Beach Week - Sunburns, Seafood, and Summer Nights

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. -Wallace Stevens

Days at the beach are best spent propped comfortably in a beach chair, a good book in hand, and waves washing onto the white sand below your feet. After mornings spent playing in the sand with Hudson, I settled into a fresh book, 'If You Knew Suzy' by Katherine Rosman, kicked back and alternated between reading, people watching from behind my sun shades, and taking small catnaps. Of course, this is my objective opinion about how best to spend the majority of your day when vacationing by the shore. Will's idea of a fun day at the beach involves digging large, deep holes. The kind of holes that delve so far into the sandy turf that he eventually hits water, informing me by waving his arms and kicking splashes of salty liquid from the hole he has been working so hard to dig. He spends hours creating the most perfect drip castle, which encompasses a five foot area directly adjacent to our beach chairs. And he gets a sunburn. From our very first trip to the beach, Will has gotten a sunburn each and every time. Usually on the very first day at the beach, he refuses the sunscreen that I obediently lather all over my body, and braves the elements unprotected. And usually, by five o'clock on the evening of the very first day at the beach he has turned a frightening shade of pink. The worst time was when we went to Orange Beach for our 1st anniversary, in 2006. He got so completely burned, that his feet swelled like balloons. This trip wasn't quite as bad, but he definitely fried under the hot sun that first day, and had to sport a t-shirt to protect his sensitive skin the remainder of the trip. Maybe one day he won't refuse the sunscreen.

After these glorious sunny days, I always look forward to dinner and roaming the beach under the night sky. There's just something exciting about getting ready to enjoy a night out at a favorite restaurant, freshening up and showing off your sun-kissed skin under cute sundresses. On our first night, we decided to try a new restaurant. I had just read that when President Obama visited the Alabama Coast recently to survey the oil spill situation, he had dined at a local favorite, Tacky Jack's. Located on the bay, with beautiful views of moonlit water and large yachts cruising down beautiful Perdido Pass, we loved the atmosphere. We were informed that the President sat at a table identical to ours, located a few steps back, on the open air deck. He dined on Mexican Garbage Nachos, Seafood Salad, and Iced Tea. I usually steer clear of any food item with the word "garbage" included in the title, so I enjoyed the standard fish and chips.  Another night we dined at Lulu's at HomePort Marina, a fun little joint that we always visit on vacation, and is more often than not packed with so many folks that you must usually wait for at least an hour to be seated. The restaurant's founder is Lucy Buffett, the sister of the great Jimmy Buffett. Her restaurant is truly a gem, decorated in bright colors with sandy waiting areas where local musicians entertain the guests, and children play with sandbuckets under the sunset. I had my favorite dish, Cheeseburger in Paradise. Jimmy Buffett may like his with lettuce and tomato, heinz 57 and french fried potatoes, big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer...but I like mine smothered in bleu cheese and sauteed mushrooms, with a frozen strawberry margarita. On our last night, we stopped by the Hangout for dinner. Located right on the beautiful Gulf, it was my first time to dine there, and it definitely won't be my last. From the moment we entered the gate, we stepped into what appeared to be a scene from a movie....and not just any movie, but one of those great 60's beach flicks that I love so much...think Gidget! Or Beach Blanket Bingo! And if you haven't seen a 60's beach flick, get yourself to the Netflix site, because you're really missing out on a great piece of entertainment. There were checkered taxis parked in the sand, live bands singing the likes of Van Morrison performing on stage, and all kinds of surfer paraphenalia from a giant "Shaka" hand to vintage surf boards. Popular seafood fare was served in generous portions.  I relished in the golden toasted crab cakes, while Will, Mom, and Dad ate delicious B.L.T's that they bragged about for days and days following our meal. Hudson loved all of the commotion; Waiters performing the Cupid Shuffle in the aisles, and patrons dancing on tabletops. The Hangout was a blast. Cowabunga!

There's no better way to top a wonderful evening of great food and family fun than a long walk on the beach. The starlight was complimented by the beautiful full moon on our last night of vacation, and we couldn't help taking more than a few fun photographs....photographs that I know will render a smile for many years to come because they're filled with a few of my favorite things- love. my family. the beach. the stars. They're perfect pictures of happy little moments in my wonderful life.

{Tacky Jack's}


{Cute Boys on the Boardwalk}

{My Sweet Mom}

{Perdido Pass. Pretty at Night}


{Hangin' out with Dad}

{Practicing walking....}

{....in his cute red Keds.}

 {happy at the beach!}

{Fun at Lulu's!}

{Hudson with Gennie & GrandDad}

{Posin' with Mommy}

{testing the water} 

 {"I seem to have gotten a little bit wet."}

{"Is that you under those shades, Gennie?"}

{out of focus family shot}

{Sleepy Head}

{Big Smiles}

{"Excuse me? Where is MY cheeseburger in paradise??"}

{Putt Putt Champion Will. He won, even with an extra passenger on board.}

{We love Pirate's Island!}

{Millions of Pez decorate the Hangout}

{The largest ceiling fan I've ever seen!}

{"I like this place!"}

{"No time for pictures! I'm checking out that HUGE fan!"}

{Wall of Lunch Boxes. I spotted the exact yellow Cabbage Patch Kid lunchbox I carried to school as a child.}

{Peekaboo Family behind the Pirate}

{Hangin' Out at the Hangout}

{Cowabunga, Dude!}

{Sunset on the Beach}

{cool sand in the dunes}

 {beautiful moonlight on the Gulf}

{Happy Grandparents love their Happy Grandbaby!}


{checking out the pretty moon with GrandDad}

{You + Me....}

{....always the best time.}

{love the sunset & my sweet little boy.}

{Mommy & Hudson}

{watching the boats on the ocean}

{sweet snuggles}

{hugs from Daddy}

{Sweet Boy}

{The Happiest Family}

{Love my Mom!}

{My tiny little love.}

{Pretty Ocean in the Moonlight}

{memories are made of this.}

{into the sunset}

{full moon}

{I'll always remember this trip. So many happy memories.}


Lisa said...

Precious post! Your pictures are wonderful! Glad y'all had a good time - wonderful memories in the making!!

Jeannie said...

Hudson is adorable in these pictures, he looks like the Gerber baby. Good pictures of you and Will. Lots of fun, wish we were there!

abehel said...

Great pictures Ashley, looks like all of you had a great time at the beach. Especially Hudson! Hope the grands didn't spoil him too much.