Sand, Surf and Sentiments

Pensacola. That name might not mean much to you. To me it means:

  • Beach
  • The most beautiful sand in the world
  • Fresh seafood
  • Fun
  • The Blue Angels
  • Mischief
  • a little midget house that will forever be a part of my childhood

 I was born in Pensacola. What some may call Lower Alabama I call birthplace. And when I’m actually here I like to call it home. The familial waters run deep here, both maternal and paternal, and the mix is more sweet than salty.

We moved away from Pensacola when I was four. I don’t think you ever lose a love for your birthplace though. There’s some mysterious draw that connects me to this city…even though I couldn’t make my way around to save my life. I have little memories of living here, yet I consider it to be the one of my favorite places in the world.

Perhaps I love it so much because, even though I don’t remember living here I remember well enough visiting again and again throughout the years. I remember my grandmother, Mamaw, had interesting toys for us to play with. Toys like hair spray caps, and tupperware. Along with regular toys those stretched my imagination and forced me to be creative. I remember getting to sleep back to back with her.

I remember most coming down here to visit my cousins, all three around my age. There were crazy golf cart rides; impromptu baseball games where I’d slam the bat into a car (by accident); horribly gross liquid concoctions left out for the would be “bad guy” who would come by the house and take a drink because he just knew it was chocolate milk; a shaving cream balloon fight that left us completely covered and wandering the neighborhood asking for a razor; swimming in the gulf after a hurricane and stumbling across a filing cabinet and headlight in the shallow water; swimming in the gulf and watching the Blue Angels practice maneuvers overhead…

I get approximately two days to enjoy the sand, surf, food and family. And I’m going to be sentimental throughout it all. I wish desperately that I had pictures to show you of my childhood in Pensacola. I may just be able to get a picture of that midget house.


Now that I have that out of my system. You must go to Blog Around the World and see who and what Debbie is talking about today! Best Posts of the Week is up today with 22 posts!! Thanks to all my regular readers who submitted posts. And those of you who didn’t…there’s always next weekend. It’s the best content in the blogosphere!


  1. Lis Garrett · August 30, 2008

    I didn’t submit because, well, I didn’t think ANY of my posts from last week were worthy – LOL!!

    I just about fell out of my chair when I read about how you used to make gross concoctions for would-be burglars. My sister and I used to do the same thing!!!

    Have fun!

  2. toni · August 30, 2008

    OMG i moved there when i was 1.5 and that is where i lived until i moved here in 2001! (well minus a short stint in texas) I am so ready to move back. So when I move back and when I go sometime to visitn my grandmother in McCalla,AL we should meet up!

  3. toni · August 30, 2008

    oh and btw i am totally going to find me a nObama sticker for my blog LOL I may not blog about it like some but may as well show my support right

  4. Nicole · August 30, 2008

    Enjoy it ’cause I’m sure it’s beautiful.

    I’ve never been to Florida. Closest I’ve ever gotten was the Outer Banks. That was enough to convince me that I was supposed to be living at the beach.

    The Mississippi just doesn’t quite cut it …

  5. TheRightWife · August 30, 2008

    Oh V! It sounds heavenly🙂 Each summer the Gaines gaggle makes the trek to Wading River, NY.

    I was actually born in Marathon, FL, and moved away when I was quite young. I don’t remember it at all, and I haven’t been back. Of course, the Florida Keys seem to be under constant attack of hurricane, so maybe I should just stay away.

  6. Kathy · August 30, 2008

    Hello, found you through Blog Around the World and I’m glad I did. What a beautiful photo. Just wanted to leave a comment saying howdy.

  7. Renee aka MekhisMom · August 30, 2008

    Beautiful and I am visiting from Blog Around the World too.

  8. angie · August 31, 2008

    I can see why this is a place that you can’t forget……that draws you. Let me just tell you again how much I love your blog design. It makes me happy everytime I click over.

