 p.m. daily. 80 E. Hwy. 30A, Grayton Beach, 850-231-9167. $$ d


Miramar Beach


Aegean Restaurant â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Greek. Sip an ouzo at the beautiful stone bar before savoring the flavors of the Mediterranean at this authentic Greek restaurant. Breakfast 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;11 a.m., Lunch 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;4 p.m., Dinner 4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9 p.m. 11225 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-460-2728. $$ B l d Agave Azul Mexican Cuisine Mexican. We are bringing the real taste of Mexico to The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin. Come join us for Happy Hour from 3:45â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7 p.m. and enjoy the sunset on the back deck. Let us show you what Mexico is all about. Open daily 11 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 a.m. 111 Cannery Lane, The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin, 850-424-5177. $$ l d Another Broken Egg cafĂŠ â&#x20AC;&#x201C; On the Bay â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Breakfast. Breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, patty melts, specials, soups, salads and desserts. Open daily from 7 a.m.â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 p.m. The Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-622-2050. $ B Bistro Bijoux â&#x2DC;&#x2026; Steak and Seafood. Coastal cuisine with a New Orleans flair. Fresh seafood daily. Featuring our signature dish â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Black Skilletâ&#x20AC;? filet mignon topped with a tempura-fried lobster tail. Open daily 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 p.m. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-622-0760. $$$ d Cabana CafĂŠ. American. A casual poolside restaurant serving made-to-order salads, savory soups and chowders, deli-style sandwiches (with homemade

Reservations 850-622-1500 R 850 622 1500 0 At the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa Destin, Florida OFFICIAL RESERVATION PARTNER Augustâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;September 2013


2012 Thank you for voting us “Best Restaurant in Okaloosa County!”

dining bread!), savory build-your-own burgers and quesadillas, stone-fired pizza, pasta and more. Sunday brunch. Full bar. Open 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Mon–Sat and Sundays from 9 a.m.–2 a.m. Happy Hour 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Karaoke and live entertainment. Located on the ground floor of Ariel Dunes in Seacape Resort, 112 Seascape Drive. Come see us in our new location inside Hurricane Lanes in Destin. Ask about the locals discount. 850-424-3574. $$ l d Cantina Laredo ★ Mexican. Boasting a contemporary décor and fiery flavor, the new addition to Grand Boulevard offers gourmet twists on Mexican favorites. Save room for dessert, and check out the Sunday brunch. Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 585 Grand Blvd., 850-654-5649. $$ B l d Carrabba’s italian grill Italian. Flavorful dishes, including calamari, chicken Marsala, fresh fish, seafood and grilled steaks. Open Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Thu 4–10:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 4–11:30 p.m. 10562 W. Hwy. 98, 850-837-1140. $$ d Fat Clemenza’s ★ Italian. Feel like part of the family as you enjoy homemade classical Italian cuisine. Lunch Mon–Fri 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Dinner Mon–Wed 5–9:30 p.m., Thu–Sat 5–10 p.m. Holiday Plaza/Hwy. 98, 850-650-5980. $$ l d Elephant Walk American. Rediscover the signature dish, Grouper Elizabeth, and relive the nostalgia and charm that is the incomparable Elephant Walk. Enjoy attentive service, excellent continental cuisine, a dynamic wine list and panoramic views of the Gulf. Serving lunch seasonally and dinner daily 5–10 p.m. Beachside at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy West. 850-267-4800. $$$ l d Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar ★ Steak and More. This award-winning restaurant offers prime steaks, chops, chicken, seafood, fresh salads and a variety of unique sides and desserts served in a comfortable but elegant atmosphere. Featuring 100 wines by the glass. Open Mon–Thu 5–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 5–11 p.m., Sun 4–9 p.m. 600 Grand Blvd., 850-269-0830. $$ d Lillie’s On Pigs Alley Barbecue. For lip-smacking good barbecue, try Lillie’s sandwiches, ribs, beef or chicken. The restaurant won the Barbecue World Championship in Memphis in 2007. Open Tue–Sat 11 a.m.–7 p.m. 9848 W. Hwy. 98, 850-654-3911. $ l d Lin’s Asian Cuisine Asian. Chef Qun Lin whips up steaming portions of your favorite Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes. Open Mon–Thu 10:30 a.m.– 9 p.m., Fri–Sat 10:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m. 130 Scenic Gulf Dr., Suite 5B, 850-424-5888. $ l d

