A few months back, we were invited to go to Gulf Shores with some friends. The plan was to share a house, and the rate for the room was too good to even think of passing up. Plus, who doesn’t love to go to the beach with friends? Plans were set in motion and packing started. A small pile started gathering in a guest bedroom. About two weeks before our trip, the pile was moved to our kitchen. And then, the pile started to grow exponentially. We were driving, so we planning on bringing as much as we could from home instead of buying it when we got there. Add to that the fact that we were traveling with two children – we had a ton of crap.
We hit the road really early the morning of July 5th. The plan was to make it to Mobile, Alabama early enough for the kids to play and burn off some energy. The drive was long (about 11 hours), but it was managable – thanks, in part to our new travel trays.
We made it to Mobile with minimal tears. Rested for the night and rolled into Gulf Shores the next morning. We went directly to our house and ran onto the beach. It was a pretty exciting moment – the first time Luke’s been to the beach and the first time Anna actually got it. We wanted to dip our toes in the ocean!
After the excitement simmered down to a slight boil, we made our way into the house to pick rooms and unpack. It was organized chaos, but we got it done. The downside was that we didn’t pack anything for lunch and we hadn’t been to the grocery store yet. So, it was decided that we would head out to The Hangover for a late lunch that turned into an early dinner. A dunch, if you will. We went to the grocery store to grab enough stuff for the first half of the week. The rest of the city (or all of the other vacationers) had the same idea – it was the craziest trip to WalMart I’ve ever been on.
The next morning, we couldn’t get to the beach fast enough. The weather wasn’t completely agreeable for a large portion of the trip, but we made the best of it. We’d hit the beach during the dry times and head inside when the weather turned south. A little rain wasn’t going to dampen our trip… No pun intended.
The next day, we ventured out to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. We have a goal of visiting a zoo or aquarium in every state in the USA. This was the perfect time to cross Alabama off our list. It’s a small zoo (billed as the ‘little zoo that could’), but it completely makes up for it in experience. We had the BEST time there. It was really personal, intimate if you will. We got to pet and hold kangaroos, lemurs, and a gigantic anaconda. The kids hand fed even more animals. We were about 5 feet from tigers and lions. Heck, if they would have had tiger cubs when we were there, we could have held them too. It was beyond awesome.
We spent the next day dodging the rain and playing on the beach. When the sun was going down, we tried our hands at tie-dying (and dyed our hands in the process). The evening was capped off with a fireworks show on the back deck.
— To Be Continued —