2016 Family Vacation to Orange Beach, Al

Hello, Friends! Did any of you get to go on vacation this year? Or do you have plans to take a vacation before the end of the year? We took some time off to take a family vacation, and you know what? It. Was. Awesome.

My sweet mother and father-in-law invited us to go with them this year to Orange Beach, Al. My husband’s family has been visiting the Gulf Shores area for many years. They have seen it grow by leaps and bounds.

We thought that October would be an “off” month, but….not so much. It was pretty crowded. We still had a lovely time, though!

It has been at least five years since we have visited the Gulf Coast. Our youngest one has never seen a beach or the ocean. She was thrilled to see it!

One of the main reasons we accepted our family’s invitation to go is because we have been wanting to visit Pensacola Christian College. We arrived in Orange Beach on a Saturday and attended their church service on Sunday and spent the afternoon with a few dear friends we have there. The following Tuesday, we toured the campus. My daughter was also allowed to sit through a class. She really enjoyed that. We really enjoyed the tour as well. They have a beautiful campus.

PCC Campus
Pensacola Christian College Campus

Another reason we accepted the invitation is because we needed down time as a family. We have taken several trips over the past few years but have not had any real down time. We spent the summer painting the exterior of our home, as well as doing several repairs, putting in 4 new windows, and remodeling one bathroom. Something that I thought would take a few weeks took the entire summer! And we are still not done. We have several projects left to do. I am hoping to have these done within the next month.

We really needed this family vacation. We had  time to relax and unwind from the crazy fast pace we’ve been going at all summer. The last “down” time we had was a little over a year ago when we took a few days to take a trip to Reelfoot Lake.

2016 Family Vacation to Orange Beach, AL.
2016 Family Vacation to Orange Beach, AL.

On my husband’s last day of work, he took off early so that we could go get last minute items. In our attempt keep this vacation budget friendly, we set off to Kroger (no Aldi’s in our area). We purchased snacks for the road and food and toiletries (and a few other things) for our time there.  We knew we could purchase many of the things we needed at a better price here rather than waiting until we were there. So many items are marked up there, you pay a high price for convenience.

The plan was to have everything loaded before sundown and for us parents to take a nap so that we could head out at midnight. We just couldn’t wait until the next morning to leave! We also let the kids stay up until time to leave thinking they would sleep on the way. Our oldest daughter didn’t sleep at all, our son slept about an hour and our youngest daughter (she’s 3) only slept about two hours. That didn’t work out like we had planned but it was still a good trip. They behaved very well.

My husband and I barely slept at all before leaving, maybe grabbed about 2 hours of sleep. I think because we were so ready to get on our way so that we could get there as early as possible. We got up at midnight and were on the road by 1:15 a.m. We love to travel at night.

We enjoyed watching the sun come up as we were on the road.  We arrived at our destination at about 8:45 a.m.

It was a most beautiful day! The water was as clear as I think I’ve ever seen it.

Can you believe how clear the water is?
Can you believe how clear the water is?

[tweetshare tweet=”Seeing the vastness of the ocean, hearing the waves crash on the shore and feeling the breeze….it’s just majestic!” username=”@mended_blended”]

In addition to touring the college campus, we also visited the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola LightHouse and Museum.

We love seeing the Blue Angels.
We love seeing the Blue Angels.
It is awesome seeing so many planes in one place and reading the history behind them.
It is awesome seeing so many planes in one place and reading the history behind them.
2016-family-vac-naval-aviation-museum
The kids got behind the controls of every plane they could.
The Pensacola Lighthouse was beautiful.
The Pensacola Lighthouse was beautiful.

The other time we had there was full of playing on the beach, finding shells, hunting crabs and digging holes.

This was one of the highlights of the whole trip. We thoroughly enjoyed hunting for crabs. (We let them go after we collected a few)
This was one of the highlights of the whole trip. We thoroughly enjoyed hunting for crabs. (We let them go after we collected a few)
They had a lot of time digging holes as deep as they could on the beach.
They had a lot of time digging holes as deep as they could on the beach.

Check out this video on our Youtube channel that my daughter made.

The most beautiful sunrises and sunsets I have ever seen have been on the coast.

Sunrise on the beach of Orange Beach, Al
Sunrise on the coast of Orange Beach, Al
Sunrise on the Coast of Orange Beach, Al
Sunrise on the Coast of Orange Beach, Al
Sunrise on the coast of Orange Beach, AL
Sunrise on the coast of Orange Beach, AL

The entire time watching the sunrise, all I could think of was God’s majesty.

My oldest daughter’s hobby is photography and making videos. Here are a few shots she got.

Sunset on the coast of Orange Beach, Al
Sunset on the coast of Orange Beach, Al
Sunset on the coast of Orange Beach, AL (This is one of my favorites).
Sunset on the coast of Orange Beach, AL (This is one of my favorites).
Me and my husband on the coast of Orange Beach, AL.
Me and my husband on the coast of Orange Beach, AL.(Another one of my favorites)

I was so glad my daughter got a few shots of us on the beach. We are standing very, very close to where my husband proposed to me, almost 12 years ago.

We also enjoyed really great food from Lambert's in Foley, AL.
We also enjoyed really great food from Lambert’s in Foley, AL.

We were truly blessed to be able to go on this vacation.

Of course,  while feeling blessed about this vacation, our hearts were also heavy for all those affected by the hurricane. Reading reports from those in Haiti and on the eastern coast of the United States was and is heartbreaking.

The ocean became pretty rough as Hurricane Matthew passed up the East Coast.
The ocean became pretty rough as Hurricane Matthew passed up the East Coast.

That’s a little glimpse into our family vacation. Thanks for letting me share this with you!

Have you been able to enjoy a family vacation this year? Where did you go?  I would love to hear about it! 

Amanda

Amanda

You'll catch Amanda at mendedandblended.com writing about her
family's journey of being mended and blended together by the thread of the Word of God. They are a homeschooling family on this journey with 4 children talking about real life andseeking to encourage others.
Amanda
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16 thoughts on “2016 Family Vacation to Orange Beach, Al

  1. Looks like a great vacation. I love the beach. We are in the car driving to Galveston TX for a weekend getaway with our kids, grandson, and our DIL’s parents. Can’t wait to see if I can get some beautiful pictures like you did.

  2. Amanda, so glad you had a wonderful time! My parents live there and we don’t get down as much as I would like to. The pictures were beautiful, and next time we get back there I would like to check out the Pensacola Christian College campus and the lighthouse.

  3. What beautiful sunset pictures. I have never been to Alabama, thank you for sharing your travels and taking me with you! Our family traveled to Texas for the first time this year. We live in an amazing and diverse country. It is fascinating to see it thorough other peoples eyes.

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