Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our Florida Getaway - Final

One of the mornings, Bennett and I got up early to walk along the beach and look for shells.  It was nice to have some one on one time together.  I caught him getting caught up in watching the waves like I do.  It was a great morning and one I hope he remembers for a long time.

While we were visiting the Lighthouse, nearly every other group that was there was from Iowa, but was wintering in the area.  So during our conversations, we asked where they suggested we eat.  One of the suggestions was McGuire's.  It is an Irish restaurant (duh!) and was a huge place in Pensacola.  The menu offered an array of Irish items including the $100 Grand Burger listed above in the menu.  We opted not to get that, but I got their special of the day, the shephard's pie and it was extremely filling and delicious.  They also offer 18 cent, yes, an 18 cent bowl  Bean Soup which both Bennett and Pat got and I tried.  All over the restaurant, if you look up all you will see is $1 bills.  The ceiling is plastered with them as you can see below.  The sign says they are $1 Million dollars worth and counting on the ceiling, given by patrons over the years.  Pretty amazing!  

We spent some time walking along the pier and in downtown Pensacola.  This pelican was quite friendly and let us get quite close as you can see.  Not much zoom needed here on this one.  I guess they are used to people!

We also visited The Oyster House in Gulf Shores, Alabama for one of our meals.  This photo above is of Alligator bites.  Pat, Bennett and I all tried them.  They were ok.  Kind of tasted like chicken, but a little chewy.  At least I can say I tried Gator!  Pat and I also stepped out of our comfort zones again there and tried some new fish.  He had Amber Jack and I had Trigger Fish.  Both of these fish we had never heard of but they were both quite delicious. 

The Holiday Inn Resort in Pensacola Beach was wonderful.  We had a great stay there and the staff was excellent.  One of the kid's favorite things was the lazy river.  They didn't seem to mind that the water was FREEZING because it had been so cool there lately.  They did have an indoor pool, but it was rather small.  I preferred the hot tub that was outside next to the lazy river and much warmer!

We were delighted to find a Krispy Kreme in Pensacola.  There are no longer any around us and so having a Krispy Kreme, especially a fresh one right off the line was such a treat! We ended up going there twice as well as bring a dozen home for us and for some family and friends.  

Pat had the idea of all of us putting our footprints in the sand and writing Pensacola Beach 2012 in the sand.  I think it was an awesome idea and I can wait to mess with it a bit and print it out and frame it....maybe with some of those shells we collected during the week!

We started heading home on Friday and since we were heading north, northwest from Florida to Iowa, we were going to be driving right through the storms that were predicted to come through.  My mom was really worried and was emailing me to keep track of our locations.  We were lucky to be able to stay up on the weather through our phones.  I was saddened to read about tornados hitting while we were driving, but thankful that we had missed them.  I just don't know what we would have done if we had come upon one.  The photo above was near Columbus, Mississippi after a storm had just went through.  I don't think this cloud ever turned into anything, but it sure look ominous to me!

We hit Memphis, Tennessee right about sunset and as we were driving into it, it looked like the whole city was on fire.  It was quite a sight. 

Well, that about sums up our trip.  We had a wonderful week together and  the kids were great during all the driving.  We kept them busy with Tim Hawkins DVD's, homework, and the iPad/iPod.  Even though the weather in Florida wasn't what we had hoped for, our family jumped right in a made the best of it.  The kids were just happy to be on the beach and it didn't matter if the sun was shining or not.  We experienced as much as we could and hope to go back sometime soon....maybe when it is a tad warmer and we can actually come home with a little tan!

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