Good Eats: Bagelheads on Gregory is a fave! Chicken Salad Supreme (ok, supreme really means the chicken salad is covered in crumbled bacon!!) on an untoasted Cheddar Jalapeño bagel is so yummy! Oh, then there’s the calamari at Macaroni Grill with extra lemon juice squeezed on top washed down with their Mango Sweet Tea. I love, love, love Captain Joey Patti’s fried oysters, shrimp, hush puppies, French fries and cheese grits. Can’t beat southern eating, right? And, there’s nothing like brunch at Atlas. Mimosas and Grits à Ya Ya or a MOMA Salad with blackened salmon… Bon Appétit!
Retail Therapy: Nothing—NOTHING—about shopping for clothes is therapeutic, but it’s a necessary evil, right? If I’m not in Dillard’s or Trade Secret (who doesn’t love OPI nail polish?), I’ll be scanning the racks in Loft, New York & Co. or The Limited. I relax when I’m shopping for the house. Nothing like wandering through Stein Mart, Target or Pier 1 and “happening upon” a great find. At least that’s how I tell the story.
Nightlife: WARNING, I’m really a homebody and easily entertained. A great night out for me would include enjoying a large bowl of ice cream with my husband outside at Marble Slab. Something about watching the traffic and enjoying great conversation makes this outing a fun treat any time of the week. But, when social duty calls, the occasional late night meet up with fellow Florida A&M alumni around town is fun too. Love the live music at Five Sisters, the view from outside at Jaco’s and the neighborhood feel of Hub Stacey’s.
Outdoors: My favorite outdoor spot in the city is Bartram Park on Main Street. My husband and I had one of our first dates there, got engaged there and later got married there. At night you can hear the music playing on The Deck at Fish House, you can look out at the water and see the cars crossing the 3-mile bridge in the distance and enjoy the night air. It’s so relaxing and provides great scenery when looking out from the balcony at Lee House.
Arts & Culture: I enjoy attending downtown Gallery Nights. I say, “It’s the best Pensacola has to offer in the city’s most happening spot.” Both Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida do an excellent job of hosting cultural events year round. Although I missed it this year, the Our Voices are Many performance of “Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance” presented at UWF is a total must-see. I also enjoy the StudioAmped concert series hosted by WSRE and Pensacola State College.
Never Miss Events/Festivals: The Pensacola Seafood Festival quickly became my all-time favorite annual event! I started going when I moved back home from D.C. and haven’t missed one since. I always enjoy being in the middle of so much activity. I could walk around (and eat) for hours! This date with my husband is always scheduled a year in advance.
Oh, and of course, I have to mention our parades!! The Martin Luther King, Mardi Gras and Christmas parades have been on my list of super fun activities since I was a kid. I’m never able to make all of them every year, but I have to make at least one! How else will I get my tossed bead fix for the year?