Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Blue Angels.... NOT!

We were on our way to Orange Beach last Thursday when Heather got a text message on her phone from her brother, Heath. He and his son, Mitch, had been down earlier in the week, and had left coming home on Wednesday. Heath said that the Blue Angels were going to be practicing in Pensacola Beach on Friday, and then performing on Saturday. The Saturday activities began at 12:30pm and then the Angels were scheduled to fly at 2:00pm. Heather got up Saturday morning and decided we should drive over and see them. So we proceeded to get things ready to make a day of it. We packed our bathing suits, beach chairs, beach mats, umbrella and towels, along with a cooler of drinks and snacks. Our plan was to drive over and spend the day on Pensacola Beach and watch the Angels perform. We were set.

We called Chris, Jessica, & Libby to see if they wanted to go along with us. They declined, already having made plans to sun and shop. So Heather and I went over to Hazel's for some all-you-can-eat breakfast bar, and then headed to Florida. As we neared the water in Pensacola, the traffic turned into a bumper-to-bumper mess. We eased along and began making our way across the bay bridge. You could still see the broken remnants of the old bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in September of 2004. The new bridge is 4 lanes and 3 miles long. It took us well over 45 minutes to get across. Heather nearly wet her pants, and probably would have if we hadn't seen a port-o-potty at the very end of the bridge. (We stopped at the same place on the way home as well!)

About the time we reached the end of the bridge, the rains began. We were in a rainstorm to rival Noah's. I'm not sure I have personally ever been in so much rain. Then the radio stations began announcing that all parking near and along the beaches were filled. They were suggesting driving down to Fort Pickens and taking a shuttle back to the beach. Well, how were we supposed to take a shuttle with all our stuff? We were going to spend the rest of the day! When we arrived in Pensacola Beach, the water was up over the bottom of the car doors. It was as if we were driving through a river, and I could feel the force of the current pushing on the car. We finally found a parking spot and sat waiting on the torrential downpours to stop. After about 10 minutes of sitting there, the radio announcer delivered terrible news. The show had been canceled due to the weather! We just couldn't believe it! We sat there for a few more minutes wondering what to do, and then we did what everybody around us was doing. We headed home.

We arrived back in Orange Beach to cloudy but dry skies. I pulled into the Cotton Bayou public beach parking lot and we unloaded our things and hauled them down to the beach. After a couple of hours, the rains caught up with us again, but at least we got to the beach as originally planned. So even though things turned out much differently than we had expected, we had an interesting and good day, afterall.

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