I always need a few days or a week to synthesize my vacation. Vacations for me always end up kind of adventurous. I’m not sure why; perhaps, because I try to be open to opportunities. I think I might put together a mini series of all of the accidental places I’ve ended up … from the world’s largest sitka tree to the water fountain/tunnel which appeared in the opening credits of sesame street for years and years and years; anyhow, back to this vacation’s story. smile

The drive was mo-no-to-nous. Oh, it’s terrible. Flat, interstate, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.

However, getting closer to pensacola I noticed that it kind of look liked Spring. The leaves on all of the hardwood trees were little baby leaves. Apparently, a souvenir of the last hurricane, Dennis.

Thursday we had tacos courtesy of the world famous t-stand. On the way out of town, I stopped and picked up all of the stuff in separate tubs for assembly later. I don’t know if it is good or bad that this stuff travels so well (what do you think W?) but I know once it’s in your system, you will periodically crave it no matter how far you roam
; as aside to my friends who used to live here -shock upon shock- I have a new favorite (and t-stand was really only second to mean bean anyhow; although I still love the bean as well as t-stand)

..and that was about the end of Thurs. I can’t even remember if we went to the beach. Watched a movie? Oh, I don’t know. I was tired. I did watch 2 movies though which will review in pt. 2 or 3.

Friday was all sorts of fun. I slept in until noonish (ah, heavenly), read a few chapters in my book, had a little breakfast. Later, my friend S. & I went to the beach and to eat at a beachside place, called Peg Leg Pete’s. Pirate flags? Umm. Yeah. Frozen fruity drinks? Check? Folk singer covering Jimmy Buffett? Check. Seafood. Check. Even a vegetarian entree! This was one of the few places on the beach open and it was kind of packed, but even more interesting was the singer. When we first arrived, the crowd was kind of older. I would say the average age was mid 50s/early 60s. So, the singer played Cat Stevens and Jimmy Buffett and Stevie Nicks. As it got later, the crowd became much younger (early 20s) and what did the singer play? Umm. Poison.Every rose has a thorn, Tom Petty and I think our table was ready and we were called to go in before he brought out the Green Day songbook (just kidding, but I really expected him to start singing a Green Day song any minute…)

I just think that is kind of funny.

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Anyhoos, on to Saturday. Sat. we went to the lighthouse (which has very limited hours of when you can walk up it-DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!), on to the fort, and then to the aviation museum. The fort was so cool. As fort pickens is closed (the road was washed out during Hurricane Ivan and reconstruction has been very slow due to Arlene and Dennis) we went to fort barrancas instead. It is across the bay but does have a nice view of the intercoastal and the other forts. I love these old civil war forts. They are full of passageways and cool lighting (which is both neat and sometimes hard to photograph). Ft. Pickens is actually mostly underground, whereas Fort Barrancas seems to be built into a hill or on top of a hill.

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After the sticky hot hot heat of the fort, we headed into the coool aviation museum and it was cool for a few different reasons! I don’t know why I like aviation museums so much, maybe it’s because I really wanted to be astronaut when I was little or maybe it’s because my dad was always involved with the aviation part of the navy and later, the national guard. What I really loved about the museum was the space section. Oh, pop art heaven! I took some of my favorite photos of all time there. smile I think this was a gemini capsule.

The other things they had which were cool (actually one was kind of scary cool) was a replica(?) or maybe it was a prototype design of the “fatboy”, that was kind of scary. The second was part of sky lab. you know skylab, the space station which fell from orbit in the mid 70s.

imageCan you believe 3 guys fit into this thing? Finally, the last things which I didn’t photograph (out of film!) were these full size models that you walk through, one of which is a pseudo M*A*S*H set and the second a complete little 1950s town with working lights, etc. Very cool. I totally enjoyed all of the museum except for the art exhibit which was a little bit, umm, eh, not my taste. Realistic fighter planes bombing the south pacific? Yep, that’d be the blue ribbon award painting. well, I guess, it’s too be expected, I suppose. smile After we left the museum, we got kind of lost and almost ended up at at bachelor living quarters; I swear it was an accident. Signs on military bases are terrible (and I even saw one with a misspelling! umm&… your tax dollars at work! LOL!)

…then on to S.’s house to get ready for the big charity auction…. red and sparkly gold boas as party favors! fake paparazzi! art, prize packages, etc. on display. ..and we even got home before I started dancing or anyone turned into a pumpkin. wink

Next installment will be about a historic cementary, the train museum, hurricane ivan damage, the beach, a wonderful restaurant called bagelheads, a missed meteor shower and mooovies.

Oh, and here are links to my photos:

Ivan damage(mostly)

http://www.robinart.com/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=131

St Michael’s

http://www.robinart.com/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=132

the train museum

http://www.robinart.com/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=99

ft. barrancas

http://www.robinart.com/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=133

aviation museum

http://www.robinart.com/galleries/thumbnails.php?album=134