We took our First road trip together to Orange Beach, Alabama. That’s right, Mojo and I rented a Chrysler Pacifica Minivan from Enterprise (yes, a minivan) and hit the road to visit Orange Beach together! This was a huge milestone for us. We haven’t traveled since January of 2020 due to the pandemic. We also haven’t taken a road trip without Moe.
As a widow, this was the ONE thing that I was afraid of. I’m used to being the passenger and this time, I was in the driver’s seat for 3 hours. I wanted to cancel, but couldn’t break his heart. About 45 minutes into the ride, I started to have anxiety. What if I had a flat tire? Moe must have been right there in the passenger seat, because I made it like a boss.
We had to stop at this magical place called Buc-ee’s. I needed to see what all of the hype was about. As soon as we walked in the door my jaw dropped! WHAT IS GOING ON?!!! People were everywhere! Was this a gas station? A grocery store? Was it a restaurant? A toy store? I was overstimulated, but Mojo loved it! His first stop was the dippin’ dots. I quickly approached the back of the store to pick up sparkling water…because #alcoholfreefor40. We jumped and line and got out of there. I forgot that I needed the use the restroom! I heard that they have the cleanest ones. Is this true?
Island House Hotel
We checked in our hotel room at the Island House Hotel-a DoubleTree by Hilton. If you have ever stayed at a DoubleTree property, then you KNOW about the warm, complimentary Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies! Not only were they available on check-in, I had a whole tin waiting in my room. Moms, did you know that there are peanut-free cookies if your child has a peanut allergy like Mojo!
The King Corner Room was perfect for us with views from the balcony. The Island House Hotel is the only hotel on Orange Beach that has all Gulf Front rooms. We didn’t have to drive to the beach, it was right on the property. The weather cooler than I expected, but I couldn’t deny Mojo his beach day!
OWA Spring Car Show
I wanted to find something that Mojo would enjoy, so I searched www.gulfshores.com to look for upcoming events. Just my luck, there was a Car Show that weekend. Mojo LOVES cars! We made plans to go to the Gulf Coast Mustang Mega Car Show at OWA. It was free and open to the public. The look on his face as he ran from car to car was priceless!
I was also able to get some self care shopping in and picked up some bath salts and tea. I will FLY no matter where I go.
Not only does OWA feature stores and restaurants, there is also a gated amusement park. Perfect for family fun!
Spectra Laser Light Show
Later that evening, we watched the Spectra Laser Light Experience at the Wharf. The Pirate-themed show featured lights and music along Main Street. This was another great mother and son bonding experience.
The Wharf is an entertainment district which features one of the tallest ferris wheels in the Southeast, a movie theater, mini-golf course, retail shops and restaurants. This is definitely family friendly.
The Gulf-Orange Beach
Of course I had to check out the dining options. Based on Yelp reviews and the tourism website, we decided to visit The Gulf. This uniquely designed outdoor restaurant was made out of shipping containers. It was a great selection for us because I prefer to dine outdoors during the pandemic. The benches provided adequate social distancing and the waterfront views were breathtaking. Mojo even saw a speedboat!
For dinner, I ordered the Mahi Mahi tacos to go. The fish was very fresh and the portion size was nice. The bartender even prepared a nice mocktail and “shirley temple” for Mojo. We snapped some pics in the photo booth to commemorate our date.
We Did It!
Our weekend getaway was a huge accomplishment! These last 14 months have been tough, but we have been there for each other through it all. It was nice to get some bonding in away from New Orleans. I look forward to more Mom and Son getaways! Moe would want us to LIVE and travel the world…together.
Where should we go next?