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Pensacola Beach insanity

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1 Pensacola Beach insanity on 3/25/2018, 12:04 am

My son and family are staying at portofino. Never been there before tonight. What a zoo. Tried to go to flounders and it was packed with close to an hour wait........I would not wait an hour to eat, so they decided to go back to Portofino and order pizzas from their pizza place......I would have eaten a Papa John pizza before eating the swill being passed off for pizza, and I heard my son ask his wife.......its like they do not know what pizza is......understatement.

We are staying clear of the crazy. My son rented a boat, but if the water is anything like the crowds at PB tonight......I am not going back. We remember when there was nothing out there, but today the traffic was stupid. They had ambulances and fire engines at Portofino and someone said there had been a fight........civilization is slipping as high school kids loaded to the gills are taking over the place.......At least I got out and got around.

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2 Re: Pensacola Beach insanity on 3/25/2018, 3:30 am

This past week and the two upcoming are the height of Spring Break season in the Panhandle, and Pensacola Beach, unfortunately for us residents, has become a very popular Break spot for both families and college kids in recent years.  I tell everyone to STAY AWAY.   Dearly wish I had known the kids were contemplating Portofino, the worst of the worst at high season times.  Terribly sorry for them (and you!).   Just presumed they would stay at Navarre Beach and you guys would eat down that way.  Guess I thought you knew what goes on here. Navarre Beach can get jammed up, too, but not like us.

We would never even consider, for instance, trying to get into a Pensacola Beach restaurant at Spring Break, with the exception of Margaritaville Beach Hotel's Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Cafe on the Gulf side of Fort Pickens Road, where reservations are taken, Gulf views are lovely, and food is excellent. (Park for free in the garage underneath the hotel - limited garage parking but we can usually find a spot - and take the elevator to the restaurant [lobby level] to avoid weather and walking uphill from the parking lots.)   Not much pricier than Flounder's - really about the same bottom line.   Pretty much continental fare with a Gulf Coast flair.  Fresh fish; good crab cakes; excellent steaks; interesting specials; friendly, flexible staff. The gumbo is top notch and their "Frank's Steakburger" is the best burger on the beach. (You know I wouldn't steer you wrong! :-) )   Breakfast is excellent, too --  you can even get warm beignets in the morning.  

All that said, you should be fine on the water down this way as far as having plenty of clearance.  Just watch marine wind forecasts, of course.  Gulf and  other waterways are not predicted to be particularly calm for at least the next five days, I don't think (but please check me out; could be wrong as things change).  I just can't imagine your wanting to do any bouncing around.   Did they rent a pontoon, or what?

Thanks for the info about the fire engine and ambulance.  Had seen them heading that way and hoped it wasn't a drowning.   Sure don't like to hear about fights, though.  Terrible.   Evil or Very Mad

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3 Re: Pensacola Beach insanity on 3/25/2018, 9:03 am

My daughter and the granddaughters are staying on Navarre Beach and we may visit them this afternoon, but they said it was a zoo over there also. I told my son to go to scooters for good fish and avoidance of the crowds.

I do not know how they are going to find service people to cover these crowds. I have been at the panhandle for my entire 66 years and my family from Birmingham has been coming since the 1930s, but I never envisioned this type of insanity. I am excited because I see help wanted signs everywhere. We just received an email on a potential tenant who is coming down to work the summer and I think experienced service people are getting what they want on wages. People were packed into flounders as I sat on a bench and watched how slow the service was........We took the kids over to Panama City after spending three days in Disney world, and we left after one night as mobs of drunk kids were throwing fire extinguishers through windows. The problem in my opinion is like my cousins who in high school belonged to sororities and came down as junior and seniors and got chit faced drunk. I was young once. I got drunk as a college kid, but I never saw such a large collection of out of control kids. My son and sil brought her cousin to watch the kids. She is a senior in high school and as they walked the kids across the parking lot at flounders, they had teenage boys yelling from the car......get out of the way to answer your question about fights.....I cannot see how there are not more fights.

The other indication that things are getting out of control was all the LEO parking places. I have traveled all over the country, but I have never seen LEO reserved spots......not one or two, but between ten and twenty. It seems when they have a problem on the boardwalk, they want to make sure LEO can park and respond......and not walk too far.

Portofino is a zoo. The signage is terrible as we drove around trying to find his building, and like every place else in the country where the 1% gather, they needed a security gate with guards. This artificial world is like a series of Alien space ships landed and colonized a once pristine beach, and there is nothing worse than a silver spooned southern boy in high school who is drunk and has daddy's money to stay in this place, the arrogance of these kids is like nothing I have seen in my life, and I probably would have got in a fight if I was subjected to what we saw last night.. The unit that my son stayed in cost 2k for a week. My wife and I did ok financially, but we NEVER paid 300 bucks a night for a hotel or a vacation does not make any sense when we are sitting in the woods in this beautiful tiny home park model and can take twenty five minutes to drive to the east end of Navarre.

I think I finally got the resentment of mainlanders to Portifino. First, there are a lot of Northern folks with money besides these southern rich teenagers who populate the beach. Their cultures are just vastly different than the mainlanders, and to be honest.....I feel like a mainlander who is tired of pushy yankees and drunk southern silver spooners. I guess living out in the woods changes a person, or dying causes reflections which are more honest.

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4 Re: Pensacola Beach insanity on 3/27/2018, 2:22 am

More on all the above another time. I just wanted to express sorrow for the lost life of the would-be rescuer on Navarre Beach this past weekend, who was apparently caught in a rip while attempting to save a couple of children who had swum out too far on a yellow flag day. Fortunately, but sadly in a way, the children were saved by surfers -- and this fellow shouldn't even have made the attempt, especially without a flotation device (which I'm presuming he didn't have, but am not sure because that wasn't addressed in the news stories). Easy to say he shouldn't have gone out there, but it's just tragic.

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5 Re: Pensacola Beach insanity on 3/27/2018, 2:25 am

2seaoat wrote:I think I finally got the resentment of mainlanders to Portifino.

Will just quickly say on this that mainlanders are far from the only people who resent Portofino.

Again, more another time.

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