Watching the Blue Angel Air Show at Naval Live Oaks Beach

We are welcoming Jay McElroy back to Pensacola with Kids with another great guest post!  Thanks Jay!

So it’s summer time and the Blue Angels have finished their big beach show. You and your family spent two or three glorious hours traveling 3 miles of bridge and navigating Gulf Breeze to fight for that last 5×5 square of white sand on Pensacola Beach. It is over now, and all I have to say is I hope you do it all again next year. In fact you could even choose to stay home next year for all I care. The only thing I ask is please, please DON’T come to Naval Live Oaks beach.

Naval Live Oaks beach, which is on Highway 98 out past the bulk of Gulf Breeze (but before the IHOP, which is your clue that you’ve missed it), is not where you want to go to experience this air show. The following are the top 5 reasons why you DON’T want to watch the air show at Naval Live Oaks:

5-      Less traffic, at least once you get across 3 mile bridge, means that you and your young children get less quality time with them cramped in a backseat and you spiraling toward road rage and marveling at the Murphy’s Law-esque reality that “that other lane” always moves faster than yours. (You can also use the toll road and avoid traffic all together, but what fun would that be?) Leaving the house at 11:00 and BBQing by 12:30 just seems so rushed, doesn’t it?

4-      There is a small crowd, so you would miss out on the wonder of being packed body to body with the teeming, sweaty masses on a blanket folded in half to fit in the only space you could find in the sand. At Naval Live Oaks there are several picnic tables, easily accessible restrooms, BBQ grills, and a long stretch of beach (although not very wide).  Why would you opt for space and ease when you can have the camaraderie that comes from stepping on and being stepped on by people for hours on end?

3-      The water is knee deep or lower for about 50-60 yards out from the beach, as warm as a 5-year-old’s bath water, and has no current or waves. If you came to Naval Live Oaks you might miss the joy born of a forced hyper vigilance as your kids run, jump, splash…and end up pulled 100 yards down the beach from you by the undercurrents in water that most little ones won’t venture more than 4-5 steps into due to the waves.

2-      The Blues are not right above your head at Naval Live Oaks. Everyone knows that part of the excitement of the air show is the ear-drum shattering, infant/toddler scream inducing, sonic booming noise. At Naval Live Oaks you get none of that noise level; even when the Blues, in diamond formation, fly repeatedly right over your head as they circle around to go back down Pensacola Beach. Who wants to listen to music at a normal volume anyway?

1-      Finally, you DON’T want to spend next year’s air show at Naval Live Oaks because I and my wife and kids will be there, and we need our space! Just forget you ever read this, comprende! Naval what? Exactly!

Jay McElroy is a Pensacola native who recently moved back to his home town after spending the last 15 years in California. He returned with his wife Amber, whom he met while living in Fresno, CA, and their two children: J.T. (age 6) and Jillian (age 3 ½). Jay is, happily, a stay at home dad during the summer but will be returning to work in August as a 6th grade ESE reading teacher at Workman Middle School.