Aren’t vacations the best? I have never considered weekends away as vacations, more like mini breaks, but it’s a little different when the weekend away is a whole four days, and the destination is not Albuquerque or Nashville. (Although now, I’ve lived away from Albuquerque long enough that I just might consider going back somewhat of a vacation.) As far as this last weekend goes, I would say it was definitely what we would consider a vacation.
The trip down to Pensacola was roughly 7 hours total. I was expecting 6.5 but there were two stops and a little bit of traffic through Mobile, so thirty minutes longer was nothing really. It was so nice not having to drive interstate the whole way, and it was even nicer that my car had a dead battery the night before we left. If I am remembering right, the last few road trips that we have made, something car related has come up the day before. I was a little worried in this case because it was later in the day when it happened and according to my owner’s manual, everything is made to seem like it is only available at the nearest Mini dealer, or the nearest Mini dealer has to be the one to approve/reprogram anything done or installed to the car, batteries included. Not so, and Auto Zone had a battery so we were back on schedule, fully charged and ready to go.
There was nothing really exciting about the drive. It didn’t seem that long and the day was nice for it. Before we left my neighbor told me about a hurricane in Florida, I thought he was joking, but sure enough, he was right. (I don’t watch the news, obviously.) Luckily it was on the other side of the state so nothing that concerned us, and the weather was dry as could be the whole time.
We got to Pensacola, checked in, ate, and headed to the beach. Casino beach was the popular place and popular it was! It was late Thursday afternoon the first day there and there were plenty of beach-goers, but at least we made it across the bridge and found a parking spot in well under an hour. Our room was 8 miles from the beach and on Friday it took us over an hour just to get there.
I should have known that we wouldn’t be the only ones wanting to go to the beach on a national day off. We couldn’t find a parking place this time so we drove down the road, parked on the side of a residential street and walked over the public access bridge to a much quieter part of the beach – which ended up being even better.
There were still people, but at least we had some personal space to swim, lounge around, and toss a ball. Even despite the crowd, it was still a lot of fun. Crowds and people don’t bother me near as much while on vacation, and we were kind of expecting it anyway. 🙂
Aside from spending time on the beach every day, the only other thing we really did was eat and enjoy some vacation drinks. There was no shopping this time except to a sports store for the essentials. Definitely not our norm as far as vacations go. Vacation shopping and spending money are always another fun part of being away. We’ll have to save that part for another trip.
We tried a couple of local eateries: McGuires Irish Pub, and Crabs on the Beach, both were delicious and both came with kitschy, souvenir mason jars. Drink memorabilia has changed some from the restaurant stamped, pilsner glasses we are used to. We also ate at Mellow Mushroom, which is kind of local to us over in Nashville, but it was still good nonetheless, and there was a pretty good drink to be had there as well.
Oh, and how can I forgot the one other thing that we did. On Sunday, before we headed back to the land of kudzu and bugs, we stopped at the National Naval Aviation Museum and had a nice look around. There were plenty of awesome airplanes and such to be seen. We could have easily spent more time, and if we had it, one of the guided tours would have been really nice. Museums are so fun to look through and any museum with lots of war planes is a bonus when there are two guys with you.
That was our trip. Not the longest, but definitely still packed with plenty of fun, and just laid back enough that we didn’t come home tired. I can’t believe I even woke up at 5:58 this morning, two minutes before my alarm, and felt like I was ready for the day. The Gulf beach will definitely be in our vacation plans again, only next time, we’ll be hoping to stay on the beach and for a little bit longer. Also, maybe going when it’s not the busiest part of summer will be nice. 😉
We’ll also have to go back just so that we can get a better family photo. There were very few with the three of us together, and none of them did Ethan approve of to put on the blog. Ah, picky teenagers! 😉