For the last 4 days this was my view…

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A very dear friend of mine has a little pink house on the beach in Gulf Shores, AL.  She allowed us to escape for a few days in her cozy beach house.  It was exactly what we needed.  Between our cat needing a sudden serious surgery, trying to prepare for my class at Pensacola State
College in the Fall, and just always constantly being on the go – it was time for us to get away.

From this trip I have learned the difference between “traveling” and a “vacation”.  Up until a few days ago it was clear that I’ve never done the latter.  Anytime I have gone anywhere there has been an itinerary, so many places to explore before having to head home, and trying to fit everything in to just a few days.  There has never really been any “down time”.

However, on this trip we did do some fun things like kayak in the gulf where we saw dolphins, a large lagoon, and paddling through the pass that has a super strong current that takes you out to the gulf of mexico.  But for the rest of the time we just hung out and it felt great.

I have lived on the gulf coast my entire life, but I haven’t ever stayed more than one night at the beach.  I always believed myself to be more of a country girl, but after this past weekend consider me a lifelong beach bum. We would sit on the front deck for hours at a time just staring out at the pristine water as the seagulls, pelicans, and osprey flew by.  During our stay there was a constant steady breeze that literally soothed my soul and brought me serenity.

Sometimes I would be reading my book about Yoga while Vito looked through his binoculars keeping his eye on the water watching the boats go by and the fish jumping out of the water.  Other times we would walk down the beach at sunset to the pass where all the fisherman gather and wade out into the surf and just sit to watch them bring in bluefish, flounder, and trout.  As we looked to see who would be next to bring in his catch, a manta ray flew up out of the water flapping his winged flippers!

Of course while I was there I had to take pictures of all the beach wildflowers.  This is what was blooming:

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Beach Morning Glory.  These were everywhere!

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I picked a few of these for a vase on our dining table.  They stayed just as pretty as the day I picked them even on our last day.  I will be making a spot for them in my warm colors flower border.

DSC06569 DSC06572Some of them I had never seen before.  These I found in front of the beach house.  That was all the plant exploring that I did.

My husband Vito used to tell me stories about when his family would spend their summers at the beach, but I never understood why his heart remained at the beach until now.  There is something to be said for renting (or even buying!) a house on the beach because the convenience of it is worth it alone.  Instead of having to get up at the crack of dawn, load all of your stuff, drive out there, haul all your stuff through the sand, hang out for a while until you are too hot then gather everything back up again to head back to the house, or you can just wake up, walk out the front door, and you’re there.

Everything was low-key.  We never ate out at any over-priced, tacky touristy restaurant, so there was no need to wear anything but lounging around clothes.  I brought my blow dryer, I took it out of the suitcase, but I never touched it again until it was time to pack up to go home.  Our meals were all home cooked and we either ate at a small table near the gulf view window or we were out on the deck in the salt air.

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Each night we would sit out and watch the stars.  After the sun would set Jupiter would make an appearance and then one by one the sky was full of twinkle lights.

Today was the day we were to return home.  We awoke early to catch the sunrise, but the clouds kept the sun to themselves.  However, it was still worth rolling out of bed to see all the birds who flew west at sunset last night now were flying eastward along the shore in search of food.  Also, the clouds were an impressive sight.

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Usually when I get ready to leave a place I’ve been visiting, I am ready to get back home, but not this time.  As I sat on the deck this morning I tried to memorize everything knowing pretty soon I would have to go back to reality.  I guess real vacations where you’re able to actually unwind and decompress, you’re so relaxed that you’re in no hurry to get back to the daily grind.  Of everything I loved about this short getaway, what brought me the most joy was the time we spent together just being.  So many laughs, stories, and never to be forgotten moments are what I will remember most.

DSC06633Even though I was super bummed to have to leave so soon and get back to life, look what welcomed me home.

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I planted these from seed and this is their first time blooming in my new flower border.

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