Gulf Shores – Snaps

I took a ton of pictures during our trip to Gulf Shores.  Literally, a ton.  I realize that you are all probably bored to tears with posts about our trip, but I had to include some of the pictures from our trip that didn’t make it in the other posts.  Bare with me … I promise this will be the last time I mention Gulf Shores (at least for a little while).

Kitty made it to the beach!

Notice all the sand…

What designer am I wearing, you ask? Oh, just lemur.

Gulf Shores 2013 – Part 2

Catch up on the first part of our trip – Gulf Shores 2013 Part 1.

We heard about a Pirate and Princess breakfast at The Hangout, so we decided to check it out mid-week.  The staff was hilarious, and the kids were really into it.  I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t into it as well.  It was adorable and ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.

Arg!

On a treasure hunt!

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out by the ocean – getting our tan on and sand in every crevice that you can imagine.  Turns out, I have an aversion to being sandy.  It drives me nuts.  There was sand everywhere, even when we would go inside.  There was sand on the floor, sand in the shower, sand in the bed.  I would even chew something and have sand in my teeth.  I realize that going on a beach vacation means that you have to deal with sand, I just didn’t realize how crazy it made me.

Bathing beauties!

Time to get sandy, Mom!

To add to my aversion to being sandy, I have a bit of a fear of the ocean.  I think it’s just all the wildlife that is also milling around in there.  You can’t really see your feet, and you don’t really know what’s coming your way.  Eventually, I worked up the nerve to venture farther out into the water.  As soon as that happened, a person came running up to our group that was on the beach.  I saw them motioning to us to come back.  Turns out, there was a shark in the water.  There was a shark in the water each day we were there.  I’m not talking great white’s that could swallow us in one piece, but they could have done some damage (especially to baby legs).  Too much for this mid-westerner.

Look, we’re in the ocean. What’s that? Huh? Shark? HOOOOOLLLLLLLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!

That evening, we ventured out for dinner.  The rest of the house was ordering from a small seafood joint.  Alex is allergic to shellfish, so we opted to go out to eat instead.  Plus, it gave us the perfect opportunity to check out the restaurant that Jimmy Buffett’s sister set up in the area.  Aside from Anna getting lost from us for a bit, we had a great time at Lulu’s!

Playing at Lulu’s before dinner.

The next day, the rain rolled in and stayed.  It rained and it rained and it rained some more.  It was miserable.  We tried to keep the kids occupied in the house, but it was getting hairy.  We were Googling indoor activities in the area.  Turns out, there are none.  We opted to drive into town and check out a souvenir shop and then grabbed some lunch.  We headed back to nap and wait for the rain to pass.

There’s a storm a-brewing!

How long does it take for a gaggle of kids to go stir crazy being stuck in a house? Answer – not long.

Luckily, the rain passed through while we napped.  It left us with overcast skies – horrible for swimming in the ocean, but awesome to take some pictures.  And, that’s what we did.  My kids get so annoyed when I bring my camera out, but I love snapping the memories.  I know they will appreciate it someday.  Someday far, far down the road.  Meanwhile, I will treasure them now.

Sometimes they love each other. Sometimes.

Apparently someone doesn’t mind to get all sandy.

Look Mom, shells!

Ah! These two – I could just eat them with a spoon!

Passed the camera over to get a quick family shot.

The next morning we woke up to sunny, beautiful skies!  We spent the day playing in the sand (ACK!) and dodging sharks in the ocean.  Ah!  We spent the afternoon and early evening packing up and loading the car.  It seemed like our stuff multiplied and grew legs.  It was like trying to shove 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  Eventually we managed to wrangle our crap back in our bags and loaded it all in the car.  Our vacation was sadly winding down.

One last day of sun!!

The plan was to hit the road early Saturday morning.  We changed plans, and decided to drive through the night.  Aside from almost hitting a pedestrian who was running into the street in the middle of nowhere Alabama and getting slowed down at a sobriety checkpoint crossing into Mississippi, we made it to Missouri as the sun was coming up on Saturday.  The kids slept almost the entire way.  Freaking awesome! We were sad for our trip to end, but happy to be home.

Gulf Shores 2013 – Part 1

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 aren’t hoarders, we just look like one our our blog.

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.

Just us and the highway. Lots and lots of highway.

Luckily, Luke drove most of the way so we could rest.

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!

Our home for the week

Get me to the ocean!

Baby toes in the sand

Luke’s first time in the ocean!

Are you sure we have to leave at the end of this week??

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.

It’s time for dunch!!

A couple of little cuties!

 

 

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.

Time for the beach!

These two were quite the pair.

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.

Mingling with the locals.

Lemurs all up in our bid-ness.

Holding a giant anaconda – ain’t nobody got time for that (unless you are at this zoo).

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.

There’s nothing quite like being three-years-old.

— To Be Continued —

The Hangout – Gulf Shores

When searching for places to visit in Gulf Shores, The Hangout popped up.  The menu and overall feel of the restaurant seemed pretty close to Lulu’s (and it ended up being basically the same), but I was more interested in their breakfast.  See, The Hangout hosts a Pirates and Princess breakfast every morning.  We instantly knew it was something we wanted to do.  We even packed outfits for the kids in anticipation of the big day.  As luck would have it, we also ended up there the day we arrived.  We hadn’t packed anything for lunch and we hadn’t gone to the store yet.  The whole group ventured to The Hangout for lunch.  We ended up getting there a bit late, and the wait was pretty long.  So, it turned into an early dinner.  Linner?  Or is it dunch?

Time to hangout at The Hangout

It’s a place where you can belly up to the bar…

Or belly up to the table.

Tiny humans or big chair? I’ll never tell.

Passing the time away.

We decided to head back to The Hangout for breakfast mid-week to see what the whole pirates and princess thing was about.  The kids were SO excited – mainly because it meant that they could wear dress-up clothes outside of the house.  Well, let me clarify – Luke wasn’t exactly thrilled with his outfit, but he grew to love it.  Plus, it was a major hit at the restaurant so he liked all the attention.  The breakfast did not disappoint.  The staff was dressed up and all had their rolls down pat.  One of the pirates even tried to steal Anna’s chocolate milk.  That’s when they stopped being friends.  They took all the kids on a treasure hunt to find buried treasure.  I couldn’t tell who was more into it – the kids or the staff.  Either way, it was really fun.  After picking out their treasures, we sat down to an all-you-can eat breakfast.  They bring a huge tray of food to your table and you can eat until you pop.  Bonus for people who want to eat themselves silly but are freaked out by buffets.  Trust me, I understand.  The food is good, the experience is even better.  We give this two thumbs WAY up.  Be sure to squeeze this in!

Touch my chocolate milk and I cut you.

Time to find some treasure!

ARGH, MATEY!

TREASURE!

Nothing to see here, just a few princesses and a stray pirate.

The Details:

The Hangout

101 E Beach Blvd

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

http://www.thehangoutal.com/

Open for breakfast: 8:00am – 10:30am, Open for lunch and dinner: 11:00am – late

Tips: The Pirates and Princess breakfast is REALLY fun.  The food was good, and the kids ate for free.  Plus, they had an absolute blast! The staff was amazing!