Friday, July 06, 2012

Vacation 2012: On our way to the waves.

Day 2, part 2: NOLA to Orange Beach, AL
Miles driven: 198

After walking all over the French Quarter, we were nasty sweaty. When Brett discovered that the M&Ms back in the car were pretty hot, too, he found a creative way to cool them off in a hurry!

As we drove along I-10, we saw remnants of the now-closed (and spooky) Six Flags New Orleans, and then we found ourselves in a nice summer shower.

Since the next day was our beach day, I had been obsessively checking weather forecasts for days, hoping that our one day on the sand would be sunny. Fortunately, we drove right through this storm before getting to our destination.

Another day, another state line!

This Mississippi rest area is adjacent
to a new space center.

NASA used the lunar lander displayed here for training.
Way back in February when I began mapping out our route, I noticed that there was a Lambert's Cafe in Foley, Alabama, on our way to Orange Beach. Since Lambert's is the "home of the throwed rolls," I knew I wanted us to visit there. (Dozens of billboards along I-10 helped reinforce this idea.) After driving for most of the afternoon, we finally pulled in to Foley, only to find the Lambert's parking lot filled to overflowing. Our hunger and our eagerness to get to the beach kept us from riding out the wait, but, as luck would have it, a Krispy Kreme doughnut store was right next door.

Our son, the donut fan, was thrilled! We ended up chowing down on some donuts and waiting until we got to the hotel for another picnic dinner.

Brett is decked out at the toll plaza.
From Foley it was a short trip across a toll bridge to get to Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach. Once in our hotel room, we threw open the sliding glass door to see this:

 It was early evening, so we put on our suits and hit the beach.

"Muscleman" pose...

...that Katie did NOT want to see!

It was so weird to wade in the Gulf with such small waves.

We were able to go way out into that clear water. 

The view from the sand

The view to our left...

...and to our right

Not a bad way to spend a Friday night!

The ocean side of our hotel, Sleep Inn on the Beach
Because we left home early on July 5th, we didn't get to watch any big fireworks shows on the 4th. Fortunately, one of the big resorts down the beach hosted a fireworks extravaganza on the Friday night of our arrival. Perfect!

Fireworks over the Gulf
 It was a great start to our beach pit stop en route to Florida.

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