Here’s To Making the List

It’s not always a good thing to be on someone’s “list.” But there are exceptions. This issue’s Personality profile, for example, is about someone who knows quite a lot about the “naughty and nice” lists. (We try most years for the latter.) And we suppose the Best of the Emerald Coast list is one we are a little partial to. So, I guess we have to admit we have a certain appreciation for A-listers and do-gooders in general. Gretchen Erickson is one whom we’ve spotlighted in Chat. What a girl scout! And we mean that literally and fondly. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Girl Scouts, we know there are many little girls who deserve a few cookies themselves.

Who doesn’t love to be on the “it list” to enjoy their proverbial “15 minutes?” We’re happy to report the recent spotlight on Destin, the heart of the Emerald Coast, doesn’t appear to be dimming any time soon. If you have your head in the sugar-white sand and haven’t heard, the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” has enjoyed the limelight thanks to several national media outlets. In May, Boating magazine listed Destin as the No. 1 city in the entire country to live on a boat. In August, ABC’s Good Morning America held a national contest for viewers to choose the “Most Beautiful Place in America.” Thanks to Terri Rose of Niceville, Destin was nominated and placed in the top 10. Apparently, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Calif., is gorgeous, because it took first place in the end. But before we could be too disappointed, nationalgeographic.com voted Destin one of the “Best Fall Trips for 2011.”

We locals are not surprised, are we? The summer traffic and record bed tax numbers are a tip off that millions of visitors agree, too. After a few years of man-made and natural disasters, it’s refreshing to hear some good news. It’s validating that the Emerald Coast, the place we call home, is “the best,” “number one” and one of the “prettiest” places anywhere. We’re on top! And in our feature story, “What’s Happening on the Emerald Coast in 2012,” we’re happy to report on many of the reasons why.

And to celebrate the new year, we bring you an effervescent tasting story on Champagne and sparkling wines. We offer special thanks to Chan Cox, John Morris and the capable team at Wine World in Destin for filling our glasses and story to the brim with all things bubbly.

Speaking of bubbly, we toast As You Like It Salon & Spa in Mary Esther, named the first ever Emerald Coast Top Salon before an electric crowd gathered at the Emerald Grande overlooking the Destin Harbor in September.

Their model, Brenda Tuncer, an Okaloosa County school teacher, wowed the crowd with her sleek, shoulder length coppery bob, beautiful smile and svelte figure. As she strolled the catwalk with confidence, celebrity emcee Daniel Lewis exclaimed, “You look absolutely fabulous!” And thanks to the talented stylists at As You Like It and the generosity of Ivey, Sunset Shoes and Bluewater Bay Plastic Surgery Center, she did indeed.

Here’s to all of the Brenda Tuncers out there who are ready to shine in a brand new year.