Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Gulf Shores 2023

On July 8th, we made the 7 hour drive to Gulf Shores Alabama to vacation with the Anders family. The drive out wasn't too bad and we got to stop at McAlister's Deli, which is always a bonus. When we arrived, we had just enough time to go to Shrimp Basket for dinner and then jump in the pool and hang out for a little while before bed. 

We stayed in the Phoenix building (801 W Beach Blvd) in unit 703 with the Gobles and everyone else was in 702, which was just next door. The building was 23 stories tall and had a parking garage attached, which had quite a few levels with plenty of parking. There were three bedrooms in each unit and we also had an awesome view of the beach from the balconies. There was an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, which had an odd shape which wrapped around and in some places under the southeast corner of the building. The kids all loved the slide and we enjoyed swimming at night as well since the pool stayed open until 10 every day.

On Sunday we went to Tacky Jack's for lunch and then went to the beach and the pool. It was one of the nicer days while we were there and we enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible. 

In the evening the kids played Twister and we went to Scoops for some ice cream. 

That evening I went to the gym with Paige and Graydon and they enjoyed it so much that we went every day while we were there. We also did the stairs challenge twice, where we went all the way up 24 stories without stopping.

Monday was a bit of a rainy day, and I had to work, but everyone else hung out and in the evening we put on some cute outfits for a group picture. We'd intended to take the picture after dinner during the "Golden Hour", but the sun wasn't too harsh with all the clouds and we thought we'd be smart to take the picture while we had the opportunity, so we took the pic before dinner. It was a little bit of a scramble as the rain was starting to drizzle, but we got everyone to the beach, set up the tripod, and we got a few good group shots and I snapped some family pics as well.

For dinner we went to the Hangout, which was quite the raucous atmosphere. As we were leaving, the clouds parted slightly, and we saw one of the brightest rainbows I've ever seen.

Tuesday the weather cooperated long enough for us to ride go karts, which is something I don't think I've done since a previous Gulf Shores trip together. Everyone was tall enough for the wild windy wooden track, and we rode it twice. Graydon wasn't tall enough, and Paige wasn't interested, but Connor and I rode the "slick" track as well. It was a flat track, all concrete, and the karts slipped around like they were on ice. Connor spun out a couple times, like most people did, and we had fun trying to drift around the track. Griffin rode the wooden track with Ryan in a double kart and he was cute waving at everyone as he raced around.

Pretty much every day we ate at Shrimp Basket, which is always one of our favorite spots. I even got a shirt from the restaurant and wore it on Tuesday for lunch.

The beach was right outside our building, which was convenient, and we had fun swimming together. It wasn't a good beach for shells or shark's teeth, and also didn't have a firm area for jogs or walks, but we enjoyed it pretty well and it was fun since we were with family.

Nate had to leave on Tuesday, and Connor and I drove back on Wednesday. Everyone else stayed until Thursday morning. Paige and Andrea took an Uber to the Pensacola airport so they could fly to the Taylor Swift concert in Denver. The drive home was a little exciting for Connor and myself since I had him drive for part of it. I think he only lasted about 45 minutes before it started pouring rain so bad we could barely see anything. It was a little dangerous and I had him pull off the highway so I could take over. He did pretty well, except for one moment when all the cars ahead were putting on their brakes because of an accident. Connor didn't notice how much they were slowing down and I had to abruptly shout at him to stop. It was a good learning experience, but we were both more comfortable with me driving instead.

Overall, it was a wonderful vacation with everyone and I'm thankful that everyone was able to make it, including Drew who recently moved to California. The weather could have cooperated a little better, but we enjoyed our time together and made lots of fun memories.


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