A Travellerspoint blog

Holiday Events Start Soon

It's almost time! The day after Thanksgiving, Orange Beach hosts its “Lighting of the Island Christmas Tree” ceremony. It's at 6 p.m. At 4550 Main St. After the tree lighting, festivities move to the Wharf, where wee ones can have a free photo made with Santa himself!

( Wharf also will be host to the Pleasure Island Christmas Parade at noon Dec. 13.)

If holiday lights make your season a bit brighter, plan a trip to Bellingrath Gardens while you're here.

“Bellingrath's Magic Christmas in Lights” starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs through New Year's Eve. There are more than 3 MILLION twinkling lights and 835 set pieces in 12 major scenes. Here's the best part: This year, there's a brand new set dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico! It's called “The Under Water Garden,” and it shows jellyfish, squid, fish, crab, seahorses, starfish, stingrays and sea lettuce. Doesn't that sound amazing? Details are at www.bellingrath.org. I can't wait!

Posted by Carol W 12:18 Comments (0)

Holiday Shopping Spree

The dishes are washed, the leftovers are (finally) all put away, and the tidying up is complete. What's left to do before Thanksgiving Day draws to a close? Break out the sales papers, baby! We've got shopping strategies to plan!

No, I'm not kidding. This takes pen-and-paper planning. There's the list of early birds versus Johnny-go-laters. Then there are the Wharf hounds versus the Pinnacle peakers. Bargain hunters versus find-it-fasters. Meals, rest stops and trips home to unload bulky items have to taken into consideration as well.

That's one of the (kazillion) great thinks about living on the Alabama Gulf Coast. We're so close to so many places, and the options are almost limitless.

We have friends and family members who come down a couple of times a year specifically for shopping. They hit the Tanger Outlet Centers for clothes and shoes, the boutiques and locally owned stores for gifts, the markets for fresh fish and seafood, and the list just keeps going.

This Thanksgiving, if you're visiting me, go ahead and have that extra slice of pie. Trust me, we'll be working it off during Black Friday!

Posted by Carol W 12:18 Comments (0)

Holiday Fun for Girlfriends

With the holiday season here, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the shopping and the cooking and the wrapping and the baking and the decorating and the stuff. So make a pact with your best gal pals to spend an afternoon or an evening – a day, if you can – just hanging out together and having a good time.

Maybe you'll go shopping; maybe not. Maybe there will be mani-pedi appointments; maybe not. Maybe there will be pasta, coffee and chocolate; maybe ... OK, there will be pasta, coffee and chocolate!

You'll trade recipes. You'll admire shoes and handbags. You'll brag – just a bit – about the kids. And for a few hours, you won't be somebody's mom, or wife, or boss, or assistant. You'll be somebody's friend.

It'll be over too soon, but you'll enjoy it longer than you can imagine.

Make the time. It's worth it.

Posted by Carol W 10:06 Comments (0)

Holiday Craft Idea with Beach Twist

In case you need a holiday craft project for young ones, try this beach-themed one. It takes minimal supplies, but supervision needs depend on the ages of the children involved. You'll need a drape to protect the table and the floor, some paper plates, some thin kitchen sponges, some heavy craft paper and some craft paint (washable) in complementary colors. If the paper and paint can be beachy, so much the better.

Take a kitchen sponge and cut out star shapes. Give each child a section of paper, a sponge and some paint squeezed out onto a paper plate. Have him or her stamp the paper with the sponge, creating personalized wrapping paper.

Older children can use the odd bits of sponge to create coral reefs or other “sea”-sonal decorations.

For large family gatherings where lots of children are going to be present, use the same idea, but swap out the paper for craft foam in rectangles of roughly 11-by-17 inches. If all the children are present a day or so ahead of time, each can make his or her own custom place setting. If not, the “host” children can make place settings for everyone else. It's a great way to keep youngsters involved in the process by giving them their own project.

When it's time to go home, each person has his or her little piece of the beach as a reminder of the great holiday

Posted by Carol W 10:02 Comments (0)

Winter Fun on Alabama Gulf Coast

Some folks think you have to book weeks or months at a time to take advantage of winter rates along the Alabama Gulf Coast, but that is not the case. You don't even have to make it a long weekend (although, frankly, I can't imagine why you wouldn't) to come for a visit during the winter months.

And what a great time to come! Everything seems to be just a bit more refreshing. Sunrise is an awesome display of colors, with hues of gold gradually brightening the sky. During the day, the steady rise of the sun is complemented by the steady rise of the temperatures, making the outdoors so appealing. And when dusk begins to set in, the blue sky turns to red and the sun slips behind the horizon. The temperatures are perfect for snuggling with a mug of hot chocolate next to a fire on the beach as the waves lap nearby.

Got your bag packed yet? Well, what are you waiting for?

Posted by Carol W 12:22 Comments (0)

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