Written by Wildcat Dianne on 18 Dec, 2012
After a nice dinner at the Oar House, Mom, Erika, Todd, and I were on the way to Maritime Park in Downtown Pensacola for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos game. When we arrived we noticed that the cheap parking lot across from the park was…Read More
After a nice dinner at the Oar House, Mom, Erika, Todd, and I were on the way to Maritime Park in Downtown Pensacola for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos game. When we arrived we noticed that the cheap parking lot across from the park was filling up quickly due to the game being sold out, but Mom and I would have not minded walking a distance, but not in the dark like we did the last time. Erika and Todd were not about to walk in the dark into a parking lot that also doubles as people's backyards, so Todd felt it was worth the $10 to park in the main parking lot of Maritime Park.
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!
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 26 May, 2012
As of March 2012, there is a new show in town and it is the Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball team. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the the AA affiliates of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds National League team.What is a Blue Wahoo one might…Read More
As of March 2012, there is a new show in town and it is the Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball team. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the the AA affiliates of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds National League team.
What is a Blue Wahoo one might ask? The Pensacola Blue Wahoo's original name comes from a type of mackeral or tuna fish that is native to the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and the Caribbean Sea. It is a fish popular to fishermen for food and for trophies. When I went to my favorite seafood shop, Joe Patti's in Pensacola, they had Blue Wahoo filets for $9.99 a pound. The lady that was helping me with my order said that it was good firm fish and gave me another tidbit of information that the US Navy named several submarines after the dark blue fish beginning in 1941, the eve of World War II.
The history of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos doesn't start in the Spring of 2012. The team itself has been in existence since 1959 under several names and incarnations and affiliated with several Major League teams throughout its 53-year existence. In 1959, the team started in the South Atlantic League in South Carolina as the Charleston White Sox (Chicago White Sox). After two years in Charleston, the team moved to Savannah, Georgia for a year and was known as the Savannah White Sox. Then for two years, the team was in Indiana playing as the Evansville White Sox (1966-68). Now the team finally settled down for a while in Columbus, Georgia and had one more year in the White Sox organization (1969) before becoming an affiliate of the Houston Astros for the next eighteen years. The team was renamed the Columbus Mudcats in 1989 and then moved to Zebulon, North Carolina in 1991 for twenty years. In 2010, the city of Pensacola wanted a major league baseball affiliate in town and after selling the Independent League Pensacola Pelicans to owners in Texas to finance this move, acquired the Carolina Mudcats for two million dollars. The name Blue Wahoos was decided by a fan contest in the local Wendy's restaurants and their uniforms are several shades of blues and red that are in honor of the nearby Pensacola NAS. The Blue Wahoos Park is located at the Community Maritime Park on Main Street in Downtown Pensacola and is a beautiful park located on the Gulf of Mexico. It seats 5,000 people and all of the seating allows fans to watch games in a more up close and personal environment. There are two concession stands to feed fans on the third and first base sides along with several little beer and refreshment stands. The Bait and Tackle sells Blue Wahoos hats, t-shirts and other souvenirs if one wants something to remember their experience at the Blue Wahoos game. To me, it is one of the most beautiful little ballparks next to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (Hey! I am not going to give up my alliegance to my Red Sox) and tickets cost anywhere from $8-10. It is a hot commodity so get tickets ahead of team because several games are sold out. A Blue Wahoos game is the best thing in town now!
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 05 Apr, 2012
A couple of months ago, Mom and I went out on a rare trip to dinner in Pensacola. We arrived in Pensacola from our home in Milton about 2 and were hoping for an early dinner to avoid the Friday night crowds, but the…Read More
A couple of months ago, Mom and I went out on a rare trip to dinner in Pensacola. We arrived in Pensacola from our home in Milton about 2 and were hoping for an early dinner to avoid the Friday night crowds, but the Outback wasn't open until 4, so we decided to take a ride to Palafox Pier and walk around the marina and watch the fishermen on the pier and the ships and boats pass by.
