a week at the beach

Happy Independence Day!  Hope you all are enjoying the holiday with friends + family!  Although I am spending some time outside in the St. Louis heat today, I am really wishing I was back here…

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I actually spent the last week with Matt and my family down in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Branson might be Matt’s favorite place in the world, but Gulf Shores is mine.  We have been going down to the Alabama coast almost every summer since I was 8 years old.  (We cancelled our trip last year after the oil spill in the Gulf.)  In fact, Matt and I actually had our honeymoon on the exact same beach 4 years ago.  I absolutely love it there!

We spent most of our time sitting at the beach, soaking up the sun and reading, which is the perfect trip to me!  Gulf Shores is in a huge drought right now, which is awful for them and spurred a wild fire in Gulf State Park while we were there, but it also meant perfect beach weather for us!

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We did spend part of one day on a dolphin cruise, which I definitely recommend!  This is the second time we’ve gone on a dolphin cruise, and it was even better than the first and totally worth the day away from the beach!  They guarantee seeing dolphins jump, roll, and play, and boy, did they!

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Since we’re pretty familiar with the area, we hit up a lot of the same restaurants that we know are good.  Usually we hit up LuLu’s (my parents are parrot heads), but we decided to try some new places this year.  The Hangout definitely didn’t disappoint – it had much of the same beachy fun atmosphere the LuLu’s offers and only a 30 minute wait!  Plus, the view of the beach was amazing during our dinner!

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But, what I enjoyed most was getting to spend time with Matt and my family.  It’s nice that we are able to go on vacation together almost every year and not feel like we are going to kill each other by the end of it!

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Matt and I have a tradition every year of getting our picture taken in the same spot in the condo.  It’s interesting (and funny) to see how much we’ve changed in 8 summers of coming here together.

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007 – On our honeymoon! (Also, the one year we went down to Gulf Shores without my family, obviously!)

   2008

2009

No 2010 due to the oil spill

2011

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We’ve only been home 2 days and I already miss it!  I hate thinking I have to wait a year to go back, but things will be much different next year!  I loved watching all the babies and toddlers splash around in the waves and seeing their cute little footprints in the sand!  I can’t wait to bring our little girl here every summer and watch her grow from year to year!

OK, I’m ready to go back…

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  • Mary Kratochvil

    Glad you all had a good time.