Last weekend, Sweetums and I went to Orange Beach, Ala., where I was speaking at the Alabama Press Association Convention. It was the first time we’d been to the beach together, since most of our trips involve traveling to World’s Largest Things and ghost towns and such. When we left Sunday morning, the GPS routed us through Pensacola, Fla., likely because of heavy pre-holiday traffic on Alabama Highway 59. We decided to use the detour to check a couple of places off our Odd Travels bucket list: A Futuro House, the Dome Home, a giant roller skate and giant beach ball.
Giant Beach Ball
Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, Fla.
The beach ball is actually a water tower on Pensacola Beach painted in bright colors.
1304 Panferio Drive, Pensacola Beach, Fla.
The Futuro House, located directly on Pensacola Beach, was painted white rather than the standard silver and appeared to be unused at the time. It was erected atop a small home in the 1960s when the Futuros were first manufactured, according to thefuturohouse.com.
A neighbor erected a mannequin in an alien mask to provide a touch of whimsy (and patriotism). The homes were designed to withstand hurricanes and the one on Pensacola Beach has survived several. Only about 60 of the homes survive in the world.
The Dome Home
1005 Ariola Drive, Pensacola Beach, Fla.
This unique home located on the beach is available for vacation rentals ($3,500 per week and up, depending on the season). The home sleeps 16 people. Paradise Beach Homes says, “The geodesic Dome Home was built in 2003, and is a solid concrete and steel, aerodynamic ‘hurricane-proof’ home, a veritable fortress. This fabulous Pensacola Beach home is famous. The monolithic structure has been featured on HGTV’s ‘Amazing Vacation Homes,’ The Weather Channel’s ‘Storm Stories, Ivan vs the Dome Home,’ the Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel. The NBC News weather team rode out Hurricane Ivan safely in the Dome Home.”
The listing says the home has “an outdoor kitchen and bath, the lovely pool, 800-square-foot pool deck, decks on both the front and back for great views of the Gulf and the Sound, and a large open area under the house complete with murals, it is perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining.” It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sleeping dorm, three fireplaces, wet bar, and more.
Giant Roller Skate
331 W. Government Street, Pensacola, Fla.
The roller skate, located in the City of Pensacola and not on the beach, was fun but it was in bad shape. The shoelace appears to be an old fire hose but it could use some paint.
The skate was originally created to promote a local roller rink. When it closed, the skate was moved earlier this year to the Pensacola Parade People office. According to a post on RoadsideAmerica.com, the owner of the parade organization, which helps sponsor krewes during the city’s Mardi Gras, was once on a roller derby team called Pensacola Roller Gurlz.