Thursday, November 30, 2006
Break at beach
Sometimes the simplest things provide the most fun.
An example came Friday when my five-member family formed a circle on the beach about 9 p.m. and tossed a neon glo-ball back and forth in the dark while sharing lots of laughs. Pam actually bought it for our youngest, Erin, and it cost $2.99.
That hour of our family vacation was no doubt the best.
We spent several days at Orange Beach, Ala., enjoying Thanksgiving away from home. It was the second or third time we’ve made the trip in late November, and this year’s temperatures were the best.
Highs reached the 70s on Thursday and Friday and probably 80 Saturday, the day we departed. Sunshine and blue skies dominated the week.
We packed plenty of shorts, and those were just fine during the days.
Erin was even able to wade in the ocean in her new, two-piece swimsuit.
One of our favorites when we go to the coast is searching for the best seashells. Our 4-year-old perhaps likes it better than any of us.
We’d been in the condominium relaxing and she’d constantly say, “Daddy, I want to go to the beach.”
Andy found the biggest and best shell this time around, but he kindly gave it to a teacher who was searching for shells to share with her students.
It’s great to see the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area bouncing back from Hurricane Ivan two years ago.
Around 2 a.m. Sept. 16, 2004, Ivan made landfall on the U.S. mainland near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 3 hurricane with 130 mph winds. The storm was devastating to the area.
Many of our favorite places have bounced back. Others are rebuilding. Some lots where businesses and homes once stood remain vacant.
We had not been to The Original Oyster House in several trips. It’s as good as ever. We all ate baked oysters as an appetizer and then ordered different things so we could share.
Another restaurant we tried for the first time was King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant. A slogan says, “South Alabama’s Finest Seafood,” and I would have to agree. I had fried oysters. Pam’s crab claws were the biggest I’d ever seen and the best I’d ever put in my mouth.
Another favorite of ours on trips to the coast, as you can see, is eating. I’m a seafood lover. I’ll take it over steak any day of the week.
Thursday, we had Thanksgiving turkey and the fixings in the condo. It was a welcome break from the seafood and, of course, a family tradition that we couldn’t pass up. We ate pizza one day, too.
We took in a movie on the trip. Pam, Erin and I went to see “Santa Clause 3.” I enjoyed it, but not as much as the first two.
Emma and Andy saw “Deck the Halls” and gave it rave reviews.
The worst part of the trip was our game of putt-putt golf. I always win, but not this time.
Believe it or not, I finished behind first-place Emma, and Andy and Pam who tied for second. I did beat Erin, but of course, we assured her that she won. She thinks the one with the most strokes wins.
Andy and I also played some tennis. We had not played since we lived in Laurel. We didn’t keep score. I only know I was sore the next morning.
During the week, I read reports in the Mobile, Ala., newspaper that Mike Shula’s job was in jeopardy. The Alabama head coach has lost to Auburn four straight years. This season the Tide finished 6-6 after a 10-2 campaign one year ago. He was 26-23 in four seasons.
Monday, Shula was fired by athletic director Mal Moore.
The Tide has had seven coaches in the 24 years since legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s last season in 1982. Bryant had directed the Alabama program for 25 years.
I’m a big Tide fan, and will always be, but this coaching carousel is disturbing to say the least.
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