Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens

Happy Hump Day friends! The DH and I have a special weekend planned, so I am super excited about being halfway there!

But this post is about what we got up to last weekend. My MIL is is town and she and I tagged along with the DH to a SQL Saturday engagement he had in Pensacola. We drove down Friday evening after work so that we’d be able to hit the ground running Saturday morning.

After dropping the DH off at Pensacola State College Saturday morning, my MIL hit the nearby shopping malls. We literally shopped till we dropped. Unfortunately, I walked away with very little for me. Big womp! I was really digging the ubiquitous dusty rose tops, but they are very nearly sheer which makes them way too revealing for my 8-5.

That evening, my MIL decided to attend Happy Hour at the hotel, while the DH and I went in search of Indian or Jamaican cuisine. Open Table steered us toward Taste of India, which was fantastic! The owner visited with each table, and we learned that he owns a gas station on the highway in our town. Small world huh!?!

In rare form, I remembered to take pictures of our meal…after we devoured most of the Chicken 65 appetizer. The DH ordered lamb (not pictured), and I ordered chicken biryani. Both were delish!

After dinner, we drove though some of the upscale neighborhoods on Pensacola Bay. This is one of our favorite pastimes as we admire architecture and landscaping. I would love to have a mansion on the water someday.

There was no real plan for Sunday. We thought about walking the main strip on Pensacola Beach when we spotted a sign for Fort Pickens. This has been on my radar for a while so that’s where we headed.

Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens was a coastal fort, completed in 1834 on Santa Rosa Island, to defend Pensacola Bay and surrounding communities. Like most prominent structures of the era, Fort Pickens was built by skilled mechanics, and slaves. It is constructed out of a lime-water-sand mortar mix, lumber, brick, and granite steps.

The sand dunes leading up to Fort Pickens were so breathtaking. It was such a contradiction seeing a freshly paved road winding through the them.

There are places in the interior that are in obvious need of repair. Some restoration work is being completed but I imagine its difficult to keep up with the environmental impact of annual storms.

Learning about the fort was an incredible experience. We’re planning to bring the kids Fall Break when its much, MUCH cooler.

After exploring for a few hours,we ventured over to Flounder’s Chowder House for  a late lunch. This is one of our favorite restaurants in the area as its directly on the beach, often has live music, and a playground for little ones having a hard time keeping still while waiting for food to arrive.

We were ravenous and did not think to photograph the calamari appetizer, but I did remember to snap a pic of our entree. I had fried oysters and fries, while the DH ordered a shrimp sampler of some sort. His plate in the background is after he’d been devouring his meal for a few minutes. My MIL is not a fan of seafood and ordered chicken fingers. Everything was enjoyable!

Bellies full, we hit the road on the long journey home.

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