Photography & Words: Melissa Jeras Photography
We spent a week in Pensacola, Florida, my mother’s hometown, where we met up with over 20 family members for a little family reunion.
We stayed in a perfect little beach home on the side of the island facing the Sound. We were visited by plenty of dolphins on a daily basis and the kids spent hours playing in the sand and on the dock right outside our doors. A quick walk across the street took us to the Gulf side of the island where we spent many lazy mornings playing in the waves, soaking in the sun, and making sand castles from the white soft sand that Pensacola is known for.
One fascinating place to check out while in Pensacola, is Fort Pickens, a historic US military fort completed in 1834 which defended Pensacola Bay. It is known for being only one of four forts in the South that was never occupied by Confederate Forces during the Civil War. Taking a stroll around the fort, it is intriguing to see the old weapons and read about the defense strategies used, all while taking in the vast solid and beautiful architecture that surrounds you. It is also important to note that if you visit Fort Pickens at the right time you can see The Blue Angels (the US Navy’s world famous flight demonstration squadron) practicing, which is truly a must see.
For food, we spent most nights cooking up our own seafood delicacies, but one evening we did check out a popular restaurant on the island called Peg Leg Pete’s. It had an upbeat and casual atmosphere including live music. The menu was true to what the cuisine in the South is known for. Right outside the restaurant is a marina where we watched the fishing boats come in and slice up their catch. The kids enjoyed the challenge of trying to catch crabs with the nets provided on the dock.
As tradition for our family, the trip was not complete without a boat trip. This time we went out on a dolphin touring boat, where we successfully spotted many dolphins and even watched mom dolphins swimming along with their calves. On the way back to the airport we took a cruise through my mom’s childhood neighborhood and spent a few hours at my Aunt and Uncle’s house where the kids tested their driving skills on the homemade go-cart.
This trip was full of unforgettable memories for our family and we hope to make the trip again sooner than later.
Camera | Nikon F100 & Fuji Underwater Disposable Camera
Lab | The FIND Lab
Film | Fuji 400h and Portra 160
I’m a child and family photographer in Gilbert, Arizona. When I’m not photographing other people’s children, I’m chasing around my own 5 and 3 year olds.