Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Bye Bama, Hello Florida Panhandle
I spent last Saturday and Sunday slaving on the boat while Carrie was whooping it up with the kids in San Francisco. All my girls had a ball shopping for Carla’s wedding dress. Besides Carrie and Carla, our older daughter Dina and our granddaughter Lia (5) were on the dress shopping team. By the end of the weekend, success was achieved, the dress was ordered, and Dad was poorer yet.
Granddaughter Lia...planning ahead?
The Admiral out to lunch with her girls (photo by Lia)
By the time the Admiral flew back into Mobile on Sunday, I was ready to go. The boat was ship-shape, even the Admiral was impressed. American Airlines managed to lose the Admiral’s luggage, but I convinced her they or Dog River Marina could forward it to us…somewhere. So, off we went Monday across Mobile Bay. We cruised alongside Greg and Kate on Grianan and had a calm crossing.
This "boat" made it all the way down the river system...somehow,
and pulled into Dog River just before we left. Note the chicken
on the far right "deck".
Along the way to our stop at The Wharf Marina in Gulf Shores, Alabama, we ran across our old friends on Something Special, Free to Be and Brown Eyed Girl. So, obviously we had to have a Looper party that night. We had finally reached some warm weather, so we were able to enjoy cocktails and treats on the fly bridge of Once Around. Afterward Greg and Kate (from Grianan) and Carrie and I had a pretty decent Italian dinner at Villagio there in the harbor.
Tuesday we all (with the exception of Grianan) stopped in Pensacola, Florida at Palofax Pier. It has a pretty good restaurant on sight and the bunch of us enjoyed lunch outside in the warm weather. Clyde from American Airlines finally showed up with Carrie's bags. After lunch we decided to walk the town. We were reminded however that is still winter here on the Gulf, when Carrie and I got caught in a cloudburst as we walked around downtown. We returned to the boat soaking wet, but laughing in the rain (I know, it’s supposed to be “dancing” in the rain, but let's be honest, neither of us are ever going to be asked to compete on Dancing with the Stars).
OK, she likes pelicans...they've now replaced Adirondack chairs...
get used to it.
We saw a few of these birds too as we neared Pensacola.
Approaching Pensacola by water
Yes, it is a Navy town!
Today, Wednesday, we all went to breakfast on the way to visit the Naval Air Museum. Breakfast was so-so. The museum was awesome. Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels, and we saw an IMAX movie about flying that had incredible footage from onboard the Blue Angels as they performed. I was damn near airsick it was so real. We also saw every imaginable type of aircraft ever flown by the Navy, Marines or Coast Guard, including a helicopter just like the one that our future son-in-law Evan jumps out of for a living. The mother-in-law-to-be was proudly pointing out that to our friends, as well as a scale model of the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to which Evan’s squadron is attached.
One of an older generation of Blue Angels in the collection.
Admirals get to ride anywhere they want!
Sid and I discussed the kind of damage we
could do with these babies on the Canadian rocks!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. All the boats here are departing, although for different destinations. I think Once Around is the only one headed for Shalimar Yacht Basin in Destin. The Florida Panhandle is pretty compact, so we know we will be seeing the other Loopers in Panama City in a couple of days.