Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, July 4, 2014

Arriving at Dauphin Island

After a good nights' rest, we went down to the hotel's complimentary buffet breakfast.
The girls were so excited for fresh hot waffles topped with LOTS of whipped cream and strawberries!

As we were getting ready to leave, Sophia asked if they weren't going to make the beds; afterall that is what we always do at home.  Jill told Sophie that it wasn't necessary.

 Sophie looked at the beds and said 
"they probably change the sheets for the next people." 

The trip from Shreveport to Dauphin took 9 hours.  Super long for children - especially for a 2-year-old!  
We made a stop at Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  It has a play ground for the kids and we let them play a long time to get their wiggles out!
We took Lortab with us on this trip.  
(the hospital pharmacy mascot with his own Facebook page)

We went through Bayou La Batre where there is a drawbridge.
In our town, we wait for trains.  Here you wait for boats.
Bayou La Batre was featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump and the book upon which it is based.  It is Forrest's friend Bubba's home town. In April 2005, Disney Studios launched a secretly built pirate ship, the Black Pearl, out of Bayou La Batre for filming sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
This was the car in front of us, waiting for the drawbridge.  I wouldn't want to rear end this one!

The bridge!!!

 Driving up to our house for the week!

 Josh's had arrived a little before us.  They were already in the ocean and we were also ready to go swimming! 

 We ate out on our deck

 These birds were swooping very close - wanting our food!

 Every evening, Papa read to the children.  They love that!  Especially if they aren't books that won't cause nightmares!!  He had brought along a book (called "Door in the Dragon's Throat) that the parents nixed.  Papa saw that it was a Christian children's mystery and adventure book and thought they would like it.  Maybe when they are older.  When they won't have nightmares.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dauphin Island vacation

Having grown up in a fishing village in Japan, where I could see the ocean from my bedroom window, I have a thing for beaches.  I love the beach and it has been a dream of mine to live by the ocean.  But, for now at least, God has placed us pretty far from any beach.  

We are smack dab in the middle of the states in good old Kansas.

Some families like to go to Colorado for vacation.  But I always want to go where I can go to sleep to the sound of surf!

Our son and his wife first discovered Dauphin Island when they went there with friends.  It is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama.  Most people think we are saying Dolphin Island.  No, it is Dauphin.  

It used to be called Massacre Island (as there was a massacre there in 1699).  It was changed and there is disagreement over the reason for the name of Dauphin but some say it was named after the French heir to the throne, Dauphina.

The island is connected to the mainland by this cool bridge!

Our first year that we decided to go, our plans were ruined by Katrina.

Homes were destroyed.
Part of the island was washed away.
The beaches were oil slicked.

Luckily, we had insurance and got our money back and we ended up going to Great Wolf Lodge as a family instead.  Not quite the same.  Ha!  But almost as pricey!!

We booked a rental house last fall.  Because the children are in school now, we could not get a house off-season as we did the last time we went.  Off-season is a great time to go as prices are much cheaper. 
 Loading up the car - we were full!!

Adam's called us as they were driving through town.  Just as we drove down the on-ramp, they drove past us (see the mini-van) and we caravaned the 2 day trip down to the island.  Josh's would meet us there but were going through Memphis and we were going through Dallas.  Mindy was flying down.

 Our first stop was at the Oklahoma visitor center.
 Their van was FULL too!

 Jill being silly in the first picture.  In the 2nd picture Al and Hannah join in.
 Hannah loved picking up all these brochures!
 The girls had many activities to keep them busy!

Driving through Dallas was crazy!!!
I have no idea how people stand living in big cities!

Some guy nearly rear ended us.  Squealing tires and smoke everywhere as he pulled across 3 lanes to take the off ramp where we were also getting off on.  AWFUL!!

Many hours later, we arrived in Shreveport, Louisiana.  We had booked a 2 bedroom suite at Homewood Suites.  It was wonderful!!!    Great service and wonderful hospitality!


We unpacked our coolers to keep things frozen and cool in the fridge overnight.  We had packed all our food for the week.  We each were assigned 2 nights to fix and prepare supper and Al and I purchased all the food.

We arrived early enough to go swimming before getting ready for bed.

 We were ready for a good night's sleep before heading out for the next leg of the trip.