Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Orange Beach trip a 'Lulu' of an outing

Sunset photo taken from patio at Lulu's in Gulf Shores, AL

Wifey and I took our first couples overnight trip since Christmas this past weekend.

We journeyed over to Orange Beach, AL., just to look around. Seems like we haven't been over that way for a while and felt the distance wasn't too unbearable to make in two days. It's about a 200-mile or so roundtrip.

Band adds atmosphere at Lulu's
We use to travel to Gulf Shores, just west of Orange Beach, a number of times per year because of the Gulf State Park motel units that were located on the beach.

Each eight-unit building (there were about 10 or 12 of them) was two stories and sat in close proximity to the water's edge.

Linda liked to walk along the beach and this was perfect. Just step out the sliding glass door and you were on the beach -- unless you were on the second floor, then you had to walk down the steps.

Chicken wrap with some chips
One could open the doors and hear the waves pounding the shore.

The state-park-operated units weren't that pristine, but they offered a good price that was even better during the off-season. There was a gift shop and restaurant which we enjoyed very much.

Salad with oil and vinegar dressing
But all good thing must come to an end. One of the gulf coast's hurricanes hit a few years ago and washed out all the buildings. The state has cleaned up the location but it just looks so forlorn.

Even though it was a holiday weekend, there were plenty of rooms available.

Having stopped at the Alabama welcome center, we picked up a motel coupon booklet and decided to give the Fairfield Inn/Suites a try. It is part of the Marriott group.

Good night's rest and great breakfast
Its located in Orange Beach. Our coupon was honored and because of my wife's condition (she suffered a stroke last April and doesn't walk too fast) the night clerk, after assigning us one room on the second floor, changed us to the first floor near the door where we parked our van.

I don't know what our original room looked like, but the new accommodations were great and would seem to have been an upgrade.

Thanks to the Fairfield staff. They really made our visit exceptional. The breakfast the next morning was good and I have to say the grits were great. There are not many places (even restaurants) that can offer grits that I deem great.

Beach beckons for holiday travelers
We spent Sunday night and for supper decided to go back to Gulf Shores and eat  at Lulu's which is located on the intracoastal canal.

Lulu was the childhood knickname for Lucy, the sister of famed singer Jimmy Buffett. The restaurant was family friendly, a non-smoking venue and offered music via a four-piece band.

Multi-story condominiums dot Gulf Shores beach
On Monday (the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or for others in the South, Robert E. Lee's birthday), we weaved our way through the state park. We then traveled off the main road  to look at beach houses and things along the intracoastal canal. We finished up with a short walk along the beach.

All in all, the overnight jaunt was great.  I think we'll  go back more often.

Next post: Jan. 24, 2012


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