Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lap of luxury, getting pampered and finding the hangouts {Night 2: Hampton Inn and Suites-Orange Beach}

Oh, what a day! 

Seriously, y' was amazing. 

I started my day off with breakfast here at the Hampton Inn and Suites and then was swept away to the Fusion Spa Salon here in Orange Beach, located within The Wharf
Ferris Wheel on The Wharf

Street view of The Wharf's shops

Fusion is an Aveda salon and is impeccably put together.  A spa day is something I could get used to, for sure. The colors and decor of the salon definitely exude comfort and warmth. Today, I had a 60 minute Botanical Skin Resurfacing Facial Treatment by a talented esthestician, Lisa.  The facial I received smooths skin texture, diminishes pore size, reduces fine lines and makes your skin look radiant.  It felt pretty great too.  I always find it so soothing when getting a facial and it feels like they are just painting that mask on with their hands. 
Store front of Fusion Spa Salon

Foyer of the spa area

After my facial I put on a robe and headed across the hallway to get my massage.  Morgan was m LMT and I swear, I think she was hiding 3 extra hands when I met her.  During that massage it felt like there were at least 2 massage therapist working out my kinks but nope, just cute little Morgan with her crazy good hands.  (insert embarrassing moment: why is it that as soon as you land on a massage table your stomach starts to growl? Just me? okay. Well, it could be worse, I guess)  So, I am almost sure that I received the best massage of my life today.  Those hot stones are crazy, aren't they?  After I stumbled out of the massage room in my drunken stupor from being so relaxed I was led to the salon where Bridget was waiting to make my hair look like hair again
This vacation has put my hair through hell (oh, boo-hoo for me, huh?), I've been washing my hair more often and out in the (gorgeous) salt water of the Gulf so my hair is rebelling against me.  I will be the first one to admit that I am hair illiterate.  Here's my knowledge on hair: wash it. towel dry it. brush it every once and awhile.  There you have it.  Bridget saw me coming a mile away and knew just how to fix me up.  She felt my hair and immediately knew what to do for it.  She suggested the Botanical Express Treatment that will last for a while and really whipped my hair into shape.  It was a light weight treatment that only took 5 minutes to set on my hair.  She used the Pure Abundance line for shampoo and conditioner and then she had a really cool product called Phomollient Styling Foam (I immediately regretted not buying a full size of this and hope I can make it by before we leave to snag some).  The foam is light weight but has some hold so I can apply it while my hair is damp and then let it air dry, as usual.  She finished it off with Air Control Hair Spray.  All of the products used were from Aveda.  I was highly impressed with the professionalism of the spa/salon and every one of my services I received today were superior.  I would recommend that spa to anyone....who doesn't like to be pampered?  I think that pampering ourselves, the moms of the family, is usually the last thing to happen and that should change.  Take that bit of time for yourself so you can be sane with your family later.
Love, love Fusion Spa and Salon.

This, my friends, is what you call properly pampered.
After my spa extravaganza I was starving and (shocker!) so was everyone else.  We decided on LuLu's in Gulf Shores, just about 10 minutes down the road.  You have probably heard of LuLu's before...LuLu happens to be Jimmy Buffet's sister and her place has a very Margaritaville feel.  Right on the water, LuLu's has music, sand, activities for the kids, and a gift shop of course. 

G and T definitely wanted to try out the Mountain of Youth, a rope course right on the property and R and I enjoyed the misters set up all over the property because it is h.o.t.  I also love that LuLu refers to this area as L.A. (Lower Alabama) because I've never heard anyone else in my life refer to it that way other than my dad. 
The wait was about 30 minutes, and that was fine because it took that long for all the boys to climb the ropes.  Once seated, we were right on the water and were able to watch all of the boats go by, even a huge tugboat pushing a barge.  Our waiter was very friendly and the food was good.  T had the chicken strips off of the appetizer menu and an order of fries...much cheaper than the whole adult meal that was served with sides he wouldn't eat anyway.  Aren't appetizers for dinner the best?  B had their nachos and loved them.  I had the burger and it was made from grass fed beef. 
If you're in the area, definitely make a stop.  The kids will be entertained and you can grab a bite to eat.  If I were you, I would get there before 5pm.  And beware...if your kiddo is under 48",  someone over 18 will need to climb with them. 
B helping T across

We left LuLu's and headed straight towards The Wharf because I wanted to show B and the kids all the shops and the Ferris wheel.  There was an event going on but parking was still simple to find and all of the shops were easily accessible.  We made sure to grab some sweets from The Sugar Shack and Dippin' Dots and wandered through plenty of places.  Build a Bear caught G's eye....he's always wanted one so we went ahead in and he now is the proud owner of a Build a Bear monkey named Spike Bananas. 
The Ferris wheel was hopping with customers and the little train that makes it's way around The Wharf was chugging along.  Good times.  Super cute place and worth checking out while you're in town.  I looked at the lineup for the Amphitheatre there in The Wharf and they have some huge names lined up for later this summer. 

Ferris Wheel at night
B had his hands full while I was at the spa so everyone give a round of applause to the daddy who does it all. I'm sure that Perdido Beach Service was a big help, this morning the guy in charge already had the umbrellas opened and the cushions in the chairs, and he was positioning them to get plenty of shade.  We will be getting to know some of the crew from Perdido Beach Service tomorrow when we sail out on a 3 hour tour on the Wild Hearts.  I am excited about seeing the kids enjoy this tour more than anything.  I have a feeling we will have a few guests join us boat side...dolphin sightings are pretty regular, I hear. 
I will update you guys tomorrow night and let you know how it went. 

Staying at this Hampton Inn and Suites has been a pleasure and I really hope I get a chance to come back and visit over and over. I just really dig the people here and the vibe you get in the lobby and all over the hotel.  It's a laid back atmosphere but you know they are striving for perfection and will do what ever they need to satisfy their guests.
Hampton Inn and Suites-Orange Beach has a promotion going on right now called Endless Summer.  This promo is focused on Fall....the time when all the tourists have made their way back home and you are left with the beauty.   From August 20th-November 2nd you can enter to receive some cool digital deals!  There's also a place to enter to win a 5 night stay at a Beachfront Alabama Gulf Coast hotel.  All you have to do is enter!  You can find other deals and steals with the Toes in the Sand packages.  They also have a blog you can follow to keep up with all of the latest news, events, specials and things you need to know about the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast area.  Just head on over to Toes in the Sand

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