Mom and I arrived at Palafox Pier and got out of the car and started to walk. To our left low and behold was a ship built in the time of old. After our louzy experience about a year ago with the Christopher Columbus replicas, the Nina and the Pinta that wasn't worth the $7 admission price, we were apprehensive about another bad touring experience. We looked at the sign posted at the ship's entrance and noticed it was named The Peacemaker and it was free to tour the ship. Mom and I were glad for that because I wasn't about to shell out any money for something that might be a disaster or waste of time and money. So Mom and I boarded the Peacemaker and grabbed a copy of their newsletter with a history of the ship and the crew's mission.
The Peacemaker is an American barquentine ship built in Brazil starting in 1987. It was built in the Tall Ships style of construction and the construction crew only used indigenous woods and traditional shipbuilding methods. That means no electric tools were used during its construction. Construction of The Peacemaker was completed in 1989 and it was launched shortly afterwards. The first owners named the ship The Avany and it was planned to bring the ship to Savannah, Georgia for educational reasons, but things didn't go that way and the first owners sold The Peacemaker to the Twelve Tribes religious group in 2000. The Twelve Tribes is an American religious group with about 50 communities scattered throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia. After seven years of remodeling and making the ship more seaworthy for their missions around the world, The Peacemaker was relaunched in 2007. Today The Peacemaker travels around the world promoting their religious beliefs and gives apprenticeships to people who want to become sailors the arts of sailing, seamanship, navigation and ship maintenance. Their homeport is Brunswick, Georgia but the crew spends most of the year at sea.
Mom and I were not greeted by the crew members that were on board and we noticed their hand-made clothing and the presence of children on board. The members of the Twelve Tribes homeschool their kids when they are at sea and they support themselves with donations and selling homemade organic baked goods such as carob bars. If you are lucky to live near the water and The Peacemaker is docked in your town, make the effort to go and check it out. It is worth a few minutes of your time. The crew keeps to themselves most of the time but if you have questions or want to know more about the ship, they will talk with you.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 25 Jan, 2010
Let me tell you a little story. When I started working for the Home Depot in Pace, Florida, I became friends with Eddy, one of the cashiers and one of the most sweetest guys you ever met. Eddy was a hairdresser by trade…Read More
Let me tell you a little story. When I started working for the Home Depot in Pace, Florida, I became friends with Eddy, one of the cashiers and one of the most sweetest guys you ever met. Eddy was a hairdresser by trade and would come over to his co-workers' homes and cut their hair and enjoy everyone's company. Eddy used to cut Mom's hair, and we all became close friends.Last August, Eddy wasn't feeling well and went to see his doctor after having a seizure. After about a week in the hospital, the doctors told Eddy he had non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but it was 70-90% treatable. I was at the hospital after his diagnosis and was thinking positive for my dear friend and his mother Mercedes. It was during Eddy's hospitalization in Pensacola that I met Mercedes, a little Spanish woman who loves her four kids and will drop everything to be with them when they are ill. I knew Mercedes and I would become dear friends after that first hug during my first long visit at the hospital with Eddy. Eddy, Mercedes and I would spend about three to four hours a visit talking about history, sports, and other topics to keep Eddy happy and not think about his illness all of the time. Mom came with me on one visit, and once again Mercedes opened her arms to Mom as well.
Unfortunately, Eddy's cancer had spread into his pancreas, liver, brain, and spine, and an infection after surgery to remove the spinal tumor weakened Eddy terribly. Mercedes was desperate to save her youngest child and took Eddy to the Siteman Cancer Hospital in St. Louis. I sent a hand-knit hat to Eddy for warmth which turned into two afghans and other knit goodies for Eddy to be comfortable during his stay at Siteman. But even the best cancer hospital in the USA couldn't save my friend Eddy, and only 24 hours after talking to him on the telephone, he fell into a coma and never woke up. Eddy died on October 9, 2009, and many of us at Home Depot were devastated and are still feeling Eddy's loss.
