American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.
Louis Grizzard, a great American
It's choice ~ not chance ~ that determines your destiny.
Jean Nidetch

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, February 26, 2011

We moved to St. Andrews State Park on Feb. 15th. We are just 'camping' here for two weeks and will begin as Campground Hosts on March 1st. Samantha and her family are here for a week, so we've been busy doing stuff with them.

Here are a few quick pictures of the campground and a couple of the sites we have been in:

Site 25. We love this site. It is very large and just across the road from the Lagoon, with great views!

This is site 101, the most popular site (along with 102) in the campground. It's directly on the water.

Looking across the lagoon from site 101.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Despite Hurricanes and Oil Spills…………

The Alabama Gulf Coast is beautiful and full of life. We certainly did our part to help with the economic recovery. Thanks to us the local shrimp industry is thriving! We’ve been here for two months and are leaving this Tuesday. We’ve already made our reservation for next fall/winter, beginning in November for 5 months but able to make up to two changes so we can arrive any time after 11/1.

We’re moving 135 miles east to our fav, Panama City Beach (or PCB!). We’ll be at St. Andrews State Park for two weeks and our daughter, Samantha, is coming down on Thursday for 10 days! Her boys are out of school for a week for winter break and her hubby, Nate, is working on the remodel of the Sam's Club in PCB…..perfect timing for a great visit. Weather is supposed to be in the 70’s! Crossing fingers for that. We have a great water front site for part of the time and look forward to just watching the boys play.

Between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, there are so many places to eat, we just had to save a few for next time. And such good deals $$ with their BOGO’s and Sr. Specials.

Welcome sign at LuLu's, owned by Lucy Buffet, sister to Jimmy Buffet.
Align Center

Aerial view of LuLu's. That's all sand, where the kids can play with all kinds of beach toys.

Waiting on the Shrimps!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

We're still at Gulf State Park, enjoying the area and eating way too much. The weather has been cooler than we expected and the wind blows all the time. Today has been very nice...low 60's and calm winds.

One sunny day, we took a road trip over to Florida to see Gulf Islands National Seashore. Gorgeous beaches for mile after mile. In some areas, the sand from the dunes was plowed off the road like the pictures of the snow storms from 'up north'.

Beautiful beaches along the National Seashore

We also went as far as Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola. It was like most other Florida state park with lots underbrush between sites in the campground, but clear overhead for satellite reception in most areas. Not much beach to speak of...mostly grasses growing out into the bay.

Observation Tower in the park

Big Lagoon State Park

We usually eat out once a week to try some of the many restaurants in the area. Most of them have specials to attract the snow birds, which is a good thing for us, too! It doesn't look like the oil spill has had any impact on the folks from up north. The campgrounds here are FULL (Gulf S.P. has 496 site with 400 monthlies and no vacancies!) and the condos on the beach look like they are doing okay as well, from the number of cars there at night. Along with our 'chain' favorites...Longhorns, Zaxby's, Chick-fil-A, IHOP, Cracker Barrel, etc...we've covered quite a few in 2 months, LOL! :-)

Some of the restaurants we've tried include:

  • Tacky Jack's - our favorite.
  • Original Oyster House - great shrimp and BOGO deals!
  • Desoto's Seafood Kitchen - shrimp was just okay...too greasy (won't go back)
  • Shrimp Basket - there are a bunch of these around. Shrimp is okay.
  • Lambert's Cafe - 'Home of the throwed rolls'...very good country cooking. Huge portions! And they really do throw you the rolls!
  • Flora Bama - great sunsets, great burgers, and best of drinks (w/coupons!)!
Also, Wintzell's Oyster House looks very good and has a BOGO for lunch that we will try one day this week. We went to Lulu's (Lucy Buffet's place) on New Year's Eve day, but the wait was 3 hours for lunch. We haven't been back yet but maybe next week?