The Gulf of Mexico🐬🦀

We found the shrimp boats! 🦐

I was overjoyed with gratitude to be in Mobil and done with those rivers. I was excited as we crossed the bay. The seagulls followed us and dolphins jumped in our wakes. We got back into the ICW and found Saunders Boat yard. Andy had arranged to haul the boat and do an inspection of the props, bottom, trim tabs, etc. We have traveled a very long way and it was time for a “once over!”

It always freaks me out to see our home lifted and moving on these straps.

The props had some dings from stuff we hit in the water but nothing major thankfully.

We thought this would be a few day stop so we booked a luxury beach front hotel. We deserved it after the last 1300 miles.

This is the Lodge at Orange Beach. The sand was powder and soft!

Once we checked in I ran to get my toes in the sand. The sugar white warn sand was exactly what my soul needed. I am a beach girl. I always have been. It started as a child. My mom would load all my brothers and I up in our station wagon and take us for a day in Malibu. We would frolic in the waves, boogie board, get really sunburnt ( these were before the days of sunscreen). I would lay on my towel and fry my skin to glowing redness of perfection. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potatoes chips and occasionally she would afford an ice cream. These days are imprinted in my brain as a very happy time. The crashing waves are therapy to my soul. The smell of the beach is something I can close my eyes and bring into my consciousness. It is my happy place and just perfect!!

The hotel was amazing and I felt so spoiled. We sat on the balcony enjoying a cocktail looking at the gulf. We said, “how did we get here?” A bunch of times. The wonder of this trip, how we have managed and gotten along, as well as just the sheer number of miles we had gone sometimes overwhelms us.

Here is the current map. Florida is in site!

Andy decided to stop here to regroup and do some boat work. The only problem with this plan was that the moment the boat was up in the air we added a lot to the list. We kept saying, “since it’s up in the air lets do……”. The list grew and so did the time it would take to make the repairs. The props had minor damage from an occasional smack. Nothing really major but the list of “desired improvements” grew. After a week there and the end of the project no where completion, I decided to fly home. I ended up home for 10 days!! I needed it. So much happened for me while I was home. I was super busy doing lots of things and seeing lots of family. Andy’s uncle had passed away earlier this month. We were in the rivers and couldn’t fly home. It upset me a lot so I helped my cousin and soul sister start the process of cleaning out the house to sell. A lifetime of stuff had to be sorted, thrown, donated, sold. It was a daunting task but I got the ball rolling. Remember I have done this now so many times for family and also my own life. I have gotten very good at it. We moved onto the boat to do this trip so ya! No more stuff.

These are my babies, now adults. This is my favorite picture of them as beach lovin babies. They could play on the beach all day like their mama!!

My kids really have missed me and Andy and it was super great to be there to lay in bed, chat, cry, hold each other, and be present with each other. Mommy needed that. Also some good dog cuddles and play. I also miss my furry grandkids! Finn sequels when he sees me. Evie takes a while, then she can’t get enough love.

I don’t know who’s prettier, Finn or Jake!

I spent good quality time with both my mother in law and my parents. We had lots of dinners out and I got all my hometown food craving fulfilled. I saw my brothers. I feel so blessed to have such a strong close family. Mom, Alyssa and I got a pedicure! This was my first one in a year and boy did I miss my guy who does the best foot massages!!

I was able to see my nieces 3rd baby the day he was born. Sawyer is just perfect and beautiful.

I was busy and the time flew by. I felt recharged to return to my Andy and the boat still up in the air!!

We were stationary long enough that our buddy boat was able to catch up to us. They arrived while I was in LA and Andy loved having them there. They needed a break after completing the rivers and were happy to wait for our boat to be ready to make the gulf crossing. We would stay together for that trip and it was wonderful and comforting. I missed Robin and Ted. I arrived back to Mobil and we prepared for the next run to stage for the crossing. A few more town before the big day. I am ready! Let’s do this! Florida is in sight!!

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