June 20, 2022
I truly intended to be more caught up by now, but nope. Just gotta press on from where I’m at.
May 2: I dropped the guys off at their ship then cruised around the nearby area for a while in case there was a problem and I needed to get back to the port to help (not sure what that would be but I was asked to stay close for a bit so I did). I pulled over to get a closer look at an abandoned store, which I found fascinating for reasons I can’t explain. Eventually I headed inland and made a stop at an outdoor mall to check out the Disney outlet and buy some sandals I’d read about that were supposed to be good for plantar fasciitis (which yes, I seem to have developed). I got the text that the guys had made it on the boat, so felt free to head off on my solo adventure to the panhandle, which I hoped would not be as rainy as when I was there the last time.
May 3: I spent my day exploring some of the beaches in the Pensacola area that I wasn’t able to get out to the last time I was here. I found the Gulf Islands National Seashore to be quite quiet and calm (the part I was at was behind the barrier island). Navarre Beach was more crowded, but not ridiculously so, and I got to listen to actual waves there. The stretch of the island with no houses or tall condo buildings or hotels (another part of the National Seashore) was more relaxing. Pensacola Beach proper had all the stores and hotels and tourists I expected. I didn’t swim at all in any of these places; early in the day when I knew I’d be getting back in my car to explore I didn’t want to do that all wet, and later the yellow flags worried me since I didn’t have a buddy and who knows if I’d get into trouble, not being an experienced ocean swimmer. By early evening, I’d had quite enough heat and seen enough sand, so headed inland where the hotels were cheaper than along the beach.
May 4: I relaxed in the air conditioning much of the day, recovering from my sun and heat tour the day before. When it cooled down some, I went out for dinner, finding a catfish place that seemed reasonably busy (I think I may have been just over the state line into Alabama at that point). I got a plate of fried stuff with greens on the side that seemed like just the right thing to eat in that place.
May 5: I poked around Monroeville, Alabama, which I’d only seen from inside a vehicle before as it was pouring down rain the last time I tried to see it. This time the weather cooperated, and I got a good look at the old Monroe County courthouse (of to Kill a Mockingbird fame) with a bonus rose garden at the other end of the square, closer to the new courthouse.
May 6: Leisurely drove back down to the port to be in position to pick up the guys the next morning. I stopped at a couple cemeteries because I still like to look at old gravestones from time to time, and a historic downtown that seemed mostly abandoned, and at a park with a lake to enjoy the quiet.
May 7: Picked up the guys at the port, then we headed to Disney Springs to pick up Ben’s ticket and have lunch and shop before we checked into our rented condo. It was so warm the Dole Whip sampler Mr. Karen and I shared started visibly melting on the way to the table.
May 8: The three of us spent the day in the Magic Kingdom, making good use of the paid Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane options (yeah, those replaced the free FastPass+; tried not to think too hard about that). Finished the night with fireworks over the castle.
On this date in 2003 to 2021: No entries
2002: The Birds and the Bees