Photo: Pensacola Bay, November 1, 2017
Beautiful November skies are here, so what do we do now? For starters, reunite with a few old friends in Charlottesville, VA, reminisce about how delightfully foolish we were in our youth (no details here people) and take in the scenery of a vineyard or two (slightly more sophisticated than our old fashioned “college days” keg parties). Well, if I was going to take a detour from my nautical lifestyle then this was definitely the next best thing for a November get away. The beautiful Fall foliage that lined the gateway to Shenandoah National Park were just about as alluring as the emerald waters and white sands that stretch along the Gulf Islands National Sea Shore.
Photo: View from the rooftop bar and restaurant, The Common House, Charlottesville, VA
For now though we’re back and drifting into the stretch of boating season that wraps around the Fall holidays. It’s time to take stock of inventory on M/V Safari (fewer beach towels and more bonfire blankets) and time to start making plans for the upcoming Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at our favorite anchorage, Admirals Island, Saturday November 11th. This is a spectacular airshow and one of my all time favorite days of the year! If you can watch the show from the tarmac at Pensacola Naval Air Station (NAS) then you’ll be siting pretty for sure, but taking in the air show out over the water is where I want to be. Admiral’s Island, just off NAS Sherman’s Cove, is only accessible by boat and it offers up an absolutely first rate air show venue.
After the Blue Angels air show the planning turns to Thanksgiving weekend which starts off with a long and lazy day of being spoiled at my parents house (I come from a long line of “porch sitters” so you get the picture). Our tradition as of late has involved more grilled oysters and less turkey, but one long held tradition that hasn’t changed over the years has been my father’s preparation of the family’s favorite cocktail, the Old Fashioned. They go hand and hand with sitting on the back porch.
After Thanksgiving day at the family home we’ll set out on M/V Safari for the rest of the weekend and either search for some new anchorages and restaurants in the Orange Beach area or go old school and settle near one of our favorite haunts along the Gulf Island National Sea Shore. Either way we go it will be an adventure complete with great food and friends, time will tell.
I love leaving off with a favorite quote, sometime it’s a long time favorite, sometimes it’s one I just discovered, this happens to be one I just discovered over my reunion weekend. Thanks to Frances our dinners always commenced with a toast. I had several favorites, but this one quickly rose to the top.
“My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light!” Edna St. Vincent Millay
Photo: The “girls” Sally, Carrie, Frances and Cynthia
Alas, home where my heart belongs, see you in the Blue Ocean friends.
Photo: M/V Safari, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Admiral’s Island