browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.
Our Great American Adventure Website Logo

Lunch, dinner and a movie…

Posted by on July 27, 2016

JULY 27, 2016

NEW FRIENDS. We continue to be blessed with new friends. With opportunities to meet fellow travelers whose stories are very differentnewfriends from our own. Opportunities to be with them and watch them perform. Opportunities never have had if Florence and I hadn’t taken a risk and embarked on our Great American Adventure a little over three years ago.

MEET MIKE AND LISA. These folks were “just passing through Pensacola” on their way home to St. Cloud after a motorhome trip of their own. They’d just stopped for the night, but their plans for an early departure next morning were dashed when their assigned spot was right next to ours. We kept them up so late that first night swapping lies and comparing notes that they were too tired to drive the next morning. We learned the history of their real estate group and they learned a little about a retired lawyer’s life on the road. They even extended their stay go to the National Naval Aviation Museum together. Our friend Captain Jon York had taken us to the Museum a couple months back and we’d been planning a return visit. Here was our chance.



Lisa, Mike, Florence and Greg. Our new friends aren’t out of focus, I’ve just enhance the part of the image Florence and I occupy. Pretty neat, isn’t it? Compare this to the next image, below, without enhancement. 


I didn’t enhance this image. See the difference?


Mike driving his fan boat. If going out for an afternoon with him on this thing isn’t incentive to drive to St. Cloud, I don’t know what would be? Mike, keep that boat fueled and ready to go. It won’t be long until you see me in your neighborhood.

DINNER AND A MOVIE. The first night we arrived at this RV park, we had more appetite than time to deal with it over a hot stove in our rig. So it sounded pretty good when one of the owners of the park suggested that we try nearby Patrella’s Italian Cafe. Since that referral, which wasn’t even a week ago, we’ve dined four times at this place. We’ve of course been treated to home cooked and hand made pasta but we also had a prime rib Sunday brunch at Patrella’s. Go figure. This place is very popular and extremely busy although the reason there’s usually a short wait is that diners ahead of you linger over dessert and coffee rather than quickly leaving as soon as the bread basket is empty and the dinner plates have been cleared.


Petrella’s Italian Cafe is just a mile down the road from Pensacola RV Park.


A LITTLE ABOUT PETRELLA’S CAFE. This tiny cafe is located in a strip mall right next door to Publix Supermarket. When you arrive for dinner there’s almost always a short wait for a table. So while you’re waiting you run next door, pick up a few items, stow them in your car and return to the cafe. Your table’s now ready and before you know it you’re debating menu selections.  The restaurant is named after Premetta & Dominick Petrella. Both were born in Italy and immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York around 1910. They later met in Birmingham, Alabama in a restaurant owned by Premetta’s mother. After being wed, they settled in Pensacola, some time before 1930. Premetta established “Pete’s Fish Market” on “T” Street, and Dominick went to work for the Spearman Brewery, managing the ice house. Together they established the Cafe where you’ve just finished placing your dinner order.



We’ve been seated at this table every time we’ve dined at the Cafe. Mike had Lisa cover the check at Petrella’s Cafe and I promised to have Florence pick up the tab at the Museum’s Cafe the following day. Mike and I have lots in common, such as being able to eat for free when dining at good restaurants. 


OUR TRIP TO THE MUSEUM. We met at the Cubi Bar Cafe, had a good lunch and then attended the 1 pm showing of “Invasion of Normandy” in the theater. Florence paid for lunch so Mike and had our second free restaurant meal in as many days. This takes planning, Mike and I agreed. But with a little time and effort any of you guys can pull this off.



Squadron plaques on display at the Cubi Bar Cafe. With Mike and Lisa in July of 2016. They hadn’t planned to be in Pensacola long enough to visit the Museum, but I persuaded them that their bustling real estate office on East 13th Street in St. Cloud would survive their absence for one extra day. Besides that, Amanda would be able to take care of any emergencies in their absence.  



