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Pensacola, United States


Where in the world is Pensacola? Well, it’s a city in the state of Florida which is rather closer to Mobile City, Alabama than it is to the other Florida cities. But just because it doesn’t sound as familiar as Miami or Orlando to you doesn’t mean that it’s any less, at least not according to our experience.

Before we start writing about our time in Florida, you must meet some characters who are about to take on great roles in making this such a special trip that will end up making us feel that we want to come back soon (of course, this story is being written in retrospect. Otherwise, how would we know that we do want to someday go back to Pensacola?) First up: there is the Buenavista Manor situated somewhere close to the country but not too far away from the city. It totally felt like country to us because you see, they have 6 very very white goats – 3 sets of sisters that graze along the front yard of the Buenavista’s second property which is right next door. Then there’s Sophie and Sammy who are outdoor dogs. They have been known to attack visitors, so for the initial introduction, they were put on a leash while we stayed a good distance. Then there’s Beanie and Whiteshoes, the two hunter cats who man the garage and keep the snakes and rats at bay. By the way, we’ve just been reminded that there are in fact snakes in some places of this world, just not in New Zealand (or at least we like to believe so). Then there’s little Miss Boolinzkey (we’re making the spelling up but that’s how it sounds) aka Boo-boo, who is quite aware that she is the princess of the house. She doesn’t do outdoors. And apparently she likes to mark her territory every time there is a house guest so we’ve been warned to keep all doors shut at all times. But she’s very very cute and very very clean, and so we like her. And oh yes, let’s never forget Manong Tom and Manang Grace – the ‘Mr. & Mrs.’ of the house, who kept asking us if we have enough leg room (in the truck) from since the day they fetched us from the local airport. It’s just that when you’ve been used to a small Japanese 1990s car for most of your adult life, then it isn’t that difficult to answer such questions. This reminds us to introduce of course, their big white Toyota Tundra and the other GMC truck, although the Tundra did most of the work while we’re there.

Manang Grace is Kenneth’s first degree cousin. Her husband, Manong Tom, is also an Ilocano by ethnicity (like us and manang grace). This made our time together extra special as we could share jokes and stories in our most native tongue. There is something about speaking your birth language. Ilocano, we are reminded, is a very beautiful language (yes, we dare call it a language although technically it is a dialect… but then technically, a dialect is a variation of a more popular language… and Ilocano is unlike any language, totally separate from all the other ethnic languages surrounding it, so you decide…). There are feelings and thoughts that we can never express entirely and more meaningfully in another language but Ilocano despite being perfectly fluent in other languages.

Manang Grace tells us that Manong Tom served in the US Navy for some 20 years. Some time during those two decades, he served as Navy Chef. And to say that ‘he can cook’ is not only an understatement but also a massive assault to his actual cooking prowess. From the moment we tasted his tender beef brisket with sliced sweet Georgia onions for our first meal with them, we knew we were in for a gastronomic ride. We had some nice conversations at the table over Florida’s famous Key Lime Pie for dessert. Wow! Refusing to take siesta, they took us along to some friends of theirs. It was lovely meeting new people and hearing new accents (southern, y’all!). When we got home, Manang Grace took us to meet their dogs, and then for a tour around their other property next door and to meet their goats as well. And when we got home, we smelt something familiar… peanuts… ah, kare-kare… ‘You do eat beef, don’t you?’ asks Manong Tom. Yes! He asks us also which part of the Bible we base our diet on. The Old Testament, we say. ‘Leviticus?’ he guesses. Yes. ‘Okay,’ he says. We’re thankful he knows his Bible well and is very considerate of our dietary choices. Kare-kare… man, it was for real! As if that wasn’t good enough – he also stirred up a mixture of Bagoong and lime. This is authentic Filipino cuisine! Tomorrow, we leave at 10, mamang Grace informs us. To the beach!

The next morning, after a shower in the en suite bathroom (talk about 5-star accommodation… giggles), we followed our noses to the kitchen where Manong Tom was making omelette and fried rice. Hmmmm! Scrumptious! Again, we remember and appreciate how different this (& New York) has been compared to our San Francisco when we had to make do with soup in can and very salty hotdogs on hard bread. After breakfast, Joia helped manang Grace to pack our picnic boxes. Then away to the beach we went. Miles away from the beach still, and we can already see the famous white sand we’d only ever read about on the internet. Pensacola beach is a stretch of white sand dunes, sugary white sand dunes. It seemed endless. Beautiful, clean, and because of the time of the year – fall, it was still sunny but not crowded. We took so many photos here, but they’ll never be able to make up for the real experience of being in the midst of it all. In the truck on the way home, Joia remembered 2 words I heard from Jerico back in New York City. ‘Krispy Kreme, what is that?’ Joia asks Manong Tom & Manang Grace. Manang Grace smiled excitedly. Manong Tom turned the truck to change directions. Then there was the big sign: ‘Krispy Kreme’! We could smell it as soon as we got out the truck. Donuts like nothing else we’ve ever tasted. We ate almost a dozen between the 4 of us! Manong Tom also bought us our first official conjugal mug as a souvenir from Krispy Kreme. Thanks. Enjoy, everyone!


permalink written by  garcia on November 14, 2007 from Pensacola, United States
from the travel blog: Got 2 see what's out there!
tagged Pensacola

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hahaha! hala, krispy kreme people na rin kayo! Eto lang ang masasabi ko..."uhhhmmm, Dooonuuuttsss!"-Homer Simpson

permalink written by  Rose Licup on November 21, 2007


waaaa!!! inggit ako!!! loonnnggggg white beach???!!!!! waaahhhhhh!!!!!!!

anywayz, pinapatanong ni garry at work kung saan daw kayo sa London ngayon.

permalink written by  Jane Pintucan on November 22, 2007


hi, Rose! glad to see you dropped in. how are things? yeah... doooohhhnnnuuuuttts! now we're believers! haha!

ading jane, well, we're all over London. we'r staying in silvertown which is 1 hr by train to city centre. but actually, please let everyone know we are flying to Milan tomorrow at mid day from Heathrow airport, and then we will take the 1.5 hr train to Turin. Okay? dnt 4get 2 pray for our safety. we always do the same for everyone. God bless.



permalink written by  garcia on November 22, 2007


Hi Guys!

Had enough time for a very quick look through your photos...stunning! places, faces, buildings and you both...always smiling! I love it!

Keep it up ;)

Zara (baby), Nigel and I are doing really well. We are going to Poppy's (Annemarie's third baby)christening tomorrow in Tauranga. We will tell her about your trip...

Alison is a grandmother now! Her daughter gave birth to a little baby boy last week. Alison is over the moon! ;)

Keep safe,

Kamilya

permalink written by  Kamilya Brassington on November 22, 2007


helo kamilya! so glad to hear from you. hello to Zara and Nigel! Congratulations on your new family! thanks for dropping in to our blogsite. hope 2 hear about your rendezvous w/ am's family. Arohanui!

oi, familia! we're here in Turin now. arrived at kanootz' family's place tonight at 8pm after a flight from london to Milan then a somewhat traumatic 2 hr train ride from there to Turin. will tell you more soon... let us rest for now. love you all.

permalink written by  garcia on November 23, 2007


Glad to hear you arrived sound and safe in Turin. Give my regards to evryone. :) So how does it feel to be in Italy?? ((jane-->green wif envy)) haha!!!

we just arrived home from the ADRA. It was great. Yesterday evening we went out to help in the preparations and i am glad to say that we built most of the tents there. haha!!! kanina, we all woke up really early, about 4.30 am (take note, that includes RV) to help out. The weather was great, too. It turned out really well. We got lots of freebies too!!! We had a gr8 time. But the best thing is that we were all there. we'll post fotos on friendster soon.

You guys have FUN!!!! We are missing you HEAPS!!!!

permalink written by  Jane Pintucan on November 24, 2007


Thanks for the Pensacola post card. We just got it today. Thanks heaps!!! Keep it coming!!!! haha!!! and thanks heaps heaps heaps for the handbag!!!! labya!!!!

permalink written by  Jane Pintucan on November 26, 2007

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garcia garcia
1 Trip
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dated for 8 years, married for nearly 4 years, no littlies yet, understandably bored and seeking new adventures... therefore, we go.

young married couple. both born in the same small rice-farming village in the northern Philippines. presently residing in beautiful New Zealand. guy (Kanootz)...

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