This year in Orange Beach we had visitors. Usually, we are there on our own, we make new friends every year and often they are back when we return. This year we met a couple from North Carolina, Curt and Julia. They had two small dogs so we saw them often while walking Maggie. They were two sites away from us and are returning next winter. Curt and I went to see the new Avatar movie one afternoon. It was a good movie. We enjoyed their company.
This year there were many more electric bicycles and three-wheeled trikes like ours than we have seen in the past. There were many more electric bikes and trikes than non-electric ones. It probably is representative of the age of most of the folks in the park at that time of the year. If an e-bike gets older folks out and moving then they are a great addition.
Surprisingly, the winter is considered the “off-season” in Orange Beach. The condos and the RV Parks and the State Park are full of mostly older snowbirds, not like the crazy summer days with active families having adventures, eating out, and shopping every day. Family time at the beach in the summer is the “high season.”
In January our friends Jeff and Sandy from North Carolina stopped by on their way to Arizona as did Hans and Marjet from South Carolina who were going to Arizona with Jeff and Sandy.
I went to see the USS Alabama Battleship one day with Jeff and Sandy. I followed the tour routes one way, they went a different way. We didn’t have lunch there.
There was a seaplane launching catapult at the stern end of the battleship and a crane to hoist the plane back on board after it landed in the water. It seems like it would have to be pretty calm for this to work.
And way down in the engineering spaces at the bottom of the ship, there were eight boilers each with six burners. The Alabama was able to reach 25 knots on only 4 boilers. The top speed of 27.5 knots took all eight boilers. The fuel capacity of the ship is 2.1 million gallons. That is more than 11,000 times the fuel capacity of our motorhome!
It must have been very hot place to work.
And the boilers needed fresh water. The ship was able to convert 40,000 gallons of seawater to fresh water every day for the boilers and crew. The ship’s water tanks held 118,000 gallons of fresh water.
We had a potluck supper one evening. We made Barbecue Shrimp using a recipe from Pascal’s Manale Restaurant in New Orleans. Jeff and Sandy brought southern gumbo from a local seafood place. Hans and Marjet brought salad. It was fun. Way more food than we needed which is always the case with a potluck. We had enough leftover shrimp for several more meals.
Hans and Marjet have two Goldendoodles, Jazzy and her son, Storm. Storm’s father is Jax and his father was Calhoun. Maggie’s father was also Jax so Storm and Maggie have a common grandfather, Calhoun.
The dogs all got along quite well, especially Maggie and Jazzy. They both piled onto Marjet’s lap one evening when they joined us for a campfire.
Jeff and Sandy and Hans and Marjet left for Arizona. We got back to our everyday routines.
Susan and I drove over to Pensacola, FL about 45 minutes away to get fresh scallops. Our destination was Joe Patti’s. It is a big fish market. They also have a nearby restaurant.
Inside the fresh fish market, there was a very long counter with every kind of fish you might want. You took a number and when a counter person called your number, you told them what you wanted and you moved to the appropriate place on the counter. I was looking for sea scallops for a special dinner (our 47th anniversary). They had just what we wanted. Dinner was wonderful.
In February my cousin Sue and her husband Lloyd came for a visit. They stayed in a nearby condo. They had been spending a couple of winter months in Panama City Beach, Florida for many years. Changes in the condo rental market there had them looking for other options. So they were exploring Orange Beach and Gulf Shores choices.
We went out for lunch at the Sea ‘n Suds restaurant which is on the beach in Gulf Shores. Food is good and you are on the beach. And several other meals as well. We played a couple of Quiddler games too.
There were many condos to check out and it seems there is no easy way to look at and compare several choices at one time. They had to call lots of different sources, most had no units to look at, they were all occupied. So they had their work cut out for them. They found a couple of choices that would work. They are working on what will work for them. One thing is for sure, they want to get away for a good chunk of the Minnesota winter.
We did manage to get to the beach one day while they were here, the very green lawn anyway.
We bought a puzzle for Maggie. Something for her to solve to get treats.
She figured it out quickly. We have two more puzzles for her, more complicated. She seems to like the challenge and figures them out without too much trouble.
After Sue and Lloyd left we had just a couple of weeks left in Orange Beach. The flowers were in bloom at the RV Resort.
We were off to Houston to see friends there and then on to Fredericksburg. But first Maggie needed her second visit to the groomer for a trim.
Still the teddy bear look but all trimmed up. She got a bath, her nails trimmed too. Maggie is 23 weeks old and 25 lbs at this time. Her puppy teeth are getting replace with adult teeth. We managed to find a couple baby teeth and then lost them again.
We made our reservations for next year, got out for dinner with Curt and Julia and started getting ready to leave.
More Later, Much Love.
Roger and Susan and Maggie.