Vacation to Gulf Shores

A few weeks ago, we took our first family vacation.  Upon the recommendation of some friends, we went to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  When talking about vacationing, I decided that I wanted to go somewhere in which the objective was to rest.  Touring, sightseeing, and exploring did not appeal to me at all ESPECIALLY after the crazy year we’ve had.   We packed up our CRV and drove 12 hours to the beach.  Within minutes of being in our condo, Nick turned and asked me if I was ready to book the condo again for next year.  It was SO amazing!  Just the sound of the waves, the ocean breeze, and the beautiful blue sky was enough to put us into an instantaneous place of rest.  We were pretty nervous about Reuben being in the car for 12 hours, but he was such a trooper.  With a few stops to let him get out and run around, a DVD player, snacks, and his drumsticks, Reuben was good to go.  We are so devastated by the negative impact the oil spill is beginning to have on the area 😦  We’re praying for the families and local businesses as they weather this storm and are surely impacted by this crisis.  We’re very hopeful to return to Gulf Shores in the near future!  Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy LOTS of pictures!!! (Please excuse the random quality of pictures.  They were taken with everything from our fancy camera to our phone cameras.)

Reuben’s having a great time on the road trip, all snuggled in with his blanket and drumsticks!

Our secret weapon was the DVD player.  We tried to avoid using it except for crisis moments.  Praise Baby came to the rescue once again!

Reuben kept Mommy and Daddy entertained with several games of Peek-a-boo!

When we arrived, we unloaded our car and went straight to the beach.  This is some video of Reuben’s first reactions.

Reuben loved playing in AND eating the sand.

He loved watching the waves and the seagulls.

Getting his feet wet and hanging on to Daddy for dear life.  Totally stylin in his buddy Troyer’s swimming trunks.

Just a little sandy…

Relaxing with Daddy and watching some TV.

We ate at Lambert’s…TWICE.  Reuben loved the chaotic environment AND the mashed potatoes.

Everything at Lambert’s was huge…including this large slab of meat hung for decoration.

We got to meet the Chavez family (minus Julianna) for breakfast in Pensacola, which is only 45 minutes from Gulf Shores.  We had a great time catching up with them!  My younger sister, Shannon, also met up with us in Pensacola.  She vacationed with her friends in Destin, but they had to head back to Tulsa on Wednesday.  Shannon still had the rest of the week off of work so she joined us until Friday!

Swimming with Daddy in our favorite pool.  We could still see and hear the beach, but were able to avoid the sand!

We had dinner at Lulu’s one night and LOVED the atmosphere.  This restaurant is a MUST if you ever make the trip to Gulf Shores.  The food was great, but the atmosphere was AWESOME.

They had a HUGE sandy area for the kids  to play while waiting to be seated.

They had live music the whole night.

Each night, after Reuben’s afternoon nap, we went shopping at the outlet mall (it was so HUGE we had to break it up over 3 nights).  After a couple hours of shopping, we’d go have a nice dinner and then head back to the condo.  At the Nike outlet, Shannon bought these super cute high tops for Reuben.  Well, it took 2 of us and 20 minutes to get Reuben’s feet in the shoes.  We quickly decided that they weren’t practical and would have to be returned but we took some pictures first!

Wake up, Daddy!  I’m ready for the beach!

All dressed and ready to take family pictures on the beach.

We decided to have Shannon take pictures of our family while she was with us for 2 days.  Having never done this before, we figured the best time would be first thing in the morning.  Well, we quickly learned otherwise.  It was already hot, the lighting wasn’t right, and Reuben was grumpy.  Here are the pics that could be considered half way decent.

We gave up and decided to head back and get our swim stuff on.  When we walked into the pool area, Reuben walked over to a lounge chair and took a rest.

He looked cute, so we decided to squat down and join him for another attempt at a family picture.

Relaxing on the balcony in his swim gear 🙂

Taking a stroll with Auntie Shan.

Picture time…

SOOOO cute in the speedo on loan from his buddy, Diego 🙂

Reuben got to experience his 1st ride in the “toy that costs way too much but gives Mommy and Daddy a minute of sanity while trying to shop.”  He thoroughly enjoyed the ride and we thoroughly doused him in antibacterial soap after it was finished.

Chilling in the backseat with Auntie Shan.  Sad to be taking her to the airport 😦

Trying to get a cute pic on our last day at the beach.  After approximately 289 attempts, this was the best.

Living life on the edge 🙂

Getting swallowed up by the shark’s mouth at a local souvenir shop.

The incredible view from our balcony.

Our favorite pool.

Our condo was actually located across the street from the beach.  There was a skywalk on the 2nd floor that we could use instead of having to cross the busy street.  Reuben’s FAVORITE part of the whole trip was walking this skywalk.  There was an echo in there so he would scream the entire time.  On the last day, we let him walk the skywalk over and over again.

On our last night, we went to the beach at about 7:00 p.m.  We quickly realized that this was THE BEST TIME to take pictures.  Unfortunately, Shannon was gone, so we couldn’t redo our family pics.  SO…we started to snap as many pics as possible of our cute little boy.

All snuggled in and ready for the long trip home.  Bye bye, Gulf Shores!  We’ll be back someday!!!


2 Comments on “Vacation to Gulf Shores”

  1. Becca says:

    Such great pics!!! Makes me want to go to the beach something terrible.

  2. […] to Gulf Shores 2011 We had such an amazing trip to Gulf Shores last year, that we decided to do the exact same thing again this year.  We were not disappointed.  We had […]

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