Sunrise was at 7 am CST. It’s the most remarkable thing watching the sunrise on the Gulf. Our vantage from our Phoenix 7 balcony allowed views from the East and West. Quickly, I got my coffee brewing in the condo-provided Flex Brew coffee maker; it’s like a Keurig side by side with a coffee pot in one unit. I had a sweet Sumatra coffee from home that was perfect for this trip.
Sunrise on the Gulf
Can I tell you how amazing the sunrise was that day? It was like the sun starts by peeking out of the clouds and you see the sky change to pink, and then orange, and finally the blues begin to come up. And then it seems like dawn has arrived. But no! Officially the sun still hasn’t crossed the horizon yet. Trust me you will know when it does, it’s come in through the living room windows and creates a beautiful bright blinding light for a couple of minutes before officially ascending. Now the day has begun. Lucky for me no kids were up yet, just me and my coffee and my quiet time.
But all good things must come to an end ☺ the kids woke up, TVs were turned on, and breakfast had to be served. Excitedly, they begged to go swimming in the pool starting at 7 am. The rest of the Phoenix VII guests were probably happy that I stood my ground and said, “wait until at least 8 am kids”! Finally, it was time to go down. I made one mistake here that you should take heed.
BRING AN UMBRELLA. Trust me. I could have spent more time down there that morning watching the kids frolic in the surf if I didn’t have that sun blasting down on us. There are rentable pre-set up wooden loungers with umbrellas made for two if you want to keep it simple. The prices were about $30 to rent for the day. Not a bad deal if it’s just the two of you and you want to pack light. Luckily my room had a couple of beach chairs along with two extra boogie boards. Pool noodles are another excellent option if the beach is calm. The nearby Publix had a lot of these items at the front entrance if you forget.
Now I want people to be aware that Orange Beach can have strong rip tides on some days. I was glad that the posted Official Flags were always Yellow, but I did mentally prepare the kids that we might have to hit the pool if conditions changed.
The Orange Beach Flag System
Time for Lunch!
We were finally ready to go out and hit one of the many Orange Beach restaurants we had heard about. We chose The Wharf!
It’s basically a restaurant right on the gulf that has a sandy area for kids to play, with fancier picnic tables (with umbrellas) and pretty flower arrangements on the tables. Let me warn you though, ordering does not involve a waitress. You walk up and order from the wall menu and they bring it out to you. A server doesn’t really take care of you, so keep that in mind. But let me just say the Wharf Burger was AHMAZING! I mean slap your granny good. The kids loved their burgers too. The 8-year-old was slightly disenchanted with his grilled cheese because they use basic Kraft singles, guess I have spoiled him at home with butter drenched vintage cheddar melts. Regardless, overall the visit it was a hit. The iced tea was spot on. PS The outdoor atmosphere is Instagram worthy.
On our way home we decided to stop by the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum. It’s a little museum that is located in a restored building a few miles from our condo. It’s a one-man show running the place and he was chockfull of information to share. Tons of artifacts from the area dating all the way back to the 1800s. There is even an dugout canoe on loan from the University of Florida that is hundreds of years old. It’s a great little side trip that takes about 30 minutes to see everything. Donations are accepted. It’s good for curious kids too as a majority of the items are touchable. Photo albums of great fishing feats and previous Gulf Shore hurricane damages’ are out for viewing. It’s like visiting your grandmother’s house with the great stories and the random neat things kids think are cool. For example on display is a big rubber horn from a 1920’s car that they actually let you squeeze.
After coming back to the condo, we took a quick pool swim break and then washed up for dinner. Lambert’s Café in Foley was our goal. In the summer the line can stretch out the door, being that it was Fall Break and midweek our wait was only 15 minutes. What a surprise! Basically at Lambert’s, you buy a meal and then get lots of free sides like sautéed potatoes with onions, greens, fried okra, apple butter, but most importantly THROWED ROLLS! You may ask, “What is a throwed roll?”. At Lambert’s a man or lady with a cart will holler out “Rolls?” And when you say “Yes” they toss a hot, flaky, buttery, yeasty roll that’s to die for. Legend says at one time they would hurl them across the room in a circus-worthy display until apparently someone got hurt (I guess it could happen?) and the ‘home of the throwed roll’ became ‘home of the tossed roll.’ It’s still a crowd pleaser. You may actually want to skip lunch this day and just come starving.
It’s basically like eating at your Italian grandmother’s except she serves awesome southern dishes like chicken fried steak.
When we came home we went for another swim and called it a day with multiple room television watching, we got pretty good at that!
Orange Beach is Wonderful
Our family loved our short Orange Beach vacation. The food was great, the people weren’t pretentious, and it was simply, utterly peaceful.
And like every person who visits Orange Beach, I can’t wait to go back! Thank you Beach Getaways!