Monday, April 18, 2016

Visiting friends in Pensacola FL

Monday (Apr 11) to Monday (Apr 18):

We left the campground in Mobile and made the short drive over to Pensacola on I-10. This was one of our shortest move being only about 60 miles. We pulled into our campground, Avalon Landing RV Park, and were assigned to Site 13. This is a small park and our site looks out over one of the brackish water canals located in the area.
View out side window of our motorhome.

Front view from our campground site

Our Site 13
We got set up in the campground and then called our friends, Cindy & Jessie Mayes, who have a house about 20 minutes away from our campground. We spent the evening with them and had a great time. Jessie cooked/smoked hamburgers, chicken and sausage on his grill/smoker. We all ate hamburgers that night along with banana pudding. Cindy sent some of the chicken home with us along with a bowl of banana  pudding. Connie and Cindy have know one another for 30 years since they met in the Dallas area. Jessie and Cindy have been married for 23 years and Connie was a bridesmaid in their wedding. Cindy pulled out her wedding pictures and they all talked about the "old days". Later they called another good friend, Karen Brunton, who still lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and spent another hour talking with her. I enjoyed meeting both of them. Jessie is scheduled for hip surgery this Thursday which we hope will go well.

Cindy, Mike & Connie

Cindy, Jessie & Connie
On Tuesday, I updated all of our financials in Quicken while Connie slept in. Later Cindy and Jessie came by the motorhome and visited with us for a couple of hours after lunch. Jessie knew of a mobile mechanic, Dean Lainhart, who came by during the afternoon and replaced the rear brakes on our Jeep Liberty. The rear drum brakes had reached the "end of the line" and had started to make noises when applied. He was a great mechanic who made quick work of the job and only charged us $120 for labor and parts. We decided to ask Cindy & Jessie to keep our guns while we travel in New England and Canada this year and they graciously agreed to do this (we will have to come see them on our Winter trip this year).

Tuesday evening we met Mike & Linda Cross who have been wintering near here in Navarre Beach Campground for pizza at the New York Pizza Depot  which is located near their campground. We had a nice meal before going back to their campground. We made a quick tour of the park and then sat in their motorhome visiting for several hours before returning home. It is nice to spend time with other couples who are full-timers to share info along with talking about our plans for this year.

On Wednesday we had lunch with Jessie & Cindy at a local Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda. We had some of their lunch specials which was a full plate of food along with chips & salsa. After lunch they took us on a tour of the area before we stopped at Hall's Hardware & Lumber. It started out as a hardware/lumber store, but these days they have expanded into all kinds of products similar to Zinger's in Austin. Jessie calls them the "Neiman Marcus" of hardware stores. We ended up buying several products: some rat/mice poison, pizza stones, dough rollers and some screws.  Since we were new to their store, they gave us a $5 discount on our purchase and a free soft drink. You can see they have a wide variety of stuff you can buy at their store.

Thursday morning we woke to a steady rain which continued all day. We stayed inside the Duchess and took it easy during the day. In the afternoon, Mike & Linda Cross came to our campground to see us and the motorhome. After giving them an update of the changes we had made in the Duchess and visiting for a while, we all went to dinner at the Blackwater Bistro. Connie & I split a lobster & crab ravioli dish while Mike & Linda had a shrimp pasta dinner. We ended up continuing our conversations until the place was ready to close. Linda & Mike are headed west tomorrow and will end up in Texas before they head north for the summer. We should see them again at the Escapees Escapade in Vermont at the end of July.

Friday we visited the National Naval Aviation Museum located on the local naval base in Pensacola. The museum is a history of the aviation and aviators in the navy from the early 20th century until today. It is the largest collection of naval aircraft in the United States and does a good job of displaying the aircraft located in the museum. We spent several hours there and did not get to see everything. If would take a least two full days to tour the entire museum and view all of the exhibits and aircraft. Here are a few photos from our visit:

We ate a quick lunch that we brought from home before we visited the Pensacola lighthouse. The lighthouse was completed in 1859 and has survived a number of hurricanes that have come through the area.

We heard from Cindy on Friday that Jessie was doing fine after his surgery and would be moving to the rehab facility on Saturday. We were glad to hear that Jessie was doing OK.

Saturday was a day we hung around the Duchess. We did laundry, updated financials, worked on our computer that had gotten a virus and tried to get the DirecTV box connected to the internet (finally was successful).

Sunday we went to the Pensacola Beach along with what seemed to be 100,00 other people (not quite that many but it seemed like it). We remember why we do things like this during the week instead of the weekends. Unfortunately here in Pensacola this was the first day we have had sunny weather during the week we are here, so we decided to take advantage of it. We finally found a parking spot on a side street and spent about two hours at the beach. The whitest sands I have ever seen is here on the Florida panhandle beaches along with being the cleanest beaches I have ever been on (I can only compare it to our Texas beaches).

Sign that leads you to the beach
A lot of people are following that sign

View down the beach

Enjoying a sunny afternoon - Life is Good
On Sunday night Connie went over to Cindy's house and they got in one last visit before we leave the area. I stayed home and watched the Spurs basketball game on the TV. Tomorrow we will start our trek north by heading to Montgomery Alabama.