We’ve been to the Museum 3 or 4 times. Each time we’ve stopped for a bite to eat at the Cubi Cafe. And each time we’ve been served by the same delightful gal. She’s obviously from the Philippines and it wouldn’t surprise me if she worked at the Cubi Bar during the Vietnam years. Who knows, she may have even poured Captain York a draft beer back in the day. She’s so sweet I decided to ask her for a photograph. The poor gal probably is asked to pose a half dozen times a day, but she smiled and posed and gave me a big hug before saying, “Come back and see me again, Greg.”   Yes, ma’am. I’ll just do that.   




Lisa and Mike Davis. Nice enough that we’d travel with them if they were going our way. And we can’t say that about too many folks we meet on the road.




Clockwise starting with Mike in the green shirt, Jon, Florence, Your Humble Correspondent and Lisa, all smiles out front. The food was served quickly and it was surprisingly good.




Mike Davis. Always smiling.




If you ever get a chance to see this documentary movie, please do so. It will remind you of how indebted we are to the “Greatest Generation” and how important it is for our next President to let his military commanders make the kind of decisions Eisenhower made before the Invasion of Normandy. We can’t win if we don’t fight. The enemy is real and it doesn’t understand nice talk. And unfortunately Barack Hussein Obama knows only nice talk and doesn’t really think the bad guys are all that bad. Perhaps if we just sit around a campfire and sing “Kumbaya” the problem will go away. Not!



The four of us are patriots and this is a good place to be patriotic! It was the same way when Jon took us to the Museum. He’s pictured wearing sunglasses in this photo taken at our first Museum trip. 

New Image

These young Gunnery Sergeants are already E-7 and they’ve only been in the Marine Corps for about 12 years. They’re each on a career track and won’t retire before 25 years. Thank God! “Thanks for your service, Gunny’s,” I said after roping them into a photo op. “Yes sir,” they sounded off in unison. “Thanks for your support.” That’s a win-win. If our President would just allow these guys to do their job we’d be a lot safer at home today than in fact we are.


After lunch we gathered on the Museum Floor for one last group picture. I’m going to miss having Mike and Lisa around. They’ve taken so many thousands of photos to use in their real estate group that they’re pros.


Drive safely you guys. You’ve got quite a ways to go before you’re home. We sure hope our paths will cross again. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know you. It’s been a privilege.

AFTER LUNCH WE PARTED COMPANY. Mike and Lisa spent the rest of the afternoon at the Museum. Florence and I returned to our home on wheels to continue unpacking all the stuff we’d brought back from our apartment. We don’t have too much time remaining to get this done, as our new puppy will be arriving soon and we want to be ready for her the moment she arrives.

JOIN US AGAIN SOON. We’ve got an interesting weekend coming up and we want to share it with you. We’re attending a gospel choir service at a local Baptist Church on Sunday and we’re having brunch afterward at a Club by the beach. What makes these activities unique and interesting is that we know a guy who sings in the gospel choir and another who’s a drummer for a Reggae Band playing at the Club. We want to introduce you to these interesting guys. So plan to join us, won’t you. Remember to subscribe to my blog so you’ll always get advance notice of blog posts such as this one.

New Image

I’ll continue my story next time.

4 Responses to Lunch, dinner and a movie…

  1. Ryan

    What a great day Greg and not a bad deal you and Mike got going there. Free meals? I’d definitely won’t hesitate to accept!

  2. Greg Alford

    Speaking of free meals, I think the best I ever did for you was a bottle of water at Starbucks in Bonita, California. I’ll be visiting San Diego at the end of the year. You and your bride should pick a place you like to dine and we’ll all go there for dinner.

  3. Lisa Davis

    We truly enjoyed meeting you and Florence. Thank you for showing us around the museum and sharing your picnic table for good conversation. Come and ride the airboat with us and we will take you places no regular boat can go. It is another world. Enjoy your adventures and take care of each other. God bless….Mike and Lisa Davis

  4. Greg Alford

    We can’t wait to come and ride that airboat with you guys. And having more of that good conversation we enjoyed with you guys. Oh, and the laughter that brought tears to our eyes was pretty neat, too.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *