Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Pensacola Beach: COVID? What COVID?

We are in the middle of some stormy weather, which in Pensacola means gloriously powerful thunder and lightning storms, here one minute and gone the next, or maybe lingering for hours, followed by hot sunshine Yesterday, with the side streams of Tropical Storm Hanna blowing by, we had an intensely thundery and stormy day, some periods of torrential rains, followed by sunlight, followed by heavy rains, followed by blue skies – and light sprinkles.

We stayed inside almost all day, then in late afternoon where suddenly everything lightened, we headed for our son’s home, and their lovely large back-yard and nice large warm pool. What luxury! An old friend was visiting, and we social-distanced in the pool.

Today, I told AdventureMan I wanted to go to Flounder’s for lunch. AdventureMan looked at me and asked “Do you think we could risk eating there? Outside?”

We haven’t eaten in a restaurant since March 12th. We’ve ordered out, even from Flounders, and taken it home to eat.

But Flounders, one of our favorite places to eat (part of the McGuire’s Steakhouse chain) has lots and lots of room, lots of seating, indoors and out. Of all the eating-in-a-restaurant risks, this one seemed pretty low. After a big rain, everything seems to sparkle, the air seems clearer – and we need a vacation. I said “yes.”

We drove to the beach, found a parking place immediately – always a good sign – and were seated in the high-ceilinged, semi-covered area, where large booths for six and eight people are separated by these signs:

Although there were two groups of eight seated near us (really once very large group) unmasked, there was plenty of distance. It was a real mix – the parking lot full of licenses from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky – even one from Oregon (!), maybe hiding out down here from the Feds, as so many do. Have you ever noticed how on those old Crime shows, so many of the criminals were ultimately found in Florida? Or California? Actually, my Mother is from Oregon, and I have nothing but sympathy and admiration for those Oregonians showing solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all the white women showing up in yellow T-shirts (Moms for Black Lives Matter) and the grandpas with their leaf blowers – they really know how to protest with good will and a sense of humor.

OOps. I digress.

People were social distanced. We had plenty of space.

They are using a new, condensed menu, but we knew what we wanted and the waitress told us we could order even if it didn’t show on the menu.

Seafood Chowder. Flounders is famous for it, and it is truly a magnificent taste-treat.

As usual, I forgot to take the photo until I was half done. Apologies!

My husband loves their grilled grouper sandwiches, and he always shares a fry or three or four with me because they are so delicious:


I had my usual – Baja Tacos. Here is the truth – they also have a healthier fish taco, grilled, served with a mango salsa but I really love the deep fried Baja Tacos. I usually can’t eat more than one, so I bring them home and have a fish taco salad for another meal.

We had great service.

Some servers were masked. Some were not. It appears they have their choice. Some customers wore masks, some carried masks, some had no masks. Where we sat, there was a lot of fresh air, breezy air, and a lot of space, so we did not worry too much. No more condiments on the tables. Everything looked very clean.

Sometimes you take a risk. This risk was a much needed mini-vacation at a time when we are not comfortable with airplanes or even hotels.

The beach scene is a different story. We could see crowds of people, no masks, no social distancing, around the jet-ski rental places. In spite of the huge red-lettered signs saying DANGEROUS SURF. DO NOT GO IN GULF it looked to me like a hundred or more people swimming around in Casino Beach. We saw lots of large groups. Lots of cars from other places. I can imagine the servers have concerns, especially if they have families, or need to stay well to keep a roof over their heads. The visitors seem oblivious to the health boundaries necessary to prevent transmission. When one person in ten in Escambia County is testing positive, they are exposing themselves and taking the virus back home with them to wherever they came from.

So for us, having a meal out in a restaurant was a unique event. I can’t imagine the conditions are such that we can be comfortable making it a habit. It was a fling. It was nice while it lasted. I hope there are no repercussions.

July 25, 2020 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Community, Eating Out, Florida, Food, Health Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Safety, Weather | , , , , | Leave a comment

Flounders at Pensacola Beach, Revisit

Pensacola Beach gets crazy this time of year – and what is not to love? Days of sunshine, surf temperature in the 80’s, and fine white sand, really white – it’s gorgeous.

If the Blue Angels are flying, or if it’s the 4th of July weekend, we can forget about the beach – the traffic over the bridges to the beach is blocked for miles. When the Blue Angels were flying, we could see the traffic backed up all the way to Cervantes, in central Pensacola. People were gridlocked on the bridge, and just watched from there – there were no more parking spots, none, out on Pensacola Beach.

But the madness has passed, normal times have returned, and I have a yearning for Flounder’s Fish Tacos. Ahhhhh, comfort food, with so much lettuce and tomato and salsa that it SEEMS healthy, even though the fish is undeniably . . . umm . . . . er . . .. fried.


