Monday, April 28, 2008

Backyard, Spring 2008 -- Wall Decor

SunfaceHere is a link to a slide show with photos of the sunfaces and other artworks in our backyard right now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flora-Bama Lounge

Known generally around here as just the "the Bama", sometimes you see its whole name in print -- Flora-Bama Lounge, Package, Oyster Bar & Grill. It's located on Perdido Key at the western-most tip of Pensacola, Florida, just inches from the Alabama line. Right on the beach.

Flora-Bama's entrance

Flora-Bama's street signThe owner calls it, "The Last Great American Road House." Playboy Magazine, among others, has voted Flora-Bama the best beach bar in the world. It offers multiple bars and music venues with a huge deck where you can eat, drink and listen to live music while having a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico.

It was badly damaged by Huricane Ivan and other storms in 2004 and 2005. Rebuilding was delayed by the difficulties getting all the necessary permits for coastal construction. We went there several months ago and the rebuilding was about to begin. We will return soon and I will have updated photos so we can see the progress they've made.

Each year the Flora-Bama sponsors a variety of musical and athletic events. All are great fun and raise a lot of money for local charities. Probably the most famous of these festivities is the Annual Interstate Mullet Toss. Individuals compete on the beach throwing a mullet from a 10 foot circle in Alabama across the state line into Florida. This is on the last weekend of April every year.

Here's a link to the Flora-Bama's Wiki article.

To the Beach

Happy Earth Day! Please don't litter!

There's littering and then there's felony littering.

The dumped house

Here's a story about our local environment reported in today's Pensacola News Journal.

A contractor charged with dumping an entire home on another man's property received a suspended sentence Monday, and the victim isn't happy with the outcome.

Otis Jerome English, 57, originally charged with felony littering, pleaded to a lesser, misdemeanor offense and charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace. English faced up to five years in state prison if convicted of the original felony charge. His trial was scheduled to begin this week. Geeker also ordered English to pay $1,100 in restitution to property owner Jonathan Owens, co-owner of the Alexakos & Owens construction company.
For the complete story go to the Pensacola News Journal's site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New in Pensacola -- Varona's Cuban Restaurant

PLEASE NOTE: Varona's Cuban Restaurant closed on December 7, 2008.

C, Pensacola
Here's what Jack had to say about our meal at Varona's --

Tonight, we had dinner at the new Varona's Cuban Restaurant on 12th Avenue. It was superb. The only restaurant space in Pensacola that's equally elegant is Jackson's. Yet Varona's is quite casual and reasonably priced. Both our meals were well and carefully prepared. We also shared a garlic shrimp appetizer that was delicious. Happy to say that even at an early hour (we got there around 5:30) they were doing great business. It's a sensational addition to the town's restaurant scene and should be a great success.

To read all about the restaurant, owner Robert de Varona, Executive Chef Victor Garcia and to see the menu click here.

From Varona's web site: "Owner Robert de Varona grew up in Cuba in the 40s and 50s and wanted to create a destination dining experience similar to the restaurants and nightclubs of that era. Varona's features authentic Cuban dishes with a dash of American and Continental favorites. Appetizers are available in the bar, as well as complete meals, and our signature beverage is the mojito!"

PLEASE NOTE: Internet searchers need to know that the restaurant's name is spelled Varona's, not Verona's.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good Food at Emeril's in Gulfport, Mississippi

Last month, the Grand Biloxi Casino, Hotel & Spa, part of the Harrah's group, offered us some free nights at their very flashy hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. So, a couple weeks ago we decided to spend a night there.

Entrance, Emeril's Gulf Coast Fish HouseWe drove over early in the day and stopped for lunch, just west of Biloxi, at Emeril's Gulf Coast Fish House, in Gulfport.

As we expected when dining at an Emeril Lagasse restaurant, the food, service, ambience and location was the very best, plus the view of the Gulf of Mexico from our table was splendid. And the prices were quite reasonable. The restaurant is in Gulfport's only gaming establishment -- the classy Island View Casino Resort. It was a wonderful experience and we must go back for another meal there. Soon.

Click [BAM], for the links to all of Emeril's restaurants -- ten so far, in four states.

After lunch we proceeded to our hotel, the Grand Biloxi. We got a great room with a view of the Gulf and the huge construction site of Harrah's upcoming tribute to Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Casino & Resort, due to open in 2010.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Broken Deck Chair

A bolt in one of our favorite deck chairs snapped off the other day. The chair may still be under warranty and the good folks at Pinch-A-Penny Pool, Patio & Spa, where we bought it, need to see a photo of the chair and the problem.

Here are some pictures of the broken chair. The red circle in the bottom photo shows the location of the broken bolt.

Winston Game Chair #3202

A photo showing the break, the style of the metal frame and the fabric.

A closeup photo of where the bolt broke off.

Friday, April 04, 2008

These Are the Best Gingersnaps in the World (Tribute)

Red tinFrom the tiny town of Nyåkers in northern Sweden come the bright red tins from Nyåkers Pepparkakor Bakery. It is the only factory in the town and each year they ship millions of their spicy cookies to 45 countries around the world.

Pepparkakor is Swedish for "spicy ginger cookie."

Blue tinIn the U.S. these used to be available only at Christmastime and only at a small chain of stores -- World Market. But a few years ago there were some heart-shaped ones for sale around St. Valentine's Day. And this year, for Easter, I spotted them in bright new tins of blue with springtime colors. Still, the only places you can buy them in the U.S. are at World Market stores. There are also some mail order companies that sell them but at twice the price, plus you have to pay for the shipping and handling.

Thank you World Market -- give us Nyåkers Pepparkakors all year long.