Friday, August 17, 2012

Blue Angels over Florida

While we were in Florida, we spent a day in Pensacola. To sell Carl on the idea of a whole week at a Florida beach, I had researched other things to do in the general area, and came across the National Naval Aviation Museum.

 Which would be cool for Team Danger in and of itself.

But two mornings a week, at 8:30 am, the Blue Angels practice. I'm not much of an airshow person - I went once with Carl early in our marriage to one in Houston and thought I would die of boredom and heat. 

And I am the first to admit that watching the Blue Angels fly was really, really cool.

And if I thought it was cool, you can imagine just how over-the-moon delirious the younger members of Team Danger were with the Blue Angels.

This move below particularly impressed/freaked me out. I felt certain these planes were about to collide and rain fiery debris all over us. Turns out the quick turn is actually planned this way and designed to give the audience a heart attack.

Others just wowed you with their precision.

I can't imagine the focus and concentration it takes to fly airplanes like this, so close together.

Here's Alex in his new Blue Angels hoodie, his 4th most desired item at the gift shop (behind the Blue Angels pilot costume and two different style Blue Angels bomber jacket, all three which retailed in triple figures and which I adamantly refused to purchase).

Alex now wants to be a Blue Angel when he grows up. Sorry, Navy SEALs.

The morning we were there was the one morning of the week when the Blue Angels give autographs afterwards. Sadly, the crowds were out of control, and we didn't get any autographs or pictures. 

The rest of the museum was also fun, and we watched an IMAX movie all about the Blue Angels, and the boys went on some flight simulators.

While we were on the navy base in Pensacola, we also checked out the Pensacola Lighthouse.

Next, we went to Fort Barancas.

Its part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and it was one of four forts in the Florida/Alabama area built in the 1760s by the British to protect its navy fleet. It was expanded through the years, by Spain in the 1790s, and then by the US in the 1840s.

The boys weren't so sure they wanted to go to the fort when we arrived - we were all a bit tired at this point, and it was a typically hot and muggy Florida afternoon.

But once Alex found the dress up civil war uniforms, and Ryan found the cannon balls, all was better, and they were eager to go explore the fort.

There were long hallways just perfect for running and pretending that we were under invasion.

And shooting at the enemy.
 And silly places to hide from the enemy.

And finding very dangerous places to slide and make a quick getaway from the enemy.

Boys will be boys.
Fort Barancas was a big hit, and this was a great day away from the beach in the middle of our vacation.

We headed back down to Destin after this, and dinner that night was at McGuire's Irish Pub. The food was pretty good here, but what really intrigued the boys was the decor in the restaurant. Over 1.2 MILLION DOLLAR BILLS decorate the place, with notes written on them from customers. 

Somehow, I think I could have found a better way to spend 1.2 million. 

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