These are listed in the appetizer section. Who on earth could eat this as an appetizer? At my hungriest, I can eat two, and still have one to take with. But so delicious, so perfect for a hot summer day.

AdventureMan has the seafood platter, which he loves, and he, too, has plenty to take home, the portions are so huge.


Life is sweet – we found a parking place close to Flounders and while it was a drizzly day, it didn’t rain on us. Flounders was full of people, but not so packed we had to wait for a table. Service was, as always, fast, fun, efficient and very welcoming – they are so attentive, no matter how busy.

We left happy, and once my fish taco meter starts going up again, we will head back.

July 31, 2014 Posted by | Eating Out, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Weather | , , | 2 Comments

. . . Red Fish, Blue Fish on Pensacola Beach

I remember reading the book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to my son – maybe about a hundred thousand times, you know how kids love Dr. Seuss. This was a restaurant people started talking about months before it ever opened. Great location. New concept, re-using metal shipping containers, very environment-friendly – what’s not to like?


Our son and his wife got there first, not too long after it opened. Their experience was less than stellar. They loved the ambiance, sitting out by the lapping waves on Quietwater Sound (except when hit by an errant bean-bag, one of the risks you take sitting near the bean-bag toss section, but hey – when you’ve already waited 45 minutes for a table, you take what you get.) They loved the food – when they got it. It took them fifteen minutes, and tracking down a waitress themselves just to get a menu, more time to get their orders placed. All in all, they said, a great evening with some annoyances. That is not a stellar recommendation.


We tried it a week or so later, at lunch. No crowd, but neither was there a hostess, people just kind of wandered in looking around, a little lost, and some waiter or waitress would holler “just seat yourself!”

No sooner had we seated ourselves – every table has a great view – than our waitress appeared. We have NO complaints about the service; the service at lunch time the day we were there was great. It was one of those perfect Fall days in Pensacola, temperature maybe 75° with blue blue skies, a Blue Angel takes a whirl over us as we are sipping our iced teas, the waves are lapping, breezes breezing – lovely.


The wait staff wear Tshirts indicating they are “CREW”

AdventureMan ordered the BLATT, bacon lettuce avocado tomato and tilapia, which came hot and fresh and tasted . . . OK. Fine. Nothing special. Sort of small by Pensacola standards.


Fries are a side. You pay extra for fries, they don’t come with the meal.


I ordered Asian Slaw with fish on top. When it came, I was delighted that the fish was not deep fried, but grilled. The fish was delicious. I was not delighted that the Asian slaw was barely there, and had a Caribbean lime flavor. The waitress brought me some soy sauce. Not the same. Tiny portion – by Pensacola standards.


Great location. Nice, beachy, casual ambiance. Lots of local groups trying the place, having a good time. We had great service, but date nights you might experience slow service.

Here’s the thing. Just a short walk up the walk is Flounders, with great french fries, truly superb, so crispy delicious that people who are not supposed to eat fries have to succumb to the temptation to try a fry or two or three or . . .

Beach food isn’t cheap, but at Flounders, fries are included with the meals. Service is almost always pretty good. You rarely have to wait longer than 20 minutes at a really really busy time to get seated. Larger menu, more entrees than Red Fish Blue Fish.

It’s a tough comparison, but it’s a reality,and inevitable, especially when you are almost next door neighbors. Red Fish Blue Fish is going to have to step up its game.

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Restaurant | | Leave a comment

More on Pensacola Beach Shooting

This is a very strange story, from the Pensacola News Journal. Continuing investigation makes it even stranger. It sounds like a lot of people on the beach for 3:00 a.m.  The victim and some friends had argued, driven off, come back . . . and he is shot by another group of people who wander by, shoot him – several times – and then run off in three different cars. They claim not to know one another. There has to be more to this story. Bizarre.

Written by
Rhema Thompson
  • A Pensacola man accused of shooting a man to death early Tuesday at Casino Beach may face a first-degree murder charge in a case that is raising more questions as new details emerge.

Damarcus Rayon Jenkins, 20, made a video appearance before Escambia County Judge Thomas Johnson on Wednesday afternoon in the shooting death of Michael Harris, 34, of Milton.

Jenkins is accused of shooting Harris multiple times after approaching Harris and his girlfriend, who had been arguing on the beach.

He was arrested on a second-degree murder charge and is being held without bond. But prosecutors will ask a grand jury to upgrade the charge to first-degree murder in the next few weeks, Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said.

Questions linger about what triggered the deadly encounter.

There is no indication that Harris and Jenkins knew each other, investigators said.

“That makes us very concerned and that’s what we are continuing to investigate,” Molchan said. “The nature of the shooting still presents a lot of questions.”

