Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites

Favorite team. On Monday night my dad, Ben, and I watched the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds. It was Ben's first MLB game and the Cardinals finally pulled off a win after going into an extra inning. We live about 2 hours from the stadium and didn't get home until 1:00am. Jon Hamm is originally from St. Louis and he threw the opening pitch. How is he so ruggedly handsome?

While we were at the stadium I posted a picture of us at the game on my Facebook. My friend Adi saw it and texted me that she was at the game too. It was a nice surprise to be able to see her and catch up for a bit.

Favorite television show. I am obsessed with the show Fixer Upper on HGTV. If you're not watching this you need too. Not only are the homes that they remodel beautiful, the couple is so cute, and Joanna is drop dead gorgeous.

Favorite first. Ben's first day of kindergarten was yesterday. He did so good and I can't believe time has gone this fast.

Favorite flowers. J got me these just because. Or because he wants something and I just don't know what it is.

Favorite naked moment. Enough said. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up Karli & Amy and Amanda.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gulf Shores, Alabama: Part III

As if dolphins and gators weren't enough, J and Ben managed to catch this ugly little crab while digging their giant hole. Ben named him Mr. Crabby Pants but we had to quickly let him go after Jack tried to yank off one of his legs. He didn't understand that you have to wait to do that after it's cooked and dipped in butter :)

One night we separated from the rest of the group to have some family time just the 4 of us. As great as it was having my entire family around, it was also nice to spend some time just the four of us. We ate at a local pizza place and then went to The Track, a huge family game center with go carts, mini golf, and a kids area with ferris wheel, merry go round, etc. Ben (and J) LOVED the go carts.

Little cart Ben could drive by himself.

Although Jack was a little too young to do go carts, he loved watching the cars zoom by.

The next day we traveled to the USS Alabama in Mobile, Georgia about 45 minutes away. We stopped and ate lunch at Mellow Mushroom and it did not disappoint. I had eaten there once before in Atlanta and it was every bit as good as I remembered. We finally got a Chick Fil A in our town so maybe Mellow Mushroom will be next!

The USS Alabama is huge with lots of places to explore both on deck and below.

The chapel


Sleeping quarters

On our final full day we made sure to get in as much beach time as possible.

By the end of the trip, Ben not only wanted his life jacket off, but he was swimming into the waves and giving me a little heart attack with his new found bravery.

J's dad collects shark teeth from different beaches so we bought some fake ones at a souvenir shop and buried them in the sand. Ben was so excited to find them and dig them up to give to his grandpa. And yes, grandpa knew they weren't real :)

A morning story with MeMaw.

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. We stopped at a Dip n Dot store and obviously the boys loved it. Did you know Dip n Dot had stores? 

Jack usually woke up before everyone else so most morning we would go out on the deck and just enjoy the breeze off the ocean or watch dolphins jumping in the water. This was one of my favorite times of the day and Jack loved being outside and roaming the deck.

One last photo before we left. Although we didn't have to leave the condo until Saturday morning, J had the idea to leave at 6:00pm on Friday night to get most of the drive out of the way while the kids slept. Although we were pretty tired, it ended up working out great and we were in St. Louis by the time the kids woke up in the morning.

A great vacation with the people I love the most!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gulf Shores, Alabama: Part II

After a full day at the beach, we decided to explore the area. We took a dolphin cruise that also included a swamp tour to see alligators. The captains on this particular cruise were fantastic and they let the kids sit with them and drive the boat a lot. They also sold snacks on board for $1 which was nice when they started to meltdown. My only complaint was that the tour was a little long and the kids had to keep their life jackets on the entire time. I'm glad the company out safety first but do you know how hard it is to keep a life jacket on a one year for 2 hours. 

Don't mind Jack's Cheeto hands and mouth. The tour was a little long and he was getting impatient so Cheetos to the rescue!
If I did the cruise again I would skip the swamp part and just stick to the dolphins to shorten the time. We didn't end up seeing any alligators anyway and if alligators are your thing, Alligator Alley is awesome.

Our next day we drove about 30 minutes outside of Gulf Shores to Alligator Alley. When you first enter you'll see a large pond full of alligators. There are a few different feeding times throughout the day and you can watch staff members give them their food.

Alligator Alley is made up of several walkways that wind around the property and you can purchase gator food to toss over the fences as you walk around.

There is also an area where you can hold baby alligators and I thought this was the coolest part by far.

This kid has no fear.

I love this picture of Jack. And yes, it was completely safe. The gator's mouth was tapped shut and J held his tail to keep him from moving. 

Come back for Part III tomorrow as we wrap up the trip!