aerial plane

Six hours, one layover, quality time with my RD Exam flashcards and an airport latte later, I stepped onto the tarmac; sun and warm breezes and the Gulf.

My Pensacola-stationed boyfriend met me outside – I was the disheveled, exhausted-looking one with a giant bag tugging on my shoulder from the foolishly packed stash of flip flops, wine and Valentine’s granola. From there, we were ready for a week* of relaxation and catching up. Oh, did I need this.

While palm trees are scarce, Pensacola is awash with lush green foliage and flowers(!!), twittering birds and seashell strewn white-sand beaches along the Gulf. Not only did I recharge my dwindling store of vitamin D, I also got a fondue party; homemade baguettes, focaccia, and challah bread and rolls; lamb three ways; two homemade pizzas; my first [and not last] taste of raw oysters; lunch of Dungeness crab legs – twice; seafood gumbo and breaded scamp; mahi-mahi tacos and smoked tuna; shrimp tom kha from scratch; fresh-caught jumbo sea scallops with pesto, linguine and broccoli; Philippino banana coconut steam cake made in our improv stovetop steamer; Valentine bastilla; swordfish over an open fire; and surprisingly good crabcakes at the Officer’s Club on base.

It was a delicious trip, to say the very least. Now it’s back to the cold, lonely reality of Minneapolis and my sunless studio. No matter. Though it was brilliant visiting my best [boy]friend in a warm locale for eleven wonderful days, it’s necessary to come back and wrap things up before moving back to Wisconsin at the end of March… and then who knows from there…

A more in-depth recap is on the way, with a few recipes as well. Hang on!!

*One week turned into almost two, when he and I decided the original plan wasn’t long enough…