Snowbirds greet February with smiles

Sigrid J. Aeschleman

It’s almost enough to make you feel guilty … well, almost. As Destin snowbirds bask in the sunlight and enjoy the outdoor activities that come with warm weather and sunshine, many loved ones back home are battling the elements of snow, wind, ice, loss of power and much more. Relatives trying to visit winter residents in Destin might have some difficulty traveling with storms to the north and east, but everyone remains hopeful that guests of snowbirds will arrive safely and without delay.

In the meantime, the walking paths are full throughout the day, golf courses are heavily scheduled with tee times and golf carts are seen cruising up and down Scenic 98 and throughout housing complexes. Beach chairs are set up in a timely fashion in order to get the best view and the rays of the sun. After all, this is what retirement is all about, isn’t it? One can hardly complain about the weather this snowbird season.

Rex and his dog, Buddy, enjoyed the sun Monday as they walked to DQ in Miramar Beach. Buddy, now 12 years old, cannot walk as far as he used to (who can?), but Rex did eventually share his ice cream cone with Buddy after he waited patiently for a bite. “We have been coming to Destin for four years now and really enjoy the area.” From Troy, Mo., Rex and Buddy are making the most of the beautiful weather by spending time together. A rescue dog with a wonderful story, Buddy is as happy as can be.

Monday was also the day of the first Destin Snowbird Club Harbor Boat Cruise aboard the Southern Star. Cruisers enjoyed the entertainment of David Hall and everyone had a great time on board. The next cruise will be Feb. 9 with Chuck Lawson entertaining the guests. Tickets will go on sale before each of the two meetings on Feb. 3 for $15 per person. These are on a first-come, first-serve basis and the number of tickets available are limited.

Snowbirds were entertained at the meeting on Tuesday by Chuck Lawson. “Sweet Caroline,” again the favorite of many, got most everyone up and swaying to the music. It doesn’t take much to get the snowbirds singing along.

Number of members in the Destin Snowbird Club reached 1,821 after registration Tuesday. Of this number, 1,803 are paid members and 18 are Life Members. This number is up marginally from last season by 38 people. Registration will again be held on Feb. 3 before each of the two meetings from 7:30-8:15 a.m. and 10-10:45 a.m. for those who come to the Gulf Coast at the beginning of February.  One more registration will be held Feb. 10th before the meetings as well. If questions, call Linda Zukonik at 850-650-7150.

Although planning ahead, other than for meals and golf tee times, isn’t really a strong suit of snowbirds, the club is asking for you to do just that and look ahead into 2016 toward the NWF Snowbirds Valentines Cruise which leaves out of New Orleans on Carnival’s Dream cruise ship. The trip, planned with Tammy’s Journeys, needs to be booked and final payment made by Nov. 23, 2015, so planning ahead is necessary. Call 850-243-3809 for further details or email

Before each meeting, tickets for club activities are on sale by volunteers sitting at tables in front of the stage. As previously mentioned, tickets for the Harbor Boat Cruise on Feb.9 will be on sale this week. Also you will find tickets for the Soundsations Benefit Concert at NWF State College on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. and tickets for the Fashion Show on Feb. 23 at Embassy Suites with styles by Chico’s being presented. TGIT Party tickets may be purchased at the door on Feb. 3 and 17.

The Friendship Club, open to singles, will meet at the Black Pearl following the 11 a.m. meeting on Feb. 3.

Nothing to do? Come out and be part of the group.  Consider volunteering for positions on the Board of Directors (2nd vice president and treasurer) or help with other activities or committees. Don’t forget to visit our user friendly website, thanks to webmaster Bob Baker, at Any information you could possibly need or want or to see what is needed for the future success of the Club.

Sigrid J. Aeschleman, publicity director, is from Illinois and can be reached at