My first foray out into the world of travel again was a beach trip with a friend.
We rented a house in Seaside for the week and had a wonderful time. We drove down and made a few stops on our way. First up was Laurel, Mississippi,
the home of the HGTV show Home Town.
They have really spruced up the city, with quite a few quaint shops and a bustling tourism business. You got to see the actual wood shop they build furniture in while filming.
We did some shopping and then loaded up and headed to Mobile, our first overnight stop. After a wonderful shrimp poorboy (our first seafood of the trip, but definitely not last) we headed to bed. The next day we toured Bellingrath Gardens
before heading to the beach.
Bellingrath Gardens looked great. The roses were in full bloom and the fragrance greeted you well before you saw them.
While many people go for the azaleas (which are stunning), I often prefer the diversity of other seasons plants. They had some of the largest hibiscus blossoms I have ever seen,
and their red foliaged hibiscus were already blooming.
Interestingly enough, they had cannas in bloom already along with a myriad of summer tropicals and annuals. It was a great garden stop before the beach.
We had a gorgeous house in Seaside. It was different from my previous beach trips in that we actually weren't on the beach, nor could you see or hear it from the house. Seaside is a community of houses and shops and restaurants all included together.
Some families come, park and never leave the community while they are there. You can walk or ride a bike to everything. We were about 1/2 mile from the beach. We rented chairs and umbrellas a few days
and walked the beach whenever possible.
We had the most idyllic weather imaginable.
Sunny skies all week, with a little rain as we drove back from shopping late Friday afternoon. We boated, ate amazing seafood,
shopped and spent time on the beach. We also had a fabulous dinner with a new friend we met--another Janet!
What more could you ask for?
Close to where we were staying was a Shard Shop.
You could go and make your own art using glass shards along with shells and small bits.
After you do the design, you leave the art overnight
and they epoxy over it.
It was great fun.
As we headed home, we had to bring some fresh seafood back with us as a reminder, and to share with our families.
There is something about the beach--the sights, the sounds, and the smells that rejuvenate me. I came home refreshed and energized. Travel is good for my soul.