I needed to tell this story to set up for the next part of this journal entry. Mercedes and her friend Kathy drove up from Sebastian, near Orlando to give Eddy's former partner part of his ashes and visit all of the people from Home Depot who were his friends. Mercedes, Kathy, and I met at the Wasabi House, and after we all ate dinner, Mercedes wanted to take a ride to show Kathy the area. I suggested we go and see Palafox Pier and downtown Pensacola, and we crossed the Escambia County Bridge and headed south.
Now Palafox Pier isn't any old pier to me. It became a great place for Mom and I to walk around and take our dog Loki for a walk during our first eight months in Pensacola. We would enjoy watching people fishing off the pier and walking around the marina and seeing the ships docked at the port. Now, there is a statue of Tristan de la Luna that King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia dedicated during their February 2009 visit to Pensacola, and I knew that Mercedes, who was born and raised in Spain until she was 20 would love it. We arrived at the pier and parked her SUV. Kathy was a bit chilly and stayed inside while Mercedes and I got out and looked around a bit. Mercedes took pictures of the statue and I of some of the ships docked at the Port. The rain had let up enough to enjoy the sunset and smell the sea air.
After Palafox Pier, I gave Kathy and Mercedes an abbreviated tour of downtown Pensacola passing the the Federal and county courthouses and St. Michael's Church (1781). Mercedes didn't have a chance to see Pensacola while Eddy was ill, but she and Kathy didn't know the history I was telling them about the place and how most of the downtown was mostly law offices and cathouses during its wild days as a Navy port. My tales that I have heard in a short time here in Pensacola left Mercedes and Kathy craving for more, and I hope they will return to Pensacola when the weather is better and we can walk around and really enjoy the sights and sounds of Pensacola.
It was getting dark and rainy by the time the little tour ended, and Mercedes didn't want to be driving in the dark for much longer, so we reluctantly headed back to the Wasabi House parking lot where we left my car and parted ways with big hugs and kisses and promises to keep in touch.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 07 Jun, 2009
Primus Circumdedisti Me--Motto of the Spanish Tall Ship the Juan Sebastian de Elcano and the coat of arms of its namesake.The Juan Sebastian de Elcano is the third largest Tall Ship in the World and was named after Basque/Spanish Navigator Juan Sebastian de Elcano (1486…Read More
Primus Circumdedisti Me--Motto of the Spanish Tall Ship the Juan Sebastian de Elcano and the coat of arms of its namesake.
The Juan Sebastian de Elcano is the third largest Tall Ship in the World and was named after Basque/Spanish Navigator Juan Sebastian de Elcano (1486 or 1487-1526) under the command of Ferdinand Magellan during the latter's trip to the Spice Islands in Indonesia from 1519-1522.
Elcano was the oldest of four children born in the Basque country of Spain and became a sailor at a young age. He became a Commander Subject under King Carlos I and joined Magellan's fleet to the Spice Islands in 1519. The trip to the Spice Islands was to be a short trip, but mutiny in Argentina, starvation, and battles with Natives in the Philippines prolonged the trip even further. Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines at the Battle of Macatan on April 27, 1521, and Elcano took command of the Spanish fleet and headed back to Spain. After another ship was left behind because of damage, Elcano in command of the Victoria returned to Spain via the Indian Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. After three years at sea and the deaths of 237 crew members, Elcano and 18 surviving crew members returned to Cadiz, Spain on September 6, 1522.
After completing the first trip around the world by an explorer, Juan Sebastian de Elcano was awarded a coat of arms by Carlos I along with a small pension and still remained as a commander under the Spanish King. In 1525, a second trip to the Spice Islands similar to the first trip was planned with the Loaiza Expedition, and Elcano became a captain of one of the ships along with another ship's captain. Elcano died at sea from starvation during the second expedition on August 4, 1526 along with the other captain, but several sailors took command of the expedition and were able to return to Spain the same route Elcano took the Victoria in 1522.
