The Low Down

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heaven on Earth

If you've ever been to Panama City... it was right under your nose. Smack dab in the middle of Spring Break's Sin City is true Paradise: St. Andrews State Park.

I'll admit... I'm a bit biased, because this the place where I finally became googly-eyed and wobbly-kneed for the bf.

But, many other avid campers will agree... if you want a great family campground on the Gulf Coast, this is your spot.

St. Andrews is tucked over to the east of Panama City Beach. It is shaded and backs up to an inner-coastal waterway. It's a short walk or bike ride to the beach front. There's a wave-free lagoon for kids and jetties that a great for fishing, diving and snorkeling.

It's a family/church tradition for our group. We have devotionals, do yoga in the mornings, late night bike rides, snail races, group meals, gator tracking, shark watching and a Friday fish fry.

Do you have a favorite family vacation spot?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Monday: Hangout

Last May, I swore off the Hangout Music Festival forever. It was hot, crowded, smelly and more loaded than a Colombian drug cartel.

Then they announced the 2012 line-up and we were lured back to the beach with 35,000 of our closest friends.

Thank goodness.

First off, the organizers did a great job of listening to the requests of the festival-goers and the locals. There was more room, better (& less trippy) bands; and the the vendors included local favorites like Burris Farm Market, L.A. Barbeque and GooRoo's Grill.

Secondly, the music was incredible. My favorite shows included: The Givers, The Lumineers, Gary Clark, Jr., and, yes, Dave Matthews Band (with Tim Reynolds!!!) Don't hate, guys, the man has still got it. J would probably add Jack White to the list. Unfortunately, due to a blown heater hose on my Honda, I missed our inner-state faves, Alabama Shakes. Hopefully they'll stop by after their European tour!

All in all... what a great weekend! What bands would you like to see at Hangout 2013?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So Long, Spring.

Alabama Spring is enchanting, isn't it? From the moment the azaleas trumpet its onset, to the day the shy pecan trees start to bud, I have a silly grin on my face that can only be explained by impromptu beach weekends and homemade strawberry shortcake.

And then... things really start to heat up. I know you 'solstice people' are going to be up my tree about this, Summer in Lower Alabama (which will hereto-forth be known as L.A.) is about to officially begin. I prefer to determine my seasons by the temperature in my black Honda and the number of bodies on the beach.

Soooo.... Local ladies and gentlemen, cue the sweaty commute and the lines of cars on Highway 59!

To keep us upbeat about the heat, here are some cool ideas for the summer:

1. Water Park - Robertsdale is currently in the process of building a water playground, just like the one in Summerdale. It is great for kids or hypothetical boyfriends that think they are still 10.

2. Ice Cream - Our gang usually finds time for the homemade sort, but there's also Cammie's in Midtown Mobile, which is well worth the drive.

3. Cold Springs - There's nothing like cooling off on a hot day with some icy cold water from middle earth. Our favorite spot is Morrison Springs in Florida, which is about 2 hours from Loxley. It's great for swimming and diving, just don't go on a holiday weekend, it can get crowded.

How do you cool off in the L.A. summer?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crawdad Family Supper

A perk of dating a New Orleans native is food. Food. Food. Butter. Food. Food.

I gladly embrace this, even if my pants may (or may not) have trouble embracing my waste-line as gently they used to. No matter, Crawfish Boils are worth it. You can't get more "family-style" than sharing a pile of food on picnic tables covered in newspaper, can you?

J's dad gets these mudbugs from a guy who brings them fresh from NOLA to Summerdale, AL. Message me if you want his digits. Do you have a favorite family-style meal?