Wanderlust Wednesday: Pensacola Blue Angels Show 2008

Blue Angels Air Show in Pensacola, FL.

July 2008

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As you take a seat in the grandstands, the tiny hairs on your neck stand on end.

You feel a frog in your throat as Van Halen’s “Dreams” blares on the speakers.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see an intimidating brigade of bright blue slowly wheel across the runway. The colors shimmer in the daylight. Your senses barely have time to take in the beauty before being overpowered by the powerful engine noise streaming from the planes. As their afterburners light up with an orange intensity similar to the sun, your instincts tell you to hold on to the edge of the bleachers.

Goosebumps shroud your body as you prepare for what’s to come.

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Welcome to a Blue Angels airshow.

This Wanderlust Wednesday, I’m going to reflect on one of the most intense, thrilling venues I’ve ever visited: a Blue Angels airshow.

But before I begin, if you don’t know about this amazing Naval flight team, here’s there website!


Back in 2008, my parents and I drove to Lexington, KY and Pensacola, FL for our family summer vacation. The Kentucky portion was for a model horse show called Breyerfest (I was REALLY into collecting them) but the Florida portion was all about the beach and witnessing a Blue Angels air show at their main home.

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I remember driving up that morning thinking about the Dallas air show I’d seen them perform in a few years prior; so many wild tricks, “turn on a dime” acuity, and exhilarating blasts of exhaust from the plane engines.

Needless to say, I was beyond excited to be at another show; especially one at their main Navy base.

My dad has always been an avid lover of flight and military jets, so as we sat in the bleachers, he told my mom and I about what different air traffic control signals meant, where they’d take off, and runway details. It was neat to be able to have that kind of knowledge whispered in my ear as I sat gearing up for the show.

But when my dad stopped mid-sentence, I knew something was coming, You could just feel it in the atmosphere of the audience. Then I saw it. BOOM. The planes drove right past the bleachers on the way to the take off area. They were MASSIVE and intimidatingly loud.

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They slowly made their way down to their destination. The engines fired up, the sound was loud enough to make you clench your teeth and cover your ears.

And then…it began.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking 🙂

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One word can sum up the show: Spellbinding.

As the planes whizzed by the stands, the “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” coming from people’s mouths were almost uncontrollable–it was like a gut reaction to just say “WOW!” with each trick. Their low passes, flips, tight formations, hair-pin turns, surprise fly-overs–all of it left the audience simply gasping for breath

All I know is, if you ever have a chance to see the Blue Angels, or any air show for that matter, you should definitely go! I promise, you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. I LOVE the Blue Angels!! And I love reading about them with your beautifully descriptive words! You capture them so well! My dad was a pilot in the Navy and we’ve been to their show in Pensacola. It was so awesome to relive that experience through your post!! There is no other sensation like the way jet noise rumbles your heart and chest!

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