Today the Tall Ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano bears the explorer's name and is used by the Royal Spanish Navy as a training ship for its sailors and travels around the world on a mission of peace and friendship. The schooner was built in Cadiz in 1927 and has four masts and is 115-meters-long (370 feet) and is constructed of wood and metal.
Last week, I was watching the local news station, and they came on saying that the Spanish Tall Ship the Juan Sebastian de Elcano would be visiting Pensacola from June 3-9 in honor of the yearlong 450th Anniversary celebration of the city of Pensacola.…Read More
Last week, I was watching the local news station, and they came on saying that the Spanish Tall Ship the Juan Sebastian de Elcano would be visiting Pensacola from June 3-9 in honor of the yearlong 450th Anniversary celebration of the city of Pensacola. Lucky me had another rare weekend off from work, and I said to Mom we needed to check the Tall Ship out while it was in town.
As a child growing up in Rhode Island, my family and I were treated to a 1976 Bicentennial celebration of several Tall Ships from around the world in Newport, Rhode Island, and the idea of seeing another Tall Ship in our lifetime was a rare and special opportunity for us to enjoy. Plus we are facing another move to our new home in Milton and was looking forward to what could be the last recreational trip for us for a long time.
So after dropping off a check for a surveyor of our new home to our realtor, Mom and I were on our way to Downtown Pensacola and the Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The trip downtown from our Pensacola condo is a short one, so we made it downtown in about 15 minutes. We thought we saw some Tall Ship related activities in Martin Luther King, Jr. Square, and parked the car near there in one of the parking lots. But after we got out of the car, I realized I had left my camera at home and packed only my batteries. I wasn't going to see a Spanish Tall Ship and not have photos to prove it, I told Mom, and we had to make a made dash back home to get my camera, which was on top of my entertainment center in my bedroom.
Camera in purse, Mom and I made the short trip back to Downtown Pensacola. There were Spanish flags festooned down all of Palafox Street, but the activities going on in MLK, Jr. Square turned out to be a Farmer's Market, and it was closing up for the week as we came back to town. Oh well. Mom and I went further downtown to Commendencia Street, where free parking was available near where the Juan Sebastian de Elcano was docked. A long line was forming for the next group of free tours on the Spanish Tall Ship that were to begin at 3 p.m. Mom and I decided to forgo the line for the time being and check out the Juan Sebastian de Elcano from the pier on Commendencia Street before suffering in a long line on a hot June day.
There were many people walking the pier and enjoying a view of the Juan Sebastian de Elcano and many people including myself were taking pictures and enjoying the breezes blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico. One man went even further and had set up an easel on the pier and was painting a portrait of the Juan Sebastian de Elcano, and I said to Mom I should think about starting to draw again after a long absence from paper and pencil, and she agreed with me.
Mom ran to the car to get another pair of shoes because the ones she had on were uncomfortable. I got a place in line for both of us and got talking with a couple who came to see the ship from Mobile. The breezes from the Gulf were a godsend and a great relief from the heat, but I wish I had put on my SPF 30 instead of my SPF 15 moistruizer because my shoulders got a little red while waiting in line.
Near 2:30, Mom and I got talking with the couple in front of me, and the husband was a bounty of information on Naval history and rules since he served in the Navy a long time ago. His wife was funny and thought the masts came down like in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, but her husband told her no, and Mom and I joked that Johnny Depp wouldn't be on board the Juan Sebastian de Elcano that day.
Finally, the uniformed Escambia County Sheriff stationed at the gate opened the gates to the Juan Sebastian de Elcano and we flowed in towards the Tall Ship taking in its majestic beauty along the way. Another 30 minute wait was before us, but there was a refreshment van near the ship for anyone who needed to buy soda or bottled water. Mom and I had brought water with us and were sipping from it while waiting and enjoying the breezes.
