Lee and I took a business trip to Alabama last week/weekend, and although Mobile doesn’t top my list of vacation hotspots, we had fun anyway. On a side note – before we left, when people would ask us where we were going, I kept wanting to yell, “Ala-BAM-a!” like Forrest Gump. Sometimes, I did.
We had some free time Friday afternoon and evening, and decided take our rental down the highway to Gulf Shores. My family used to vacation along the Gulf (Destin or Mexico Beach) every summer, and Lee and I have made several trips to that coast, although it has been a long time since. I enjoy living near Tybee now, but the Atlantic just doesn’t compare to the gulf beaches. White sand as soft as chalk. Aqua waves so clear you can see all the way to the bottom even when you’re out just a little too deep. It was too tempting to be that close to the gulf and not see it.
meandleegulfshores.jpgIt was as beautiful as I remembered, though not quite as hospitable in February. The wind was whipping and chilly, finding it’s way into my jacket and my bones. We both sported the windblown look.
Another thing that was different was the sight of heavy construction vehicles lumbering up and down the shore. I’m so used to associating Hurricane Katrina with Louisiana and Mississippi, that I hadn’t given much thought to the lingering impacts along Alabama’s coast.
gulfshores.jpgThe big, yellow trucks manuevered around piles of new sand that had been dumped on the windswept beach. We sat for a few moments on a pavilion at the edge of the shore, and I noticed that every piece of wood was brand new. In the distance, I saw a pier, or what remained of it. Big chunks were still missing, leaving the structure disconnected.
bellygulfshores.jpgBut the beach was still beautiful. I was glad that hadn’t changed. It was too cold to stay long, but I got enough of a taste to want to return to the Gulf in the warm summer months. And we stayed long enough for me to realize this was baby’s first trip to the beach, though still in utero.
We’ll be back.