by Wildcat Dianne
April 22, 2005
The Pensacola Navy Commissary or NEX for short is located off of the Naval Air Station on Highway 98, about 5 miles away. Once again, you must be military personnel or a dependent to get in there or be with one of the above mentioned. There is a guard post at the entrance checking all ID's.
Erika and I first went into the Commissary, which is like a department store except this store has high-end designer clothing (Hilfigger, etc.) and Godiva chocolates. They also sell stationary, magazines, and greeting cards. Erika looked at some capri pants, but they were too big in the butt and she passed on them. We didn't see anything worthwhile to buy there and went over to the souvenir shop. Things in the souvenir shop were pricey and lacked variety, and the postcard selection was poor, but I got a couple of postcards for a friend and my collection.
Finally, Erika and I went into the grocery store in the next building for the ice cream. We spent time walking through each department comparing prices and looking. Well, we bought more than ice cream ($40 later) because there was a great deal on cat litter, cat food, Diet Coke and Coke, and other goodies (we passed on the sushi though). Coupons made the deal sweeter, and the ice cream we originally came for was a lot cheaper than Wal-Mart, and Erika and I wound up buying 4 containers of Breyer's and Blue Bunny. Erika was worried about not having room in the refrigerator at home, but she finished off the container of ice cream already there before loading the new stuff in.
This is the kicker about shopping at the commissary. The baggers are volunteers who work for tips. Most of them are elderly people who need to supplement their income or are bored in retirement. Erika and I paid for our things, and the lady bagger took our carriage to our car and loaded everything up. Erika tipped her a couple of dollars, and I was surprised. I said to Erika, "I wonder if the courtesy clerks at Wal-Mart were paid like that, would they work more!?"
The Pensacola NEX is open from 8am to 7pm, or in military time, 08:00-19:00 daily. It is worth checking out how our boys in uniform are treated.
From journal A Day Of Fun At The Pensacola Naval Air Station.