Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday May 9, 2016 Gulf Shores to Pensacola

We enjoyed breakfast at this peaceful campsite.  There were lots of neighbors for  Saturday – Sunday in our end of the campground but the families with children left and those of us left were pretty quiet. With 400 campsites this place runs like a large hotel. We drank our coffee and watched as a few clouds began to blow in…nothing stormy just the only clouds we have seen in our 4 days on the coast. 

We did finally pack up and leave camp about 10 driving the 20+ miles to the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola.  The road along the Alabama – Florida Gulf is pretty much built up with high rise and other beach properties.  There are a few open beachfront lots but not many.  The white sand beaches go on for miles. 

We arrived a little before 11 and got our bearings to view the new exhibits – Hanger One focuses on the Vietnam era to current day.  There was an excellent display on the role of the Coast Guard. A Marine One Helicopter from the Nixon days, and numerous other planes and exhibits.  After about an hour we headed into the Cubi Point Bar/Cafe to have lunch.  This bar was originally located at Cubi Point on Subic Bay Naval Air Station in the Philippines.  When the base reverted to the Philippines the Cubi Point Bar was removed – packed into many boxes and sent to the Museum here in Pensacola to be reconstructed…brought back memories to be sure.  Each command that passed through Subic always had a shield or some sort of display made and hung in the Cubi Point Bar – they decorate the Bar/Café.  Ben spoke with one of the guides about it and he said when they unpacked the boxes all the shields and other materials were covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.  We of course again searched for the OICC Shield – did not take as long as on our last visit as Ben remembered about where it was!

Type plane Ben learned to fly while in the Philippines

Marine One during Nixon Era

Ben deplanes from Marine One

Reconstructed Cubi Point Bar

OICC Shield from when Ben was at Subic

We viewed more exhibits and ended our visit with the IMAX show on D-Day – the Battle of Normandie. As with most IMAX productions this was very well done.  It had lots of action but was also very informative. 

We then headed north to find our Main Stay Extended Stay Hotel – nice place – never stayed in one of these before.  Ben finds interesting “free” hotel rooms with our CHOICE points!  Jane searched for our dinner choice on Trip Advisor.  Our # 1 pick also the #1 seafood restaurant in Pensacola was where we were planning to buy seafood to take home – Joe Patties.  It closed at 6:00 – WHAT!   Our number 2 choice was closed on Monday….so we made a 3rd selection Nick’s Boathouse.  Ben wanted grilled seafood.  It was located in downtown Pensacola on the bay – beautiful location.  The food was just so-so.  Certainly did not rate 4 stars as Trip Advisor indicated.  We had shrimp and grits (Jane) and stuffed grilled shrimp (Ben).  Both were ok but certainly nothing to write a good review about.
Nick's Boathouse

Shrimp and Grits

As we headed back to the hotel we passed two venues with huge lines waiting to enter for musical events – did not recognize the names of any of the performers on the signage - guess we are too old.   Tomorrow we start heading north.



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