Monday, June 21, 2010

Beach vacation

Our family has been to Orange Beach/Gulf Shores almost every single year. Usually we rent three condos at Four Seasons and our family has one and Bill and Rebecca (Mark's brother and wife) usually stay with us. Sometimes my sister, Becky joins us. This year, due to the oil situation and other circumstances, we went without family. Our friends, Gary and Dona went with us. Instead of a week, we just stayed a few days. This is the scene from the pier looking down at "our" space on the beach. The sand is usually gloriously white . . .it is not white this summer. This was a common sight. This is a tractor pulling a trailer filled with workers. See those tiny orange spots? Those are the backs of safety vests. Each one of those is on a person. Each of those persons was transported to wherever clean-up was needed.

This beach usually has sun-bathers, etc. It is sadly empty.

I will admit that we found other fun things to do. Here is a picture of Mark sitting in a cute hand-painted chair. He agreed to go with me . . .after several refreshing beverages.

Those cute little chairs were on the lawn of this beautiful old house . . .which is the Orange Beach Art Center (or something like that -- now you know why he needed several refreshing beverages.) What we discovered was that this house was the original "Orange Beach Hotel." There was no road when the hotel was built and all the guests arrived by boat. Isn't that cool?
We also ate at our favorite restaurant. We actually ate there twice. What is our favorite restaurant at the beach? The Original Oyster House!! I enjoyed shrimp two different times!
Gary does not have a beam of light shining from his head. The blinds were drawn against the bright glare and that one blind had a teeny tiny gap . . .so Gary looks like he has a vertical halo!!
We spent a lot of time walking up and down the pier looking at fish.

I told Gary that he looked like a monkey getting ready to swing from the bars. I can't believe how much Gary's sons look like him - the resemblance really shows up in this picture. I'm not sure what Dona is doing - probably trying to get out of the picture.
This picture was taken at Zeke's Marina. We were going to eat at the Shrimp Basket because someone had recommended it. Imagine our surprise as we turned into the parking lot and saw the sign for Wolf Bay Lodge. We used to eat at the "old" restaurant all the time and it was blown (or washed?) away in the last hurricane. Needless to say, we went to Wolf Bay Lodge.

I love this next picture. A thunderstorm had rumbled through about an hour before this and I just happened to catch the light just right.
While we were walking around the docks at Zeke's Marina, we saw these guys taking this boat out of the water. It was an amazing process to watch.

This picture is for all of our "boat owning" friends. There are three 350's on the back of this boat. The girl working at the marina said that this boat would "haul ass." Then she said, "Excuse my language." Her t-shirt said, "I bait my own hooks."

Here we are on our last morning at the beach. You see those gorgeous blue skies behind us? It was another beautiful day at the beach. . .with a little oil.
Boy, these pictures are more out of order than my last post!! I took this picture because I wanted you to see how few people were on the beach. That is Mark sitting on the beach because he said, "I want to put my toes in the sand." That makes me think of the Zac Brown Band song . . .you know the one. During past summers, this section of chairs is all rented and there are several families (including ours) camped out on the sand. Mark is literally the only person on the beach.

I can be happy most anywhere there is sunshine and a book. I read the newest Miss Julia book and loved it just like I've loved her other books.
I even bought new beach flip flops this year. Aren't they cute? (I know this a random post!)

This pier is usually filled with fishermen and rods and coolers. Once again, Mark is the lone inhabitant.

This is my second favorite picture of our vacation. It is a sad picture, though. I'm looking through the gate . . .down an empty pier. There should be men and women fishing and spouses bringing early morning coffee to the fishermen. There should be folks casting big fishing rods and catching fish.

I hate to end with my sad picture . . . .so I'll end with joyful words. The worst day at the beach is still better than the best day anywhere else :-) We had a nice vacation. We laughed a lot. We love to laugh so that was good. We probably drank too much. I know we ate too much. We sat in the sun and soaked up some much needed Vitamin D. We even ate ice cream cones. Joy! Yes, Joy!!

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