Friday, February 20, 2009

Gulf Shores, AL

Hello from Gulf Shores, Alabama! We spent two weeks at a brand new RV resort called Bella Terra just north of Gulf Shores near Foley, AL. The RV resort is a place like we stayed at in Hilton Head and Naples where people buy the individual lots. This is a brand new place and it is really going to be beautiful in a few years once the landscaping is established and has time to grow. Right now, it's a bit of a parking lot, but nevertheless we enjoyed our time here. The people here are absolutely wonderful and the clubhouse and facilities are top notch.

What have we been doing? Well, not much - at least not much that can be put into pictures. On the other hand, there has been alot going on at a deeper level. We had some opportunities last week to really pull together as a family. It felt like something very significant was happening to unite us together. We are really grateful for this development.

Rich spent this past week in Seattle on business so it was just the kids and I for a week. I'm noticing that we are all content most of the time to just do life right here in the RV. We did, however, drive to Pensacola, FL (about 50 minutes) to the
National Naval Aviation Museum. It's a free museum on the Naval base and filled with so many airplanes from WW1, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. We had an incredible tour guide who shared the stories behind the aircraft and made it all come to life.

We also saw two IMAX movies - one called
The Magic of Flight where we learned about the history of flight and about the Blue Angels which are a group of Navy pilots who travel the country doing air shows. The other movie was Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk . This movie highlighted the water shortage that is a growing concern especially in the southwest. The water levels in the Colorado River, as well as Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are not what they once were. There was an important message about water conservation woven into the amazing scenery of the Grand Canyon and a trip down the Colorado River.

We are learning to bake bread from a new book called
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and our wheatgrass experiment continues. Our second tray looks better than our first attempt, but its still not looking like the trays the smoothie guy had in Charleston. We use the same seed - wheatberries - to either grind into flour to make bread or to sprout into wheatgrass. I grind the wheatberries in our Vita-Mix to make the flour. We can whip up banana bread (click here for recipe) from freshly ground wheatberries in no time. We're still perfecting our bread recipe. It doesn't rise high enough for sandwhichs, but this crusty whole wheat loaf is absolutely delicious. And we found a way to use our new wheatgrass juicer until such time as we actually have wheatgrass to juice. We ran frozen strawberries and frozen bananas through it and it came out like softserve ice cream! It was a fun treat and the kids enjoyed cranking the handle of the juicer.

All through the south we keep seeing these little tiny restaurants called Waffle House. You might remember the night of the kidney stone we stopped there to ask directions. After we picked up Rich at the Pensacola airport on Friday, we decided to see what the deal is with all these Waffle Houses so we stopped. They are little diners with a counter and cook and a couple waitresses that serve, you guessed it - waffles...and eggs and hashbrowns - and grits...we're in the south you know! No...we didn't try the grits, but the waffles were pretty good. And you can't beat the price...Jake had a waffle for $1.

We are really happy to have Rich back home and looking forward to continuing the journey as we head further west...Texas, here we come!


RVingRoadTrip said...

Growing up in the south I must say I have been to Waffle House countless times. The kids love the chocolate chip waffles. Now if you haven't had grits you must. I don't think my mom ever cooks breakfast without grits. Waffle House is probably not the "Cleanest" looking place but it does have some friendly people and good food.

Glad to see your family doing well and I look forward to your updates.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to say I'll be following you on your journey. I was looking up families on the road and saw you are from the Twin Cities and since I'm from St. Paul I thought I'd check you guys out. I'd love to travel full-time in an RV as well but for now we are looking for an RV just for a few vacations a year. My hubby is in the same field your hubby is in but his company won't allow telecommuting. :-( I can't wait to hear your adventures. --Lyn

Randall Ray said...

Saw your last couple posts. We vacation pretty-much every Spring in Perdido Key ... just across the Florida border from Gulf Shores. We just love that area. The inland fishing/waterways, seafood, etc. We always stay at a place called The Eden. We'll be there for 10 days in early April. If you stay that long ... we'll come-over and say Hi!

Molly said...

I loved the RV Dance Party bit on this video! It looks like fun and I wish I were there. RB - you've got soul, man...Don't be afraid to show your dance moves! Peace, friends. We miss you!