A – is for Anita. Anita is the manager at the Hampton Inn in Prattville, Alabama. Anita and I had a few conversations on this trip because the Hampton Inn placed holds for over $400 on my checking account for the majority of the trip because they charged me for one room three times at three different rates. Anita insisted on blaming Amanda for the mess up, but I reminded her that as the manager she is ultimately responsible. (PS I got the room free of charge using my charm and exceptional people skills … ok maybe I yelled… a little…twice).
B – is for Beach. This is why we went. Teagan’s B word is #basic which she uses to describe the several groups of Spring Break teenage girls lining up taking photos on the beach, daily. In their bikinis. Some parents should really think twice about the bikinis their daughters wear, jus sayin’.
C – is for Catching good waves. Teagan was trying really hard to boogie board and caught a few waves but then got flipped over by some boy who jumped in her way “btw…not cute!”
D – is for Dizzy Whizz and Deez Butts BBQ. These are billboards you see in Louisville, KY. They are really easy to see when you are travelling at a blistering 3 mph. Dizzy Whizz is an Old Louisville tradition that is home of the Whizz Burger since 1947. Deez Butts is actually a food truck that serves butts, chicken and brisket by the pound.
E – is for Elephant, the mascot of the University of Alabama. Next to the dreaded Hampton Inn in Prattville there is a store called Bama Fever Tiger Pride. Some family members chose dreadful shirts and hats with “A’s” and elephants and I got the coolest shirt ever which has the silhouette of the War Eagle filled in with tiger stripes. #Auburn. E is also for Elmo, the little red jeep renegade that isn’t quite large enough for a 12 hour trip.
F – is for Friends who do things together, U is for you and me, N is for anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea. Sorry … but once the SpongeBob song got stuck in our heads that’s all we could think of for F. But then we remembered F is also for Fire – the coffee pot in our condo caught on fire one morning. Good thing I travel with a firefighter.
G – is for Grumpy Gill. Every trip has a Grumpy Gill jar where you are allowed to write down a complaint that is read at the end of the trip. There was only one written this trip. It was written on the Hampton Inn stationary – by Dawson, not me.
H – is for Henna tattoo. Teagan got a beautiful mandala henna tattoo.
I – is for Icy water. The ocean and pool were about 70 degrees on a good day. The kids swam in both, the parents did not. But the temperature outside was nice enough that you could go sit at the beach without needing a shade umbrella.
J – is for Jellyfish. There were a lot of jellyfish including one that washed up on shore which one lady insisted was a Portuguese man o war – pretty sure it wasn’t but she had an audience and sounded really smart so I just smiled and waved.
K – is for Kitchen. There was supposed to be a “fully equipped” kitchen in our condo, however there was one small 6 inch skillet, no spatulas and one small saucepan, and a cookie sheet from 1959. It’s hard to cook bacon – well anything – in a 6 inch skillet.
L – is for Long Walks on the beach. We took several because of where our condo was located it was easier to walk most places than drive.
M – is for Mouse. Specifically the Alabama Beach Mouse which is a federally endangered species that lives along the Alabama coast in the sand dunes. We found a sign about this at the Gulf Shores Fishing Pier – which freaked out at least one kid who insisted every 5 minutes there was a mouse in the sand.
N – is for No Alcohol. When I stopped at the condo office to get the keys I had to sign a No Alcohol on the beach policy. It was a new thing this year specifically for Spring Break. Dawson has a cool picture of two people getting arrested by beach patrol for having alcohol on the beach.
O – is for the Orange Beach store. I had seen people wearing these really cool shirts with an orange that said beach in the middle. So we drove to the Orange Beach store. And they had the really cool shirts and they were really proud of them as the prices were a bit much for tees. I didn’t buy one.
P – is for Pancakes. Before we left we read that Bill’s By the Beach served an awesome brunch including Nutella pancakes. Teagan was super excited about the Nutella pancakes. We found out on Monday that Bill’s by the Beach only serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday. I made Nutella pancakes when we got home.
Q – is for Quote of the Day. One of the quotes I wrote down from dinner was, “Do you think she knows that’s a beach cover and not a dress?” My guess is that she did not know that it was a beach cover since she was wearing it with wedge heels and jewelry.
R – is for the Random girl who yelled “Hi Dawson!” on the beach one day. There was a group of girls from his school vacationing close by but he didn’t think she was one of them. And the girls he knew from school were staying several miles down the beach.
S – is for Salt Life. I wanted a Salt Life sticker. Here’s the Urban Dictionary explanation of why I don’t have one: Originally a sticker on the back of cars used to denote a surfer, bodyboarder, or general beach bum whose life centered around the ocean or beach. Unfortunately the trend spread to senior citizens, wanna be hipsters, soccer moms, and other persons wishing to inform the world that yes, they too have visited the beach at some point in life and they have the sticker to prove it
T – is for Tattoo. Dawson was determined to get a tattoo on vacation. He did not get a tattoo however as the tattoo shop recommended by the lady that did Teagan’s henna tattoo was super busy and never called back. All he wants is roman numerals: III-XX-MMXV …. It can’t be that hard.
U – is for Unsupervised Children. While eating lunch out on the deck of Sea n Suds we were treated to a group of ladies who apparently forgot they had small children. While waiting for their food the ladies all drank cocktails and chatted while the kids were getting up walking around and playing monkey in the middle with a stuffed animal. Then after lunch the kids started running around the deck mostly out of sight of the moms. The oldest was maybe 7 or 8 and her arm was in a cast – shocker!
V – is for Volleyball. My kids play soccer on the beach but others play volleyball. Teagan reminded me of the creepy old guy watching a group of girls play volleyball on the beach – which again leads me to remind parents to think twice about your daughter’s bikini.
W – is for People Watching. My family tends to people watch a little too much on vacation. It’s just so easy at the beach! Oh yeah and Whataburger… the only place that serves a side of toast with everything.
X – is for X-ray. Luckily Princess didn’t require X-rays or stitches and they were able to glue her wound shut. She got a few nights of extra love by the kennel staff and some needed break time from her brothers.
Y – is for Yellowfin which is a type of tuna. At Tacky Jacks I got smoked tuna dip and Dave surprised me by eating it with me since he normally doesn’t eat seafood. I have no idea if it was Yellowfin tuna or not but I needed a Y and T was already taken.
Z – is for Zzzz. There wasn’t a lot of sleep on this trip because the mattress we had at the condo was made with bricks. Uneven bricks – because when you would lie down in the bed your feet were higher than your head. Luckily there were extra pillows in Dawson’s room so I stole several and made my own “pillow top.”