Monday, July 04, 2011

Gulf Shores Vacation 2011

Blood, sweat and gears. Yep, we've had it all this week. It's been a wonderful week, too.  I want to recap the week for future reviews and give you some ideas if you need them.

Blood:

Playing Crazy Eights
One of the best parts about this week is that our friend, Milissa, and her two boys were with us from Saturday to Thursday. This is idea number one; have someone go on vacation with you. We've done it many times. Having extra friends or family along makes it more interesting, shares kid-watching duties, gives you more time together.

Levi found a "wife beater" (aka, A-shirt) on the beach. It washed up in the tide.  We rinsed it off in the surf and hung it up to dry so we could ask Jilly to wash it for him. Then Bentley, one of Milissa's boys, came up from a wave bleeding. It was a bad nose bleed. Levi's "new" shirt was the only thing handy to put on it. I don't know where the beach towels were.  Ben was ok after a few minutes.

Btw, nose bleeds can be stopped by pinching the nose shut and leaning forward. I've seen a lot of people say to hold your head back.  That just lets the blood run down your throat.

Our Canopy
Sweat:

We tried something new this year by bringing a canopy for shade. In previous vacations, we've rented the chair/umbrella setup. I like the canopy better. It's less expensive and provides more shade. I recommend you don't leave your canopy set up on the beach overnight. We saw some get destroyed by wind.  I weighed it down with sand-filled milk jugs and the bags for our camping chairs. 

Gears:

Levi picked a little battery operated car at a junk store. It quit working so I opened it up and found most of the teeth stripped off one of the drive gears.  I like tinkering with junk like that.  I realized as I sat at the table working on the car, kids were gathered round looking for tools to fix any little thing.

$2.99 Champion
Here's another idea for you, when the kids get board from being entertained on the beach or at the pool, go out for an adventure.  See if you can find any pawn shops, thrift stores or flea markets.  You'll find some interesting junk, and maybe even a few surprises, like this WWE United States Champion belt for $2.99.

Food:

The best food of the week may have been what we cooked on the grill at the condo. You can't beat fresh charcoal. It may sound like work, but sitting around the grill in the evening shade while meat cooks is better than waiting for a table at a busy restaurant.  And you just can't beat the flavor.

Speaking of busy restaurants, the surprise of the week goes to Doc's Seafood Shack. Their food was delicious.  Servers were great.  And the place was clean. I had fried oysters which were light and crispy.  Five stars also goes out to Lillian's Pizza, just over the Florida line. We've been there almost every time we've come to Gulf Shores. Never a disappointment. But this year we got the lunch buffet. What a treat!

We tried beach fishing for the first time.  The key there was to have enough weight on the line to carry your bait past the surf.  It helps to wade out there too. Just don't wade too deep.  Shrimp worked best for us.  Early morning and evening/dusk are the best times for beach fishing.

Mal Mal and KK
On Thursday, my mom and dad arrived with two of my nieces and a nephew.  It was great to see them all.  The last time we were together, I think, was at Rhonda's funeral. 

One of our favorite things about beach vacation is the relaxation. No schedule. No hurry up and wait. Just good memories with family and friends.

What a great week.

God bless,
Dadofmykids


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