Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Take a Walk on the Wild Side!

Hi there! Glad you came by today! Today I am posting my third installment of my free entertainment ideas for a thrifty vacation. These ideas are taken along the gulf coast of Alabama, but are not specific. You can take any of these and look around your area, call the chamber of commerce, or go to the state web site for specific events. Ask locals where to shop, where to dine, what to see. Search the Internet for area attractions. Grab a map and head out. Thelma and Louise had a heck of a time doing just that. True. It didn't end well for them, but here is betting that you will have a much better end result and create some great memories in the process!
But before I go on and talk about installment number three, I want to remind everyone about Thrifty Thursday. Thrifty Thursday is a show and tell of sorts. It is time for you to showcase your thrifty find. It can be an old find or a new one. It might be something that you found at a thrift store, a consignment store, flea market, garage/yard sale, antique store. It's it was a thrifty find, then it meets the requirements. I am not picky, It can be a great pair of boots & a killer vintage dress, jewelry, home decor, even fishing lures. It is your thrifty find. Tell me about it. Where did you find it? What is it? What do you plan to do with it or how do you plan to use it in your home? Do you want to sell it? Thrifty Thursday's are about the thrill of the hunt...and the treasure you found. So....do show and tell! Be sure to grab a button and link back. Also, don't forget to come back here tonight at 8PM and paste your direct hyperlink to your Thrifty Thursday post here at Mr. Linky (assuming he will be nice tonight).
And while I am promoting, tomorrow is also Tablescape Thursday. My friend Susan at Between Naps on the Porch host that, and it is really a great event. I have meet some great bloggers through Tablescape as well as Thirfty Thursdays. I encourage you to attend. There is no wrong way!
Finally, Wednesday is Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan of A Southern Daydreamer. I am really glad because my post today is all about the outdoors!

Sunday, I introduced you to yet another Big Daddy.
On Monday I took you to the romantic town of Magnolia Springs
Yesterday it was the quaint and charming town of Fairhope

Today, we get a bit adventurous!
Come on, strap on your virtual hiking shoes and lets hit the road for another thrifty form of entertainment along the gulf coast. Today we are going to take a hike at the Gulf State Park.

What many people miss as they drive along the beach road are the wonderful trails at GulfState Park. The park features ten different trails of varying length and surface type. The trails give visitors the chance to slow down and get up close to nature to view plants and animals that live in the park. As with any nature trail, visitors are strongly cautioned to avoid contact with the wild animals, especially the alligators. But with a good dose of common sense, the trails can provide hours of outdoor fun.
Hiking has become a traditional form of entertainment with my family when we head to the coast. It started out when they were very small children. I love to hike but kids can become bored quickly, so we made it a game a long time ago. They like to hunt for Marie Laveau (read the whole story here). While my kids are now at the age they know that Marie is not waiting in the woods hiding on a man, they still like to play and spook one another. It's not a beach trip for our family without hiking.

There are tons of walking trails in the general area. We have walked many of them. We tried a new trail for the first time on this hunt, this one located in the Alabama Gulf State Park, the Gulf Oak Ridge Trail.

When you hike, be sure to pack your binocculars! You don't want to miss anything!

We spotted and photographed all of these critters along the trail:

(Horned Owl)

(Blue Heron)
We didn't spot these, although we KNOW that they are out there.

This is not a wild animal, it only looks like one. Or...is it?
Nah, This is my son, Bama, who decided to be adventurous and climb a tree......a dare by his Dad.
Funny how the outdoors can breath anew life in you.
Just the sunshine, the fresh air....and in this case, the beautiful moss draped trees...
They speak to me as I walk down the trail....relax, relax, relax......Enjoy "This is the day that the Lord hath made!" Rejoice in it.
And I do.
This trail was nice because it offered rest spots (and a map of the trails!)
As well as "porch swings" to sit and take in the tropical breeze.
Because there is no TV or computer to distract.....it is the perfect time to catch up with your family. Have actual conversations. Interact with one another.
And while we have yet to come upon Marie Laveau, we have had some great memories in our hunts for her. There is always some form of excitment to be had!
It's a perfect escape.

