Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beach Time!

Our family just returned from a week at Orange Beach, AL. In spite of not being able to go into the Gulf waters because of the dispersants that they’ve used, we had an awesome time. We normally go in late August or September because I’m not a big crowd person, but because of the oil spill we went earlier this year.

The condo that we stay in is my husband’s sisters and her husband’s. It’s a two bedroom and we weren’t sure where we were going to put our youngest daughter because she’s out of her pack and play now. To the delight of our daughters, there was a bunk bed added to their bedroom. It also had a trundle bed which our youngest immediately claimed as her own.

There were people on the beach and even in the water. The double red flags were flying which means no swimming. The immediate risk of being in the water is a red skin rash. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the long term risks will be. It is not a risk I was willing to subject my kids to. We could forgo the waves this year. What we did have was the pool and our girls took full advantage of it. In the storage closet was the usual array of floats, boogie boards, buckets, nets and shovels. My girls had a blast. Also, most of the time they were the only ones in the pool.

We drove down on Saturday and they were getting ready for the Jimmy Buffet concert that weekend. We didn’t go, although the restaurant that we ate at Sunday night had it on the TV. It was a great event for the businesses there.

We ate out at The Shrimp Basket on Sunday night. They have all you can eat shrimp on Sundays and Wednesdays for $9.99. Very good. We also ate out at Gulf Shores Steamer. It was excellent also. I had the stuffed fish. The customer service was great too. My hubby ordered a steak and it was not the best cut. ~The steaks we had brought with us from Costco were much better~ When our server asked how everything was; my hubby told him that he wasn’t pleased with the steak. The manager then returned with an offer to give him something else. My hubby reordered the chicken. It was excellent. We will be going back there because of their service ~and the food was great too~. I also made alfredo with fresh shrimp from Blalock's seafood market.

One of our favorite things to do is to walk thru the boats at the marina. There wasn’t as much activity in the marina, but it’s always fun to do.

We had beautiful weather, much better than in Memphis. It was in the low 90’s with a great breeze all but one day. It rained one or two nights, but was lovely during the day. They were busy cleaning up the beach with vehicles transporting people and equipment going by all day. There was an average of 6-8 boats out on the water doing clean-up just off the beach also. Driving over Perdido Pass Bridge was surreal as they’ve closed off the Pass with oil booms in an effort to keep the oil out of Perdido Bay.

Originally, we looked into going to Waterville USA which is the water park there, but at $30 bucks a pop even for the kids, it was just too expensive. We did however go the The Track and drove the go carts and bumper boats. Our youngest rode on their kiddie train and airplanes. We went there Saturday morning when they had tickets buy one get one free. Our oldest daughters weren’t quite tall enough to drive the big tracks, but they rode with my hubby and me for free. They did get to drive on the rookie track though. They have the Wild Woody track which is a wooden track that is three stories high. As my daughter who rode with me said, it was like a roller coaster. It was great fun. After riding go carts, while the rest of the family had Hardees and Burger King for lunch ~the ads for the new hand breaded chicken tenders worked on my hubby, while my girls like the crown nuggets from Burger King~ I stopped by the Original Oyster House and picked up some of their Gumbo. It was delicious.

We also checked out Lake Shelby. In all of our years coming to the AL beach, we never knew about Lake Shelby. It has a beach for swimming and cabins for rent. Very cool.

All in all, it was a great family time. I would highly recommend a trip there; even with the oil spill. The businesses need it and it’s a great place for a family. Just enjoy your pool and listening to the waves off your balcony. Hopefully, next year we’ll be able to tackle the waves.

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