Vacation Update from Pensacola Beach

  This is sunrise and sunset Sunday here where I am at Pensacola Beach, FL.  It was a perfect day…both Saturday and Sunday, we had sea breezes during the PM and land breezes at night and in the early morning.  Today we were on the beach and at around 1 pm, the flags did a 180…the wind completely reverse direction and started coming from the SSE off the Gulf.  The warmest part of the day was before the sea breeze kicked in around 1 pm – after that the temp. dropped a few degrees.  We reached mid 70s.  There were a few people swimming in the Gulf waters and more at the outdoor pool at the motel, which is open year roun, but often too cold to swim in during the winter.  We walked he pier before and during sunset and followed one sailboat, one motorboat and two standup-paddlers – all well into the distance.  Most boats stay in the sound, where the water is calmer.

So many highlights today!  Today was the annual Santa Clause parade.  There’s Santa!  The theme this year was “Surfin’ Santa”, so there was a lot of Beach Boys Christmas music and some surfboards in the parade (wind was too light, waves too small for surfers this trip).  Many of the floats in the parade are done by “krewes”…groups of people that band together to do activities together ranging from floats in the parade to charity work.  They they stuff to the crowd…an occasional stuffed animal, candy and beads.  The crowd was pretty solid lining the sides of the 1-milie parade route.

One of the highlights of the parade was the bicycle give-a-way.  A pre-school teacher who passed away donated some money to give away beautiful new bicycles to small kids (around 4-5 years old) and this is one of the happy kids enjoying his new bike with training wheels.

  This is one of many pigeons that come to rest (and get a drink of fresh water at the hose on the pier) on the pier.  They are pretty tame and NO, I didn’t try to pet one of them!

There were some awesome cirrus (high level) clouds that passed overhead today.  In the evening, the colors of the sky changed rapidly.

  :Look close< in this picture and you can see two sting rays that were moving right and left right at the shore. We also saw quite a few fish and some purple jellyfish while we were on the pier Sun. PM.  A special shoutout to friend and former West Michigan resident Amy who met us for the parade this PM.  I used to work with her dad at WZZM back in the mid 70s to early 80s.  This is a friendly place and you do end up talking to people.  We met a couple from Texas, a woman from Minnesota, a girl from Iowa who had moved to Pensacola Beach.  We had dinner at Flounder’s Sun. night…Gayle and I split the shrimp platter and a (huge) bowl of seafood chowder.   We’ll start back to Tennessee to spend a couple more days with my mother before heading back to wintry West Michigan.

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