And you know what...it's free! Take advantage of it!


Bama Belle said...

I could not figure out what she was doing. Maybe it is just too late and I need to go to bed. I will check again tomorrow. Those Pictures were gorgeous!

SILVER said...

aawwww...this is so beautiful.

there's always so much love, fun and positive posts that remind us there's so much we can be grateful for.. and it's free.

Just have to pay more attention to life..there's still a lot of good.

love and hugs enclosed!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Welcome to Outdoor Wednesday Leigh! Looks like a nice walk! Thanks for sharing your photos.~ Susan

Anonymous said...

You guys must have enjoyed the hike, the view, the birds, the bonding, and everything else! :-) Your son looks like he just saw an alligator and climb of the tree :-)

Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

Mari said...

Those look like beautiful trails and I love the bird spotting you did with your camera!

Keetha said...

Do my eyes deceive me, or is that an OWL perched right under an OSPREY nest????

Songbirdtiff said...

Hi there! I came over from Kari and Kijsa. I'm looking forward to your thrifting Thursday. I do my thrifting post on Thursday, too!

Debbie said...

It's amazing what the great outdoors can do for spirit. Great pictures and thoughts. Those times together are priceless.

Blessings - Debbie

Chandy said...

Nothing says thrifty than the word FREE! Wow, I'd love to do that when we get a chance to visit Alabama. It sounds wonderful!

Enjoy your Wednesday, Leigh!

Betty Jo said...

What an awesome post Leigh! Yes, I'll try to remember to link up to Thrifty Thur tonight, or early Thur AM. Thanks for the reminder. So much going on around here, I hardly find time to post anymore. ♥

Lynda said...

Great photos, and looks like a great time! Thanks for sharing! Happy Outdoor Wednesday, Leigh~

Leigh of said...

Bama Belle, I could not figure out what she was doing either.Dont sweat it. Thanks for the compliment. Sweet you!

Thanks SILVER, for your kind words. Love and Hugs right back. Peace Love and Happiness!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer- Thanks for having me!

MyThoughtsMyVoice-Happy Outdoor Wednesday! THX for stopping by!

Mari-Those trails are so beautiful! We love to go birding.

Keetha- NO! That IS an OWL perched right under an OSPREY nest.That BE an owl! Right under that nest. We watched them for three days. The owl, under the nest. They (osprey) didn't seem to mind. I guess when they were sitting on their nest at night the owl was off hunting and in the day when they were hunting he was asleep (that's what we saw). Funny....But those osprey were HUGE. At least the size of the owl.

Songbirdtiff- So glad you came by. I have missed you!

Debbie It is amazing what the great outdoors can do for spirit. Thanks for droping by! I love new friends!

Sweet Chandy- You are so right. You need to come and visit!

Betty Jo -Thank you. I hope you will have a chance to link up. Would love to have you.

Lynda Thanks for stopping in! Happy Outdoor Wednesday

Maryrose said...

Hi Leigh
You have a beautiful family. I loved your pictures and what a beautiful walk that was. Some of my favorite pictures are from behind and I loved the one showing you all with your arms aroung each other.
I am intrigued by your Thrifty Thursday, I must put my thinking cap on.
I look forward to visiting your blog again, Thanks

Maryrose said...

Hi Leigh,
Thanks for the wonderful walk with your family. You have a beautiful family and I especially loved the picture of you all from behind with your arms around each other.
Your Thrifty Thursday is intriguing me, so I must put my thinking cap on.
Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

♥georgie♥ said...

I felt like i was right there with you on this hike and now I am exhausted ;-)
GREAT pix!

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

What a fun day and what great pictures, thank you for sharing.

Valarie Lea said...

I have got to get back down there again.

nancygrayce said...

You can do a lot of that kind of vacationing on the shores just down the road in Florida! Looks like a good time!

once in a blue moon... said...

that was fun, thanks for sharing the walk~ cute song too.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

There's nothing better than a good walk! Thanks for sharing yours. :-)

Lindsey said...

Love all the pics and especially that family shot! You've got a beautiful family!!!