Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our last day in Orange's been a busy day!

After breakfast this morning we honestly didn't think we would be doing much.  The rain blew through fast and furious and knowing what I know about sailing (zilch) I thought the sail would  be cancelled. 

I was wrong.

I love being out in the ocean.  I love the feeling of just being out there, and thinking of all the cool things that are probably surrounding us at the moment.  But, I was dragging my feet to the dock because I was absolutely sure we were going to get on the boat and then the sail would be cancelled after we loaded up. 

Like I said, I was wrong. 

We went on the sail and it was so worth dragging my tired butt to the pier.  And I have said that numerous times since we got back this afternoon.  Making memories is something I (obnoxiously) say over and over.  I want my kids to remember all of the cool stuff we've done as a family.  I know that they will remember today for a very long time.

We boarded the Wild Hearts sail boat this afternoon to set sail about 1.  This sailing yacht is is a 53' Catamaran sailboat owned by Perdido Beach Service and it is gorgeous.   Capt. Rusty and his crew man this boat wonderfully, they take care of everyone on the boat and really connect with you personally.  Luckily, we only had to share the boat with one other family so it really felt private.  Capt. Rusty made it a point to get to know all of our names, especially the kids and he talked and chatted with them during the sail.  He works with 2 of his children as part of the crew and he had 2 more crew members that were great as well.
Capt. Rusty and his daughter (does anyone else think that Capt. Rusty might just be Dennis Quaid's twin brother?)

That's Capt. Rusty's daughter again, Hannah and that dude is Drew who was so helpful and happy the whole time

We sailed out into the Gulf and unfortunately didn't have any dolphin sightings but we did enjoy the sail.  Well, we all did except for G, who had his first experience with being sea sick.  It was rough for the little guy but he persevered through it.  After getting sick, off the side of the boat like a true sailor should, he laid back on his daddy and passed smooth out.  T and R fell asleep in the cabin after being at sea for a little while. 

G...pre sea sickness

The boys enjoying the view down below

B and T with the wind in their hair

Sitting with me on the boat

G- post sea sickness...poor guy.

We sailed back under the Perdido Bridge and anchored in a little spot in the bay where we all got out to snorkel, kayak and try out the YOLO boards.  R was a total natural at the YOLO board, I was impressed.  G and I had fun finding hermit crabs and setting them up for races.  I was not brave enough to try to swim with my camera above my head to land so the only pics I have of us actually in the water are few.  But we loved it!

My snorkel dorks...

Enjoying the ride!

T steering the boat and G looking on....

They had plenty of refreshments ready and waiting for us when we boarded including fresh fruits and veggies, sweets, crackers, cheeses and soft drinks and water. 

Can you see all of the goodies?

I am so glad we decided to go out on a limb and head out even though the weather looked iffy.  It was actually perfect.  Cloudy enough that it was a comfortable temperature and breezy enough to keep you cool on the boat.  T and G both got to steer the boat for while and loved it!  The crew was extremely knowledgeable and just as sweet as can be.  When G got sea sick, Drew (one of the crew members) checked on him and offered any help he could, he found some ginger candies hoping that would soothe his tummy. 

I loved this experience today and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I look forward to following Captain Rusty and his family on Facebook too.  He just happens to have a ministry for teenage boys which is where our heart is a lot of the time too. 
Hey!  It's the Hampton!

Perdido beach Services provides an excellent opportunity for tourists and locals alike to experience the area in a new and exciting way.   Being on a sailboat is totally different than hopping on a pontoon boat, which we've done and loved.  On a sailboat you experience the teamwork and camaraderie that has to exist to get things done.  You see the mast that rises 72 feet in the air and you hear the sails going to work and you feel yourself relax and notice all the little things around you. 

How great is that sail?  We had just gone under the bridge here, that takes some excellent steering

Loving life

Seriously, could he be any cuter?

Capt. Rusty letting G steer us a little.....he will remember this forever!

I hope everyone can experience the fun we had today and the memories we were blessed to make. 

Sail Wild Hearts has a great way of life, that's for sure!  You can find Sail Wild Hearts all over the place...Facebook, Twitter and on their website (which has a super cool video of the trek Wild Hearts took to get to Orange Beach). 

Cobalt for dinner.  We showed up and walked in thinking, this place is huge so it shouldn't be that long of a wait.  We were wrong.  Another recurrence. 
We needed a table for two.  I said it didn't matter if it was inside or out, just a table.  They looked at me and said it would be about an hour.  An hour?!  For a table for two anywhere in the place? 
Well, we went ahead and waited.  We waited in the very convenient shopping area with shirts, hats, scarves, stuffed animals, you name it. I didn't buy into it. We were seated after 45 minutes.  And they seated my 10 year old daughter and I right next to the bar. 
The food was what I expected really.  When something has a bit of hype, the menu prices show it.  I had the blackened red fish, which was great but not like slap your mama great.  R had the kid's fried fish and french fries.  Like, I said the food was great but not worth me waiting an hour....and I was lucky, a man in front of me needed a table for 3 and they told him it would be an hour and half.  My husband even called ahead of time to see if they even had a kid's menu and asked if he should make a reservation for us and they told him, "No, you should be fine."  Grrrr......
Verdict:  food-great 
          service-eh. Our waitress was wonderful but the restaurant itself was not in the seating department
          decor: nice, very spacious...outdoor seating looked awesome

We have loved Orange Beach and my only regret is that we had not made it here sooner.  What an amazing vacation adventure we have been able to have once again.  Tomorrow we head to my aunt's house and T heads to Auburn Soccer Camp (War Eagle!), B will fly home Monday to take care of the pups and go back to work.  This will be the first time we are not together on our anniversary.  Year 14 is fast approaching next week.

I will post great family pics once we get settled in at my aunt's.  As of right now, I am sitting on a laundry room floor at the Hampton Inn and Suites, waiting on my T's clothes to wash and dry so we can have him ready for camp tomorrow.

Glamorous, people.  I am just stinkin' glamorous.

Don't forget to follow all of the deals for the Hampton Inn and Suites...especially the Endless Summer deals where you can find some great prices for traveling here during a great time of year.  You will not be disappointed. I can't wait to come back. 

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