Pensacola, Florida

May 17-21, 2012

We drove down to Pensacola on May 17 to spend the weekend with Jeff and family. The trip was prompted by Jeff's plans to do a 5k swim across the Pensacola Bay alongside the Hwy 98 bridge indicated on the map at left. We got rooms in the Day's Inn which is just west of I-110, just about where the "s" in Pensacola is on that map. Below is the bridge that Jeff will swim beside.

After settling in a bit, we drove across the Pensacola Bay bridge and then on across the shorter bridge to Santa Rosa Island and Pensacola Beach. Nice white sand and beautiful blue water.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jeff and family rolled in in the early afternoon, and it didn't take the girls long to jump into the nice pool on site. Darla and Brenda opted for sunbathing and reading, but the girls were much more active!

Elyse, Ashleigh and Jordan make a jump into the pool at the Day's Inn in Pensacola where we stayed for the weekend.

Jordan takes a flying leap into the pool. It had a nice deep end for such activities and was very clean and nice.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On Saturday morning we drove down to Pensacola Beach, along with a few hundred other folks.

We felt well-protected on the beach with the frequent flights of military aircraft flying low over the beach from the nearby Naval Air Station.

The weather was nice and the surf moderate with a beautiful color, so Jeff and Darla and the girls enjoyed playing in the surf.

There was enough of a surf to give Darla and Elyse a good splash as the wave rolled by.

Darla and Jordan get caught in the boiling surf.

Jeff gets in a little swimming in the surf, but nothing like he's going to get tomorrow! Elyse gets a little time to play in the sand and build sand castles.

Rod jumps in the pool with the girls in the afternoon, and it quickly becomes a game of "keep-away" with Elyse's little pink dolphin float. Granddad and Elyse managed to keep the older girls beaten off her float most of the time.

At this stage, keeping the dolphin meant swirling Jordan around the pool with it. That was a pretty tough little dolphin!

Jordan tries a submarine attack, and Ashleigh tried tickling. The little dolphin survived it all.

With a truce reached, we all gathered in the deep end of the pool for games there. With the little float, Elyse could be pretty fearless in the deep end.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We joined Jeff at the starting line for the 7:30am start for the 5K (3.1 mile) swim across the Pensalola Bay. The start point is shown above left, and the swim goes parallel to the Penscacola Bay Bridge which is shown there. The crazy swimmers are gathered in the view just below that, with men swimmers in yellow caps and women swimmers in pink. The picket line of kayaks which will follow them is forming as shown above right. A string of buoys has been set to limit the swimmers to a corridor alongside the bridge.

Jordan joins Jeff as he waits to be signed in for the race. He has his number painted on his shoulders.

We wondered whether Jeff's current bushiness might add drag in the water, but he said it didn't seem to provide any noticeable drag.

Jeff makes it into the water, below, and joins the group of starters.

Part of Jeff's cheering section by the wall as we wait for the official starting horn.

They're off!

With much splashing and a lot of energy, the group heads out across the bay.

As the group heads across the bay, you can see the bridge and get some idea of the finish line on the distant shore.

With all these yellow caps low in the water, I couldn't really clearly identify Jeff until I saw him approaching the finish line on the other side.

The picket line of kayaks keep the swimmers within the line set by the buoys.

I walked across the three-mile bridge following the swimmers, and watched pretty closely except when I got distracted by this low-flying pelican.

I could recognize Jeff's approach only by his stroke. Everything else recognizable was under water!

Jordan, Ashleigh and Elyse greet Jeff as he makes his way out of the crowd at the finish line. He had trained well for the 5K swim, so he didn't seem all that tired.

We headed out of the crowd and back to the Day's Inn for them to get ready to go, then enjoyed a brunch at the Broken Egg Cafe. It was good to be together for the weekend. They returned home to Pearl River for afternoon events for the girls, and we stayed until the next morning.

Vacation Bible School

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