Pensacola

We drove over to Pensacola and wandered around aimlessly for a bit and then unsuccessful tried to go to an oyster festival. It was still going on, but the bad weather meant that there were only about 40 people there and all the rides were gone.  Bode was promised rides, and a smattering of people sitting at picnic tables shucking oysters under a shelter does not make a festival. We drove some more and saw a sign for a greyhound track and figured that it might possibly entertain a 4 year old (don’t judge), but it was an even sadder sight. A bit dejected, we headed over to the beach to camp, but then we got a call from Wild Bill.

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The unofficial Pensacola welcome-wagon featuring Wild Bill, the non-consecutive nine-time president of the local VW club – Rare AIR VW – came out to meet us at the Big Lagoon campground.  Bill’s a really nice guy and we chatted for a while about our trip, the local VW scene, and all sorts of other random stuff.  And, he came bearing gifts!  We all went away with some awesome new VW T-shirts and Bode got a new flashlight!  Thanks Bill!

Wild Bill has a Champagne Edition ’78 bus that was given to him, and he’s since transformed it into a weekender with drop-down DVD player and surround sound (solar powered, of course.)  We tested it out and it was impressive.  Far more entertainment than we can muster from our bus. He’s got 220,000 original miles on the engine and the only problem with the thing, Rusty, is that it lives up to it’s name. Gulf Coast rust is not pretty. I’m quite sure the windshield isn’t touching any metal at all and is just floating in a bed of caulk. He’s got all the replacement panels needed to weld it back up one day, so I’m sure it will be a show car before long.

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Bill recommended we take a trip over to the National Naval Aviation Museum the following day. A great suggestion and maybe the only time we’ll drive on a military base in the near future.

Pretty much everything in U.S. military aviation history that you would want to see is here and they even had a pretty cool indoor playground as well. The place is huge and there are planes everywhere. We got to play in helicopter and Blue Angels cockpits. Bode had a blast.

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Another day, another Shorty. This one in front of a pawn shop.

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7 thoughts on “Pensacola

  • December 4, 2009 at 1:38 PM
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    Thanks for the article. VW people are always welcome in Pensacola!!Glad you made the trip over to NAS Pensacola. That is a world class Museum and you can’t beat the price of admission…Free. Yeah Rusty has a lot of character but is still quite road worthy. Body work starts as soon as I get Blondie’s ’69 Squareback on the road…sigh.
    Good luck my VW Friends where ever the road takes you.
    Wild Bill

  • December 5, 2009 at 12:07 PM
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    Those are some awesome pinstripes on that brown beauty! It warms my heart to see a rusty VW getting the love it deserves. Even better to know it will be saved.
    -Melissa

  • December 5, 2009 at 1:52 PM
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    Bill told us the original style paint job w/ stripes and all will be kept as part of the restoration.

    We’ve been thinking of ways to stylize Red Beard a little and a cool Latino pinstripe job might in the works once we get south of the border.

    …and glad to hear you’re warm 😉

  • December 5, 2009 at 3:35 PM
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    Thanks Melissa those are Champagne Edition stripes from the factory. Very 70’s ehh? The Rusty Inn is my baby.
    Jason don’t forget the 12v Electric blanket idea. Any big truck stop will have them. Get into any of that snow?

  • December 5, 2009 at 5:08 PM
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    Hey there Wild Bill….Nice ’78 Champagne…Lovin’ the pin striping..was that a stock champagne item, or an original VW option, or a custom job?

    Does your ’78 have the brown front interior too?

    I’m the owner of a ’78 champagne Westy…but alas no fancy pin striping…check it out here, if you like…
    http://bodeswell.org/2009/09/29/hangin-with-jim/

    If’n you ever make it up to the Pacific NWside of the continent…Portland, OR in particular, I’d love to meet ya!

    peace

  • December 16, 2009 at 2:52 PM
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    Almost caught up on your blog now. My son seems to share Bode’s interests so your blog is a great source of info, especially for the kid-aspect.

    The National Naval Aviation Museum is now on our list of can’t miss places.

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