Here we are, winding down the trip to Orange Beach, Alabama. Make sure you read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Thursday morning started with breakfast. Earlier in the week, when we went to the Mexican Restaurant, I saw a place to get Beignets. Now, I know that’s more of a signature New Orleans item, but still, I wanted to try them. I mentioned it to hubby and he was all for it. So off to Café Beignet, we went. Again, we left my MIL and little one to get dressed at the hotel. Note: They never got dressed when we’d go off to get breakfast.
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.
While we were in Orlando, gosh 2 weeks ago, I had an opportunity to speak with a lot of professionals in the SCUBA diving industry. Not only did we stop and have a visit with our SCUBAPRO Rep, Scott, but we spoke with guys from SDI, the SCUBA diving group that we are certified through.
Plus, Deb paid a little extra for the two of us to be able to sit in on any and all session conferences. Let’s just say, I spoke with diving professionals from all over the world. I remember Australia, Denmark, Fiji, Mexico, and some places I can’t even remember.
Deb and I played a game for the opportunity to win a trip to Fiji. I doubt I won that… especially because it’s been two weeks and they haven’t notified me. They did contact me through email to tell me about some really great packages they offer. We’ll add that to my bucket list along with Greece. I want to go to Greece, so why not dive while I’m there.
I hit up the dive master’s that we dive with in Cozumel for pictures (he’s owed me since May), a recipe (which he rattled off but I couldn’t write down so he said he’d email… still waiting), and told him I wanted a sponsor for the underwater photography festival in April (worth a shot, right?).
But the one thing that really bothers me is… When I was talking to one of the guys from SDI, I felt like a complete moron. When I walked away from the conversation I felt like I was trying to impress him with my blog/SEO/etc knowledge that I probably don’t have.
So my husband and I got to attend DEMA (Diver’s Equipment & Marketing Association) 2017, Go Dive Now. This is a yearly show that bounces between Las Vegas and Orlando, although I’ve heard a rumor that they are adding New Orleans into the mix in a couple years. But this was the year that DEMA was in Orlando. That means we hopped a plane with Deb and Grady and flew to Orlando, Florida.
Where to Eat
The first question is…. Where to eat in Orlando. Oh gosh. We were there at the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive. Let me just tell you there were gobs of GREAT places to eat, but here’s what we chose… And let’s just say, YUM!
7440-A International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
We actually had a Dunkin Donuts almost right outside our hotel room. Not quite but pretty darn close. In fact, we had a lot of breakfast places right in that area. The first day we were there, hubby and I chose to walk here and get breakfast. Good choice!
I definitely wouldn’t have nearly as many posts about Pensacola Beach if I didn’t break each restaurant down into its own post… that’s for sure. I think I might think about food way too much too…. look how much I’ve been talking about food. And it’s not like everyone enjoys looking at what we ate… but that’s okay, it’s memories. Some day when we’re all eating pills for our nutrition… the future will be able to see how we pigged out on real food :). You’re welcome future!
btw, I’m eating animal crackers right now. 🙂
When we got back from Deep Sea Fishing we were hungry. The night before we’d tried to get into Peg Leg Pete’s but the wait was so horrendous we wound up at Hemingway’s Island Grill instead. We decided at 3 pm on a Monday, surely we could get in for lunch, right? You betcha we did so we finally got to try the… Peg Leg Pete’s.
Sunday night after we went parasailing, we ran back to the hotel, quickly changed clothes and went to dinner. Everyone was waiting at the hotel for us because we didn’t even go out to parasail until 5:15, but they didn’t mind, or that’s what I keep telling myself. :).
We decided we’d take the suggestion of Peg Leg Pete’s that everyone said, YOU NEED TO TRY, but they were packed. With our party of 9 it would have been at least an hour and a half wait. We didn’t want to do that, especially not with a one year old so we threw out the suggestion of Hemingway’s Island Grill.
Initially my mom didn’t want to go there because she figured it was like the one in Springfield, but when I looked up the menu it was obvious that it was nothing like the restaurant in Springfield. So we were sold. Especially since we got there and they were able to immediately seat our party of 9.
We decided to start with Mary’s Onion Spirals. Fresh thin-sliced onions, hand-breaded and deep-fried, served with our key lime mustard sauce.
And then, it was all done. It was time to pack up and head for home. Dad had left for home Monday night… technically he went to Atlanta for work. Mom left at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning and we were scheduled to leave out around noonish on Tuesday.
Now I probably should just do a post all by itself on this picture… I probably will, but know that we took a piece of the beach home with us :).
I baited my own hook.
Okay… if you know me at all, you know I don’t like fish. Something about them… I don’t eat them (although I went to the dark side), I don’t touch them, I don’t like them. Although I did poke one with my finger when we went scuba diving at Mermet Springs… then I screamed… Underwater… Loudly.
The only plans that were made when we went to Pensacola Beach was to go Deep Sea Fishing. Dad mentioned it, hubby thought it sounded like fun, so he did some research and then they decided to mention it to grandma. Grandma was all game.
Back in the early 90’s when I went to South Carolina with my grandparents I had the opportunity to go but got talked out of it by my ex-uncle. I just don’t think he wanted me to go…. So when hubby and dad were talking about it I said, I WANT TO GO!
I’ve never really been fishing… I have but I haven’t… it’s hard to explain and too long of a story right now. (As Ross says on Friends…. “I believe the word you’re looking for is… Anyway…”)
We decided to go with a private charter. They were set up for 6 people and there were 5 of us, so it was perfect. Dad, hubby, Grandma, Tbug and me.
We had to get up around 6 to get ready and head out. We were supposed to check in around 6:40-6:45. Oy, these crazy fishermen :). (more…)
Saturday for lunch we met with Lee, Kiran and their clan, then after that hubby and I had appointments to get massages. When we left for the massage it started to sprinkle, while we were getting our massage it was pouring. Pouring rain so hard that we could hear it inside the building. I said the thunder and rain added to the ambiance.
When we got back to the hotel we all just hung out for a little bit before the question was posed, What’s for Dinner?
One of the recommendations we’d had was Crabs on the Beach. We decided that sounded like a good deal. So hubby went out, got the suburban, came up to the door, and chauffeured us all around.
How many people can say they travel 10 hours or so from home and eat lunch with friends from your area? *raises hand*
So one of our friends is from Florida, not exactly sure where. His girls went to Florida for the summer to spend time with their mother and families down there. He just so happened to be headed down to pick them up around the same time we were headed down for vacation, so it was time for a friends meet up 10 hours away.
We decided to meet up at Red Fish Blue Fish which was right there on Pensacola Beach. I thought it was cool that it looks like the building is made of old shipping containers.Then I went onto the website and found out that the entrance was made of old wooden planks that were from an old Coca Cola warehouse north of Pensacola. Then they verified that the building was in fact re-purposed shipping containers. So there ya have it.