Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back to the Beach, Part Two

When we were driving in to Orange Beach, I was rambling on to Josh about some story of something I remembered from a beach trip with my family when I was a kid... there are TONS of those stories to tell and I'm sure he gets SICK of me telling them at times. But I have the sweetest husband and he listens to me tell them over and over. Anyway, I was all into my story and he looked over at me and said, "Julie, this place is full of memories for you, isn't it?" And he was so right. Everywhere I look when I'm there makes me think of something in the past...some "memory" that makes me laugh or smile. Being in that place makes me feel like a little kid again sometimes and I think back to all of the fun that I've had there over the years. How blessed Susan and Jenny and I were to be able to go on beach trips 3-4 times a year! Maybe it was the fact that I had not been to the beach in two years and missed it terribly...or maybe it was all those commercials on tv and ads in magazines that I've been seeing about "coming back to the beach" after the oil spill...or possibly just being there for the first time with my own little boy...but for whatever reason, I was just incredibly glad to be there and it got me to thinking about some great times we've had there over the years. SO, this is a truly random post, but one that's dedicated to Mom and let you know how grateful I am for these memories...and for Susan and Jenny...for you two are in just about every memory, right along beside me!

100 Memories in Orange Beach to make you smile:
(note...I thought of 100, but there are 1,000 more I'm sure! And these are in no particular order)
1. playing follow-the-leader in the sand dunes (wouldn't that be considered illegal now???)
2. walking on the beach and dragging sticks behind us
3. susan dropping the stick and an old woman picking it up to copy the dragging game we started
4. trying to walk, run, and jump in daddy's footprints down the beach
5. scrambled eggs in the sand
6. feeding the seagulls old bread
7. dad's "counting contest"...some things never change. (Susan, I just wanted you to know that he still was counting on this trip, despite jenny and me rolling our eyes!)
8. laughing at old men in shorts and black socks with metal detectors
9. speaking of black socks...remember papaw's beach attire???
10. and Mamaw's "beach cooking" fried steak???
11. swimming in the indoor poll on all those cold spring break trips
12. staying at the Phoenix, but going to Seaside to ask if we could swim in their indoor pool...I think that's what sold Dad on good 'ole Seaside
13. And from then on, it was Seaside. I remember us all saying "I See Seaside" every trip whenever we were first pulling up and could see the name on the building.
14. driving past the "crackerboxes" and glad we weren't staying there (actually kind of sad they are not there anymore)
15. OH, the sandcastle building!!!!
16. and the guarding of our prized castles once they were built
17. wanting to beat up the sand castle destroyers that we watched destruct our creation from the balcony
18. dad helping us build moats (every castle is not complete without one of course) and us trying to fill the moat with water
19. glowing from ear to ear as people walked by and admired our creations
20. all of dad's sand animals...the turtles, the alligtors, etc.
21. burying each other in the sand... wait, that was always ME!
22. finding all of those sand dollars
23. the initial trip to the grocery store where mom dished out items on the list and we all split like a football team ready to tackle the groceries... we usually ended up with two shopping carts.
24. getting kicked out of the card shop next to the grocery store. the single most embarassing time of my life. thanks, susan.
25. "COME ON BACK TO THE RV NOW, SUSAN!" (susan's most embarassing moment at the beach...had it actually have happened, that is!)
26. playing laser tag
27. Daddy getting creamed by a 4 year old girl in laser tag
28. breakfasts at Hazels...oh, those omelets!
29. the story about the state park ranger and the python from the zoo
30. Bunny Lane....and the Bunny Relief Fund... We should write a book about that one day. Dad, it's all yours!
31. Speaking of Bunny Lane, remember mom's run-in with the scary biker-dude at that intersection where Bunny Lane meets the highway? Gosh, I thought for SURE we were going to die.
32. CRAB HUNTING at night!
33. Dad kicking sand on us while we were crab hunting
34. Me screeching while crab hunting (hmmm, and I wonder where grady gets it from???)
35. turning the crabs loose on our demolished sand castles
36. riding the waves in our intertubes...mine was turquoise, jenny's was pink, and susan's was a fake-tire. we HAD to have those exact ones.
37. running down the boardwalk/steps to sink our toes in the sand for the first time on each trip
38. the "Mountain"...jenny beating the guts out of it
39. walking to the mountain with dad while mom went shopping
40. playing at zooland for made us play until we got free games for the next visit, so it was free again the next time, too. man, those people had to have hated to see us pull up in the parking lot
41. dying of thirst at zooland, but dad was determined not to pay one cent...for a game, OR a drink. ha
42. susan singing with her putter as the microphone, to Eric Clapton and Red Hot Chili Peppers at zooland
43. going bowling in foley when it was too cold to get on the beach
44. going to the movies in foley when it was too cold to get on the beach
45. playing cards in the condo for hours
46. the OUTLET MALL!!! (and Dad's benches)
47. fighting over who was going to read the guest book first
48. every member of our family running into the glass sliding door, thinking it was open
49. "I don't want to look like a DORK!"
50. speaking of DORKS, Julie's ladder exercising (and Dad acting like he didn't know me)
51. the mardi gras parades on spring break
52. the trip with the Mobleys
53. the trip with the Fishers and Pierces
54. chicken fighting in the pool
55. playing "Spoons" at Wolf Bay
56. remember the mean waitress at Wolf Bay who liked Michael Pierce??? ha!
57. remember when the bridge went out and we drove like 4 hours just to go eat at Wolf Bay? that lasted for about 3 years!!!
58. Wolf Bay gumbo. um, um good.
59. Wolf Bay cold boiled shrimp. um, UM, good!
60. The old Perdido Pass... we were so sad when it was gone
61. winning some coloring contest at Perdido Pass
62. Henny Penny, Sammy Shrimp, Spotted Cow, Pepe Pizza, and Freddie Fish
63. Susan begging Daddy to dance with her at Zeke's at the snowbird ball. ha.
64. "GLINK" (and by the way, it just beeps now...bummer!)
65. Dad forcing me to "train" in the sand for track during cold spring break mornings... yeah right...some good that did!
66. shopping for condo furniture for HOURS at Hollis furniture
67. our dream...THE BLUE HOUSE!!!!
68. the four feathers. ha. HAAAAAAA!
69. the brown blanket (that thing was so big...i think our whole family could fit on it... man, we must have looked like rednecks!)
70. remember when we rode out the hurricane? mamaw and I were determined that we were going to get blown away. Dad refused to leave and sat on the balcony watching the storm.
71. watching the SEC tourneys during spring break...and even better, watching the DAWGS WIN it in '96 the year we went to the Final Four!
72. The Fulton Family Bracket Pics originated at the beach. we'd watch the selection show and dad would get copies in the office of the bracket for us
73. shuffleboard tournaments
74. dad grilling
75. remember the big green grassy area by the pool?
76. remember SCRAM-BALL???
77. chicago pizza on the last night.... "It's Tradition" Dad would say as mom rolled her eyes in disgust! ha!
78. the beach pics in all white... still some of my favorite pics today! :) remember chief jerry holding the sea oats?
79. racing down the stairs v.s. the elevator
80. fireworks on the fourth
82. spending all our money on junk at souvineer city
83. susan spending her life savings on fudge at souvineer city
84. susan eating boiled peanuts on the back seat of the van
85. buying hermit crabs
86. dad waking up at the crack of dawn to stake out our spot on the beach
87. paddle ball on the beach
88. getting stung by jelly fish
89. the traffic jams on the holidays....
90. HEEEEEYYYYYY UNCLE TOMMYYYYYYY! (I thought he really lived in the tunnel.)
91. scoops
92. burning so bad we couldn't stand it...putting the blue ice gel in the freezer and lathering up with it
93. susan and jenny's hairspray-sunscreen
94. playing bocchi ball for hours with josh, jon, and dad
95. watching the tradewinds be built and worrying that our view was going to be destroyed
96. cramming as much stuff as we could into the closet every time we left the condo
97. dad paying us a dollar for every hole-in-one. man, i thought i was rich!
98. the shrimp festival that year during spring break
99. remember those multi-picture-frames that we kept on giving mom and dad EVERY SINGLE YEAR to hang in the condo... bet they LOVED those... yet, they never said anything and always hung them up because they were so sweet!
100. And finally...taking Grady to the beach for the first time and having his grandparents there to share in the experience...

