Monday, July 14, 2008

Blue Angels

The Blue Angels Naval Precision Flying team is from here where I live in FL. They perform two shows here a year - one in November which is performed at the Navy Base and one in July which is performed at Pensacola Beach. When they are not in other cities performing they can be seen overhead most days practicing their daring loops and flybys.

This past weekend was the annual Blue Angel weekend. Pensacola Beach is a barrier island surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Pensacola Bay to the North and the Gulf Islands National Seashore to the East and West. There are a couple of bridges you have to drive across to get to Pensacola Beach. Once you are on the beach there's only about 2500 parking spaces available for events like this. When the Blue Angels, perform guess how many people like to come see them?? THOUSANDS!
It is ALWAYS a madhouse out there for the Blues Beach weekend! The great thing is that the Blues practice on Thursday and Friday so you can go catch their whole show either one of those days and not have to deal with this type of crowd either on the beach or in the water....look at all the boats that came out to watch!
We went out to visit Tina and Bryant that afternoon (they are staying at my dad's beach house) but his beach house is not on Pensacola Beach... it is actually about 30 mins from Pensacola Beach closer to Alabama. It was right around 2:30 which is when the Blue Angels should have been performing because they always take to the skies at 2:00. But the skies had opened up! There was a torrential thunder/lightening storm all over Pensacola. We were wondering if the show had been canceled or not. As soon as we crossed the bridge headed to my dad's house we could see the long procession of boats leaving the air show headed towards Alabama and we knew it had been canceled. While at my dad's house, we watched a steady procession of boats leaving the air show for FOUR hours! Hundreds of boats!!

We found out later that 4 people had been struck by lightning on the beach right before the Blues were set to perform so officials canceled the show. People were so mad because they had been waiting all day (some people got out there at 6:00 am) and some fights broke out...I'm sure the alcohol had a lot to do with that too. All was not completely lost though. They rescheduled the show for Sunday and the Blues got to perform along with this monstrous plane...
"FAT ALBERT" (my personal favorite!)
On a side note...after the air show Sunday, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) took to the air with their own message against Kentucky Fried Chicken for its cruelty to chickens. See more about that here-

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