ANTHONY’S SCREEN Professional Installation Service

Marina Bar and Grill American. Seafood, po-boys, burgers, salads overlooking the Baytowne Marina and Choctawhatchee Bay. You catch 'em we cook 'em service. Open daily 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Breakfast Sat–Sun 8–11 a.m. Kitchen closed Mon–Tue. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. West., 850-267-7778. $ B l d Marlin Grill ★ Steak and Seafood. Fresh seafood, steaks, salads and appetizers served inside or outside. Open nightly at 5 p.m. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-351-1990. $$$ l d The Melting Pot Fondue. Dip into something different and enjoy an interactive, handson, four-course dining experience with a cheese fondue, salad, entrée and chocolate fondue dessert. Open Sun–Thu 5–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 5–11 p.m. 11394 Hwy. 98., 850-269-2227. $$$ d

850.678.2865 Screws 94 August–September 2013

for a FREE Estimate


Mitchell’s Fish Market Seafood. Chef-driven dishes such as Cedar Roasted Atlantic Salmon or Hoisin-Glazed Yellow Fin Tuna. Lunch Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Dinner Mon–Thu 4–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 3–9 p.m. Grand Boulevard Sandestin, 850-650-2484. $$ l d

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro ★ Asian. Sample crunchy lettuce wraps or Chinese favorites like Kung Pao Chicken in a chic atmosphere. Open Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 10640 Grand Blvd., 850-269-1806. $$ l d Pepito’s ★ Mexican. Voted Best Mexican on the Emerald Coast. Authentic Mexican cuisine, delicious margaritas and weekly specials. Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 11225 Hwy 98, 850-269-7788. $$ l d Poppy’s Seafood Factory Seafood. Enjoy fresh seafood, steak and poultry dishes with a view of the bay. Open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-351-1996. $$$ l d Royal Orchid ★ Thai. Escape to Thailand at this authentic Thai restaurant. Sink into a traditional sunken table surrounded by pillows or dine American style at a table or booth. Thu–Tue 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Closed Wed. 11275 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-650-2555. $$ l d Rum Runners American. Caribbean/coastal/Mediterranean menu with sandwiches, seafood, steaks, chicken and pasta. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-267-8117. $$ l d Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood ★ Steak and Seafood. Premium steak, fresh seafood and caviar. Open 6 p.m. daily. Hilton Sandestin. 4000 S. Sandestin Blvd., 850-622-1500. $$$ d Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar ★ Caribbean. Get a taste of the islands with jerk

spices, fresh fish and the best desserts on the coast, as voted by readers of Emerald Coast Magazine. Open Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.– midnight. 525 Grand Blvd., 850-654-1743. $$ l d Vin’Tij Wine Boutique & Bistro ★ American. Traditional favorites and unique house dishes. Open daily 11 a.m.–midnight. 10859 W. Emerald Coast Pkwy., Suite 103, 850-650-9820. $

l d

Niceville/Valparaiso Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Family Sports Pub American. Wings, sandwiches, salads, burgers. Open Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m., Happy hour Mon–Fri 3–7 p.m. 4540 E. Hwy. 20, 850-897-3964. $ l d Compass Rose Restaurant and Bar Caribbean. Waterfront dining overlooking Tom's Bayou. The cuisine is coastal with a Caribbean West Indies flair. Enjoy Happy Hour, daily specials and Sunday brunch. Tue–Thur 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat 4–10 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.– 3 p.m. 303 Glen Ave., 850-389-2125. $$ l d One 20 A Modern Bistro ★ American. Modern American cuisine specializing in seafood, steaks and local fresh produce. Lunch: Tue– Fri 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Dinner: Tue–Sat 5–9 p.m., Brunch: Sun 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Closed Monday. 120 Partin Drive North, Niceville, 850-729-2120. $$ B l d Pepitos ★ Mexican. Locals love the authentic Mexican cuisine, margaritas and all-day Monday Happy Hour special.

Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 4585 E Hwy 20, Suite 100, Niceville, 850-279-4949. $$ l d TradeWinds Italian. A cozy favorite among locals serving heaping portions from old family recipes. Enjoy a number of pasta variations as well as seafood, chicken, veal, steak and thin crust pizza. Expansive wine and beer list. Reservations required. Open Tue–Sat 5 p.m. 205 Government St., 850-678-8299. $$ d

Santa Rosa Beach

98 Bar-B-Que Barbecue. Four generations have perfected Southern barbecue served with your favorite sides. Lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon–Sat. 5008 W. Hwy. 98., 850-622-0679. $ l d Amore Pizzeria Italian/American. Serving gourmet pizzas, wings, salads and panini sandwiches in a family-friendly atmosphere. Mon–Fri 11 a.m.–3 p.m. for lunch and 5–9 p.m. for dinner, Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun noon– 9 p.m. Closed Tue. 95 Laura Hamilton Blvd. in Gulfplace (CR 393 and 30A), 850-267-2202. $l d Basmati’s Asian Cuisine & Sushi Asian. Asian dishes and full sushi bar. Open 4 p.m. daily. 3295 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-3028. $$ d Café Tango American. Seafood, poultry and pasta served with specialty sauces. Homemade desserts. Open Tue–Sun 5–10 p.m. 14 Vicki St., 850-267-0054. $$$ d



