We were located on the top floor (so lots of stairs). It was a bit stuffy when we first got there but we threw open the windows and turned on the fan and it was fine. there’s no A/C but because of its location on the hillside a gentle breeze was always coming in the windows (from which we could see the Demo in the city).

I turned to my friend Jenny Jordan, owner of Oceanfront vacation rentals, for help. We found the perfect house and nearby condos. She helped arrange for special pricing that we could all afford, especially since we were all splitting the costs. All our accommodations were oceanfront. We used the kitchen in the big house as the main cook station, although there were several ovens at work in the condos as well. Since I live here in Myrtle Beach, I was able to fill in the gaps with lots of tableware, special seasonings, and anything else we had forgotten to bring, although I thought my original list was thorough! I moved into the big house for the week, and it was as though I was on vacation, too, even though my own house was only 5 miles away.

Chester Fried Chicken – I don’t do fried chicken very often but when I do, Chester’s blows the colonel out of the water! Tender and flavorful, Chester’s is available for takeout from the Ruidoso Lawrence Brothers IGA Grocery.

LONGBOAT KEY: Want to go to Florida without the hassle of the amusement parks? How about having white sandy Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico beaches within a quarter mile of each other? Want some of the best seafood around. Check in – you’ll want to stay.

You will always be well fed. There are also plenty of shopping and antiquing spots, a family fun water park, and hot little night life. If you happen to vacation there in June, join in the celebration of the city’s most notorious resident, pirate Billy Bowlegs. Much revelry will be accompanied by way too many bad renditions of “aright!” But after a few pints of grog, who really cares? And for a classier outing, charter a sailboat or just watch with delight as sailing enthusiasts from all over the world take to Choctawhatchee Bay. Make this year’s beach vacation the best sand sun and surf you ever took on, start by finding your Fort Walton Beach rental condo, villa or home right here.