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