|Beautiful Pensacola Beach|
|Outdoor seating at The Fish House|
|Beautiful scenery and pier right near our hotel|
Pensacola also had a number of pelican statues downtown and elsewhere. The city of Norfolk, VA does this with mermaids, and I love cities that have a mascot of sorts. I got my photo taken with several pelicans.
It turns out Mardi Gras is a big deal in Pensacola although we were a few weeks early for the big festivities. All of the shops downtown were decked out in Mardi Gras finery. The downtown has a New Orleans type feel, and I'm sure Mardi Gras would be so fun. I wish we were there for that celebration too.
|Mardi Gras decorations downtown Pensacola|
|There were even beads in the trees downtown!|
|Debauchery? I'm in!|
|Dollar bills everywhere at McGuire's|
Friday night was relaxing with a walk across the street to an intimate little Italian place - Lillo's Tuscan Grille. The reviews we found online were mixed, but we had a great experience. The service was impeccable, and our food was fantastic. The clearly homemade sauces are delicious, and I had spaghetti with their homemade Italian sausage - awesome.
I was up bright and early on Saturday for the race. The 15k buses boarded right near the hotel, and I was on the bus by 5:15 to head downtown. We got downtown around 5:45, which left an hour and a half to just...stand. The race was extremely well organized - the buses and starting area ran like clockwork. The corrals were well-marked as was the course.
|Even in running, fashion matters.|
The first bridge is a three-mile span over Escambia Bay. The bridge began right around the three mile mark, and it was quiet. Due to the nature of the course there weren't really any spectators, so I could hear other runners and the wind. About halfway over the bridge I was really losing steam. Thankfully there was a deejay probably in between miles four and five that really helped boost the energy.
Following bridge number one, we ran through Gulf Breeze, a small town connecting us to bridge number two. Gulf Breeze was my favorite part. There were tons of spectators and tons of energy. The best part was we ran by the start of the 5k, and 5k runners were lined up cheering on the 15k runners. I actually teared up a little bit. It rocked.
The second bridge was the Bob Sike's bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway. While this was much shorter than the first one, it was around mile eight, and I was running of out energy quickly. At the nine mile mark I began debating when I should really start kicking. It's not as though .3 miles is a huge distance, but it's not quite sprinting distance for me. The last stretch I really pushed and finished strong. I love the photos my husband got of me running toward the finish. He's the best paparazzi ever. My biggest disappointment with this race was no medal. I love running swag, so very disappointing.
|My husband spotted me far away -I'm in the purple on the right.|
|All smiles once I'm done.|
|This is the actual plane where Nixon gave his victory sign.|
|Like I said - I like climbing things.|
|The Pensacola Lighthouse|
Saturday afternoon was spent relaxing and resting before we headed out for cocktails and appetizers at Flounder's, a restaurant across the street from our hotel and owned by the same people who own McGuire's. We had more excellent service at Flounder's, and the signature cocktail (with keepsake mason jar) is Diesel Fuel. I celebrated finishing the race with a key lime martini and a blue marlin (aka pina colada) while my husband enjoyed the Diesel Fuel. The appetizer we ordered was great, but the location is really Flounder's crowning jewel. It's right on the water with open air dining, a HUGE patio, and just a fantastic atmosphere. It is also home to the original Pensacola Beach sign, a cool old sign that presents a great photo opportunity.
|Cheers to our last night!|
How would I rate Pensacola? A (I mean really - water, great downtown, relatively walkable. I approve.)
How would I rate the Double Bridge Run? B + (Throw in a medal and a tech shirt, and it's an automatic upgrade)