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The joint is jumping! Well, the floor boards are bouncing with the enthusiastic dancing to the country and rock music. There is a lively, unsophisticated, good fun atmosphere. Everyone is enjoying the fast rhythm of the banjo. No rules, no ageism here – only to have a good time!
We are having a high time here on Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in the southern US state of ‘Sweet Home’ Alabama – where the skies are so blue.
We are following the flight path of the ‘snowbirds’ – retirees who flock south from Canada and the northern states to escape their cold and snow in winter. Just along the coast from Florida and 200 miles east from New Orleans this little-know coastline is a hidden secret for us Brits. It boasts 32 miles of white soft sand beaches, inland waterways and clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay.
“It’s the people down here that is the big draw for us – the good old fashioned southern hospitality” says Ken from Ontario. He has travelled here to ‘nest’ in a beach house for February and March at ‘great value rates’.
This is the place to discover other migrating and indigenous animal species, as wild life abounds. I watch a great blue heron standing in the water, delicately picking its way across the sand. Later in the day, during a stroll on the nature trail, I spot a shy armadillo gracefully foraging in the leaves.
A short bay cruise gives us a magical experience. As if from nowhere, five dolphins playfully appear giving a wonderful display jumping, frolicking and surfing in our wake.
This area is also known for its mouth-watering seafood and is packed to the gills with superb restaurants. We couldn’t go wrong with the local oysters, crab and shrimp fresh fish. Good food that tastes so good “makes you wanna slap yo momma!” – as they baffling say down here. We joined many snowbirds roosting at ‘cocktail happy hour’ too.
So much to see and do – we make time explore Mobile and the hugely impressive WWII battleship, USS Alabama and submarine SS Drum. Both provided us with an insight into the lives of those that served.
If you get fed up with the damp and cold this winter – y’all fly over and join the ‘snowbirds’ for good ol’ fashioned hospitality, country and rock music events, fabulous food and sunshine. Its great value and great fun.
http://www.gulfshores.com

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