Finally Mom and I got on board the Juan Sebastian de Elcano. A good-looking Spanish sailor was stationed at the boarding dock to make sure that only a certain number of people were on board at a time, and I greeted him as I climbed on board.
If one is to tour the JSE, you need to be in good shape and not be afraid of heights. Usually heights is a deal breaker for Mom for any adventure, but she was a trooper climbing up the steep ladders of the JSE throughout the ship behind me. We posed for many pictures along the way at the big captain's wheels and other locations on board, but I was too shy to pose for any shots with the sailors, who were some of the cutest sailors I have laid my eyes on.
The entire tour of the Juan Sebastian de Elcano took us about 45 minutes and was very informative and an awesome experience for all. I would have loved to have stayed on board all day to enjoy the Gulf breezes, but I don't think they would allow me to stay. Reluctantly Mom and I left the ship and headed home happy to have the experience to see history and a Tall Ship.
If you live on the coastal USA and a Tall Ship is visiting, don't miss it. Our tour of the JSE was free and great for people looking for budget fun. We were lucky to get free parking right near the ship even though there was a parking lot nearby charging $5 for parking. If you are in the Pensacola area now, the Juan Sebastian de Elcano will be docked at Commendencia Street Pier until June 9 before it heads to other stops on its tour.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 26 Dec, 2008
When Dad came to town for Christmas, Mom and I wanted to show him a good time with a walking tour of Downtown Pensacola the Saturday after his arrival. My sister Erika and my brother-in-law Todd were invited to come with us, and we…Read More
When Dad came to town for Christmas, Mom and I wanted to show him a good time with a walking tour of Downtown Pensacola the Saturday after his arrival. My sister Erika and my brother-in-law Todd were invited to come with us, and we would have dinner after our adventures either downtown or at the Pensacola Ale House on Davis Boulevard.
Erika and Todd met us at our place about 3:15 on Saturday afternoon, and we were ready for fun. But the show almost didn't go on when Erika stumbled down the stairs leading to our condo, but luckily Todd was there to catch his wife before our night wound up in a local emergency room. Disaster averted, we were all on our way downtown.
Todd parked in Plaza Ferdinand VII at Chisley Park on Palafox Street in Downtown Pensacola, and we began our walk through the park towards Historic Pensacola Village. On the way, Mom and I told Dad, Erika, and Todd the stories we learned on our Haunted Tour of Pensacola at Halloween, and after Todd heard about the hanging in the old Police Station that is now the Pensacola Little Theater, Todd quipped, "I like this town!" After living in Pensacola for four years, Erika and Todd never saw the downtown in depth only coming to the area for business and driving through on the way to the Naval Base or other errands. They didn't know what they were missing!
Our next stop was the Historic Pensacola Village near Seville Square. The beautiful old Victorian homes were lovingly decorated with pine wreaths and garlands on their white picket fences, and I loved the pine garlands on the fence of the Lear-Robechlave house with a Southern touch, magnolia leaves woven into the garland! At the Pfeiffer house near the church, there was an orange tree full of sweet fruit, and I was tempted to jump over the fence and take some of the oranges for my own consumption. "You watch out for cops, and I will jump the fence and get some of those oranges, Todd!" Needless to say, I behaved myself, and we continued on our adventure though the Village.
At the Highway 98 side of Seville Square, Dad saw an old Victorian on Highway 98 and wanted to check it out. Dad might be almost 66, but he is still a fast walker, and Mom, Erika, Todd, and I had to almost run after Dad across the street to catch up with him. The two-level Victorian was the Lee Bed and Breakfast House, and there were guests out on the second-floor balcony checking out the Gulf of Mexico across the street.
