I’VE BEEN WORKING at the same dayjob for almost 20 years, so at this point, I’ve stacked up a pretty good bit of annual vacation time. This year, for the first time ever, I decided to take two straight weeks off and do a driving vacation with the family. We toyed with doing the Grand Canyon, but decided Shaun might not be quite old enough at 7 to really remember that, so instead, given his newfound love for swimming, we decided to aim for the beach. Based on comments from some friends who’ve recently been there, we settled on Gulf Shores, AL, just on the Alabama side of the Florida panhandle.
Over the course of almost 10 days starting at the end of July, we had quite an adventure. We stayed the first night near Birmingham, AL (where I discovered that they still won’t serve beer in a restaurant on “the Lord’s Day”… c’mon people, what decade is this? Hell, what CENTURY is this?). The following day we crossed a giant bridge and ended up on the long finger in the Gulf of Mexico that is Gulf Shores. White sand, warm weather, and a seemingly endless series of resort hotels and condo developments.
We stayed at The Caribe Resort which was a really nice development a little off the beach, but with views of both the Gulf and the internal bays. And for the next six days, (in between a couple of storms) we explored their pools and nearby beach (where we managed to catch a jellyfish and a saltwater catfish in our sandcastle bucket!).
We also went on a dolphin cruise, visited an alligator farm, and enjoyed the area’s restaurants. It was a very relaxing trip.
On the way home, we decided to take a detour and spend the night in New Orleans, since Geri had never been, and I haven’t been there since before Katrina. So we got her to try her first Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane in the French Quarter, and had breakfast at the famous Mother’s before hitting I-55 for a 14.5 hour drive home (longest I’ve ever stayed in the car!)
We took hundreds of pictures, but here are a few selected ones from the trip.
At Gulf Shores:
At the Gator Farm:
In New Orleans: