We made our big family trip to Dauphin Island, AL this year! We stayed a whole week, leaving Memphis July 5. My parents rented a house directly on the beach that was very kid friendly and had just enough room for all of us. My brother Joe and his girlfriend came. We missed my other brother Mark and his wife, but they are in the process of making an across the country move back to Memphis. They both start new jobs here in August and are trying to get settled, so being away a week was difficult for them. I know they will be in next year, as this is definitely becoming a yearly event.
Dauphin Island is great because it is about 6.5 hours from Memphis and very secluded. Hardly anyone was on the beach, and no large condos disrupt the serenity. You have to really plan though, as there are only a couple mediocre restaurants on the island and one small store that sells minimal groceries. The island is really known for its small aquarium, Ft. Gaines, and is a fishing destination. It’s a 45-minute ferry ride from Ft. Morgan. This was our second year visiting.
The kids were OUTSTANDING in the car both there and back. I knew Preston would be fine, but I was a tad worried about Margo. But, in true Margo fashion, she barely made a peep the whole car ride. Both kids were such troopers and we were so pleased at how good they were. I only had to climb back there once, and it was to feed them both snacks and get a movie started for P.
The name of our house was “A Shore Thing” and it was in the sand, on the beach, next to the bird sanctuary. From the living room, we watched blue herons, seagulls scooping fish, and dolphins jumping and playing. The house was great, if you overlook the slight ant infestation. We all got ant bites and we had to throw out some food. Other than that, no complaints. The best was not having to haul stuff anywhere – we loved being right on the water! Made it so much easier. Thanks Mom and Dad for finding and renting such a great place!
We had beautiful weather all week – very thankful for that! This was the first year that you could actually sit on the beach and watch Preston play without having to worry about saving his life. Last year, he was a maniac in the waves and water. This year, the water was SO calm and clear it was almost like being on a lake. We also had a large shallow area, so it was truly perfect for him. The swimming lessons helped enough that, with his puddle jumper for safety, he was kicking and swimming just fine. He really got into building sand castles and shooting water guns this year.
The house had a big back deck. We brought a giant blow up pool and I spent a few afternoons out there with a good book and a drink while one or both kids napped. It was great! The sun warmed the water, so it was like a hot tub. The deck on the back of the house didn’t have steps down to the beach, so it was really kid proofed! The steps were under the house.
I even managed to sneak in a couple of really hot, humid and painful runs as my half marathon training continues. It made me feel better about all the food and drink I was consuming. Ha! More to come about our adventures on the island.