After checking out the B & B, we made our way back through Seville Square where a wedding was going on in the gazebo. "Don't do it!", Todd cracked as we passed by, but it was for us to hear, not the wedding party, but it would have been funny if they had heard us! Surrounding Seville Square are some little restaurants in some of the Victorian homes, and we looked at some of the menus, but nothing seemed appealing at the time or was too expensive for His Lordship to buy dinner for all five of us. If it's not a restaurant, all of the other houses are either law firms or former whorehouses, which led to Erika cracking, "Notice any difference?!"
After leaving the Village, we walked through the Seville Quarter which has a few bars and restaurants. One of the restaurants looked to be closed for a private Christmas party, but Dad stoped in Rosie O'Grady's for a second to check a football score on their TV. We returned to Palafox Street a few minutes later and walked around a little more checking out more restaurants before deciding to go to the Pensacola Ale House for dinner. Santa was outside a jewelry shop giving out candy to passing children, and the downtown was starting to come alive with Christmas festivities. We left downtown before it got too crowded in order to get to the Ale House before that place got crowded and enjoyed a nice meal together as a family.
Pensacola at Christmastime also has parades and festivities for New Year's Eve that are not to be missed. The streets and businesses are decked to fullest in holiday cheer, and the weather is mild enough for one to enjoy a walk around the town without freezing!
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 28 Nov, 2008
Thanksgiving morning 2008 in Pensacola. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, and 66 degrees. A nice day to take my old boy Loki for a trip to Palafox Pier while Todd vacuumed the floors before our Thanksgiving feast later that day. I had…Read More
Thanksgiving morning 2008 in Pensacola. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, and 66 degrees. A nice day to take my old boy Loki for a trip to Palafox Pier while Todd vacuumed the floors before our Thanksgiving feast later that day. I had already done my contribution to the Thanksgiving table with pumpkin pie, so it was Erika and Mom's turn to get the rest of the feast ready. It was my job to get Loki out of the house while Todd got the vacuuming done without having Loki under his feet.
On one of my trips to Downtown Pensacola, I tried to locate historic Fort George. The first time I couldn't find it, but another trip downtown, I found Fort George. It's a tiny fort located on the corner of Palafox and LaRua in a little park in a residential area full of historical Victorian homes. I decided to stop and check out Fort George before taking Loki to Palafox Pier for a nice walk before heading back to Erika's and dinner.
Traffic was very light on this Thanksgiving morning, and I had no problem parking my car on LaRua to see Fort George. Not wanting to struggle with Loki and taking him in and out of the car too many times, I left him in the backseat with the windows open while I made a quick exploration of Fort George.
Historic Fort George has a colorful and violent history dating from the Seven Years War of 1756-1763 and well into the American Revolution 12 years later. Before the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years War, Pensacola had been a strategic Spanish port and trading post, but after 1763, the treaty turned Pensacola over to the British expanding British Territory in the south along the Gulf of Mexico to Spanish-controlled New Orleans.
Construction on Fort George began in 1779 under the supervision of General John Campbell and was built on the highest part of town, Gage Hill. Fort George was a star-shaped fortification consisiting of a parade ground, fenced wooden posts called pallisades, and cannons used to protect Pensacola from future enemy attacks.
But the Spanish weren't about to let Pensacola go from their control for long. Although Fort George and Pensacola's fortifications were strengthened in 1778 in anticipation of a possible Spanish attack, the Spanish fleet under the control of Bernardo de Galvez sailed past British fortifications at Santa Rosa Island and landed soldiers at Bayou Chico on March 9, 1781. On May 8, 1781, the Spaniard opened fire on the British at Pensacola killing many soldiers. After a short battle, the British surrendered Fort George and Pensacola was returned to Spanish control on May 10, 1781. After 34 years of decay and disuse, Fort George saw more action after Andrew Jackson invaded Pensacola and quickly overran the Spanish.
