Thursday, December 3, 2009
Relaxing at Gulf Shores
Last week I was walking on the beach and wading in the gulf wearing shorts and a T-shirt. This week, back home, I heard we might get some snow showers.
Vacations are wonderful. Returning can be tough.
The Burlesons enjoyed a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast for the Thanksgiving holidays, a trek we have made many times in late November.
Pam, Andy, Erin and I left Tuesday of last week, after a home basketball game. Pam and I split up the driving and we arrived at Gulf Shores at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Emma was already there. She had made the much shorter drive from the University of Southern Mississippi on Tuesday after going to a last class before the break.
The highlights of this year’s trip were many.
There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing a sunset over the ocean. We experienced that Thanksgiving night.
I just stood and stared for several minutes – particularly focusing on what matters most in life and my family’s many blessings. That particular scene has a way of taking all the stress away.
Wednesday, the entire family went to see “The Blind Side.” The movie did not disappoint.
It’s the story of Michael Oher, a homeless boy who became an All American football player at Ole Miss and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring Memphis woman and her family. It was great.
Pam knew she was going to cry, and she did. I teared up a couple of times myself.
It was a perfect release just before Thanksgiving – again reminding of us how blessed we are and that we should all help those less fortunate.
We always look forward to seafood while visiting the coast.
We pleased our appetites the first night with a trip to one of our favorite restaurants, King Neptune’s. We started with oysters on the half shell, moved to the main entrees like fish, fried oysters and scallops, and then finished with bread pudding.
Thursday, we broke from the seafood for our traditional Thanksgiving meal – turkey, dressing and more.
That night, after watching some football and basketball, we were ready for pizza, to go.
Friday, it was back to the seafood after Pam, Andy and Emma did some shopping and Erin and I had loads of fun at the arcade. She got 50 tickets twice. I only hit 50 once. They stopped and picked up three dozen steamed oysters at the Gulf Shores Steamer. Everyone (including our 7-year-old) had seven apiece except for me – I had eight.
Pam also cooked breakfast each morning. Needless to say, we ate too much. The family loves over-easy eggs, too.
We wrapped up our dining on the beach at The Hangout, which included live entertainment. I passed on a chance to dance on the table with Pam in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary on November 25.
We brought home more seashells, from mornings, afternoons and evenings of walking the beach. We also brought home three new hermit crabs to join the two still living from our 2008 beach trip.
Erin and I took one last walk on the beach Saturday before leaving for home. As we left the sand for the condominium, our 7-year-old said, “Bye-bye, beach. I won’t see you again for a long time.”
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