Hey guys! Told you I was going to start blogging again 🙂 My goal is a post every Tuesday and Friday, and so far I’m 2 for 2! Wednesday is when I’m hoping to send the weekly email with that Tuesday and the previous Friday’s post. The BEST ways to get live updates are to:
- Subscribe to the weekly emails if you scroll down a bit on the torileighblog.com homepage
- When you leave a comment below (please do!), click ‘Notify me of New Posts by Email’. Those go out the very minute I post something
Anyhoo, back to the real reason I’m here, to recap our amazing quick (half of my) family getaway to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Of my 3 siblings, Luke and Ali couldn’t join but my youngest sister Julia, and our cousin Abigail who is Julia’s age came. And it was such a fun dynamic, even though we missed Luke and Ali a lot 🙁 And yes, I’m recycling this pic from last week’s post because I think it’s super cute and fun 🙂
Contrary to popular belief, I really do think the Florida/Alabama part of the Gulf Coast has the BEST beaches in the country. Gulf Shores, Perdido Key, Seaside, Destin, Pensacola, all of those places have blue waters, squeaky white sand, and smaller waves than up here in the northeast #safetyfirst. My sister Ali and I LOVE Seaside, and we went back in March. Here’s my post on Seaside if you’re interested! Below is a pic of Seaside, where I went in March. It was a really eerie foggy morning but still gorgeous.
My family does Gulf Shores a lot simply because it’s the closest of these awesome beaches to our home in Dallas. And for me, it’s less than an hour from the Pensacola airport, so that’s super ideal when I fly in to join the fam from NYC.
When we’re on the Gulf, we always rent a condo, buy groceries, and cook all our meals together. It’s a super sweet time since most of us have moved out, to be all together drinking wine (NOT Luke and Julia, but definitely the rest of us 🙂 ), attempting to put together giant puzzles, cooking, all with stunning views of the ocean right outside our window.
Check out this salad with fresh gulf shrimp my sister and I made in Seaside, it was like one of the best culinary experiences of 2018 I think. Look at that creamy avocado lime dressing we made in her VitaMix (that she brought on vacay with her, yes you read that right #extra). It was AMAZING. We love to experiment with fun foods when we’re down there, and it almost always involves a trip to the local seafood market. You better believe those shrimpies were swimming that morning!
From our experience, there’s three main ways to rent a condo in this area:
- Airbnb – My sister and I used airbnb for Seaside for this little back guesthouse and it was SO adorable. You’ll get $40 off if you use THIS link! Our cottage had an adorable porch and was pet friendly!
- VRBO – What my family used this last time we went to Gulf Shores. It’s owned by the larger brand, HomeAway (based in Austin, Texas whattup). My mom liked it because there was a keypad on the door instead of picking up a key, which saved time and hassle. The views from our condo were stunning! And there’s mom and dad making mom and dad friends by the grills 🙂
- Meyer Vacation Rentals – A professionally run rental and property management company down on the coast. You go to the office in Gulf Shores to get the key to your condo first, so that’s a drawback, but we like the comfort of knowing it’s a professional management company.
We’ve collectively used all three and have had great experiences with all of them.
Our last night I was there, we all made s’mores on the charcoal grill and it was SO fun!
They were seriously delicious and I ate more than I care to mention.
Unfortunately, it was a quite short trip for me because there’s a lot of changes going on at my job right now and it was terrible timing to take time off. But that’s how life is sometimes! Seeing my family was incredibly important to me and all the travel time, flight delays, and airport food was 1000% worth beach swims with my sissy, crawling into my parents bed at 8 a.m. like a 5 year old, and so so so many good laughs *coughwhiteswimsuitincidentcough*. I love you fam, and Gulf Coast, I’m sure I’ll see you very soon 🙂