I love selling West Bank real estate...I really do.
But my favorite thing in the entire world is the beach. I loooooove the beach. I love to spend the day lying on a towel on the sand with a good trashy murder mystery paperback and an ice chest full of Diet Coke, listening to the waves roll in. I've been lucky enough to lay on beaches in Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and the Dominican Republic.
Sadly, an out of the country excursion just wasn't meant to be this year. Instead, we packed the car with kids, Grandma, towels, sunscreen and trashy murder mystery paperbacks and in less than a full tank of gas made the quick and easy 3 1/2 hour drive to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a week of rest and relaxation.
It's hard to unplug from the work world and at first I was not happy that the $100 wireless card for my laptop would not work at the end of the peninsula we were on. But, after the initial withdrawal symptoms from not being able to access blog posts, feed readers and email passed, I was able to sit back and just enjoy the natural beauty of this part of the United States.
We've stayed in condos in Gulf Shores before (hasn't everyone from New Orleans?) but this year we had an entire beach house to call our own for 8 full days. Even the beach itself was mostly private which was great because we set up chairs, towels and umbrellas at the beginning of our stay and didn't have to worry about lugging everything back and forth each evening. The house was completely furnished, right down to a BBQ pit to cook burgers and hot dogs on and the local grocery store had a great selection of fresh watermelons that we iced down and shared with the kids in the house next door. Most of the week was spent doing a whole lot of nothing. Reading...sunbathing...scouring the shore for shells...taking flashlights to the water's edge in the evening to find crabs...trying to identify all of the stars in the night sky...playing rummy until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping in the next day.
We did manage to squeeze in a little history lesson as well. Only 4 miles down the road from the beach house was Fort Morgan, a Civil War fort that was at the center of the Battle of Mobile Bay and was used off and on through World War II. Some restoration work is ongoing to the site, but it is open for tours daily for the low admission price of only $5 per adult. We walked through the fort and around the grounds, with a great view of both Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The tunnels in the fort are covered in salt deposits from the gulf water, resulting in a strange looking white substance that appears to be leeching from the brick arches.
Of course, to keep the little ones happy we had to spend a day at Waterville USA, a Gulf Shores water and amusement park with both a water play area for smaller children and several different water slides for the bigger kids. Where were these great water parks when I was a kid? Grandma got her observer wrist band since she wouldn't go on any of the slides and we staked a claim on a group of lounge chairs in the shade. It was the perfect place to sit back and relax with frozen lemonade and watch all of the kids enjoying the day. If you go, plan to spend the day. Tickets are $29.95 per person plus tax, so you'll want to get your money's worth!
Our timing for the trip was perfect, since the storm clouds were rolling in on the morning we were leaving. Driving home with a car full of luggage and all of the shopping bags from the outlet mall was probably not my husband's idea of the perfect Father's Day, but we'll make it up to him with that new bimini top for his fishing boat that he has had his eye on all year.
While I was a little hesitant about doing an extended family and friends vacation, it turned out perfectly. So perfectly that we are already talking about "next time". To me, that's the mark of a truly successful vacation. I hope your family has a chance to get away this summer too!
When buying or selling a home on the West Bank of New Orleans or relocating to the New Orleans West Bank, you deserve local expertise and advice. Lisa Heindel provides full time, professional real estate services to buyers, sellers and military transferees in Algiers, Algiers Point, Belle Chasse, Gretna, Terrytown, Harvey, Marrero, Westwego and more.
- Subscribe to West Bank Living by Email
- Featured New Orleans West Bank Homes
- Search All New Orleans West Bank Listings
- What's My Home Worth? - A Free Online Valuation of your New Orleans West Bank Home
Here's the disclaimer part: The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the author, but you are free to share yours in the comments. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Copyright 2008. Lisa Heindel, All rights reserved.