April 22, 2017


Carol writes:   There’s a saying in the full-time RV community that “home is where the slides are out.”  Our next “home” was at a ritzy campground called Bella Terra, just outside of Foley, Alabama.  More than one fellow RVer had recommended Bella Terra to us when we were new at the full-time lifestyle, so we had carefully filed that information away for a potential stop at some future date.  When we pulled into our enticing lakefront campsite, we were suitably impressed… you could say... quite delighted that for the next week this neighborhood would be our "Sweet Home Alabama."

Family and friends living along the Gulf coast were the reason we had selected Foley for our next stop.  We had seen my Cousin Jeanette and her husband Al as we passed through Kentucky last October.  Fast forward 6 months to the Gulf Coast… where we knew that they were in Foley for their yearly winter getaway.  

Al was game to test his latent tennis skills, so Jeanette graciously invited him to participate in her weekly tennis round robin at the local city recreational facility.  In spite of rusty tennis skills, Al had lots of fun with a great bunch of physically fit senior citizens.

Thanks, Jeanette, for a fun morning with the tennis gang!

Later that day, we enjoyed great casual southern dining with Jeanette and husband Al at “Jesse’s Restaurant.” 

As is our habit when we are traveling along  the Gulf coast, we met up with Al’s Naval Academy classmate Jim and his wife, Anne, who graciously treated us to Sunday brunch at the timeless Grand Hotel near Fairhope, Alabama.  The dining room had a breathtaking view of Mobile Bay, and the Grand Hotel certainly lived up to its well-known reputation for a fabulous Sunday brunch.  As always, over great food and lots of laughter, it was such fun catching up with Anne and Captain Jim!

A walk along the beach of the Fort Morgan peninsula made it quite obvious to us why cousin Jeanette and hubby Al chose Foley, Alabama, as their annual winter destination.  The pure white sand along 'America's Rivera'

was remarkable for its natural pristine condition,

and the vacation homes along the shoreline were sweet indeed…

A short stroll through nearby Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge awarded us with some interesting wildlife sightings… like our favorite bird—the great blue heron.

Thanks to the generosity of a fellow hiker, we had the opportunity to observe this very large great horned owl nest through a set of binoculars.  With heads just visible over the edge of the nest, we saw chicks who had not yet left the nest and were waiting for their meal from mom. 

So…that was our little taste of “Sweet Home Alabama.”  Time to head west to Mississippi for two weeks on the coast in Gulfport, where we planned to meet up with some dear Mississippi friends and sample a bit of the southern lifestyle we came to appreciate during the first three years of our married life.

"You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren."  William Henry Hudson

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