Orange Beach, Alabama – Part 1

I really want to be like those bloggers who can do multiple weeks in one post, but I just can’t. That’s just not my style. There are 51 photos in this post. People who do those week+ long posts usually have 25 total photos. It’s just not my style.

Now 2, this was about our vacation this last summer in August 2019. Yes, you read that right. I’m just now getting to it. I’m sitting here on a cold snowy day in January wishing I was in Alabama in summer enjoying our vacation. So without further ado, I bring you Orange Beach, Alabama

Headed to Orange Beach

From our house, there are two ways to head to Alabama. You can go through Arkansas into Mississippi, across to Alabama. Otherwise, you drive clear across Missouri to Memphis, then down. We chose to head through Arkansas. I did some research and it was supposed to be the “faster” route. Because we were headed through Arkansas, Jared told us to meet him in Rogers for lunch at a place called Hapa’s Hawaiian Bar & Grill. 

Now here is where I tell you that once I got just outside of Rogers it started POURING rain. So bad at one point I really could hardly see anything in front of me. I was driving this stretch. It was awful. Then our GPS took us to the wrong place. We were only 5 miles to the west of where we were supposed to be but traffic was so horrid that it took us 30-45 minutes for that 5 miles. By the time we got there, I was done.

Hapa’s Hawaiian Bar & Grill

105 S 3rd St
Rogers, Arkansas

This place is so totally worth the stop. Holy cow! I had Hawaiian food in Hawaii (imagine that) and this reminded me so much of that.

We had appetizers. These were Kahlua Nachos. Now, this is where I tell you I could have made a meal simply on this. But first time at a restaurant, you totally have to try it all… ha! Okay, maybe not all but bunches.

Egg Rolls. Oh YUM!

Spicy Crab Rangoon. Can I tell you now that one of my favorite things is Crab Rangoon? These really weren’t spicy. It was more in the sauce. And they were awesome.

I got a Kahlua Pork Rice Bowl. When I was in Hawaii, I loved the Kahlua pork. This was such a good runner up!

Back on the Road

Finally, we were off again. The rain still hadn’t quit until we got further down into the middle of Arkansas. The sights were beautiful and I would have so been taking pictures but I was driving. That means no pictures. Finally just before we crossed the Mississippi River into Mississippi, hubby took over driving. That allowed me to get beautiful pictures of bridges, the water, and of course the gorgeous sunsets.

We made it as far as Jackson, Mississippi. That was the goal for the night. To keep pushing through we stopped for dinner at a Sonic somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I don’t even remember where we were. That whole experience set us back about 30 minutes. It was crazy. But we were close enough to the capital in Jackson that we could see it from our hotel. I so wanted a picture but when we got there that night it was 10 or 11… so dark. And when we left out the next morning we were trying to get on the road.

On the Road Again

We got up the next morning and hit the road by 8-8:30 am. We stopped at a Sonic there just outside of Jackson to get breakfast, otherwise, we trucked on. Oh, and we got fuel. I loved driving down the interstate in Mississippi. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but 1 it was so scenically beautiful. Oh. My. Goodness. 2nd, those trees. You can’t tell, but they were so tall and gorgeous. And at points, they were trimmed probably 11 feet up before branches started or something. It was just gorgeous.

Hubby had been in Mobile, AL, just weeks before our trip. I think there was 1 week between his work trip and our trip. He got to eat at a bunch of really awesome places. Planning this trip he wanted to take us over one day because its about 45 minutes from Orange Beach to Mobile. But it worked out that we were able to hit Mobile on our way into Orange Beach. Right here in this tunnel, we were going underwater. Hubby thinks it was the bay there in Mobile. Either way, it was so cool and a little freaky too.

There were 2 restaurants he was trying to decide between to take us to. One was Felix’s Fish Camp and Ed’s Seafood Shed. They were extremely close together and he said the fair was similar. It came down to the cars in the parking lots. We chose the one that seemed like we wouldn’t have to wait as long so we went to Ed’s Seafood Shed.

Ed’s Seafood Shed

3382 Battleship Pkwy,
Spanish Fort, AL

We chose well. We were immediately seated. We were asked if we wanted to eat inside or outside. I chose outside because I love being able to sit outside. Hubby might have grumbled at me a little bit because it was warm in August in the Mobile area. And add the humidity… but I didn’t care.

We were served coleslaw and crackers (kind of like chips and salsa). The slaw was amazing.

While we were waiting on our appetizers, I wandered around with Abug and my MIL taking pictures of the view.

Off in the distance, that is a road that connects Mobile to the other side where Orange Beach sits. It was so busy that we took a “back way” in and went up and over and probably saved time even though it was longer. It was that busy.

Our appetizer was Fried Green Tomatoes. They come topped with a Crawfish Cream Sauce, but me being me… I don’t care for Crawfish. So, we had them put it on the side so everyone else could have it. I did try the sauce, wasn’t a fan. lol. But the tomatoes… YUM!

Okay, so I’m not a huge seafood fan… we all know this. I went with a Causeway Hot Chicken Sandwich. Spicy Baste, Lettuce, Tomato, and Pickle. When asked for my side, I swapped fries for Cheesy Grits. I love some Cheesy Grits! These were amazing too!

