Gulf Shores Vacation

My idea of a fabulous vacation is staying in a condo on the beach and being spoiled. This year we decided to completely throw everything into mass chaos and do something different. I’m not really sure why my husband and I lost our minds, but apparently we did. And honestly we had a great time while doing so!

I am not a camper. I don’t tent camp. I don’t “rough it” by any means. But I will tolerate a camper. When we were pregnant with my little boy we ended up with my husband’s grandparents’ camper. They traveled all over the United States in this 21′ camper and had great adventures together. They shared those beautiful stories with me and my husband over the years and it brought them so much joy. We lost both of them recently and I think that’s really why my husband and I wanted to experience that joy for ourselves. They had a beautiful marriage and so enjoyed life together. We wanted to experience that magic ourselves. So we packed up our family of five for the week and hit the road.

My husband and I celebrated our eighth year of marriage during our vacation. I love that after eight years of marriage we can still find ways to be adventurous together and have fun.

Our “thing” as a family on any road trip is to see how many Bass Pro Shops we can find. We actually stopped at two new ones in Alabama on our trip.

My sweet boy is hooked on all things fishing right now. He can sit for hours organizing his tackle boxes and is totally content. He talks fishing non-stop these days and I am praying he can concentrate on school soon.

My stepson was entertaining in the toy section. Anything with noise….

And no trip would be complete without selfies with dead animals….

We tried pier fishing, but it was not very successful for anyone. We only saw one flounder and my stepson caught a catfish.

I snagged the latest Harry Potter book and read through it in a day and a half. It was fabulous and I loved it! My stepdaughter will be reading it next. We are definite Potter fans.

We stayed in the local state park campground and it was really nice. It was one of those places that just felt really safe. There was always someone posted checking your pass coming into the campground at all times. You didn’t come in if you didn’t have a pass. My husband and I loved that it was very family friendly. We could turn the kids loose on their bikes and not worry about them riding close by because there were hoards of other kids riding around. I honestly did not realize that these places still existed anymore. I am probably a little too overprotective of my child, but I feel like our world has made it that way. For a solid week, I got to loosen those reins and just let my child have the childhood that my husband and I had. The one where we rode our bikes around the neighborhood and everyone looked after everyone else. The one where everyone was genuinely friendly and kind. Everything was laid back and relaxed. I realized just how much my little boy was missing out on. I am just so thankful he got this experience.

The campground was just really well kept and we enjoyed it. The pool was great and we had biking trails for miles! The first full day was our longest ride and we had a blast. The day was a complete wash out with rain, but we hit the trails anyways. I honestly felt like I was a kid again! We had so much fun.

My crockpot was really my BFF during the trip. I made super simple beef dip sandwiches one night and they were delicious! But they also caused the biggest laugh in the group. Apparently my stepson had never eaten beef dip sandwiches before. We got to the table and I noticed all of his au jus was gone and his sandwich hadn’t been touched. My husband asked him where his au jus was and he said he drank the soup already. He drank it…fat bits and all. I couldn’t help but laugh, bless his heart.

The beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama were so beautiful. I loved having plenty of space to ourselves and enjoying the beautiful sand. We saw so many dolphins during our trip too. My stepdaughter and I even kayaked with them. It was amazing!

We loved surf fishing and catching huge crabs at night too. We ended up with a pretty decent sized stingray one night.

Our favorite restaurant was Lambert’s. I had been there when I was little and I tried to explain to our kids how they throw rolls to you. Their little eyes just lit up when I told them.

The wait was pretty long and some little one didn’t really see the need to wait that long for rolls to be thrown his way. Once he actually got to the food part, he agreed that it was well worth the wait. We left stuffed! If you ever go to Gulf Shores, you must visit Lambert’s Cafe!

We also visited The Wharf to see the marina and do some shopping. I always get a new Tervis on vacation and we love seeing boats. My husband and I work at a marina, but looking at boats never gets old.

I loved spending time with my sweet boy. I cannot believe he’s growing up so fast. I needed a week with him and it was such a blessing to have him with me right before another year of school began.

We were pretty worn out but ready to head home when the week was over. I missed my own bed and we determined that a 21′ camper might have been absolutely perfect for my husband’s grandparents but not ideal for our big family. Needless to say, we are actively camper shopping and looking for our next upgrade. We are so excited to take our next trip together, but there are some definite things we must have in the next camper!

When we got back home we had to see our coonhound and chickens. I felt amazing after a good night’s sleep at home too.

And I had to refuel my doughnut and coffee addiction!

The best thing about this vacation? I did not gain a single pound. Normally I put on weight during a family vacation. This time I maintained because we were active, took morning walks together, and just played on the beach.

I couldn’t wait to get back and see my parents. I ate dinner with them on my last night of vacation and it was nice to catch up with them.

I admit that it was a little bit sad to go back to work though. Returning to normal is kinda hard, y’all!

We registered for a new school year and someone got a fabulously sweet teacher this year. He’s super excited and I’m kinda sad that he’s getting another year older.

I could not wait to get back to my Zumba® fitness class though! My stepdaughter and I jumped in the car and cranked up the music. Seeing all my girls after a week was just what I needed to get my week started off right.

And we absolutely killed it in class last night! We practiced some new choreo and then were so pumped up in class that we burned some serious calories. The ladies were on fire and it was perfect.

 

 

 

I even managed to get my desk cleaned off after missing a week of work!

 

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