Escambia County sheriff’s deputies arrived at Casino Beach at about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday in response to a call of shots fired and found Harris lying in the sand with several gunshot wounds, including one to his sternum, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders just after 4 a.m.

According to several witnesses, Harris had been out on the beach with a group of friends that night to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday.

The group separated after Harris, his girlfriend and two other friends got into an argument, according to the report.

After the argument, Harris and another female friend became angry and walked away from the group.

The remaining two friends — a male friend and Harris’ girlfriend — got into a van and drove over the Bob Sikes Bridge before receiving a call from Harris to be picked up, according to the report.

After arriving back at the beach, Harris’ girlfriend got out of the van to meet Harris while Harris’ male friend drove to a different location to pick up his girlfriend, according to the report.


As Harris sat with his girlfriend on the beach, several witnesses said a group of males and females — who appeared in their teens and early 20s — approached the two and multiple gunshots were fired.

The suspected shooter was later identified by several witnesses as Jenkins, Molchan said.

Following the gunshots, the group ran from the beach and into the parking lot where they sped off in black Nissan Altima, a white vehicle and an orange vehicle, according to the report.

Later, officers arrived at a residence in the 4500 block of Landes Drive seeking Jenkins for questioning.

As they talked with a person who answered the door, they noticed Jenkins attempting to flee the home through a side door, the report states.

A deputy caught Jenkins, searched him and found a set of keys to an orange Kia Rio parked in the front yard, which matched one of the vehicles at the scene of the homicide.

Deputies also obtained a search warrant for the residence but found no evidence.

Jenkins was taken into custody and his vehicle was brought to the Sheriff’s Office for processing.

Molchan said there are still others being sought for questioning, but additional charges are not likely.

Jenkins’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 10.

June 21, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Safety | , | Leave a comment

Surf’s Up at Pensacola Beach!

The surfer’s are out early this morning, taking advantage of the roaring surf:

August 11, 2012 Posted by | Pensacola, Weather | , , | Leave a comment

Pensacola Beach August Sunset

One reason to love the beach – sunsets!

August 9, 2012 Posted by | Beauty, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Photos, Sunsets | | Leave a comment

Does the Surf Burger on Pensacola Beach Rock?

AdventureMan and I disagree about the Surf Burger on Pensacola Beach.

I don’t eat a lot of hamburgers. In fact, I eat about one a year, and it has become a sort of tradition that I go to the Red Robin around the Fourth of July for my annual hamburger quota. Like, if you’re going to do it, do it right. (“YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.”) 🙂

But it was close to the 4th of July when our son called and said they were headed to the beach and did we want to meet them at the Surf Burger for dinner. We said sure, there is always something on the menu we can eat at most places, and we’ve never been to the Surf Burger. How can you live in Pensacola and never eat at the Surf Burger?

We got there first. There’s a part of me that felt comfortable there right away. It’s a lot like the old Red Robin used to be, the one we used to go to when I was in university, kind of a dive. There is a bar, and semi-sloshed looking people dressed in not-very-much trying to pick each other up, and a very basic menu, mostly hamburgers. And beer. And those mixed drinks with cute names you find at most beaches with 7 or more potentially lethal kinds of alcohol – in each drink.

It is both family friendly and pet friendly. If you are not wearing beach gear, you are overdressed. Service can be slow when they have a lot of customers, and often, they have a lot of customers. It’s very very hard on a Sunday night to find a parking place.

I knew just what I wanted – a Firecracker Burger. When it came, on two slices of toasted bread, I was disappointed, until I bit in. Once I tried it, I was happy. The burger tasted like 100% real meat, none of these chain burgers that you’re not sure how much is meat and how much is ‘special ingredients’ you really don’t want to know. It was SPICY; it was a Firecracker. I enjoyed every bite, and that is a good thing when you only eat one burger a year.

AdventureMan was not so happy. He ordered a SurfBurger. He hated the French Fries. He found his burger not that great. He thought it was greasy.

Our Vegan ordered a VeggieBurger, and she was happy, too. She said it tasted like meat, and had a great texture, but it wasn’t meat.

Surf Burger is probably not your destination kind of restaurant. It’s a burger joint. You go there for a hamburger because you are at the beach and you are hungry. You go there maybe to drink and hook up with a new friend. You go there because it is easy and comfortable and you don’t want to get cleaned up or dressed up. All those are good reasons to go to the Surf Burger.

Surf Burger
500 Quietwater Beach Blvd
Pensacola Beach, FL


Mon – Thur: 11am – 10pm
Fri: 11am – 11pm
Sat: 8am – 11pm
Sun: 8am – 10pm

July 15, 2012 Posted by | Community, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Restaurant | , | Leave a comment