A few months ago, I received a very unusual text from my husband. It was unusual because it was just not like him at all (not that I am complaining!) His text said something like this, "We need a salt water vacation this year. Can you make it happen?" My answer was a very loud "YES" and I quickly finished up some schoolwork with the children and began doing research. After asking a couple of friends and searching the internet for a few hours, I found the perfect beach house for us on Dauphin Island and booked it by the end of the day. The children started the countdown and we began finalizing our game plan on when to leave and how far to drive, where to eat, and where to spend the night.
Finally the week we were supposed to leave arrived. You might imagine it is a lot of work packing for 9 people, cleaning the house, and preparing various dogs, chickens, and a rabbit to be ok while we were gone for a week. Art took a half day of work on Friday and while he was at work in the morning, the children and I finished up some last minute things and prepared lunch. We headed out by 11:00 and we were on vacation!
The drive went fairly well the first day. We decided we would drive halfway and had made hotel reservations at the Hampton Inn in Clinton MS. Our family is too large for one room, so I of course had to book two. The rooms had a king size bed along with a fold out couch. I though that Lily and Chelsea could have the couch in my room, and Christian, Emelia, and I would have the bed. Then Art and Anthony could have the bed in the 2nd room and Nick and Alex the couch. Well Christian (5) did not want to sleep with "the girls" and really wanted to be in the boys room, so he squeezed in with Art and Anthony. The hotel was very nice. It was clean and the staff was very friendly and helpful. It had a nice outdoor pool and a good continental breakfast. I thought it was reasonably priced (around $80 per room.) As soon as we checked in, I got online and ordered pizza from Pizza Hut and it was to the room in less than 30 minutes. We had a good night sleep and were loaded up and ready to go by 9:30 the next morning.
The drive the second day was a little harder. There was a lot more traffic and very few places to stop. We had to drive all the way to Mobile before we could stop for lunch, and by then Emelia was getting very, very cranky. I was never so glad to see a McDonald's in my life! We were only about 40 minutes from the island and there was a Walmart behind the McDonalds, so we picked up all of our groceries for the week and had a good long break from the van. The girls fell asleep as soon as we started driving and before long we were at the rental place picking up the keys to our house!
We rented a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house right on the beach facing the sound. I chose this house because it was a perfect fit for us with one bedroom having 2 sets of bunkbeds for the boys, a king size bed in the 2nd room for Chelsea and Lily to share, and a king size bed in the master for Art, Emmie, and I and it was on the beach! The description said that the waters on this side of the island were calmer and more shallow which is perfect for families with small children. In case you are wondering, we rented from Dauphin Island Real Estate. We were thrilled with the house! We unpacked and headed out to our own private beach!
My next post will be about the beach!