18 Hibachi Tables Sushi Bar ~ Private Dining Happy Hour Specials 4–6

Sushi ~ Take Out Authentic Japanese Cuisine


Located in the Village of Baytowne Wharf ™

850.650.4688 or 850.650.4689 34745 Emerald Coast Parkway / Destin August–September 2013


a taste for ...

Fresh Florida Scallops July through September you can harvest scallops in a handful of places throughout Florida, but the closest and maybe best experience can be found along the Forgotten Coast in Port St. Joe and Cape San Blas, a 17-mile barrier island along St. Joseph Bay. All you need to nab these delicious mollusks is a salt water fishing license. You can kayak or canoe out to grass beds and spot them while wearing a snorkel mask — or simply wade out to them near shore and scoop them up by hand or with a small net. Though they are small in size, they are big on flavor and easy to prepare. Simply open with a butter knife, scrape clean, leave the adductor muscle and steam or grill them right in the shell. Or scoop the scallop into a container and chill until you are ready to prepare your favorite recipe that calls for the scallop to be pan friend, seared, baked or grilled. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner any recipe that puts this delicate and versatile mollusk center stage is likely a tasty one. This succulent seafood is something to be celebrated. And it is each August during Florida’s Annual Scallop & Music Festival in downtown Port St Joe. The 17th annual event is slated for August 2–3. Happy harvesting! — Zandra Wolfgram


96 August–September 2013


pastas, soups and bisques. Open Tues–Fri 11 a.m.– 2:30 p.m., Wed–Sat 5–9 p.m. 4801 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-2305. $$ l d

Fire American. With New Orleans natives in the kitchen, it’s no surprise that this casual fine-dining restaurant is hot. Lunch Thu–Fri 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Dinner Mon– Thu 6–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 6–10 p.m., Brunch Sun 11 a.m. 7 Town Canter Loop, 850-267-9020. $$ l d

Seaside & Seagrove Beach

Fish Out of Water Restaurant Continental. Southern coastal cuisine with an Asian flair: tuna, crab cakes, shrimp and scallops. 5:30–10 p.m. daily. Located in the WaterColor Inn, 850-534-5050. $$$ d Louis Louis American. The only thing that isn’t over the top at Louis Louis is the menu pricing. The Moulin Rougeinspired interior décor is outrageously wonderful. Dine outside or in. The menu has six tasty items, from crab cakes, panned chicken, blackened fish and a few pastas. Mon–Sun 5–10 p.m. 35 Mussett Bayou Rd., 850-267-1500. $ d VKI Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar Asian. Using the freshest ingredients this Japanese gem serves up tasty Habachi-style stirfry meals of steak, seafood and chicken prepared at your table as well as artfully prepared sashimi and sushi rolls. Open daily. Lunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Dinner 4:30–9:30 p.m. 4552 Highway 98, Santa Rosa Beach, 850-267-2555. $$ l d Vue on 30a American. Seafood, beef, poultry, lamb, veal,

723 Whiskey Bravo American. Steak, seafood and casual “beachy” bites. Relax on the rooftop bar with Gulf view. Open daily from 11 a.m. Brunch on Sundays. 3031 Scenic Highway 30A. 850-213-0015. $$ l d Angelina’s Pizza & Pasta Italian. Authentic homemade pizza pie and Italian dishes in a casual atmosphere. Lunch and dinner daily: 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. 4005 E. Hwy. 30A, 850231-2500. $ l d Bud & Alley’s Restaurant American. Serving fresh seafood, steak and vegetarian options. Open 11:30 a.m. Mon–Fri. Roof bar open 11:30 p.m.–2 a.m. in summer. 2236 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-231-5900. $$$ l d

La Botana Tapas. Small plates of Latin-inspired cuisine served in a casual but elegant atmosphere. Wine bar. Lunch and dinner Mon–Fri 4–11 p.m., Sat–Sun 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 4281 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-231-0716. $$ l d La Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar Mexican. Traditional Tex-Mex with a coastal twist. Open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. Bar open until 10 p.m. 10343 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-231-4021. $$ l d Old Florida Fish House and Bar Seafood. Rustic seafood restaurant featuring a new take on old seafood favorites. Full bar. Dinner daily 5 p.m. 5235 Hwy. 30A, 850-534-3045. $$ d V Seagrove Restaurant Seafood. Chef David Cunningham serves up fresh seafood and produce that is locally sourced in a resort casual atmosphere. Open Tue–Sat at 6 p.m. Closed Sundays. 2743 E. County Highway 30A, Seagrove, 850-468-0973. $$$ d

