Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Break 2014: Gulf Shores, AL

After enduring a horrible winter of record breaking snowfall,

freezing cold temperatures, and nasty sickness....

I BEGGED my husband to take us to the beach for Spring Break!  And he caved :-)  

We got in Monday evening just in time to catch part of the sunset.  The girls loved the water and the sand and we couldn't wait to get back the next few days.

The first night we had dinner at a place that several people had recommended.  A place called Lambert's where they throw rolls at you and play some tricks on you as well.  Check it out here.

The next day we ventured out early to take a dolphin cruise.  It was a success, as we saw several dolphins!

After lunch, we headed to the beach! 

Dinner was at a yummy seafood restaurant.  The shrimp was soooo good!  We walked around at some of the shops and bought a few souvenirs.

The next day we heard the Blue Angels had a free, open practice in Pensacola, about an hour away.  Nathan isn't much of a beach guy, so this is the one thing he really wanted to do.  There was also a free aviation museum there which we thought would be cool to walk through.  We got there early, thinking we would walk through the museum first, but people were gathering over an hour early to watch this practice.  So the girls were a little restless by the time the practice started and weren't really interested anymore.  We did explore a little bit inside, probably not as much as Nathan would've liked.  I didn't realize we could spend most of the day there.  Luckily for Charlotte, they had a little kids play area which she could burn some of her energy off.

Next stop:  The Beach!  We had met a nice, Senior couple missionary from our church that said Pensacola Beach was really nice and had chairs to rent.  They made it seem like it was a hop, skip, and a jump, but we soon realized it was about an hour away in the other direction.  So we just headed back to Gulf Shores and found a cute, little pull off with a long pier that basically ended to our very own private beach.

For dinner, we picked a pizza up on the way back to the hotel and called it an early night.  Everyone slept good that night!

Thursday we were supposed to leave to come home, but I just wasn't ready and neither were the girls!  It was raining and cold at home and I just couldn't bring myself to go back to that yet.  We had a few errands to run and as we were out, Nathan mentioned something about checking into the Hampton Inn right on the beach that we had passed the day before.  (We had been staying at a Hampton 8 miles away from Gulf Shores, not on the beach) I really wanted to do it, the girls really wanted to do it.  So we walked into the hotel and asked if they had any rooms available for the night.  The lady was so sweet and gave us a great deal on a room with a beach view!  It wasn't going to be ready for a few more hours though, so we did a little more sight seeing and had lunch at another yummy seafood restaurant.

 We walked a pier where there were lots of people fishing.

We had to get a picture with Brooke in front of her favorite store.  This became a joke, because we would see one of these stores on just about every block, with one intersection having 3 on the four corners.  We bought a few more souvenirs and some boogie boards because the girls wanted to try "surfing". 

 We found a jelly fish in the sand that day!

This is a view from our hotel room on the beach! Just one casualty...I think my swimsuit cover up may have flown overboard!  I put it on the railing to dry and it never made it home...:-(

We had dinner at a pizza place and then went back to the hotel for a dip in the outdoor/indoor heated pool.  It was a little chilly if you weren't IN the pool though, I had to cover up with some warm towels.

We had plans to get up early the next day and walk the beach looking for more shells or sand dollars, but when I woke up it was foggy and rainy!  So we had breakfast and decided to head home so we could make it home that night.  The sun started to come out again just as were leaving though!!  I didn't want to leave!!!

It was a great trip though and one we will treasure forever.  The joy in my kids faces was priceless as they were playing in the ocean and sand.  I'm already making plans for our next beach trip!! 

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