Ryan and I, although we live and met in Ohio both have southern roots in our blood. Ryan was born in Alabama and his dad and many family members still live south. I was born in Ohio but my dad was born in Alabama and also have family who still resides there. It just so happened that our work schedules worked out that we had a long stretch of days off together and as with most getaways. We decided last minute to head south and see family.
Ryan, myself and the two girls headed south right before the girls nap time. This time of day worked out really great. We missed any big cities rush hour and the girls actually handled the trip really well. We landed our first night outside of Birmingham at my great aunt Sherry and uncle Jimmys lakehouse. The next day we woke to a home cooked breakfast. Sherry took us on a small driving tour around the lake telling quirks of her little gated neighborhood and how they came about landing their retirement home after living on a farm for as long as I've known them. We did lunch and sadly had to head south to arrive at our final destination. It was sweet to finally introduce my husband and children to some of my own southern roots.
Our home-base for the next three days was the Gulf Breeze Motel on Dauphin Island. Dauphin Island is a small, quiet and quaint little place off the bottom coast of Alabama. The center of "town" has the essentials- gas station, small grocery store, church, couple restaurants and a bakery/coffee spot. When you first drive onto the island there are these "birdhouses" that caught my eye. A row of tall skinny houses for deep sea fisherman to stay at. The color palette of the homes help you feel like you have arrived on an island in the sun. The motel didn't have much online information and with it being spring break time there was limited lodging, so we took a gamble and booked it. In the end the motel offered exactly what we needed traveling with two toddlers. We booked a "suite" which consisted of a two bedroom, living room/common area and a kitchen. We set up the two pack in plays in the second bedroom and brought our own two highchairs. With each getaway we learn a little more on how to make traveling with toddlers easier. Bringing these pieces of furniture have proven to make life work outside of our home and I think help ground the girls in the chaos of changed routines. The motel is a bit old fashioned with a mom-pop ownership feel. The sky blue exterior really kept us feeling like we got away to the tropics.