Café Thirty-A Seafood. Seafood, lamb, duck, filet mignon and pizza. Open daily 5 p.m. 3899 E. Hwy. 30A, 850231-2166. $$ d Crush American. Crush features an extensive wine menu, sushi and small plates. Open daily for lunch and dinner, noon–10 p.m. 25 Central Sq., 850-468-0703. $$ l d


Great SOuthern Café Southern. Jim Shirley serves up Southern comfort food with a twist. Open daily for breakfast 8–11 a.m., lunch 11 a.m.–4 p.m., dinner 4–11:30 p.m. 83 Central Sq., 850-231-7327. $$ B l d

Seagrove Village Market Café Steak and Seafood. Enjoy surf-and-turf and a glass of wine, then shop for gifts and souvenirs in the adjacent gift shop. Open 10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. daily. 3004 S. County Rd. 395, 850-231-5736. $$ l d ec

LUNCH DINNER LATE NIGHT Hours of operation 11am until 2am Happy Hour is 3:45 until 7pm 111 Cannery Lane, Sandestin (In Baytowne Wharf) 850.424.5177 | August–September 2013


the last word

It Takes One to Know One Confessions of a Social Media Maven By Stacey May Brady


i, my name is Stacey and I am an addict. There, I said it. Er, wrote it. It’s true, I am an addict and I am certain there are other addicts out there. It takes one to know one. We can easily spot each other because we’ve been hanging out in the same haunt. We see each other out there everyday, many times … on Facebook. How did this happen? For months, as the hype over Facebook (FB to us junkies) escalated, I fought the temptation, staying far away from what I knew would be a dangerous time suck. Yet, in the end, I gave way to the allure and justified it in the name of “needing to become entrenched for my business.” It was true of course. I did need to become immersed in social media in order to stay ahead (at least keep up) of the very fast-moving direction being endorsed by the public relations and marketing professions. So, I took that first step and created an account. Then I did what every FB addict does — I searched for the perfect photo to represent who I am (obviously intelligent, incredibly cute while impeccably professional and well-groomed), and I uploaded it. I then completed my profile information, being careful not to give out too much personal information. Finally, I took the step from which there was no going back — I posted and went live. Oh, the rush! The sheer excitement and terror of putting it all out there and letting all hang out … at least the attractive parts. At first I was pretty disciplined and only went to FB once a day, trying to squeeze it in between a 10-hour workday and reading before bedtime (okay, okay, watching

98 August–September 2013

reality TV — whatever). I had a couple of epiphanies when long-lost friends came a-calling. Then I “friended” my sisters and daughters and learned more about all of them in one week than I’d known over the past year. Not all of it good . (Yep, I smiley and sad face too and inappropriately use “smiley” and “sad face” as verbs — it’s a symptom of my addiction.) Within a few weeks, as I became more proficient on FB, I also became more flagrant with my use of my new guilty pleasure. I began checking FB regularly throughout the day and into the evening. I began to seek out my favorite friends to see what they were up to. Just a quick peek before I cook dinner; a brief encounter before I turned off the bedroom light at night. One last thumbs up to a comment I liked … Lest you judge me, I can totally justify my behavior. My FB skill set now translates to managing Internet marketing strategies in business. The upside of my FB dependency is that I have been able to transfer what I’ve learned to my employer’s FB business page. (BTW, I am still not happy about “being a fan” changing over to “being a like.”) I actually don’t mind posting regularly and enjoy the sensation of “sharing” each post and watching it go live (except when I spot a typo). I appreciate when a friend takes the time to “like” my post, and I try not to be a compulsive “liker” when I peruse my News Feed. Today, I’m taking my FB use one day at a time. That is to say, I’m on it about a dozen times a day and closing in on 500 close friends. Hey, at least I only use Twitter occasionally, though that 140-character demon is calling my name. ec


Illustration by Shruti Shah

Profile for Rowland Publishing, Inc.

Emerald Coast Magazine, August/September 2013  

Capturing the essence of Florida’s thriving Emerald Coast with award-winning writing, bold layouts and stunning photography, Emerald Coast M...

Emerald Coast Magazine, August/September 2013  

Capturing the essence of Florida’s thriving Emerald Coast with award-winning writing, bold layouts and stunning photography, Emerald Coast M...