Back to the real world once again. This was a rather odd vacation; started well, we left early Friday morning and made excellent time getting to the hotel in Greenville, AL. Stacy and Jill were following us and Jessie and Kristina caught up at midnight. We four got to leave early because they don't have to find subs for us (impossible to replace the irreplaceable). Saturday was wonderful, the sky soon took on the special light of sun reflecting off of water. I always tell the grandkids to watch for the light when we head south. We zipped past the ragged pine forests and makeshift houses along 65, glad they were not our destination; even sprinkled with azaleas and dogwoods, they have a look of being worn out. Cutting off 65 onto 10 meant the land changed to swamps and canals, challenging the pavement for territory. Mobile was soon behind us as we branched off onto 163, the Dauphin Island Expressway. Little burgs huddled next to the road offering gas and fresh seafood or BBQ and beer. I would have to be starving to enter most of them...cleanliness was not part of the requirements. Some were barely standing but had the "come on in" flag out. Maybe I am a little bit picky, but my Mom wouldn't have let me go there. Soon we were seeing the Bay in all her glory and the super bridge joining Dauphin Island to Alabama mainland. Three miles long and many, many feet high, it hangs like a kid's toy over the water; way, way up...........then waaaaaaaaaaay down the other side. The island seems impossibly small and defenseless from the top of the bridge, one can see most of it end to end. Some in our party were wondering what we were in for.
Sail Fish was the house we had chosen for the week; a new build out on the west end of the island, feet from the Gulf of Mexico, and rising up 3 stories tall. What a sight. The whole south side was floor to ceiling windows and doors, decks and stairs. Inside the walls are pure white, the furniture too with bright aqua and lime accents. We knew we aren't in Indiana when we walked out the french doors and can see only water, rolling in from another world. At night the horizon is circled by the twinkling lights of the oil rigs, which we pretend are castles, not dirty environmental threats. Everyone settled in quickly, picking bedrooms to match personalities. Mine was a tranquil turquoise/lime haven facing the sunrise.
The wind would prove victorious; running us back into the shelter of the house. After 30 minutes I felt as if I'd been attcked by invisible forces, never have I experienced this unrelenting blow. Our sunbathers would crouch as low to the sand as possible to avoid being blown away. Needless to say, the bodies didn't achieve that buttery brown glow we all love. I didn't even get my usual shin burn from my perch on my deck. But all in all we loved the warm sun and sounds and smells of the coast and the time spent together. We laughed so much at each other, told tales of our childhoods, talked shop and tried to solve educations' woes, and even missed our husbands a little. The kitchen was worthy of a chef and I gave a few cooking lessons to the younger set. Simple good food. We ate out more than usual, first at the Best Little Oar House in Alabama, funky round bar and grill on the island with the slowest service in history, but excellent mahi-mahi sandwiches. Later we went off-island to the Pelican Reef for fresh shrimp and the best waitress in the south. She was from the place Forrest Gump claimed as home and shared all her hometown info with us. Although we were within minutes of Bayou P, we never made it there for our hand-embroidered Bubba Gump t-shirts. Maybe next time.
Tuesday night the tide came in rough and fast til it rolled under our decks, scaring the pants off 2 of our ladies. I made a call to the sheriff's office and they declared "no precautions necessary" so we breathed easier and went off to bed. Wednesday dawned bright and beautiful and we thought all was clear, but no, The weather bureau announced a flood warning after 9:00 pm. To keep from worrying we went shopping, we are women after all. Grammas bought too many kids' clothes, newly pregnant lady bought her first baby dresses, so sweet, and the newly wed bought a Coach patchwork bag. I know Angela, that was supposed to be yours. Majitos and burgers at Ruby Tuesdays got us ready for the trip back to the house. The sea awaited us; right beside the steps!!! Okay, this wasn't looking good. Quick packing, checking tide, stripping the beds, checking tide, washing bedding and towels, checking tide, cleaning fridge, checking tide. By 7:36 we were headed north. Running like rats off our possibly sinking ship. The hard rain started in Montgomery and pounded us till the Kentucky state line. I dropped Connie in Dubois County and by 10:00 AM was back to my real life. Spoke to Stephen King for a minute, as he was on his way to the farm to feed sheep and put up fence, then I was off to bed. World traveler that I am, I slept all afternoon, all evening, all night. At 7:00 Friday morning I regained consciousness. What a wimp.
Oddly, this hurried up, wind blown version of a vacation made me even more eager for more, more coastal travel, more rental houses, more ocean views, more time spent in peace and quiet...even with the grandkids!
Everyone buck-up for next week, only 7 more for us.
Alison, semi-state is an honor, too. Sounds like some game!
Anna, enjoy your break, have too, too much fun.
Love to all, Hedy