Friday, September 18, 2015

The slow road to Pensacola

At Navarre Beach
After all the time we have spent in this part of the world, Alan has hardly seen anything of Pensacola.   We had always wanted to head out there to watch the Blue Angels practice but, if I remember correctly, this used to start at 8am. To drive there from Geneva would have been brutal. And the Blue Angels don't fly the week that Mom had her time share which was closer to Pensacola.

Two years ago, we were in the area on a week they should have flown but they had no funding.  So this time around, I booked a hotel in Pensacola to make darn sure we saw finally saw them! The joke was on me though, they start at 11:30 not 8am, so we didn't really need to stay overnight!  I am glad we did though.

View from the pier
Alan and I started this day in the manner we like to start every day when we are in Fort Walton Beach - by walking the Okaloosa Island Pier in the morning.  Not only is it beautiful to be on the beach but you also never know what sort of wild life and sea life you are going to experience.  This morning we had the pleasure of observing how much fishermen hate dolphins!  We also spotted a lovely little sea turtle, along with loads of jelly fish, herons, seagulls, terns, Ramoras and other fish we could not name.
This fishermen have very choice words for these gorgeous creatures,
they can take a fish off a hook and not hurt themselves!  

This one got away but he was close to catching a little snack!
They move so fast it is difficult to catch when
they come up for air!
Fishing - what most people do on the pier!
It is not everyday you get a Sea Turtle at the pier!

Leaving the pier for the day
Avocado omelette with 2 pancakes!

Tearing ourselves away from the pier, we stopped at our favourite IHOP (International House of Pancakes) for breakfast. This one is the traditional IHOP our family always uses and I love the continuity of being there.

Navarre Beach
I asked Alan tp drive along Navarre Beach instead of going directly to Pensacola.  (Poor Alan is doing all the driving this trip, we could not get a package that permitted additional drivers when we booked the car and the cost per day was too much to justify.)  This part of Santa Rosa island reminds me of when I first moved to this area in 1964.  At that time, Okaloosa Island had almost nothing on it, with miles of pure white sand, dunes that went on and on - one of them was called the Matterhorn because it was 40 feet high.  It really makes me sad at how this area has developed.  You just cannot see the beauty of this area as easily anymore.

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum
Located on Pensacola Naval Air Station
Alan getting ready to see the Blue Angels!
Our next stop was the Naval Air Station, mainly to plan our parking and time of arrival for tomorrow.  We did have a look around and had arrived just in time to see IMAX movie about flight, with alot of information about the training and dedication of the Blue Angels pilots.

We stayed at the Days Inn on Palafox Street but it really wasn't within walking distance of anything, so we drove to the original McGuire's restaurant for dinner.

McGuire's in Destin is one of the required places to eat for us when we are in this area, so we decided to visit the original location!  Just as much fun and even more dollar bills stapled all over the inside of the restaurant - at least $1.7 Million!

Then, before retiring for the night, we went in search of a sunset.

I couldn't have said this better myself!

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