Thursday, July 7, 2011

What I did on Summer Vacation by Lisa . ..

Do you remember having to write those papers on the first day of school? Alright, class - one full page please describing what you did on your summer vacation. There is a funny family story about my sister-in-law, Susie. In May way back when (she was maybe in kindergarten or first grade I would think), the local newspaper interviewed children and asked what they planned to do on summer vacation. Some of the children said they were going to Disney World. Some of the children said they were going to the beach or the mountains or some other fun location. When they asked Susie, she replied, "We are going to Wadley, AL." Wadley is where the farm is located - where the guys in the family go to hunt and plant fields for the deer and sweat and fish. Susie had no plans to go to Wadley but I guess that was what popped into her head. I think my poor mother-in-law was mortified when that quote made the newspaper! So what did I do on my summer vacation. You know that Mark fished . . .and you know that we ate fish . . .

The very first thing we did was stop at Durbin's in Clanton. We've been stopping there for as long as I can remember. I always buy tomatoes for sandwiches at the beach and this year we bought a cantaloupe. We usually buy peaches but on this Saturday morning, they just didn't look that great yet. They also have a very nice bathroom so we have our bathroom stop #1 and I of course, have to get a diet coke (they don't have Pepsi products, can you believe that??) which will make us have to have bathroom stop #2. :-)

When our kids were younger, our second bathroom stop would be at Priester's in Fort Deposit where they could also sample candy. When Mark and I travel alone, we don't stop at Priester's on the way down to the beach. . . .and for several years, we have been joking about stopping at the Casino in Atmore. This year, we did more than joke. We stopped!!

This was about 10:00 or maybe 10:30 in the morning - before lunch. The parking lot was quite full. We parked and walked across the lot to the door and opened the door and oh my gosh - y'all know that I LOVE air conditioning but it was like an arctic breeze hit us when we opened the door. I'll be that it was maybe 60 degrees inside the casino. There were lots of people there putting money in those machines - that early in the morning!!! Mark handed me a $5 bill and I walked over to a machine and lost it in about 90 seconds. Oh well. So we went to the bathroom. This is a perfect bathroom stop for grown ups. Very very clean and there was even an attendant. We also got a free diet Pepsi (way to go - they had Pepsi products!!). So Mark gave me a little more money and he disappeared to some other machine and we played the slot machines for about 15 minutes and then left. We left the casino with a profit of $2.88 (we are such big spenders and gamblers! hahaha!), a free diet Pepsi and a great bathroom break. I think that will become one of our regular stops from now on!

Our tradition is that we get up and leave home by 8:00 so that we can arrive in Gulf Shores in time for a late lunch at our favorite restaurant. . . .the Original Oyster House. This is the best way to start our vacation because we immediately feel like we are on vacation and it feels like we get an extra day of vacation. After we ate, we headed on down to the condo and got unloaded (it is amazing how much stuff two people need - or think they need - for a week at the beach). This was one of the things that I did during our week - watch Mark and George mess with their fishing tackle! I usually had a book in my lap and read while we sat around. There was also a big flat screen tv in this room and one night I watched Despicable me with Alice and Grace - cute movie.

I went to 2nd and Charles before our trip and bought enough books for at least a book a day. I just about met my goal - I probably read 5 or 6 books at least at the beach. On this day, these were my selections in my bag. I must admit that I read mostly cozy mysteries all week - I had my serious reading but there is just something about laying (or is that lying?) in a beach chair that makes me want to read stuff that doesn't have to stay in my brain!!

I spent the early mornings by the pool. I usually had it to myself for at least 30 minutes because other people tend to sleep in on vacation. Why can't I sleep in? One reason is that I might miss something!! I was usually joined by a couple from Georgia that came out every morning and we chatted (you know me - if someone is out there, I'm going to be talking to them). There was also a big group of people - some related and some not - from Arkansas. They were there at the same time last year and one of the young mom's and I talked. She used Afro Sheen as her "tanning" agent - rather than sunscreen. She said it would give you an incredibly dark tan. After her first day of using it . . .I didn't see her the next day . . .because she was so FRIED!! Ok - don't you want to know how I know all this? Well the first day she was spraying herself with a can that looked like hairspray and I said, "Excuse me - I hate to be rude but I just have to ask. Are you spraying hairspray on your legs?" She then told me about the Afro Sheen. Then when I didn't see her the next day . . .I asked on day three - "so . .how is that Afro sheen working for you?" I was never bold enough to ask how they all went together - someone in the family (her grandmother, I think) owns a condo there. I think the young mom was there with her child and then there was a man there with his son (I know he was divorced so maybe they were dating yet he looked way too old for her and they didn't seem like a couple - can you tell I spent a lot of time trying to figure them out?) and then there were some other folks too.

Your mind runs away with you like that when you get to be middle-aged!!! In the afternoons, we sat on the beach. You can get up under the pier when it is too hot. I think I had my camera set on some funky setting so this is a weird picture but I thought this was so neat. Look behind the vehicle - between the two concrete poles. This is a guy practicing his "tight rope walking." Yes, I had to ask him. That is the beauty of getting older. I can ask young adults things and they usually answer out of respect (because we live in the south) and after I walk off, I'm sure they all say something like, "nosey old #*##*" but I have my information at that point :-) When rock climbers are stuck in camp because of things like rain, they string up all their paraphernalia. One day some rock climber saw his ropes and stuff hanging between two trees and said, "I think I'll try walking on this." Well, it was good for balance, which I'm sure you need in rock climbing so lots of folks started tight rope walking (but I'll bet they call it something different). Now it has become a sub-sport of rock climbing. I think that is how the young man said it. He was so good. He walked and walked and walked and balanced and would almost fall and regain his balance. Good entertainment during happy hour on the beach.

So this is how a middle-aged mom (with no kids present) spends her week of vacation. I must admit it is pretty nice - nice indeed!!

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