Beach Memories

When I tell you how long it took us to get to Orange Beach.. don't laugh!  But we rolled out of Houston on Father's Day around 1:30pm and pulled in to Orange Beach around 3:00 on Monday afternoon.  A full 26 hours :-)  We knew that we wouldn't make it all the way with getting a late start and our reservations weren't until Monday afternoon so we did take our time.  Or should we say.. the boys forced us to take our time.

We made several stops along the way that ended up being lots of fun!  After much debate, watching the traffic, and searching the internet on the Ipad we decided to try and make it to Biloxi for the night.   We made it there to our hotel (The Grand) about midnight.

Checkers with Poppy at Cracker Barrel Lake Charles

Joe's Crab Shack stop in Baton Rouge

The boys and there "new song" at Joe's Crab Shack ...

After a terribly rough night of sleep, babies in the bed, Beckett crying, Poppy snoring, and a weird light in our room that kept blinking on and off, the boys were up and at it early and waiting on the swimming pool to open at 8am!

Hey! You seen the pool anywhere mom?

Swimming with Poppy

We headed out at check out time and since the boys were snoozing so good we decided to just head straight to pick up Poppy's car at the Mobile airport.  They almost slept through that but Eli's head popped up when Poppy was crossing the pushes at the airport to his car.  He looks out the window and says "Hey! What's Poppy going to tee tee on!"  Spoken like a boy that has tee tee'd on a lot of bushes lately :-)  The did wake up in time to see the tunnel which they thought was "super cool"

We stopped at Tacky Jack's in Mobile right on the bay and by the battleship.  It was a perfect stop for lunch.

From there we picked up our keys in Orange Beach and headed to our room at Turquoise Place.  AMAZING!  We have never stayed here before but heard awesome things about it.  I mean seriously the nicest place we have ever stayed or even seen.  Check out these rooms!  And they had private hot tubs on every balcony.

Ringing the door bell was one of the boys favorite things to do!

The master

A bath tup big enough for 5 people!

Eli checking out our hot tub or "new swimming pool"

wine fridge, iphone dock with speakers, & ice maker

Look at this kitchen

Yep Dee Dee fell in love with Wolf appliances and sub zero fridge

I'm old and loved the washer/dryer laundry room 

The extra room 

My bedroom :-)

Glass overlooking the parking

The lobby!

Turquoise glass - hence the name 
While we were there we took advantage of all it had to offer (except the state of the art gym.. ha! I never made it inside).  We hit the beach.  I was worried if the boys would actually like the sand and ocean this time but they walked right out and acted like the go to the beach everyday!

Momma and her boys on the beach

Ready to go with a wagon full of toys

Hard woking beach grandparents

The essentials

chasing waves


making friends

finding crabs 

looking for seashells

watching boats

catching fish

wagon rides

eating snacks

playing in the water
And if the beach wasn't enough there was also the lazy river, 3 huge pools with waterfalls and splash pad (although we swear they put ice water in them) and a huge indoor pool or Eli called it "the warm pool"  Each tower had their own pools too!  

favorite game - pushing poppy in the water!

Not only did we play hard, we did our chores and took good naps too :-)

filling the cooler with ice

nap time with Poppy

Yep, she's asleep under those glasses. Don't let the book fool you!
nap in the lazy river with Poppy

What better way to relax after a long hard day at the beach?

thinking about it

don't worry - we turned the temp way down when we got there
it was like bath water!

Face time with daddy

Playing with our shells

sharing a dinner

enjoying a yummy dinner and glass of wine
We also found time to do some fun things in the Orange Beach area.  We went to the Wharf which turned out to be great but I was really sad to see how much had closed or was empty now from the last time I was there and it first had opened.  I was also surprised that it was not crowded at all. One the way in we passed the bungee trampolines and Beckett saw it out the window and immediately started saying he wanted to jump. I was so surprised that the entire time we were in line he could not wait!  He kept saying that "it's my turn it's my turn" during the wait.  When it was finally his turned he climbed right up there and let the guy strap him in and off he went jumping.  And then he wanted to flip!  He kept trying to flip himself.  I was shocked.. and even more shocked that Eli didn't want to do it.  But whatever.  He enjoyed watching Beckett and was patient through the whole thing.

After the jumping we asked the people who worked there for a dinner recommendation and they said The Compleat Angler. Which turned out to be good.  The highlights for sure were the crab claws and the boys thought the fruit loops they give the kids for appetizers for 5 stars :-)  As soon as we got there the manager came over and said that they were having crab races and asked the boys to come.  Each one stood by a # and here came the crabs!  Eli won the first heat.. you can still ask him about his crab's helmet and he will say "Lightening McQueen!"

And the dinner music and views were outstanding..

No trip to the Alabama gulf coast is complete with a trip to Lulu's! Lulu being Jimmy Buffett's sister :-)  I went to Lulu's years ago when it was small and beach front.  Now, its moved inland to the marina and is HUGE.  Mom bought me a cookbook which she signed and gave to me when I was first married.  I swear I cooked everything in there in the first 2 weeks.  So yummy.  I was beyond excited to go!  We went on Thursday on the way out of town.  We go there at 10:45 and there was still a huge line and they were just piling in behind us too.  Once it open at 11am the line was moving and we went straight to a table.  There are seriously shuttle bus parking to this place.  Our waitress said the wait is 2 hours most all the time.  Wow.. and it did not disappoint.  Our food was fresh and fabulous. Done exactly right and the atmosphere was a blast.  There are so many good memories from this place. Especially Poppy trying to corral the boys by holding there shirts while Dee Dee and I shopped!  And the picture booth photos are priceless.  We all came home with shirts and hats for our loved ones.  Eli & Beckett got the cutest ones though. It says "Don't be crabby, you'll end up in the gumbo!"

playing while we waited

this is my tantrum face because I had to share the ring game

finally to the fronts and headed in

The boys loved this fountain!  And they had lots of toys
and boats that they could play with in the water

best idea ever!  Sun was so bright and of course the sunscreen
was packed in teh car

How gorgeous is the food tray!  And see the Go Wild tag? You could go
online and track your fish from the boat to your plate.

Those would be fried green local Baldwin county tomatoes
and homemade WOW sauce.. yum yum

Yep, that's Beckett eating his lunch by the fountain :-)

Key Lime Pie (yemon to Eli) was the BEST!

I think those grins are a good sign about the pie!

Beckett chose a snow cone

and loved every minute of it!
We are so blessed that the boys got to experience the Alabama beaches like we did growing up.  We hope to continue our trend of at least one beach trip each year because there is really something special about spending time with family in the presence of the beauty of the ocean, the sand, and the all the excitements it has to offer.  My little traveler's have experienced the highs of the mountains, the lows of the valley's and the beauty of the ocean all within the last month!  What do we do with all these new memories?  Bottle them of course. I saw on Pinterest about making memory jars when we take them on trips. I don't have the mountain ones yet because I left the rocks at Dee Dee's but I can not tell you how excited the boys were about finding their seashells each day, keeping them in a container, and then getting home and showing Daddy each and everyone.  Watching them fill their jars when they got home and the excitement on their face of the memories we created brings tears to my eyes.  They even showed their Riley grandparents the jars when they Facetimed. What a wonderful way to remember the blessings of our vacations for years to come.  

Showing Daddy their shells

We put sand from the beach and some drift wood
they found

Still needs a label and maybe a picture

so proud of his jar

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”

The Riley's