December 24 Navarre Florida

Another trip without Interstates. It is amazing what you see and how much more it is relaxing, driving without the hustle and bustle of truck and speeding traffic. It does get to be an issue stopping at traffic signals and narrow roads, but I do like skipping those interstates.

We arrived in Navarre before 2 PM but we missed the campground and had to back track 4 miles. The GPS didn’t tell the truth. Also we are now in the Central time zone, so we did gain an hour. Most of the rain held off for the majority of the trip, though we did get caught in one downpour and therefore we took lunch at that time. Great thing about a motorhome is you can stop and prepare a meal without getting in the rain.

Our campground is on the water and we (for an extra $5 per night we got a site facing the water) can sit outside and see the gulf. Hopefully the cloudiness goes away.DSC_0001

Stopped at the visitor’s center and gathered material for the area. Took a ride to Navarre beach (an island) and drove around looking at the sites and even walked along the beach (big waves today – red flag was out).

Dinner was Sushi at the Slippery Mermaid. Strongly recommend as the food was great as well as the presentation of the food.

Thursday (Christmas Eve) started slow. Merry Christmas to everyone who reads this – late. Brenda did shopping for food as today the campground has a Turkey and Ham potluck and we need to bring something. Brenda is preparing her Corn Pudding.

The potluck was great, an abundance of good food (turkey and ham) and all the fixings. Sat with two couples, one I had talked to earlier and he said I had convinced him to go fulltime. She wasn’t too sure but they had a lot of questions. Staying to the end also has its benefits too as we got to take home some of the leftovers.

Not wanting to have all the pleasure, we took the dogs to the “dog beach”. It was 14 miles from home and it turned out to only be 100 yards wide. These people are so protective of their beaches. The waves were 3 feet high and high tide was coming in. The dogs would run every time a wave rolled in. We did get an opportunity to let the dogs run loose, which was a big mistake. Gretel found a dead fish and rolled in it before we could get her out. She smelled terrible. We wrapped her in a blanket and headed home. Shower for her.

Ended the night with Episode VI of Star Wars and a good egg nog or two.

Friday, Christmas morning we went to the local Lutheran church. Went looking for a place to eat after (not many open on Christmas) though we did see a few. Went across the bay to Pensacola and found New York Nick’s, a sports bar that had tasty clam chowder and a grilled fish wrap. Also enjoyed a beer from the Pensacola Brewery.

After lunch went to see Star Wars Episode VII and it was great. Will not spill the beans for anyone who has not seen it but it is well worth it. Can’t wait for the sequels.

Christmas meal was meatloaf and mashed potatoes (one of my favorites, until you read about Sunday’s meal below) and a night to relax.

Weather today was mid 70’s but foggy. Hard time seeing too far out on the gulf.

Saturday was time to adventure out. Our first stop was the visitor’s center for the Gulf Island National Park but unfortunately they are only open during the week. Will stop by on our way out of town to get our stamp.

We then headed for Pensacola to visit the Naval Air Base. This was the highlight as we toured the Naval Aviation Museum. We went on tour with a guide that explained almost all of the navy airplanes used in war since the invention of aviation. It was amazing to hear of the battles and how good and bad the planes were. They had actual planes that had flew in specific battles.

Learned so many things I had never knew. One in particular was the practice of landing on an air craft carrier happened in Lake Michigan because the oceans were being patrolled by the enemy in WW II.

They even had an Officer’s Club from the Philippines that they had moved over here to the USA piece by piece and all intact.DSC_0051

If you are into airplanes you could spend at least two days here learning and viewing the many planes and history. Even the Blue Angels were on display.

After touring the museum we went over to the Pensacola lighthouse, also on base. I went up to the top which was 177 steps. Again a neat experience and quite a view.

Can’t leave town without a beer, so we stopped at the Pensacola Bay Brewery. They sold growlers (fill) for $9, so we grabbed an IPA one for later.

Sunday we went to church and came back to campsite. I did get to wash our car (a lot of campgrounds don’t let you use their water to wash vehicles, this one did, so I took advantage of it). We had purchased the day before a 3 pound prime rib and we set out to smoke it. We had never done it before and with a special meat we were apprehensive. We researched and even talked to a neighbor who had done one for Christmas. After 3 hours of preparation and watching the smoke (time for a beer or two) the prime rib was finished. Oh was it good!!

Monday was our day to move west and continue our adventure.

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