After the Americans took over Pensacola, parts of Fort George were destroyed for houses to be built and other developments. In 1974, an archeological team unearthed cannon balls and other artifacts from the old fort and plans were made to turn what remained of Fort George into a Historic Park. In 1976, restoration was finally completed and the Fort George Historic Park was dedicated to the city of Pensacola. Today, it is home to a little park with a couple of cannons and what remains of the wooden fortifications.
I spent a few minutes exploring the tiny park and fort. A couple of cannons overlook the park facing the First Baptist Church across the street. There is a park bench for one to enjoy a nice day in the shade and enjoy the view of the park. On the sidewalk leading to the fort, there is a sign depicting the Battle of Pensacola and stairs leading to the fort itself. There was a Victorian house next door with a tree house that I would have loved to have gone up to enjoy the view of the fort below, but not worth getting busted for trespassing. After a few minutes of looking and taking pictures, I went back Loki and the car and made my way to the promised walk at Palafox Pier for my old boy.
Fort George is located in a little park on the corner of Palafox and LaRua Streets about a 1/2 mile from Cervantes Street, one of Pensacola's main streets. It's free to tour and open from Sunrise to Sunset and worth a few minutes of your time to see a colonial sight that once was never thought to be found by archeologists and me.
Written by Wildcat Dianne on 22 Nov, 2008
After stuffing ourselves silly on great Greek food at the Pensacola Greek Festival, Mom and I were ready for some souvenir shopping and Greek dancing. After letting dinner digest and watching some of the Greek Parishoners and our dinner mate dancing with the children…Read More
After stuffing ourselves silly on great Greek food at the Pensacola Greek Festival, Mom and I were ready for some souvenir shopping and Greek dancing. After letting dinner digest and watching some of the Greek Parishoners and our dinner mate dancing with the children in the center square set up for dancing, Mom and I left our pastries with our dining partners, the retired Navy couple and went to another tent where many Greek souvenirs were for sale along with Greek pastries and cookies in gift packs. My sister Erika had asked if we could find Gyro meat there to pick some up, but none was available for sale. I was hoping to get some grape leaves for me to make my own vegetarian Dolma, stuffed grape leaves, at home, but I was disappointed that this festival didn't have Greek canned goods for sale like the festival in Boise had.
But this festival had a nice assortment of jewelry and other Greek souvenirs for us to choose from, and I got a pretty necklace on a black cord with purple beads and a Greek cross for $8. I added a little Greek flag for my flag collection for $3 and was happy to go home with something from this festival. Mom got another nice necklace for herself, and we took our goodies and returned to our table to watch the dancing that was to begin at any time.
The young dancers were just lining up in the big tent near the dance floor as Mom and returned to our table, and we paused long enough for the American and Greek National Anthems to play before sitting down and chatting with the Navy couple. The chatty hubby said they were coming back for more food the next day and said it's a great time for all to have when in Pensacola.
A few minutes later, the dancers began their routines. The first dance group were called Hara and consisted of young girls and boys from the ages of 6-10. The girls were dressed in black jumpers with colorful ribbon trim on the skirt and red kerchiefs. The boys had on red caps and knickers along with white shirts. They did a couple of dances and then we saw the instructor running up as if to fix the hat of one of the boys. We thought "maybe they should wait until after they finish dancing!," but after a while we started to see the parents of the dancers running up to their kids and putting money in their kerchief and hat bands in accordance to Greek tradition.
After the young kids finished their dancing, it was the older kids' turn. The older group of dancers were known as the Glenzethes and like the Hara Dancers, they are ambassadors to the Greek Orthodox Church in Pensacola and travel all over the world performing good deeds and dancing. The age of the Glenzethes was from 11-18, and the boys were dressed in white shirts with black knickers and burgundy vests with metallic trim. The young ladies had on blue velvet jackets and long skirts over white slips and blouses, and the outerwear had metallic gold trim. The ladie's hair was covered by beautiful long white scarves. The Glenzethes performed a couple of dances together before the finale which was the young men doing an awesome dance of leaps and turns. Now didn't Anthony Bourdain say on his show No Reservations that he felt like he was in the middle of a Greek "Riverdance?!"
