A July 2012 trip
to Pensacola by Wildcat Dianne
Quote: It has been a crazy year for the Wildcat. I haven't been able to travel much due to being in school since August, but here are a few more tidbits on Pensacola that I got to do in the past few months.
Restaurant | "Cheap Chinese For Lunch."
The first time I went to Chow Tyme was in July when I was doing my Certified Medical Assistant externship with Dr. Mian with Baptist Medical Group. As a rule, all doctors from Baptist Hospital have to take their staff out to lunch once a month for a staff meeting. Although I was just working there for six weeks, I was invited to have lunch at Chow Tyme with Dr. Mian and her staff. The second time, Mom and I went to Chow Tyme to meet my sister Erika and brother-in-law Todd for lunch a couple of weeks ago. Todd was most generous in paying for our meals.
Usually some buffet style restaurants do not have much to offer for lunch and put out the specials at dinner time, but Chow Tyme has a great variety of Chinese food and sushi at all times. There is a great variety of sushi dishes such as California rolls and sweet sushi rolls that I have enjoyed the two times I have been to Chow Tyme. The sushi bar is just a small selection in comparison to the Chinese buffet, but it is good. There is a huge selection of Chinese food for lunch that I have needed a couple of visits to Chow Tyme to get a great idea of how good the food is there. I have enjoyed the veggie lo mein, barbecued pork, honey chicken, sautéed Chinese veggies, and many other dishes. There is also an appetizer buffet that has a great selection of egg rolls, crab rangoons, and other goodies that I have had seconds on each time I have visited Chow Tyme.
The last time I was at Chow Tyme, I was with Mom. Mom stopped eating after a couple of trips to the buffet, but I hit the buffet several times and really made a pig out of myself. I hit the dessert bar but played it light with fruit. Oh yeah, I also had chocolate and tapioca puddings, but the fruit dominated my dish along with some cream puffs. I was very stuffed after eating that meal I didn't have to eat dinner that night. It was that good.
Chow Tyme in Pensacola is open seven days a week for dinner and lunch. I have only been there for lunch and for $6.50 you can enjoy a great and huge meal. Dinnertime is a little bit more expensive, but you get a lot of food and a great bang for your buck. So if you are ever in the Pensacola area and have a hunkering for Chinese food and sushi, check out Chow Tyme on Creighton. I hope to be returning there again soon.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 16, 2013
Chow Tyme Grill & Buffet
6841 North 9th Avenue
Attraction | "A Fitting Tribute To A Different Type of Hero."
Mom and I got a mid-morning start to UWF for the Bill Mauldin exhibit. When we got to the campus of UWF in Pensacola, it took us a while to find the Art Gallery and I had to stop a couple of times to read the big maps placed along the road to get to the right place. Once Mom and I got there about 11:30 a.m., we noticed that the exhibit wasn't opening until noon. Not wanting to hang around for thirty minutes, Mom and I went to a nearby Firehouse Subs and got a bite to eat to pass the time before the Bill Mauldin Exhibit opened. After eating, Mom and I returned to UWF and were able to enter the exhibit, which is free for all until January 10, 2013.
Bill Mauldin was born in New Mexico on October 29, 1921 and showed an interest in drawing at a young age. After Mauldin finished school, he was accepted into art school in Chicago and moved there in the late 1930's. During this time, Mauldin joined the army and was stationed stateside until the United States entered the war on December 8, 1941. Bill Mauldin became an artist with the military newspaper Stars and Stripes and was sent to the European Theater of battle shortly afterwards. Bill Mauldin observed the hell of battle not through the eyes of the generals and officers, but through the eyes of the "dogfaces" or GIs who put their lives on the line to liberate Europe from Hitler's ruthless tyranny that overran Europe during WWII.
Mauldin's most famous WWII dogfaces were Willie and Joe, two GIs who were like many of the soldiers who fought in battle during WWII. Mauldin's dark humor and funny observations about the war entertained soldiers weekly in Stars and Stripes and made fun of the officers and generals who glorified war. During this time, Mauldin got the ire of General George Patton, a.k.a. "Blood and Guts," the infamous general who once slapped a soldier in Italy suffering from shell shock. One of Mauldin's comics depicted an unshaven and bathed Willie and Joe stopped at the beginning of Patton's lines in Germany saying they would have to take the long way around in order to avoid Patton's strict rules about soldiers having to be clean-shaven, in ties, and helmets at all times. I got a good chuckle out of this comic, too, but Patton was far from amused and wanted Mauldin's comics banned from Stars and Stripes and the artist in jail if he had his way. But Mauldin's strips would survive Patton and WWII and Mauldin served his country heroically and also was wounded in Italy while travelling with the US Army.
After the war, Mauldin returned home to Chicago and became a free-lance artist whose work appeared in many publications. Mauldin also won a Pulitzer Prize for his work that included the Alaska Pipeline, Civil Rights, and his take on the USSR's banning of Boris Pasternak's new novel Doctor Zhivago in 1957. Later in his life, Mauldin's livelihood ended when his drawing arm was crushed in an accident and Mauldin died of Alzheimer's disease and from burns from being burned in his tub in January 2003 at the age of 81.
