I found this old picture of my daughter very happily digging her toes in the sand. I remember taking the picture. It was one of our earliest Gulf Shores & Orange Beach vacations, and we had literally just arrived at our Gulf Shores Plantation condo. All she talked about during the whole trip down was walking on the sand again—and that’s exactly what she ran off to do as soon as we got there.
Seeing the picture got me thinking about the different things we all do (and have done) when first arriving at our Gulf vacation. Usually, we all unpack the car and get the condo/beach cottage set up for the week. I actually don’t mind this being the first act of vacation. I’m so happy to have finally arrived at the Gulf Shores resort that it’s really a fun task—sort of like setting up a new home!
But there have been variations in the first vacation task over the years. One year the air conditioner in the car broke about two hours before we arrived. We were all so hot by the time we arrived that the first thing we did was change into our bathing suits and head straight for the closest of the Plantation’s six outdoor pools for some relief from the heat. Another year, my husband and I booked a golf vacation, but ended up not being able to leave until the morning of our first round of golf—we left very early that morning and arrived just in time to play that round. And several times we’ve arrived in the area around lunchtime, making our first vacation activity a delicious lunch at a favorite Gulf-side restaurant.
Digging our toes in the sand on arrival is still a favorite, though, and I’m pretty sure both my kids still get that happy smile when their feet first touch those white-sand beaches. I feel a photo opportunity coming on at our next visit—could make a nice then-and-now picture.