  9. Debateur · August 31, 2008

    What special family memories and I just can’t get over how beautiful that beach is.

  10. Melisa · August 31, 2008

    I grew up in FL but have never been to Pensacola! i’ve always heard it was beautiful…thanks for reaffirming that! I’m glad that even though you moved away at a young age, it still is home to you and your memories!

  11. Leigh Anne · September 1, 2008

    Wow, Vick…this was like poetry. You never cease to amaze me. Even when I call you all excited and practically yelling, “IT’S HER, IT’S HER, we got HER!!!!! OH MY HEAD!!!”

    How was Costco?

    And please…please remind me about BPOTW later on…’cause I totally forgot. Probably because I didn’t have a best post. Do not say a word, it’s true.

  12. the sits girls · September 1, 2008

    What wonderful memories and such a special place! Thank you for sharing that with us.

  13. Jami · September 1, 2008

    Awesome picture and memories… I love your writing – it feels like I’m right there with ya! My Grammy used to have a winter house in Cocoa Beach and we would go about every other winter as a kid. I have very fond memories of the beach. I still remember how I loved the salty smell at night when we slept with the windows open! There are supposedly some amazing beaches here in S Korea, but we haven’t gotten to them yet… I can’t wait!!

    hugs, Jami

  14. jill · September 2, 2008

    there is nothing like sand and sea to make everything better. I can’t ever imagine not living near the beach!

  15. Ashley Linares · September 3, 2008

    Pensacola is my absolute most favorite beach ever! To me it is the perfect mix of family friendly but also fun for the grown ups, too. And I love Crabs! (It’s a restaurant people) Anyway, my husband proposed to me on the beaches of Pensacola. So it will always and forever be my favorite place on Earth! So glad to hear we have something in common. And my friends also have a bay house near there that we visit (more frequently I wish).

  16. Ronnica · September 6, 2008

    Pretty picture! I may have been born and raised in Kansas, but I love the beach!

  17. Alyce · September 6, 2008

    What a gorgeous picture! I’m from Oregon and our beaches are much different here. I know what you mean about being sentimental about your birthplace though. My parents moved out of my childhood house last winter and I’m still not used to it. I want to go back and see if anyone is living in the old house (very old farmhouse they rented) or if it is abandoned now. Someday I will have to go back.

  18. CanCan · September 15, 2008

    I was born in St. Pete! Woop woop!

  19. Belle · September 15, 2008

    I visited there once many years ago and remember the beautiful sand SO well. Hope that I’ll get to return one day. You’re so lucky to have such great memories!

  20. Heather · September 15, 2008

    This was a beautiful and heartfelt post. I can and do occasionally wax poetic – or at least nostalgic – for my place of birth, but somehow there really is no comparison to you…. The pristine, white beaches and sunny skies of the gulf coast of Florida, or…. New Jersey.


    Congrats on your FB day! Hope you get loads of commenty love!

  21. Kimmie · September 15, 2008

    I want to move into that picture! It’s beautiful! What a sight!

  22. Shanda · September 15, 2008

    Beautiful post!!

    Congrats on your SITS day!

  23. Melodie · September 15, 2008

    I was born and raised, and still live, in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I love it here and doubt I could ever live anywhere else. We have so many beautiful beaches nearby. Not to mention all of the theme parks, sports and concert venues, and theater (live, not movies) all within driving distance.
    I don’t think I’ve ever been to Pensacola, though, but I have seen the Blue Angels perform at air shows here at MacDill AFB.

  24. Jan · September 15, 2008

    I’m a native Floridian also! Not so many of us around here anymore! Yes, I’m one of the Floridians who refers to Pensacola, heck, the whole panhandle as LA! We have many happy memories visiting Daytona Beach, I much prefer the Atlantic to the gulf although I’ve never been to Pensacola and hear it is be-uuuu-t-ful! Memories from childhood are precious!