All of the drawings seen at the UWF exhibit are from Mauldin's estate and can be seen at UWF until January 10, 2013. It is a small exhibit and will take you about 45 minutes to an hour to go through and is an awesome look at the life of Bill Mauldin and his take on WWII and life in the United States and around the world. If you are in the Pensacola area around Christmastime, check it out and pay respect to the Willie and Joes still with us. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 23, 2012
Attraction | "A Baseball Game, Military Appreciation and A Can of Spam"
Mom and I got to the Blue Wahoo's home at Community Maritime Park about two hours before the scheduled 7 p.m. game time. The parking lot was reserved mostly for employees and players and free parking around the park in downtown Pensacola was too far away. It wasn't far if we were going to a day game, but it is not recommended to walk around areas of Downtown Pensacola in the dark and Mom and I were not about to do that and we paid $3 for parking across the street from the ballpark and parked in a grass lot that looked like someone's backyard and its residents wanted to make money. The proceeds for this parking lot went to a local non-profit organization so paying a small price for safe parking was all for a good cause.
The gates to the ballpark were not open when Mom and I got there so we had to wait along with several Little League teams. Mom and I realized we came on Little League and Military Appreciation Night. They way these several of these kids were tearing around the gate chasing each other, I was hoping they were not going to be sitting anywhere near our seats on the left field side. Mom and I waited on a bench near the gate for the gates. Andrews Medical Center of Pensacola, who has done orthopedic surgery on several famous athletes, had a little booth across the way and I went over to look at what they had. I came away with free Pensacola Blue Wahoos rubber bracelets for Mom and me and a Blue Wahoo's schedule for the 2012 season.
The gates finally opened and that wasn't the end of the freebies for us. After getting our tickets stamped, Mom and I got two cans of SPAM. SPAM!? Yes, that high sodium can of mystery meat that fed soldiers and civillians alike during World War II and is the butt of several Monty Python skits and jokes. I couldn't resist saying to Mom, "I HATE SPAM!" We vowed that six little dogs were going to be spoiled rotten for the next couple of mornings with our treasured SPAM! Luckily, the little leaguers were seated in a picnic area behind centerfield away from everyone else. Mom and I noticed you can bring blankets and sit on the grass in that seating just like we did when we saw the Red Sox play in Spring Training in 2009 in Fort Myers. We were happy sitting in seats with a great view of the game from left field.
Mom and I found our seats in Section 113 in Row D, four rows up from the action. We were on the visitors' side of the ballpark and tonight's opponents, the Mississippi Braves, the Atlanta Braves AA affiliate, were already warming up in the bullpen. Mom and I were happy we were not in the Uecker seats as the great Milwaukee Brewers announcer and comedian made famous in a Miller Lite Beer commerical of the 1970's. The usher working our area of the stadium was really nice and wiped our seats so we wouldn't have to sit in dirty seats and looked after our coats and my scorepad while we took our purses and got something to eat. Mom and I each had the chicken tender basket along with a bottled water. The food is a bit pricey in the stadium but it was worth the $20 for both of us. Mom and I enjoyed our dinner while watching the Braves' pitchers and catchers warming up. I got some great shots with my camera during this time and was getting all happy seeing a ball game and the sights and sounds associated with my and America's favorite pasttime.
Mom and I found out why we got a free can of SPAM each when the game began. It was Military Appreciation Night and after the National Anthem there was a flyover of two jets stationed in Pensacola. Awesome! During the game, the small scoreboard displayed the action on the field along with pictures of the home team players and visitors as they came to bat, and we were entertained with trivia of the history of SPAM. SPAM is celebrating its 75th year of existence and since 1937, billions of cans of that gelatinous mystery meat have been served across America and around the world. Did you know that SPAM has 13 flavors, is available in hot dog form (SPAM in tube form, Anthony Bourdain would love that!), and has 3.6% sodium (for all of you on blood pressure or cholesterol meds, that is 790 mg so I would skip fried SPAM, SPAM and eggs, etc.!). During WWII, Mom remembers being fed SPAM with rationing making SPAM a cheap way to feed Americans. The military introduced SPAM to Hawaii and today, Hawaiians consume the most SPAM in America and several restaurants there serve SPAM on their menues in several incarnations.
