I was recently in Pensacola, FL celebrating the New Year and I’ll admit, for a place nicknamed “the redneck riviera,” it’s much nicer than you might think. Obviously my sisters being there was one of the best parts, but a close second would be the beaches in almost every direction. I can’t even remember how many beaches we saw and then we ran out of time to see the others! And I’m not talking pebble beaches, these were beautiful white sand beaches. Of course, I was looking at all the little animal prints in the sand and was able to find some sand dollar chunks and weird bits of shell. The coolest beach-related sighting though was without a doubt the pelicans! I’d never seen a pelican before in real life so that was pretty exciting.
While I was down there The Kohl Sisters didn’t slum it at fast food joints either. We went to some trendy vegetarian, vegan, and meaty restaurants. The Tin Cow was a personal favorite. It’s a build-your-own burger place in the trendy downtown area. They had some killer spiked milkshakes, maybe not as good as those Honey Hut ones in Ohio (thanks Ben) but still a damn good shake. We also ate at this vegetarian restaurant that was wonderful called Sluggo’s. It had a grungy-west-coast vibe to it that I enjoyed (the atmosphere not the food) and they even had a take-a-movie-leave-a-movie shelf in their concert area. Even the vegetarian brunch we got at End of the Line was fantastic. The people there were also very sweet. Two separate women started to chat with me and tell me about what they loved about the place.
The downtown area wasn’t full of late-night shops, but it was decorated beautifully and there were enough restaurants and bars open to make it feel lively. All the trees were covered in lights (probably still up from the holidays) and some were additionally decorated with knit patters thanks to a group of local yarn bombers. One tree had pockets on it’s sweater(?) so I stuck a surprise for the next person in one. I won’t lie, I also enjoyed the downtown area because a local bar was playing a good amount of ska music and I had to use all my willpower to keep from loudly singing the lyrics to Sellout by Reel Big Fish.
The last cool stop we made was the lighthouse in Pensacola. It was something like 200 steps to climb to the top, but all four of us did it (even against medical warnings!) Historically, the site was exciting. There were supposedly lots of ghosts there since it was one of America’s first settlements. I didn’t see any unfortunately, but I did see the beautiful views of the beach. The climb up was a bit unnerving, something about spiral staircases always makes me a bit shaky, but seeing the ocean from up there made it completely worth it. As a bonus, one of my sisters spotted a wedding proposal stomped out in the sand on the beach! That’s the first proposal I think I’ve seen and it was a pretty cute idea.
It’s no surprise that with the light amount of snow we’re seeing now in NY that I’m thinking maybe I should be moving to Florida with my sister. More likely, I’ll just spend some more time visiting though!