Because we homeschool and have some flexibility in our schedule, our family vacations are usually planned for during the school year when rates and crowds are at their lowest and temperatures at their mildest. So, during the summer, we lay pretty low except for maybe a brief getaway to hold us over until fall or winter when we take our longer vacation.
This summer we took an overnight trip to Orange Beach, Alabama for a little sun, sand, and sea. We arrived at the beach shortly after lunch our first day and took a few hours to play, play, play! It felt sooo good to be at the beach again, even if just for an afternoon. As hard as it was to later pull ourselves away from the gorgeous white sands, the anticipation of a special dinner gave motivation to get everyone showered and dressed up.
It was the week prior to Father’s Day weekend so I surprised Joel with reservations at Fisher’s, a seafood restaurant situated on a marina. Joel is such a devoted father to our children. He manages his time so well between working hard to provide an income and spending quality time with the children: teaching, guiding, mentoring, instructing, and playing. I love that man!
Fisher’s offered an attractive seafood menu and a tranquil atmosphere with it’s calming color palette of whites and pale blues. I snapped endless photos of furniture, finishes, and light fixtures. I even took pictures of the ladies’ restroom; it was just so pretty! Yes, I embarrass my kids.
An after dinner stroll around the marina was a pleasant way to work off our dinner.
We all agreed that we would like to dine at Fisher’s again if we ever return on another trip.
The next day we went deep sea fishing ten miles off shore on a boat that Joel chartered for us. Our whole family loves to fish. Yes, we girls too! Joel had been deep sea fishing a couple of times already and thought it would be a unique and memorable experience for our family. He was correct.
From the minute we boarded the boat at 6:30 in the morning, with the early sun shimmering on the waters, I knew it was going to be a fabulous day. The ocean was absolutely breathtaking!
And look at my lovely girls fishing in style. The sun was so intense the day before that we had to run in a store to pick up some hats for them.
My little man was not loving this big life jacket. Poor thing, he looked like an orange box sitting there, pouting, and grew even more discouraged when he tried to drink his juice box. Not a happy sailor.
Abigail caught the first catch of the day and, right after that, caught the largest catch of the day. Madeline got going soon after with her first red snapper.
Joel won for most fish caught over the course of the day.
Wilton finally got his turn but it took him a minute to warm up to his catch. (By the way, don’t you just love baby feet in flip flops!)
You wouldn’t know it by the casual smile on Madeline’s face but she was actually reeling in a shark in this photo! Yes, a shark! She first hooked a rather large snapper that was soon gulped by a shark. The shark was then hooked and this girl worked hard for quite a long time pulling that beast towards the boat.
Joel gave her some relief and took a turn for a while. Unfortunately, just as the shark was surfacing and the deck hand was grabbing all the gear to retrieve it, the line snapped. We were all so disappointed over the big one that got away.
I took a break from snapping photos, swapping my camera for a rod. I did not want to put the rod down after catching my first snapper. It was so exhilarating.
We seemed to get out of snapper territory when Joel started catching mackerel.
A break with my Honey.
Smiles all around.
And fishing gear all around. We were impressed with how organized and clean the deck hand kept the area, wiping down after every catch and putting each rod back in it’s place.
The girls kept going strong throughout the day but Wilton finally called it quits and gave in to a much needed nap in the air conditioned cabin.
I love this picture of Joel that I took as we were riding back to shore. He enjoyed the day so much and was taking in every last minute before docking.
Our family with our catch. Tired, dirty, and happy.
This was one summer getaway we will never forget! Thank you, Joel, for blessing us with the extraordinary experience and fun memories.