When hubby ordered, he asked the waitress what her favorite thing was on the menu. Then he trusted her and went for it. Hubby got Sword Fish covered in the Crawfish Cream Sauce with a side of collard greens and cheesy grits served with hush puppies. It was a special and he loved it.

This was about noon or 1. I started the day with my hair down… see how far I made it…

U.S.S. Alabama

Battleship Memorial Park

2703 Battleship Parkway
Mobile, AL

The day hubby and his co-worker Mason came home from Mobile, they had a couple of hours before their flight so they went to see the U.S.S. Alabama. He suggested that we visit before we headed on to Orange Beach.

This thing was massively impressive. If you ever find yourself in the area, just go! It is grounded there, even though it’s grounded in a little water. Can’t have it break away in a hurricane and go off floating after all.

This just cracked me up!

I loved seeing all the trips this massive ship made.

I gave the little my waterproof camera. It’s also shockproof up to 5 feet and she’s shorter than 5 feet. She had so much fun going around and taking her own pictures.

They also had an air museum that we walked through. Super cool seeing all the aircraft.

And here is a close up of what’s under the nose of the plane above.

Also, they have the submarine, the U.S.S. Drum that you can walkthrough. I was excited because I’ve never seen a submarine up close and personal. I’ve only seen in books or movies. I couldn’t imagine living on this. Wow!!

That’s Mobile in the distance.

The oath all men who join the forces take. Hubby was reciting it by memory.

Finally, we made it to Orange Beach, Alabama

Now if you don’t know, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores are so close they are practically one city. It seems like more people have heard of Gulf Shores than Orange Beach. Coming in when we did, traffic was horrible. Oh. My. Gosh. I was so glad I wasn’t driving. The next day it was reduced by half, and the day after that it was practically non-existent. Most people were heading home because school started 2 weeks later for most schools in our area so I assume other places too. We were there the week before school started. It’s just when we could make our way that direction.

Island House Hotel Orange Beach

26650 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL

We stayed at the Island House Hotel Orange Beach. The coolest part is all of the hotel rooms were oceanfront! I can tell you it was a blast to sit on the balcony watching/listening to thunderstorms cross across the sky. It rained most days we were there, but only long enough to make it humid.

Getting to the ocean was a little more than it was when we went to Pensacola Beach, but still, it’s a lot closer than home!

We had a double room. My MIL and Abug shared a bed and I shared a bed with hubby. (haha)

They were equipped for you to wash the sand out of the shower. Super cool!

And this was our view. I wanted to walk the beach to the peer you barely see just past the top of the hotel. I’m not sure how far away it was though so we didn’t.

After I got my initial pictures, Abug and I put on our suits and RAN to the ocean. She might love the ocean as much as I do. Throughout the whole week, I kept debating if I was ready to move to the ocean or not. I do that every time I get anywhere near the ocean.

Then she and I met hubby and my MIL back in the hotel pool. So the drink of choice for the area is a Bushwacker which I swear is better than a Mud Slide. Now when I say all of that… I really don’t drink that much. That’s no joke. But these almost were like a great chocolate shake. It was amazing. Baby girl got her drink of choice, a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri. 

The Crab Trap

16495 Perdido Key Dr
Pensacola, FL

Something else to note about Orange Beach Alabama. It is right on the Florida/Alabama Line. They call that area Flora-Bama for good reasons. I think The Crab Trap was 4 miles down the road and we were in Pensacola, Florida. We asked at the hotel front desk for the best place to eat. She gave us a couple of options and this was one of them.

They had outdoor or indoor seating options. I lost out on the outdoor seating option at this restaurant. Oh well, pick your battles. The cool thing was they gave all the kids with their kid’s menu, a bucket and shovel to play in the sand. They had an outdoor kids play area in sand. So cool! We put that bucket to good use back at the hotel.

I got an 8 oz sirloin (medium-rare). Center cut 1855 brand Black Angus beef seasoned to perfection and grilled to order. Served with Fries and Vegetable of the day. Why I don’t have fries in this picture I don’t remember. And my steak was a little more to the Medium side. I didn’t say anything though, I sucked it up and ate it. The greens, however, were amazing. Now one thing about me, I’m not crazy about french fries so maybe I swapped them for the greens…

My MIL got the Jumbo Crab and Shrimp Linguini. Jumbo lump crab meat and Gulf shrimp sautéed with garlic and tossed in fresh basil cream sauce over linguini.

Hubby got the Captain’s Platter. Large Gulf shrimp, sea scallops, deviled crab, and fresh Gulf fish.

The little got Chicken strips and french fries.

Hershey’s Ice Cream on the Beach

17288 Perdido Key Dr
Pensacola, FL 32507

After dinner, it was off to dessert. We decided to go get ice cream. We passed Hershey’s Ice Cream on the Beach. Perfect.

The little got vanilla with sprinkles.

I don’t remember what I wound up getting…

I scarfed my ice cream down and then took off outside to get sunset pictures. This was the best I could do where we were. Bummer.

And by the time we got back to our hotel, this was all that was left.

Now you may be asking where the oldest kiddo is. She wasn’t able to go. The week we could go, she chose to go to volleyball practice instead. And due to circumstances, we couldn’t go any earlier in the summer.

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