Ok, if there are any readers left at the point, bless your hearts. I ramble. I hope there are 4 of you in particular that are smiling right now! Can't wait to have many more years of memories...

Back to the Beach

The last trip to the beach that I took was exactly two years ago this week. I was SO ready to get down there again! We had hoped the weather would cooperate and be warm enough for us to make a trip...Grady's FIRST the beach for spring break. Fortunately, the forecast was GREAT for this time of year and we headed out to Orange Beach as soon as I got out of school on Friday.

SO...the beach. Hmmm... Grady's reaction wasn't exactly what we'd hoped it would be. I guess I just thought he'd be like his whole family and fall in love with the beach immediately, squishing the sand between his toes and running around all over the place, digging holes and building sand castles. Not so much! He was all smiles as we walked down the boardwalk to the sand and for whatever reason, I made the mistake of taking off his little water shoes so he could walk in the sand. Mistake number one. He FREAKED OUT when his little toes hit the sand. Started screeching at such a high pitched level that I'm sure glass broke somewhere nearby! Got that whole episode on video and plan on using it to embarass him when he's older.

Thank goodness Mom had seen a little duck beach chair at the grocery store when she got to the beach and bought it for Grady to sit in. He parked his little rear in that seat and didn't budge unless forced to pry his arms from the chair's arms with more screeching. Ha. It reminded me of my DaddyBill. Most kids are running around playing in the sand and MY child is glued to his chair like a little old man. hee hee.
Of course the water was cold this time of year and with the reaction to the sand, we didn't evern ATTEMPT to have him get in the water. You can tell by the wrinkled up nose in the picture below that he wasn't ABOUT to let go of Pete and put his feet in the water.

When DeeDee came down to the beach, she finally got Grady to sit on a towel and he warmed up a little to the sand. He was fascinated with sea shells. This picture cracks me up...notice how he makes sure his feet are not hanging off the towel one centimeter... ha!
After he warmed up a bit, he kind of enjoyed digging around in the sand with his rakes and shovels...but all done from his planted position on the towel. By the second day, he was actually touching the sand and helping build castle towers. Have a cute video of that, but it's too long to post.
Again...the wrinkled-up-nose-expression is still present in the picture with Aunt Jenny. That expression seemed to be glued to his little face!
SO...guess this was our breaking-in session. Hopefully we will have better results this summer! Thank you DeeDee, Pete, and Aunt Jenny for hanging in there with us! I'm still counting on Grady-man falling in love with the beach soon!