Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Geocaching 101

WHEN? Tuesday · January 29

WHERE? South Baldwin County, Alabama · find us on the map

Motorhome parked at: Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale

But for now ...
The full-time RVing community's premiere geocaching experts have moved next door! Barb and Dave O'Keeffe have shown us the ropes with excellent hands-on training, so we've decided to not bother sticking our heads in a book for the time being. They operate as a team (Barb's the Navigator / Recorder, Dave's the Looker / Finder) and have been downright fun to learn from.

Dave helps Wendell celebrate his first success
Dave helps Wendell celebrate his first geocaching find

The excitement builds ...Our expert record keeperA geocaching supply bag was kept at the readyTriumphant geocachers!

Barb recorded three successful cache finds today:

After abandoning our final search at a Foley Park gazebo, the four of us luppered in Gulf Shores at Original Oyster House.

We couldn't have asked for better geocaching mentors than Dave and Barb and expect to brave it on our own one day soon.

See more on flickr:
Geocaching photo collection

Monday, January 28, 2008


WHEN? Monday · January 28

WHERE? Perdido Key · find us on the map

The Flora-Bama Lounge is as much a part of Redneck Riviera culture as white sand and sunburns. Frequented by both locals and tourists, it attracts patrons of all types.

Last week we joined area Snowbirds for an afternoon potluck:
The Snowbirds have flown in for a Flora-Bama potluck

By the following weekend, the dance floor was packed:
Flora-Bammers rockin' on a Sunday afternoon

Warmer temps two weeks later encouraged the girls to swing around the dancer-pole in their swimwear:
Girls dancing in their swimsuits!

Although Jimmy Buffet's Bama Breeze doesn't mention it by name, it's rumored to be about the Flora-Bama. Like the song, the music video is kinda cheesy, but here's your chance to decide for yourself:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Home of the Blue Angels

WHEN? Monday · January 21

WHERE? South Baldwin County, Alabama · find us on the map

Motorhome parked at: Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale

Known as The Cradle of Naval Aviation, Pensacola is home to the National Naval Aviation Museum, and its Naval Air Station is home to the Blue Angels demonstration flight team. As we took a drive to re-familiarize ourselves with the area, we were certainly reminded of this: Blue Angels-this, Blue Angels-that — at one point we were even traveling along Blue Angels Parkway. And they deserve every bit of the hype: We had the opportunity to watch the Blue Angels during a photo shoot over Devils Tower last July, and they're downright impressive.Blue Angels 2007 visit to Devils Tower
Since we expect our stay in LA to be busy, chances are we won't catch one of the weekly Blue Angels practice shows that are popular with area visitors. But I won't soon forget last summer's combination of their remarkable show over such a grand monument:

The Perpetual Vacationers 7/26/2007
Angels above

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Redneck skyscrapers

WHEN? Thursday · January 17

WHERE? Orange Beach, Alabama · find us on the map

Motorhome parked at: Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale

During our visits to Alabama's Gulf Coast over the last decade, we've typically stayed in one of the area's beach condos. Although well over a hundred of these high-rise buildings dot the Redneck Riviera coastline, area developers continue to construct new ones. We discovered several more during today's visit to Orange Beach's newest luxury resort.

For tourists who enjoy coastal destinations but want to avoid crowds, a beach resort during the off-season might be a lifesaver! Learn more about our three-hour tour of:

The Wharf

What a lifesaver!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We see seafood

WHEN? Thursday · January 10

WHERE? Gulf Shores, Alabama · find us on the map

Dining on Alabama's Gulf Coast is one of the reasons we've been itchin' to get down here. Over a decade of beach vacations, we've picked some favorite spots, but tonight wanted to do something different. We were so delighted to discover Original Oyster House that we're certain to return at least once before our stay here is finished.Original Oyster House

Inside looking out over the bayou
Inside-looking-out over the beautiful Gulf Shores bayou

This place was fun even before we went inside
Photo op outside the restaurant

January 29 update
Shared our new discovery:
Hands-on training from the expertsGeocaching 101 with the O'Keeffes turned out to be the perfect opportunity to visit Original Oyster House a third time and introduce our new local favorite to others.
Since the four of us were having so much fun that we didn't stop for lunch, we ended up at Original Oyster House in time for a mid-afternoon lupper.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Investing in a good night's sleep

WHEN? Wednesday · January 9

WHERE? Robertsdale, Alabama · find us on the map

Motorhome parked at: Escapees Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, Alabama

Mae Dean's been meaning to have a talk with Wendell about his parking skills

Full-time RVing comes with a price tag, but not necessarily a pricey one. After realizing that the Airstream's parking spot was un-comfortably un-level, we promptly drove to Camping World in search of a solution. (We'd been trying to dream up a reason to go anyway.)

After comparing the various RV leveling options available, we splurged for a 10-piece Leveler Block set. Ten bucks was a small price to pay for a creature comfort that stay-at-homers and hotel guests take for granted.

Home on the Leveler Blocks
A product that works as advertised

South Alabama's RVer toy store
Motorhome goodies galore!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I Love LA (Lower Alabama)

WHEN? Tuesday · January 8

WHERE? South Baldwin County, Alabama · find us on the map

One of the first things we noticed when we stopped at the Alabama Welcome Center was the Mardi Gras tree – the first one either of us had ever seen. As we neared the Mobile area, we noticed even more preparation for this upcoming holiday. Mardi Gras is evidently a big celebration on Alabama's gulf coast – and folks begin decorating for it shortly after Christmas.

Welcome to Alabama ... and Happy Mardi Gras!

See more Mardi Gras in Alabama photos on flickr

Having lived in Jackson, Mississippi for 25+ years, we have vacationed in the Redneck Riviera a number of times. This is our first January visit though, and it's so nice to be here for an extended period. Since we intend to remain in LA for over a month, I expect this photo album to grow and encourage you to check back for photo-album updates between now and March.

Christmas should definitely be over and a new year begun, don’t you think? After all, the 12 Days of Christmas are definitely over – been over for 10 days now. Right?

Not necessarily ...
The official Christmas season is only half over for those who follow the liturgical Christian calendar. They celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th:

The Eastern Orthodox Twelve Days of Christmas

Which in some cultures includes
a Mardi Gras King's Cake

So maybe we aren’t as far behind as I thought. Maybe I’m just operating on a different calendar.