Tuesday, August 30

First impressions: a photo anniversary

One year ago today I got my first glimpse of our new home. To be honest, after 10 days in the car, it was somewhat underwhelming.

Our first taste of Pensacola was at a dive bar known as the Flora-Bama, which straddles the state line between Florida and Alabama. It was pouring rain. (As you might be able to tell from the photo above.) We split a can of Corona and a plate of grilled oysters. (Yes, Flora-Bama is so divey Corona is the best beer on the menu. Also note the plastic plates and flatware. Super chic and very environmentally conscious.)

But... oh, the oysters! I drool just thinking about them. I had been worried that the BP oil spill ruined local seafood. And indeed there is evidence that the ecosystem will be damaged for decades to come. Eating the oysters here will probably take years off my life. But damn, they're good.

My first impression, sitting in this ramshackle beach bar in the pouring rain: I started out this trip near Mexico, and ended up (on the Gulf of Mexico) at a bar that looks like it belongs in Tijuana. Why did I have to travel thousands of miles for this???

It continued raining. We waited for a break in the rain. Laced up our shoes. And went for a run. (Had to run off 10 days worth of greasy roadtrip food.) It rained on us during our run. I worried this was a bad omen.

But we had sailed through the ultimate test of a relationship: the extra-long road trip, with no personal space or time apart, and a trunk full of smelly running clothes, for 10 days straight. And we still really liked each other. Surely that was a good omen.

On our next run, we went to the beach for a 6-miler right before sunset. In all the places I've run, this might take the cake for prettiest run ever.

We wrapped up our run that night, got back to the car, mopped off the sweat, and started snapping photos. While we were taking pictures another runner stopped to introduce himself. We chatted for 20 minutes or so. He filled us in on some great local places to run. This Southern chatty friendliness continues to amaze me on a daily basis.

So my first impressions of Pensacola: damp, redneck, friendly, beautiful, and very very different than any place I have lived before.
...and the oysters are damned good.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic stuff- this one really made me grin. (the beach bar actually reminds me of bits of Jimmy Buffett's "A Pirate Looks at Fifty"- have you read that? If not, you should :)) Love the sunset photo- gorgeous!!


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