The Glenzethes and Hara Dancers were all great and we enjoyed about 40 minutes of entertainment from them. By 6:15, Mom and I decided we had enough fun for the night and decided to head home saying we would be back next year for more fun and food.
The Greek Orthodox Festival is held every November in Pensacola, but you can sample much of the food at several local eateries like Chrisoula's Cheesecake Shoppe and Aegean Breeze Greek Food, Seafood, and Steaks thoughout Pensacola. The Festival is well-worth your time.
When Mom and I started to notice the billboards around Pensacola advertising the Annual Pensacola Greek Festival at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church last month, we got really excited and made plans to attend and enjoy some great Greek food and dancing.The 2008 Greek Festival…Read More
When Mom and I started to notice the billboards around Pensacola advertising the Annual Pensacola Greek Festival at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church last month, we got really excited and made plans to attend and enjoy some great Greek food and dancing.
The 2008 Greek Festival was held from November 14-16, and it was the first time that Mom and I got to attend. I had attended the Greek Festival in Boise in 2006, and I felt that there wasn't a big variety of food and the tiny location of the Orthodox Church wasn't condusive to the festivities that occur at Greek Festivals.
At first, Mom thought she would miss out on the Greek Festival after spending the previous Sunday afternoon in the hospital being treated for fluid on her heart and lungs, but after her doctor gave her a clean bill of health on Friday morning and told her to not walk around a lot and relax, our plans were back on schedule. As soon as I got home from work and changed clothes, Mom and I were off to the Pensacola Greek Festival.
The Pensacola Greek Festival is held annually around Veterans Day Weekend at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Garden Street heading towards Downtown Pensacola. Along with great food and dancing, there are tours of the Orthodox Church along with other cultural events.
After Mom and I toured the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, we were hungry and ready for some food. The Church's community center was next door to the church and had most of the food, but for those not wanting a big meal and preferring Greek street food, there were booths outside the buidling selling Gyros and other finger foods. Mom and I wanted to have a good Greek meal, and after perusing the menu that one of the costumed ladies handed to us outside the center, we went inside to get dinner.
Being a beady-eyed vegetarian who eats mainly meat from ugly animals, I can be limited on food in some places. But the Pensacola Greek Festival had a big assortment of foods for carnivores and vegetarians, and everyone is happy. I got The Greek Chicken Dinner (Kotopoulo) for $9.50 while Mom got an assortment of Greek dishes including Moussaka that had beef and veggies in a spiced tomato sauce and Spanikopita, the spinach and feta cheese pie. After I got my Kotopoulo, I noticed the gorgeous array of Greek desserts on the other side of the center and dashed over there to drool and get a couple of desserts. Everything looked sooooo good, and it was difficult to decide what to get, but after a while of fogging up the glass cabinets, I did in Rome what the Romans did and got a piece of Baklava ($2.50) and a huge piece of Chocolate Kok ($3.75), which was a honey sponge cake with custard filling and chocolate on top. That was being saved for the next night's dessert. You had to pay for dinner at one register and dessert at another. So after I paid for everything on my tray, Mom and I found a seat in the huge tent set up for everyone to eat at.
Mom and I sat across the way from a retired Navy couple, and the husband was all excited that Mom and I looked alike and was very talkative while Mom and I dug into our food. Mom said her Moussaka was great, and my Kotopoulo was very moist with the chicken coming off the bone easily. It wasn't greasy like a Greek chicken I had in a restaurant in Chicago, and it came with manestra, a Greek rice in tomato sauce and fresh green beans in tomato sauce. I had a bite of Mom's Spanokopita and immediately wanted a recipe to try at home. Mom and I then split the Baklava and declared ourselves stuffed and happy.
For more Greek Festival Fun, go to my next entry OPA! Food and Fun at the Pensacola Greek Festival II,.