Pensacola/College Send-off

It seems like just a few years ago I was playing dolls with my little sister.  Maybe playing isn’t the right word.  Tormenting her by squishing her doll heads to make them look like monsters is more like it.  Great memories for both of us I’m sure.  Now she’s finished high school and is off to Florida for college.  Doesn’t seem real yet.  When I talk to friends from back home, they still expect her to be in elementary school.  Nope, we’re just getting old.

So she chose to stay relatively close.  5 hours is close, but still far enough away.  I didn’t know anything about Pensacola before this trip.  I still don’t know much.  Seems like an alright place to go to school.  I don’t know how I’d do with the beach that close though.  Then again, most people did better at university than I did the first time.  Should be a fun time though, hope it goes well.

The whole family decided to come down to see her off.  The first time we’ve all been on a trip together in a long while.  First time with the little ones too.  Of course, I forget to put sunscreen on half of my back and have to suffer through playing in the ocean with a sunburn.  Thought about wearing a shirt to cover up, but I didn’t want to be that guy at the beach.  I always forget how much I love playing in the water.  My son Damon and I had hours of fun letting the waves roll over us and toss us around.  I know I shouldn’t have mentioned this around him, but I kept getting mild jellyfish stings.  Now the only experience he has with jellyfish are from Spongebob, so he thinks they electrocute you.  My goodness it was hard getting him back in the water after that, but he did go eventually.

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We ate at some pretty good local spots while we were down there.  I looked up Pensacola on Reddit and found some local favorites.  There were two places I wanted to try, the New Yorker Deli and Jerry’s Drive In.  Both recommended and just across the street from each other.  Of course I forgot my camera when I had the best pizza I’ve had in years.  The Athenian pizza at the deli was amazing.  The hostess said that was her favorite, so I went with that.  I usually like to get a plain cheese pizza when I first try a new place.  I think you can tell much about a pizza place by their cheese pizza.  If done right, it’s not just a base for toppings.  But I had to go all in and I’m glad I did.  I really wish I had a couple pics of this because it was great.  Feta, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, simple but awesome.  We got there just before the lunch rush and wow did it get crowded in there.  I kept hearing the same warm “Heeeyyy” from staff when customers walked in, so I knew it was a local favorite.  I got a local IPA, can’t remember the name though.  Definitely coming back when I make it down again.

Maybe I went to the wrong places, but I couldn’t get a good espresso anywhere.  Strong coffee isn’t espresso.  It became pretty comical.  I’ll definitely have to look up good coffee shops before I come down again.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to eat at Jerry’s Drive in.  After driving for 20 mins to get there, closed on Sundays :(.  So I found a little burger shack called Tops down the road.  Really was just a shack.  Looked awesome.  And it was exactly what I was after.  I got the double bacon cheeseburger with everything plus jalapeños.  Greasy burger perfection.  Damon got the Chicago style hotdog, always good.

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It was a good trip overall, my sister got all moved in and ready for her first semester of college.  Even missed her first class!  Haha, great start.  I’m sure I’ll be down to visit again soon.  The beaches are really nice and not really crowded, good food around, and pretty close to home.  Now I just need to find a place that can make me a coffee.  Have fun redhead.

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