The Zone

The Beach 2012

6/4/2012 3:24 PM

I just got back from Orange Beach and I have a few things to share...first off...I didn't take this picture, but the water was the clearest I have EVER seen it anywhere on the gulf when we went down.  We stayed at Phoenix VII and it was solid.  Easy rent process and nice folks to deal with (did it through Brett Robinson).  Not sure who that dude is, but he has to be loaded.

OK...a few things about a few things:

1. Go Low: If you have small kids like I do, consider staying pool side...I did and it worked out so great.  No elevators to wait on and easy in and out for food, restrooms and a place to nap for kids.  The view isn't the same, but man is it great from a convenience standpoint especially when they wanted to pop out for a swim at 10pm.

2. Litter: Not really, BUT leave your chairs, beach balls, toys and umbrella down on the beach at night instead of hauling in and out of your condo, house or hotel.  Break it down and pile it up.  There is an unwritten rule/mutual respect deal that you don't mess with people's stuff at night.  We left ours all four nights and it was right where we left it the next morning.  Make sure you pick up all your crap at the end of your stay. 

3. Eat well my friends: We ate out at a few places I recommend (click on links to go to their websites).

Papa Roccos-home of warm beer and cold pizza.  Great oysters and baked italian dishes.  Kind of a "joint".  Everyone liked their meals and my picky 12-year old LOVED the pizza.  Recommended by renowned LR chef Donnie Ferneau.  If you aren't aware, he knows what's up.

Lousiana Lagniappe-We went for Sunday brunch.  It was excellent.  Beignets and champagne were comlimentary.  How are you?

Best surprise find...Cobalt-this place is just a few years old and is under the bridge on way to Florida near Caribe resort on bay.  Great atmosphere, service, food and a great area inside and out to wait with two very impatient crumb snatchers like mine. 

Lulu's-I was wary of Jimmy Buffett's sister's place since everyone goes but I was pleasantly surprised.  The food was solid and you must get the LA (Lower Alabama) Caviar as an appetizer.  No idea why it's so good, but it is.  Plus if you stop on way into town for lunch or dinner, there are lots of places for kids to play and you to get a drink if you have to wait for your table.  Big ups from the Acri Clan.  Changes in latitude, changes in attitude indeed.

4. Plan your day:  I am anal about almost everything, but that helps on a trip like this.  Kids are fired up in the morning to get to beach-good...take em.  It isn't as hot.  You can do it until noonish, come in for for lunch, let em swim for a bit then head back to the beack in the later afternoon hours for more fun.  You aren't as burnt or wiped out by the sun and everyone has a good time.  Plus your kids will pass out before you do.

5. Hit the mall...after dinner: Took the kids to Foley and they were po'd initially, but we got them some cool new shoes and they backed off.  It didn't hurt that they had full bellies.  We moved quickly and picked up some awesome bargains...and of course when they griped we smacked their heads together.  Just kidding!

Bottom line, mama had fun, kids had a great time (and actually played nicely together despite six year age difference) and I relaxed and enjoyed as well (even though I didn't play golf on this trip.  Come to think of it, that may be WHY I relaxed so well).  It took us 8.5 hours each way with three stops (yes I would drive straight through if they would quit drinking liquids  on the trip...I lost that vote) and we are committed to making this brief journey at least TWICE a year from now on.  Can't wait for spring break!







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