  25. fyreflixie · September 15, 2008

    I feel you here. I grew up in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, listening to military planes overhead, going to air shows, and heading to the beach constantly when the weather was nice. I miss the beach so much! We were down in Florida visiting family in May, and the beautiful fresh seafood, citrus fruits, and beaches just made me miss that part of my childhood all over again.

  26. Dddiva · September 15, 2008

    Oh, how you make me miss Florida- and I dearly love the gulf coast the best. Only visited Pensacola, home for us on that side of my fave state was Panama City Beach.
    I adore childhood memories, thanks for sharing.
    I am adding you to my blog list, I am so thankful once more to SITS for finding me a blog worth reading.

  27. Andrea · September 15, 2008

    wow, I can’t imagine calling a place that beautiful my home. That picture is stunning.

  28. Rhea · September 15, 2008

    What wonderful memories of a great vacation place (and your birthplace). Very nicely done.

  29. Ali · September 15, 2008

    That’s a beautiful picture of the beach! Hope you had/have a great vaca!

  30. Liz · September 15, 2008

    I love your writing and can’t wait for more. I have added you to my must reads!! Congratulations on your SITS day!

  31. rachel beto · September 15, 2008

    Sounds beautiful. I feel the same way about our cabin at Whidbey Island in the northwest, and it’s so fun and weird to watch my son doing all the things I used to love doing there. 🙂

  32. Thotlady · September 15, 2008

    I feel the same way about the state of Minnesota. Born there, moved away when I was 10 years old.

  33. Tiffany T · September 15, 2008

    We visited Destin a few years ago – which I know is close to Pensacola – and L.O.V.E.D it. I’ve lived in Florida all my life and didn’t know the ocean/beach could be THAT beautiful. It was like the cover of a magazine or a post card.

    I can see why you are so enchanted and in love with the place!

    BTW – Hopped over here from SITS today. Congrats on being feature blogger! I’ll be back!

  34. Melissa Lester · September 15, 2008

    I love that area too! There is nothing like being at the beach with family. We enjoy going every summer with my husband’s family.

  35. Cricketphx · September 15, 2008

    Yes, there’s nothing better than living near the ocean, except maybe being born near one! I was born in Redondo Beach, CA and I constantly find myself drawn to ocean waters!

  36. Cheryl · September 15, 2008

    Never been there but it sure looks pretty. What a nice place to remember and go back too! Stop by a visit some time.

  37. Emilie · September 15, 2008

    You need to write a book, you have a way with words! I have never been to Pensacola but now I want to go – BAD!

  38. Becky · September 15, 2008

    It sounds like an amazing place to live and vacation. I know that beach looks great and it is definitely calling my name!!!!

    Congrats on being the featured blogger on SITS today!!!

  39. Tiffany · September 15, 2008

    Now I want to visit. Those memories are so wonderful, thanks for sharing!

  40. Mandy · September 15, 2008

    I have been to Pensacola. It’s lovely. 🙂

  41. Andrea · September 15, 2008

    Oh my gosh, that is such a BEAUTIFUL picture…can I come too;) No….seriously. I can pack pretty quick….just need to find a sitter.

  42. KDLOST · September 15, 2008

    hey SITSa!
    my family and i go to pensacola whenever we get a chance. it really is so pretty! we are probably moving to FL (long term) in a couple of years! we found a town on the east coast that we love …though i must say the gulf beaches are the most beautiful by far! your post is great, i look forward to reading more of your blog!

  43. Margie Blystone · September 15, 2008

    “I don’t think you ever lose a love for your birthplace though. ”

    You do if you were born in Northridge, California. Of course Northridge and Pensacola have nothing in common. The lovely picture you posted reminds me of the movie ‘Contact’ with Jodi Foster.🙂

  44. Melissa · September 15, 2008

    We took a trip to Destin a couple months ago and absolutely loved it-that area has THE most beautiful beaches and the seafood is to die for! What a cool area to be born in!

  45. Jacie · September 15, 2008

    I love Florida. I grew up vacationing here and now live here. I hope my children grow up to have such fond memories.

