Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bama Beach Babe

From NOLA we headed to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  We were blessed to stay with Jim's aunt and uncle who live near there.  Jim has many fond memories of going to their house for family birthdays growing up.  It is this uncle who would grill hamburgers and make homemade ice cream (the reason for Jim's 30th birthday party theme).  We had a fabulous time swimming in their pool and enjoying their fellowship.

I haven't seen them, but I'm sure there are pictures of Jim and his younger brothers swinging on this very swing at the same age Joel is now.  Joel ran right to this swing like he knew just what to do (with Scheppy laying on the ground watching).

A little fear in his eyes as the swing tilted for the first time.

Even though both of our kids have been to the beach (Atlantic and Pacific oceans...although Kirstin slept in her carseat while viewing the Pacific), this was both of their first times at the Gulf of Mexico.  The Gulf was rough with a red flag warning.  We had heard reports of rip tides and strong undertow.  Jim and I are both seasoned beach goers and knew that meant it was not safe to go in the waters of the Gulf (especially for our sweet kiddos).  Regardless, we took advantage of the photo opportunity of their first time at the Gulf.
You can see how rough the water is here.

Joel heard us discussing the water conditions and was resistant to put his toes in the edge of the water.

Kirstin wasn't too sure about the wet sand she was sitting on, but knew we were excited so smiled.

I always have big hopes of a cute family picture to capture moments.  Joel was ready to be done with dangerous water and move onto the sand he could dig.
Since Jim grew up going to this very portion of beach, he knew a local secret.  There is spot they call "the pass" where the Gulf connects to a lagoon.  This local spot has a lovely free parking lot, bath house, sandy beach, and calm water.  This is where we positioned ourselves for beach time.
This local knew to hang out at the pass too.  I later saw this awesome bird eat his lunch...swallowed a fish whole!

Checking out the sand

Sand on her hands

Into the water...she is clapping!

Joel is happy to be in the sand digging!

This is where Joel spent most of his time at the beach.  We were also watching a hermit crab that someone had caught.  He traveled all around us until we helped him back near the water before we left

She loved splashing and crawling through the water.

After a day at Gulf Shores, we enjoyed a lovely seafood dinner at the Oyster House.  We happened to be there the night that they have a live alligator that you can hold.  

Joel is touching a real live (baby) alligator.

I can't believe my son who is scared of an inch worm is holding an alligator like it is no big deal.

Notice the sign advertising the live alligator.  It is so much more ferocious than this baby alligator with it's mouth taped shut.

We all ate yummy shrimp!  We love fresh seafood, but live in the midwest.  It was glorious to share the beach life with our family.

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