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Pensacola

January 18, 2013

Florida – Thursday, January 10

The first order of business today was my donation. There were several food pantries in the Pensacola area, and the one that caught my eye was the Manna Food Pantry. They were advertising a unique Fill-A-Bowl-For-Manna fundraiser where people could buy handmade pottery bowls (made by students in the local college) for $30 and be able to fill them up with homemade soup the following Saturday, and all proceeds would go toward the food pantry. Since I wouldn’t be in town for the fundraiser, I called them to see if they had any bowls that I could buy anyway, as a way to make a contribution. They didn’t have any yet, but said they could use hot and cold cereal, peanut butter, tuna and canned chicken. So I went shopping for those things, and found the food pantry and dropped it off. The lady I spoke with was very nice – she got a shopping cart to put all the food in so it could be weighed. Their motto is “Leave No One Unfed.”

Then I drove to the historic area of downtown Pensacola, where Tula and I were able to get out and stretch our legs with a few miles of walking. We walked all the way through town and went down by the ocean. There was a marina there, and a huge freighter was also docked about 20 yards away. It was still kind of misty and foggy out. Then we went back to the car and began to drive east along the panhandle, but didn’t get very far when I noticed a nice walking path along the ocean and through a really nice military memorial park. So we got out and did some more walking. Then it was time to head toward Toni’s apartment in Gainesville – I have a morning appointment with her dentist for a routine cleaning (my dentist didn’t want me to neglect that detail while I’m gone!), so I couldn’t dawdle along the way. I wanted to drive along the 2-lane highway by the ocean through all the beach towns along the Florida panhandle, but it quickly became apparent that was going to be a very slow way to go. Normally I would have done it anyway, but Gainesville was still a couple hundred miles away. So I reluctantly headed up to the interstate. We stopped one more time in Bonifay to get out and do a little more walking, and by then it was nearly dark. It took a few more hours to get to Toni’s and we had a late dinner of homemade mac and cheese. Tula and Toni’s dog Ella have spent a lot of time together, plus Toni’s apartment is familiar to Tula, so hopefully she’ll be content there while I’m gone – she has a couple days to get re-acclimated before I leave!
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