Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life's a Beach! continued . . .

Day 5 dawned a bit cloudy. To make the most of the weather we had, hubs, Clay and I took a nice drive out to Fort Morgan to explore. The historic fort there, completed in 1834, is open for visitors, and there's also a small museum you can visit.

Fort Morgan was active during four wars — the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World Wars I and II. The fort is most famous for its role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. In that historic battle, Union Admiral David Farragut uttered his famous "damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead," going on to win the conflict. The fort has tons of dark, spooky corners that you can explore, so bring a flashlight and a sense of adventure! Admission for all three of us was only $10.

After our tour, hubs wanted to take us to a restaurant we'd heard a lot about, but never visited. Off we went to Lambert's, home of the throwed roll. Lambert's isn't far from the outlet mall in Gulf Shores, and it's a big, family restaurant. Clay amused himself on the big wooden toy train out front while we waited for our table to be ready. At Lambert's, you order your dinner from the menu (I had chicken and dumplings with green beans and fried apples, hubs had fried chicken.), but you also get the "passalongs," big pots of food that are brought to your table and free for the taking. (Passalongs were cabbage, black eyed peas, apple butter, fried potatoes, etc.) Plus, you get all the rolls you can eat tossed your way. (Clay caught one all by himself!) The food, particularly the potatoes and the rolls, was tasty! We really enjoyed our lunch here, more for the atmosphere and friendly service than anything.

Feeling like an evening in, we flew kites on the beach after our nap that afternoon. There was a great breeze, and Clay just had to hold on to the end of the string. No effort required! A great day!

The next morning, we hit the pool almost as soon as we woke up. After a nice swim and a shower, my older sister Laura and I dolled up. We were headed to Foley to get our shop on at the outlet mall. After a quick and delicious lunch at The Shrimp Basket (I, of course, had the shrimp basket. Laura got some tasty steamed oysters. YUM!), we found treasures at Banana Republic (Button-up dress shirts for $11?! Whooopeee!), Gymboree (I didn't pay more than $3.99 for any piece of clothing I bought for Clay here. Great deals.), and more. (Starfish jewelry! Cute sandals! I was in heaven!) Fun!

We had to keep an eye on the time, though, because we'd chartered a boat for the whole family (plus some old friends of ours who also happened to be in Gulf Shores) that evening. We wanted to stop by and get some drinks and snacks and make it out to the dock before the rest of the family arrived. We'd chosen the boat and tour we'd booked very carefully. We wanted a pontoon boat, due to mom's shaky footing and all of the little ones aboard. We lucked out with the Josephine, docked at Pirate's Cove. It was the perfect vessel for us, and captain Jerry motored us around the bay, showed us some dolphins, and generally charmed our whole group. All in all, there were the nine adults and four children on our boat, and we all had a great time. The sky was a bit cloudy that evening, which kept it from being too hot, and Jerry let us stay out on the water as long as we wanted. This was one of the highlight activities of our trip!

We decided to keep our last day in Orange Beach low-key. We walked the beach, looking for shells. We flew kites. To spice up our day, we had one last, throw down meal. The previous evening, our boat captain had recommended Wolf Bay Lodge. (There are locations both on 20 and at Zeke's Landing. Very convenient.) After a trip to the salad bar and a cup of oyster stew, I had the grilled snapper. Dear Lord. That was some of the best grilled fish I've ever had. Well-seasoned, perfectly cooked, and a super-generous portion. Hubs had the flounder. We could have easily ordered one entree and split it, ordering an extra salad/potato. We each boxed up half of our orders, but not before we tried the chocolate eclair cake. It was at this point that I realized if I didn't go home soon, none of my clothes were going to fit.

All that, plus a few pitchers of Josh's spiked lemonade, a bunch of hands of Spades, some margaritas, and a 500-piece puzzle of the American flag and Lady Liberty (actually, it was only 499 pieces. ONE PIECE was missing!), and you have our vacation!

After doing a last bit of laundry and packing up a bit, we left the following morning. On the way back home, we stopped off in Seminary at Heather's Dixie Grill for a quick lunch. Delicious, cheap, and speedy! Just what we needed! We also stopped by Donna's #6 on the way back in from Jackson for fresh berries, cucumbers, tomatoes and a big cantaloupe. (A little homemade peach ice cream didn't hurt, either.)

We had such fun! Hmmmm . . . I wonder where we'll all go NEXT year?


Susan said...

I see you left out the part of the Ft. Morgan story where the soldiers were so drunk they had to wait a couple of days to sober up before surrendering! :) Glad you all had fun! We hit up a beach house in Ft. Morgan every year, hoping to make it back the first week of October! I can't wait!

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Hee hee! Now that we've been down to Fort Morgan, I could totally see us renting a beach house down there. I can see why you love it!