I debated...blog or album. I decided I could get more in a blog rather than just photo after photo so here it is. We tend to be spur of the moment at times and this weekend trip was no different. David was speaking at his home church in Ashford, Clayton's flight dates got moved, I wasn't working til Monday meaning a free weekend. We've already vacationed with my parents and Key West with just Dave and I which means free weekend and not a whole lot of cash. Nathan and Joseph love airplanes (I hate them, terrified of them, don't know how this happened lol). I have tried to find an air show close to us for months. The 2016 and 2017 calendars are out for the Angels and Thunderbirds with nothing close til next year...and then thanks to my sister in law (so thankful), I realized that the Blue Angels were going to be in Pensacola the same time we were in Dothan. I had no idea what a fabulous weekend this would turn out to be. We had intentions of David's dad (who served in the Navy) as well as anyone else who wanted to go, join in on the adventure. This ended up not working out. I found an open campsite, cancelled our hotel room, and the weekend became even more of an adventure. Since we had more space, new (old) vehicle, campsite and not a hotel room, it also opened up a spot for Britt's boyfriend Tyler to go...adding to the adventure :) Great times, 30 dollar accomodations, a very difficult trip lol, but so many memories.
The adventure started on the way down, road delays made the 3 hour trip to my parents about a 4 and half hour one. Mom fed us, we made it to Pop's (David's dads), and spent the night. First stop was the Naval Aviation Museum. Highly recommend! Most of the photos have Nathan in them because he absolutely loved it. I allowed 3 hours here but for this crew I should have allowed more...well for a few people in the group I should have allowed more. David and Tyler could have stayed forever. I loved their expressions as we walked in the door and into the first hanger.
They were in awe...there was so much to see. Again, if you get a chance...go see this. If you are a history buff or fascinated by the evolution of our Navy and aircraft, you could spend days
After the Museum we set up camp at Big Lagoon State park. This is on the opposite side of Pensacola Beach (so is the Naval Air Station where the Museum is also located). It was hot, stormy although no rain fell. After the storm passed, the kiddos had fun walking along the trails, bridges, and beaches. Clayton even found a few pokemon...yes he is slightly obsessed. And yes....the middle photo is just what you think it is. Joseph decided "tee teeing" off the top of the lookout tower would be a good idea. I however, did not and David decided to photo it lol.
Here is out campsite. No shade, even if I had explained we would have shade. oooooops....and the Sequoia decided it wasn't really happy either. Red lights everywhere (it's all good now though). But again 30 dollars....you can not house 8 people for 30 dollars or feed them for even cheaper than that (hot dogs, smores, chips, etc) anywhere else lol. The star photos weren't the best. The late setting moon (about 3a) and the setting of the galactic center (brightest part) of the milky doesn't make the typical "milky way" photos. This is the part you could see at this time of the year at 3a with a lot of light pollution. There is also a meteor shower in progress too...saw 6 :)
We broke camp and set out for the beach. I had NO IDEA what we were in for. People seriously get there at 5a...didn't know that either. David has a friend who lives there who informed us after the fact. We however, were loaded and on the road by 11 which meant we were way way behind. Parking was non existant basically anywhere along the beach or right as you crossed the toll bridge into Pensacola Beach. We drove down the the Fort Pickens enterance where there was a large lot (which was filling up quick), pavilions, and a small space of beach. We were umbrella to umbrella just about by the time the show started. Totally worth it. Joseph napped and woke up when they flew overhead. The Blue Angels were absolutely amazing!!!!! Heart hurts for their loss this year. I can't imagine. Thoughts and prayers....
I loved everything about the show...and what it represents as well. So thankful for those who serve to protect our freedom. We loaded up our gear, again, having no idea just how many people came out to see the Blue Angels. We drove out of our parking space, 3rd car from the exit, and literally waited 3 hours without moving. The GPS gave an ETA of 2 days...not a lie...2 days. The kiddos did as well as could be expected, we'll know better if there is ever a next time lol, but the experience was worth it in my book. We drove to David's dad's where we stayed the night. David preached at his home church "homecoming" and we were able to visit with our own Navy hero "Pop". Love spending time with family and wish we were able to see the crew in Ashford more often.
And please look at Tyler's plate lol...he says we fed him enough, but this plate of food was already halfway eaten before I took a photo...his plate told a different story. I didn't mean to be so cheap that I starved the boyfriend :) And I love the photo of David drying Joseph's hair :) Sweet baby. Great memories made! Wordy with terrible grammer as always ;)