Road Trips Part I: Acting Like a Tourist

I recently turned 30.  It wasn’t a day I was particularly looking forward to, but the weekend after it was. To celebrate, Jake and I took a road trip to Gulf Breeze, Florida.  I know Florida is pretty far away from East Tennessee, but I love that I live in a place where I can hop in the car and in a few hours have a complete change of scenery.

For six hours, I was on the look out for the first palm tree.  I found it right before we crossed into Florida from Alabama.  I was excited to be in a place where I didn’t have to layer up to go outside.

Originally, we planned to see Tool and Primus perform on Saturday night then drive home the next day, but after realizing how beautiful the weather was going to be for the weekend, we extended our stay by a few days. Even though the winters in Knoxville are mild at worst, I hate them.  So having the opportunity to bask in the sun for a few days was awesome.

We arrived Friday evening, and went to eat at Aegean Breeze.  It was by far the best meal of the trip, offering Mediterranean food with a gulf twist.  Saturday we drove to Gulf Breeze Zoo, where I was able to check something off my bucket list: petting a giraffe.  I also plopped myself down in front of the otter tank and giggled for about 30 minutes while they played; I think I embarrassed Jake.  After the zoo we found a “mom-and-pop” type ice cream shop called The Twist.  We would end up back there again because it was the some of the best ice cream I’d ever eaten.

giraffe
Such a tourist.
otter
Just eating a sweet potato.

Sunday we went to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.  It is free to get in, and we opted to take the self guided tour.  We rode one of the flight simulators, which did cost money, but it was worth it.  Afterwards, we ate sushi and drove the down to Navarre Beach.  The drive back to Gulf Breeze was amazing; the sand dunes were so white they looked like piles of snow.

nnam
Jake in front of the lunar module.
dunes1
Is that snow?  Fake out! It’s sand!

We headed back home the following day.  We were greeted by rainy, cold weather and mounds of homework that I had put on the back-burner for a few days, but I wouldn’t have wanted to ring in my 30th year any other way.

My next post is Road Trip Part II.  It will be all about the main purpose of the trip: the concert!

 

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