Pensacola

My legs are tucked under me as I write and warm up from a Jackson jaunt.  The sun is peeking out today, but there is a wicked cold wind.  I’m glad for the short outing we had and the retreat back into warm Lucy.  Pat is still a bit puny, so a nap was in order for him.  I can’t wait to write about today’s adventures in Enterprise, AL, but all in good time.  You need the Pensacola tale first.

Quirky Little Campground

We stayed at Five Flags RV Park in Pensacola and despite being literally right off the interstate, it was surprisingly quiet (except for Saturday night when the Five Flags Speedway was in full swing).  Some clever craftsman gave this place true personality and we enjoyed walking around looking at the decor.

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The Etch A Sketch disguises the dumpster and is complete with a container of colored chalk so you can write your own messages.

Instead of the traditional laundry room, this place has two decommissioned trolleys filled with washers and dryers.  We’ve never seen anything like this before and so cute!

The fun Airstream trailer door leads out of the park fence directly into the Sonny’s BBQ parking lot.  The other trailer door – and they really are household doors – leads out the back to a convenience store.  Way more fun than plain old gates.

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There was even one of those tiny houses down the way from our site.  They threw a big party on Saturday night.

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Methinks someone is a bit conflicted.  An example of right colors, wrong school!

Last East Coast Lighthouse…For A While

Still at the coast, so we’re still in lighthouse country.  I’m thinking this one will be the last until we get to the West coast.  Pensacola does have a fine lighthouse and we had quite a thrill getting to it.  You have to enter the Navy base to get there.  I produced my ID for a very stern camo’d serviceman who gave us a pass to the lighthouse and aviation museum.  It’s been quite a while since Pat or I have been on a Navy base and pretty sure he would have been fine to skip that part altogether.

This is also the home base for the Blue Angels.  They weren’t at home during our visit, but the fly boys were practicing in the Navy jets.  You certainly hear them, you just can’t figure out where they are.  I’m sure you get used to the sound eventually, but our heads shot up every time they roared overhead right next to the lighthouse.

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Happy girl – Pensacola lighthouse

The grounds were very nice and full of flowers.  Love the bottlebrush – perfect name for them.

Mr. Butterfly likes them, too.

Of course I got my stamp and we paid our money to climb to the top.  This lighthouse was unique since it had a large building attached complete with museum off the first landing.  We learned about the women who served in the Coast Guard Reserve in WWII and took shore duty so men could serve at sea. Everything from clerical duties, communications, baking pies, rigging parachutes, and driving jeeps.

United States Coast Guard Women’s Reserve better known as SPARS

Views from the top – catching a jet take-off, the Gulf and happy girl!

National Naval Aviation Museum

This place is huge, full of aircraft, and on NAS Pensacola – the oldest Naval Air Station in the country.  If you are into airplanes, this is the place.  We enjoyed it, and it is completely free.  The exhibit and video on the aircraft carrier barricade was fascinating.  Essentially a big net of sorts to catch the planes when the normal arresting gear isn’t working.  I can’t imagine taking off from a carrier platform, much less landing on one, and especially if the normal landing process is not an option.

Big Lagoon State Park

We took two more outings, one to the Alabama welcome center on I-10 to pick up all the good brochures for Montgomery & Birmingham, and the second to a dog-friendly place for a little hike.  Big Lagoon State Park turned out to be a great spot for the three of us.

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We saved a picnic spot for you.

The terrain was so interesting.  Definitely not in the oak and cypress forest anymore.  Lots of pine, but all sandy and scrubbier bushes.  We loved some short bushes with little purple flowers.  They look like sage, but really not sure.

The purple bushes, bright red berries on the marsh, surprising vibrant green grass after a burn, and the fallen trees that looked like driftwood.

This is a great coastal park with camping, hiking and stunning views.  I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area.  Even on Saturday it wasn’t crowded.  A little known gem apparently.

We interrupted the great blue’s fishing exploits and caught an osprey near the nest.

A few more shots from the observation tower overlooking Big Lagoon and Perdido Key.

More Winter Planning

With November set in the Dallas area, we started looking for a place to stay in December.  Our initial idea was Austin, but every place we checked was already booked for the month.  Hmmm.  We’re wondering what to do when we meet our next door neighbors at the Five Flags RV Park.  They were from Texas and particularly the hill country and made some great suggestions a little off the beaten path.  Armed with their info, we were able to find a great place.  You’ll find us spending Christmas this year in Marble Falls, TX on the banks of Lake LBJ.  Now on to January, February & March to make sure we can finish out the Winter cold months in a relatively warm spot.  Still a work in progress and we’ll keep you posted.

Next post will find us NOT in Florida anymore!  See you on the way.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Pensacola

  1. Hi Judy. Just love your posts. Hey, if it is possible when you are in TX see if you can go to the LBJ ranch. I went there a couple of years ago and it was fascinating. Not sure where it was but we stayed in San Antonio and traveled a bit to get there. See what you think. If I think of the town I will let you know but with my senior brain, don’t hold your breathe 😉

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  2. I am a little behind…hehe..can you tell? Did you wave hello to the Tallahassee folks on your way to Pensacola? The bottle brush trees are beautiful, have one in my yard, the bees love them too, they are alive with humming right now! I need to spend some time in the Florida panhandle-love that area too! Love your pics!

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