Monday, May 23, 2011

Beach Fun

Thanks for the tent camping tips.  Keep 'em coming!  And yes, that means I'm planning future vacations when we've only just returned from one.  That's how I roll.  It doesn't mean I didn't enjoy our trip.  Quite the opposite.  I'm just always planning for new adventures!

Mother's Day at the marina
Once again, we went to Gulf Shores, AL for our vacation.  We love the whole area, and I've been going there since I was a kid.  It's amazing to see it change over the years.  Devastation after hurricanes, rebuilding, and now, once again, the area is thriving.  Actually, it's thriving a little too much for my taste.  We're off-season beachers.  Ken's busy at work during the summers, so we usually vacation in the spring or fall.   I LOVE the beach in the fall.  There is something different and pleasant about strolling the beach in a jacket and having the whole place practically to yourself.  Spring is a little more crowded, but at least the pool is warm enough for the kids to swim.  And it didn't feel crowded most of the time, because we seemed to have a different beach rhythm than everyone else.

We spent our mornings playing in the sand,

and the water, 

and being silly,

and our afternoons at the pool, 

Ella finally got brave enough to try
swimming without her floaties!
or at the condo enjoying snacks.

In the evenings we hunted for critters,

We found crabs, snails, and clams and studied them
for a while before setting them free each evening.
Ella says these are mole crabs.
I'm not going to question my little naturalist.

hanging out,

and taking lots of evening strolls.

We drove down to Fort Morgan one afternoon, and found a stretch of deserted beach.

Well, deserted except for this guy,

and some barnacles,

and some Alabama beach mice, which we didn't see, but found their homes near little piles of sea oats.

(The Alabama beach mouse is endangered, so we tried our best not to disturb their areas.)

 Even though we're talking about camping and visiting different places on future vacations, I will always feel that pull to spend time at the beach.  There's just something about it.  Despite a few bumps during the trip (tired, cranky kids, and I'm trying to forget that I was told this was "the worst vacation ever"), we all had a wonderful time and are looking forward to going back.  Whenever that might be.

a sand sculpture create by one of our neighbors


  1. Great pictures! And yes, those are mole crabs. We find them at our beach too. You can't visit our beaches in May, but you're more than welcome in July or August! I'm so lucky to be able to go all summer long. :-)

  2. You mean you have a guard at the beach to keep out all us riff-raff before the summer?

  3. Nooo!! It's too cold in May, unless you just want to walk the beach. I'd LOVE to have you all up here any ol' time, you know that, but you don't want to be wearing bathing suits here yet!

  4. You know, I've been going to the beach all my life and those are the first mole crabs I've ever seen. Bummer for cold in May!

    Thanks, April! It was!


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