Orange Beach, AL Part II
Orange Beach, AL - Events of Tuesday, September 18, 2018
The Blue Angles is the flight demonstration squadron of the U.S. Navy. Their home base for summer is in Pensacola, Florida. They practice every Tuesday morning, weather permitting, and the public can attend the practice for free. Lora and J. Michael had never seen the Blue Angels so we planned to go since Pensacola is only about 40 minutes from where we were staying in Orange Beach.
Practice was scheduled for 11:30, but they say the parking lot can fill up as early as 9:30. Once the lot is full, they close the gates and that's all that can attend the practice that day. Therefore, we decided to arrive around 9:00 or 9:15 and visit the Naval Aviation Museum, which shares the same parking lot, for an hour of so before heading down to watch the Blue Angels practice.
The museum has a collection of about 150 restored aircraft, and admission is free. We went to the museum in 2011, but Lora and J. Michael had never been there. We didn't have time to see everything, but we had enough time for to hit some of the highlights so Lora and J. Michael could get a flavor of the place. Lydia had a good time, too.
Around 10:30 we headed down to the flight line to find a spot to watch the practice. It was sunny and hot, and there is no shade so we took along bottled water (coolers are not permitted), chairs, and umbrellas for shade.
Practice was delayed about 15 or 20 minutes because of a mechanical problem with one of the jets, but they managed to get it fixed so all 6 planes could participate. The "Blues" have three different air shows they can fly depending on weather conditions. We had a lot of low clouds and even a rain shower off to the north so most of what they practiced was from the "flat" show that doesn't have high altitude maneuvers. Below are just a couple of the many maneuvers we saw.
Following the show, we drove back to the villa and headed down to the pool to cool off. Later in the afternoon, we drove a few miles to the east to The Gulf Restaurant. The Gulf is made up of stacked shipping containers and has all outdoor seating. The Gulf has always been a favorite of ours because it makes you feel like you're on vacation on a tropical island.
The adults all had grouper sandwiches ($12.75), and Lydia had toasted cheese. We also got several orders of fries ($4) to share.
After eating, we hung around a while to soak up the atmosphere. We stopped in the gift shop on our way out where Lydia checked out a pink octopus.
Back at the villa, we relaxed for the evening. Stay tuned for our next post with more Orange Beach adventures.