Thursday, January 21, 2010

The beach

I suppose the first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think of Pensacola is the beach -- and that is a wonderful reason to live in the area. (Technical Note: Those who live in the area know that Pensacola Beach is actually a separate town from the City of Pensacola.)

The local beaches are covered in immaculate white sand. The waves roll in gently. And, the southward-facing orientation of the coastline is great for providing maximum sunlight all day long.

Interesting trivia about Pensacola Beach: "property owners" there are actually long-term leaseholders and not truly property owners, due to the 1947 deed requiring the county to administer but never dispose of the property. I believe the legal status of the owners is being litigated, but I haven't researched it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pensacola golfing

I am determined to finally learn how to hit a golf ball when I move to Pensacola. It looks like the Osceola Municipal Golf Course is a very economical municipal course. It was opened in 1926 and designed by famed Texas golfer William "Wild Bill" Mehlhorn (December 2, 1898 – April 5, 1989). I need a nickname like that. Look for me on the greens.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pensacola lighthouse

Did you know there's a working lighthouse in Pensacola? Yeah, you probably did. But, it was a pleasant surprise to me.

I still haven't visited it. But, it's one of the first places I'm going when I move to Pensacola this coming summer.

The lighthouse was built in 1824. Here's some information from the lighthouse website:

The Pensacola lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation. Its flashing white beacon faithfully shines at 20-second intervals and is visible 27 miles out to sea.
Pensacola is the oldest lighthouse site on the Gulf Coast. It is also the tallest on the Gulf Coast – standing a proud 171 feet tall on a high bluff on the north side of Pensacola Pass. The lighthouse is built of brick and rests on a 40-foot deep granite foundation. The walls are 10-feet thick at the base and 3-feet thick at the top. There are 177 winding wrought-iron steps which wrap around a center pole leading to the top of the tower. . . .

In 1965, the Lighthouse was automated, thus no longer requiring Keepers to live at the site. Today the lighthouse is tended by the Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team. The former Keepers’ Quarters contains the Navy Command Display Center with exhibits pertaining to the history of the lighthouse. In 1974, the Pensacola Lighthouse and Keepers’ Quarters were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pensapedia: the Pensacola encyclopedia -- a wiki for the region

I was really impressed with the depth and breadth of content on Pensapedia, which I just stumbled upon recently.

This wonderful wiki seems to be updated frequently, with plenty of fresh, new content about Pensacola, including history, locations, events, folklore, people, and more.

Everyone in the area should bookmark this valuable online resource.

National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum is an incredible resource. How many cities have such an amazing museum, with interesting exhibits for children and adults -- totally free of charge?

When we lived in Pensacola last summer, my wife took the kids there and reported that they loved it. I'm eager to get over there myself to see what's on display.

Blue Angels air show

This past summer, my wife and kids and I watched the local Blue Angels air show, at Pensacola Beach, along with about a million other people. It was amazing. This is something our kids are really going to enjoy about being in the Pensacola Bay area.

We stayed at an apartment that was close to the Naval Air Station the Blue Angels call home, so we got to see them preparing for the show several times in the days leading up to the show. I think we saw them up in the air doing stunts a couple times after the show too.

Pensacola racing

The local racing scene is one of the main things I'm looking forward to as we move to Pensacola.

When I was very young, my parents and I lived in Ft. Walton Beach, and my father used to take me to races at Five Flags Speedway. Now, I'll be able to take my kids there to see great stock car racing.

During my stay in Pensacola this past summer, I noticed that Five Flags Speedway has a weekly show on a local cable channel. You can bet I'll be tuning in every week.

Look for me at the track, especially at next year's Snowball Derby. I see Kyle Busch won it this year.

We're also going to catch some drag racing over at the Emerald Coast's Supercooler Dragway in Holt, Florida.

When the kids get a little older, maybe they can take up kart racing, over at the Pensacola Raceway (just don't tell my wife).

Moving back to Florida

After three years away from Florida, so I could attend law school in Philadelphia, my wife and kids and the dog and I are headed back to the Sunshine State -- to the Pensacola Bay area to be exact. This blog will be a place for me to log our experience in looking for our new home, moving, settling in, and getting acquainted with all there is to love about the Pensacola Bay area.

If you have any suggestions for great neighborhoods, good elementary schools, or great things to do in the area, please feel free to contact me.