Our Pensacon 2022 adventure began on February 17. Saintly Wife Barb and I celebrated her [redacted] birthday by getting up in the wee hours and going to Cleveland Hopkins airport for our 6:15 am flight to Nashville with a connecting flight to Pensacola. Our son Eddie drove us there.
We flew Southwest Airlines. While it’s not my favorite airline - at this point, I’m not sure I have a favorite airline - but I haven’t had problems with it. There being no direct flights to Pensacola, we flew to Nashville first. It was a quick trip of around an hour. Indeed, if you add up both flights, we were barely in the air for two hours. We liked that a lot.
The Nashville airport is one of the best smelling airports in the country. The gate we landed at was in the middle of many eateries offering barbeque of one kind or another. I kind of wish we’d had a longer layover.
The only downside of the flights to Pensacon is that it was pouring rain in Nashville. When we retrieved our luggage in Pensacola, all three bags were wet. Thankfully, there was no damage to anything in our suitcases.
Sidebar. We didn’t have to pay for our luggage, which represented a savings of around a hundred bucks. Barb booked our flights, so I don’t know if this is the case for all Southwest customers on every flight. If it is, that’s a big point in the airline’s favor. End of sidebar.
It’s always big fun to land at the Pensacola Intergalactic Airport, which changes its name for the Pensacon weekend and decorates with related posters and such. The airport even changes its dozen or so gates to “stargates.” That’s indicative of how much the city loves the convention.
The always efficient and friendly Pensacon transportation team, led by the magnificent Maria Landy, met us on our way to the baggage claim and whisked us off to the Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach, which would be our home for the weekend. It was wonderful staying right on the beach, which we could see from our room. Amenities included a huge TV, microwave, refrigerator and safe. There was also a free breakfast every morning.
We were pretty tired from the early morning flights, so we crashed for a bit, took our time unpacking and then went to the hotel next door to say hello to Maria and grab lunch. As usual, Maria was her transcendent transportation goddess self. I can’t imagine not seeing her at Pensacon. The lunch was not transcendent. It did a number on me that curtailed my beach roaming.
Fear not, I did get to do some beach and other walking with Barb. We did some souvenir shopping and walked the beach a little later, checking out beachfront restaurants. We decided on Crabs for dinner and it was a darn good choice.
Crabs is owned and managed by the same people who own the legendary McGuire’s Irish Pub in downtown Pensacola. Our meals and drinks were excellent. We even ordered the giant-size key lime pie, which lasted us until Monday morning.
Sleep did not allude us, even though we were both excited to start Pensacon on Friday. I’ll be back soon with the next chapter of our Pensacon adventures.
© 2022 Tony Isabella