Thursday, November 3, 2011

April 2011 Continued.......

The only convenient way to get from Gulfport, Mississippi to Pensacola, Florida, especially when towing a large trailer, is via Interstate 10. We do not particularly like to travel the Interstate highways, but in this case we did not have much of a choice. The traffic was light, even through Mobile, Alabama and we were able to reach our destination in a bit under three hours. We pulled into the Oak Grove RV Park on the Pensacola Naval Air Station just after noon and began our set up for our short three day stay.

This part of our journey had a final destination and date. We had to be at the Twin Oaks Bluegrass Festival by April 27th and we wanted to see a lot in between then so we decided to stay only 3-4 days at each stop.

We always like coming to this park for it is located on the beach and since it is on a military installation the public cannot get to it. It is usually quite deserted and they are pet friendly as long as they are on a leash. This gave us the opportunity to let Guinness and Rosco romp in the warm Gulf waters. There are not many waves here due to a barrier island a few miles away. Besides the beaches, the availability of fresh seafood here is awesome.

Our first stay at Pensacola was over the Christmas holidays in 2009-2010. We quickly found a seafood retailer who is renown for his fresh seafood. Joe Patti's has some of the best and freshest seafood on the Gulf coast. He ships everywhere and the lines are usually very long, but they have a great system and the wait time is normally no more than a few minutes.

They have a huge variety of seafood and most of it is caught in the past 24 hours. Turn-over is huge. We loaded up with shrimp, mussels, blue crabs, scallops and snapper. Fantastic. We'll be back here again, soon.

Next we stopped at the Destin Army Recreation Center in Destin, Florida. It was a quick 60 mile trip along Rt. 98 and we made short business of getting set up and out to explore the area. We were very impressed with what we saw and, again, the seafood, especially shrimp, was sold everywhere. The beaches in this area were fantastic and everything here was geared to a resort area. We were surprised, however, not to see resort prices very often.

The Recreation Center had its own marina and in the evening we were able to take Guinness and Rosco there to swim. Rosco did not take to it, but Guinness, the water dog, went right in. It was beautiful to sit each evening and watch the awesome sunsets.

Our final stay on the Gulf Coast was, again, in Panama City, Florida. We chose to stay on the west side of the city at the Panama City Coastal Systems Station, Naval Surface Warfare Center. The have a very nice RV park located on St. Andrews Bay. We lucked out and were placed on a site right on the water. What a beautiful view from our back window.

We had been to Panama City earlier this spring, but we did not get to explore the beach area west of the city. We took this opportunity to do that. Spring Break was in process and the area was over crowded with college kids. The police were everywhere and the prices were much higher than they were in March. We saw everything we wanted to see in a day and spent the next few days just relaxing. Our winter/spring journey was almost to an end.

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