  46. Amy · September 15, 2008

    I would give anything to be on that beach right about now. Gorgeous!

    Happy SITS day!

  47. Danielle · September 15, 2008

    Love the Memories! Its those sort of moments in time really matter! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Gayla · September 15, 2008

    That is a beautiful picture! Sounds like a great place.

  49. Debbie · September 15, 2008

    SHHHHHH! Don’t be telling everybody about the south Alabama, Florida panhandle beaches. Too many people know about them now. LA (lower Alabama) is the best place to live. And Toni’s grandmother lives in another good place, McCalla, Alabama. I should know I used to live there.

    I am not that much of a beach person, but I do know beautiful white sand beaches when I see them. I was shocked when I lived in San Antonio, TX and visited Corpus Christi and then when we came back through Biloxi, MS and realized not all beaches have the pristine sands like our AL/FL beaches.

    If more people find out, you won’t be able to even get near the beach, so keep it on the QT, please! LOL

  50. wendy · September 15, 2008

    What a pleasant post! I love to read about where people are from…it gives such insight as to who they are as people. Thanks for sharing that bit of yourself with us.

    Happy SITS day!

  51. mama's losin' it · September 15, 2008

    You make me want to go there!!

  52. Gina · September 15, 2008

    My husband and I visited Pensacola on our honeymoon…so beautiful. I’d love to go back someday!🙂 Great picture, and great post, too!

  53. Katie Singley · September 15, 2008

    My sister use to live there and really liked it! Great post

  54. Elizabeth · September 15, 2008

    What a great post for both SITS and BATW!

  55. EmmaP · September 15, 2008

    wow! I’m ready to come for a visit!

  56. Nikki · September 15, 2008

    Must be nice to be “from” somewhere so beautiful!

  57. Michelle · September 15, 2008

    Only two days? You definitely need more than two days to savor something like that! And I looooove the picture of the beach!

  58. tabitha Blue · September 15, 2008

    Sounds like a delightful place!! The beach is the most relaxing place anywhere…. hope you got all you could out of those 2 short days!

  59. mrsbear · September 15, 2008

    Sounds like great memories. Loved reading your blog. Congrats again.

  60. Laura · September 15, 2008

    My Mom goes south every year. I’ve only been to the southern US a couple of times that I can remember. I’m in Ontario, seems to be a place you go when you are young or retired.🙂

  61. Jenni- nest to keep · September 15, 2008

    I hope you had a good vacation there! I love the picture! I have enjoyed reading your blog and plan to come visit again!

    Congratulations once again on your day!🙂

  62. Rela · September 15, 2008

    I only read the name of the place – Pensacola. Now, I have an idea. Thanks for sharing!

    Also, those are great memories you have there!

  63. Evelyn · September 16, 2008

    Gorgeous Beach photo!

    Fellow SITSta here. Letting you know that I’ll for sure be back around to visit again!

  64. Live.Love.Eat · September 17, 2008

    Ah. I love it up there. We vacationed in Destin back in June and I fell in love.

  65. Sass · September 17, 2008

    Your post made me think of a little town called Waveland, MS, which probably isn’t on most people’s radar. My grandmother lived there pre-Katrina, and my fondest memories are in that town. The beaches, the local food, the southern way of life. Ugh…makes me homesick. 😉

    Thank you so much for sharing!


  66. Auriette · February 13, 2010

    I know what you mean about always having a love for your birthplace. I was born in Spain and spent the next six weeks there. I don’t have a drop of Spanish blood, but I consider Spain my homeland as much as the USA.

    • Vicki · February 14, 2010

      Isn’t that funny how that affects us. I was a little upset (that’s not really the right word) when my daughter was born in New Mexico. Being from the East Coast and a southern girl I knew that she would have a draw to the southwest and I really wanted her to love the Southeast like me. Oh well! Have you ever been back to Spain?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s