Away from the subject of SPAM. The game was a good game. The Braves took an early 2-0 lead and then the Blue Wahoos tied it in the 4th inninng. But the wheels came off the Blue Wahoos' pitching and the Braves scored three times the next inning and the score was 5-2 and would end that way. The Blue Wahoos organization sure knows how to entertain the masses and there were many activities in between innings including an "Eyeball race" with a local eye doctor sponsoring three people in eyeball costumes like the Sausage Races in Milwaukee. A night at the Blue Wahoos is a great local entertainment for people of all ages. Tickets are cheap and the people who work there are very kind and accommodating to everyone who comes to the game. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, you can sit and watch the game in a cool night breeze with a cold drink and good food. I highly recommend a trip to see the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Mom and I enjoyed it so much, we gave my sister and brother-in-law tickets for their 11th wedding anniversary on July 27 and will be joining them for another great baseball game. As for the cans of SPAM that we got as a giveaway, Remy, Dustin, Dewey, Amanda, Marty and Eagi enjoyed their SPAMalot!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 26, 2012
Community Maritime Park/Blue Wahoo Park
449 West Main Street
Pensacola, Florida 32502
After waiting a few minutes for the gates to Maritime Park to open, we were allowed inside. It was Military Appreciation Night along with Blue Wahoos Fan Appreciation Night, and we were given souvenir stress balls and frisbees on the way in. I was in a mischevious mood since Todd had been busting my chops all through dinner and thought I could get back at him and my sister for their anniversary by having their names posted on the score board during the game to wish them a happy anniversary. I found an usher once I got into the stadium and asked where I could pull my little prank, and she told me to go to the office near the concession stand where I could write their name on a form for the folks of Maritime Park could wish Erika and Todd a Happy Anniversary. I went to the office and did that and left the counter with a little smile on my face and told Mom, "Mission Accomplished" and we made our way to our seats.
This time around, our seats were on the first base side, and we still had a great view of the game and got to see the home team warming up. Some of the players were also signing autographs before the game, and I grabbed one of the stress balls and made my way down the steps towards the Blue Wahoos bullpen area to score some autographs. Of course, Todd had to keep wisecracking and joked, "They are a little young for you, Dianne!" Erika rolled her eyes at the thought of big sister going autograph hunting at my age, but Mom stuck up for me and said it was good for kids of any age.
I managed to get a few Blue Wahoo player autographs and chatted with one of the lefties in the group before heading back to my seat triumphant. The game began with a military color guard and a little ceremony for Military Appreciation Night, and we all were proud of Navy guy Todd in our midst. The game started, and we enjoyed a nice night of baseball with the Blue Wahoos winning 4-2. Erika and Todd's announcement came on around the 7th inning, and before they could plot to have me tossed into the nearby Gulf of Mexico, several other fans surrounding us wished Erika and Todd a Happy 11th Anniversary, and I lived to write this awesome journal about the whole thing!
Restaurant | "Anniversary Dinner with The Family"
Erika: Want to go to the Oar House?
Todd: DId you say the Wh-- House?
Dianne: Oh brother, get your brain out of the gutter, Todd!
Mom: We can't afford dinner.
Erika and Todd: It's on your ex (Erika and my father).
Mom: If it's on him, then OK!
We headed to the Oar House for a quick meal before heading to the Blue Wahoos game at Maritime Park within a few minutes. The Oar House is a popular mostly outdoor restaurant that serves seafood and other good food for good prices in a beach-like setting. Upon arriving at the Oar House, Mom, Erika, Todd and I were greeted by a beach volleyball court on one side and the kitchen on the left. There was a sign on the side of the kitchen that said "Showers 50 cents; to watch $1. Anniversary boy Todd was in a good mood and told Erika to go take a shower so he could watch. I offered to put Todd in the middle of the beach volleyball court where Erika and I could drill spike shots off of him.
We were immediately seated at a table facing a marina, and our waitress took our drink order. Erika, Todd, and I had sodas while Mom had a Fat Tire Ale. It was a hot not, and I was really thirsty and downed my first Diet Coke down in a heartbeat, and our waitress refilled it as fast as I drank it. She returned a few minutes after getting our menus and took our orders. Erika and Todd had chicken, Mom had a blackened cod sandwich, and I got the Shrimp Po Boy. We all got french fries with our orders. After our waitress took our orders, we sat at the table and bantered more with each other.
Our food took about 15 minutes to arrive, and the portions were huge. My Shrimp Po Boy had lots of freshly deep fried shrimp, a side of cole slaw, and lots of french fries with seasoned salt. The waitress asked if we wanted tartar sauce, which I said yes, and she quickly went and got Mom and I some tartar sauce. I had to eat some of my shrimp before eating the po boy because it was so huge and I couldn't get my mouth around it, but it was very good, and the fries and two helpings of cole slaw (Erika gave me her portion since she doesn't like cole slaw) filled me up nicely. I was surprised Mom ordered the blackened cod sandwich since spicy food isn't her thing, but she said her sandwich was good but a little too spicy for her liking. Erika and Todd enjoyed their meals as well. We were all stuffed after our big meals and passed on dessert when the waitress asked us if we wanted any.
The bill for dinner came to about $60 plus tip for the four of us, and we all thanked Dad for dinner and went off to the ballgame with full and happy tummies.
The Oar House in Pensacola is located at the end of Pace Boulevard and Cypress Street near the downtown. The prices are reasonable, and it's a great place to have dinner outside on a warm summer night or inside if it is cooler. There is a full bar there and the beach volleyball court for those who want to fantasize about being the next Misty May Treanor or Kerri Walsh Jennings. It is a fun place to be in Pensacola any day of the week.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 15, 2012
The Oar House
1901 Cypress St