The Big Pensacola Florida Trip

Shauna and I have been thinking about some kind of camping trip this summer for awhile now, we had a few days last week to make it happen but we had no idea where we were going.  The original idea was Missouri where we could snorkel and float in the clear waters, but temperatures have been really high lately.  The next idea was up North to Lake Michigan but the day before I started comparing temperatures and according to forecasts temps in the Florida gulf were only going to be a couple degrees warmer.  I presented my idea to go to Pensacola and Shauna was all for it.


There’s a bit of history here, see for the 20 years we’ve been together she’s wanted to go to Florida on vacation, but because of the drive, and the fact that I used to hate water I always vetoed the idea.  It was selfish, but I had ear problems that drove me crazy if I got in the water, so at least there was a medical reason.  Now that’s fixed and I’ve been having a great time snorkeling I was all for a beach trip.  Shauna did not let me forget this easily.

beach 1

So since we had the van and it’s not cheap to stay in a room on the beach we were going to camp at Fort Pickens, which is right on the ocean.  There were only a handful of spots left and I got us one for Wednesday and Thursday night.  It was a rough 11 hour drive and we did it nearly non stop to arrive at the campground around 5:30PM.  The first thing we did was take the short walk to the ocean and jump in.

beach 2


The next day we woke up before dawn and went to the bayside beach and I took some sunrise photographs.  I planned to do lots of photography on this trip but I wasn’t able to, just not enough time.  By 7 AM we were exploring Fort Pickens which was interesting.  It had many cool passageways, arches, and creepy old architecture.

fort pickens 1

Next we went to a beach that google maps recommended for snorkeling.  It was getting really hot and sunny but in the water was really nice, I snorkeled way out and found the barrier reef things and checked them out.  There were lots of people snorkeling and spear fishing.  Everyone was really friendly and I had a great time out there.




Shauna stayed closer to the beach but I returned and loaned her my mask and she trolled up and down the beach collecting shells and having fun.  After that we went to the Pensacola Beach boardwalk and hung out checking out the boutiques, shops, and considered parasailing.  I think we both wanted to try it but were a bit afraid of the height and definitely afraid of the price.  Before we could decide if we wanted to para-sail a storm rolled in and we went to another beach and watched it.  We returned to our campground at 5:30 PM in a massive storm and sit in the van as our site flooded, luckily we had nothing there.

camping rain

Camping that night was a drag as we were pretty much restricted to the van, which was cramped with the two of us, and we were both sunburned from the day at the beach.  We were both more than a little jealous of everyone else’s huge RVs and air conditioning.  The next morning we went swimming again before heading home.

fuzzy beach 1

We stopped in Nashville at Sushi Train, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant like that is popular in Japan.  It was really neat and very delicious.  Since we had barely ate all day we took great advantage of their all you can eat special.  If we were paying regular prices we would have paid nearly 60 dollars worth of Sushi.

sushitrain 1

sushitrain 2



About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, lifestyle, photography, Stories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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