Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Get the Trash out of the Splash Sept. 20th in Gulf Shores

Undoubtedly our greatest assets are the clean, sugar-white sandy beaches and turquoise-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond the beaches we have a multitude of lakes, creeks, bays, bayous, lagoons and rivers. Maintaining these waterways and beaches in pristine condition is a year-round commitment with one day in particular devoted to opportunities for volunteers to join in this effort.

The nationwide Coastal Clean-up is scheduled for Saturday morning, September 20th from 8 am til noon and Alabama's portion will take place along the shores of the Gulf in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as well as inland waterways. Over the course of 26 years that the State of Alabama has participated in this event nearly 72,000 volunteers have removed 70 tons of trash from the beach and waterways in the state according to the official Alabama Coastal Clean-up website.

I'm proud to be a volunteer along with my co-workers at Meyer Vacation Rentals and CENTURY 21 Meyer Real Estate as we spend one morning each year removing and documenting foreign objects from the beaches and waterways. Each year our group of Meyer volunteers meets on our designated area of the beach where we receive a t-shirt, documentation paperwork, garbage bags and gloves to begin scouring our stretch of paradise. After a few minutes of determining our strategy we quickly get underway not only removing the unwanted items but also documenting each item.

If you want to join us in the 27th Annual Get the Trash Out of the Splash endeavor on September 20th, we welcome your contribution to our efforts. Simply email April@GMStheBest.biz and let us know you wish to participate as we focus on maintaining the beauty of our amazing coast.

My tip for Coastal Cleanup attire is tennis shoes, lightweight clothing, sunscreen and a hat since the weather is warm and sunny in September. And my tip for spending a great weekend at the beach this fall is to use promo code 14FALL to receive a 25% discount on 3 nights in a condo or 4 nights in a beach house.

See you at the beach.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Golf in February? Absolutely! Meyer Winter Guest Golf Tournament in Gulf Shores

In the winter of 1993 Meyer Vacation Rentals began hosting a February golf tournament for our winter guests. The venues have changed over the years but not the fun. This year we returned to Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, where the golf course is impeccable and the staff is always friendly and helpful. Todd Edwards and his team do an amazing job facilitating our golf tournament and awards dinner following play.

Since the winter weather has been particularly challenging this year in the areas where our winter visitors live the balance of the year, they were especially grateful to play golf in February. The day we played (Feb. 13, 2014) it was chilly in the high 50's but sunny, so there were no complaints. The next day the weather warmed to the mid-60's and the following week we saw a warming trend to the mid-70's. I'm quite sure our golf tournament was not the last time our winter visitors played golf at Peninsula or one of the other nine championship courses in the Gulf Shores area in February.

The Fort Morgan peninsula is the location for this spectacular golf course - thus the name Peninsula. It is a beautiful 27-hole course designed by Earl Stone. This course features abundant nature since it is set along Mobile Bay and is also adjacent to the 7,000-acre Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve. You'll find natural vegetation native to Gulf Shores, Alabama along with live oaks and cypress trees.

My tip when playing the Cypress course is to take a few moments and travel on the boardwalk leading to Cabana Beach. This area is Peninsula's private beach on Mobile Bay, where you can enjoy the serenity of this special place on the Gulf Coast. It is a relaxing delight to all of your senses.

All of our guests who came out to play in the golf tournament were winners. The tournament competition for first place ended up with two teams scoring a 66 in this 4-person scramble. Todd Edwards held a scorecard playoff for 1st place, which went to Gary and Nancy Briggs from Wisconsin, John Hieberger from Iowa, Keith Mortenson from Minnesota. Congrats to our top team and all of our players.

See you at the beach.

Related articles:
Tee off during your Gulf Shores vacation
Fort Morgan: An idyllic golfing experience
Three golf courses to check out in Gulf Shores
Now's the time to yell "Fore!" on Alabama's Gulf Coast

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Journey to the Past at the Train Depot Museum in Foley

Our heritage in Baldwin County is one that is deeply rooted in agriculture. There was a time, seemingly not so long ago, that rail service was the primary transportation for the abundant produce grown in our region to reach its intended recipients. Even though train service ended in 1971 you can take a trip back in time to the days of trains in Foley by visiting the L&N Railroad Depot.

This historic building was completed in 1908 to replace the original depot that burned in 1905. This station served as the final stop on the southern end of the railway and today it houses many historic relics from the community’s railroad past.

Mr. John B. Foley of Chicago, one of the founding fathers of Foley, Alabama, reportedly used some of his own money to make sure the rail line was extended from Bay Minette in northern Baldwin County to Foley. The railway ended about one mile south of Foley where there was a wye for the train to use to turn around and head back north loaded with local fare that included potatoes, corn and gladiolas. Yes, the gladiola flower was one of the area’s big crops, which is a story for another day.

Once you make your way to the Foley Railroad Museum, your railroad experience extends beyond the train depot building to the railroad cars alongside the building. I encourage you to step aboard and tour this blast from the past.

My tip: Although the Depot Museum is open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. my tip is to plan your visit on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so you can also visit the Model Train Exhibit in the adjacent building. This free exhibit is maintained by a group of volunteers who do a great job of recreating what life along the rails would have looked like but on a miniature scale.

Finally don’t leave the park like setting without a ride on the mini-train for a quick tour of the picnic grounds surrounding the museum.

I highly recommend spending some of your leisure time sharing this multi-faceted train experience with your loved ones. It’s just a few miles north of the beach but very much like traveling in a time machine to a different world.

See you at the beach.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter Fun Launches in Gulf Shores

Despite the recent colder-than-usual temps on our scenic Gulf Coast, our winter visitors are out and about enjoying fishing, golf, beachcombing, shopping, dining and more in the Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key area. This week we added to their fun activities when we launched our traditional Winter Guest activities for guests of Meyer Vacation Rentals.

Each year we roll out our exclusive slate of activities by treating our guests to a complimentary visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. We get a chance to visit with them while serving coffee and donuts and they are able to enjoy the entire animal park as well as an animal show. We had lots of fun yesterday and even though everyone was bundled up at first, the sun came out and the temp reached 60 before our event concluded.

Our signature winter guest event is a golf scramble at Peninsula Golf Club that includes an award ceremony and dinner after play. Prizes are awarded for winners in the all-male team category as well as mixed teams that include one or more female golfers. It’s a great chance for our guests to socialize with new people and find out how much they have in common. Todd Edwards and his team at Peninsula do a fantastic job of presenting a world class experience for our customers and we look forward to a fun time each year.

We are partnering with Private Gallery at San Roc Cay again in February to present a fashion show that was a big hit with attendees last year. Our guests get an up-close view of the fashions that are trending, learn how to accessorize and get many wardrobe suggestions. There are discounts, prizes and even a makeover for a lucky attendee. Life’s a Canvas and All Island Flowers provide coastal decorating tips that our customers love to implement back home for a taste of the coast that brings back precious memories.

For a look at the 2014 Winter Guest schedule of activities click here. We invite you to make your plans to winter with us on our beautiful coast.

See you at the beach!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kids Will Love New Year’s Celebrations in Gulf Shores

Ring in the New Year family style in Gulf Shores with your choice of fun activities throughout the island. Here’s an agenda sure to create lasting family memories.

Dec. 31 @ 10 a.m. – The annual Noon Year’s Eve at Lulu’s, located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores, begins at 10 a.m. on December 31st. This event specifically designed for your children features a sandcastle building contest, arts & crafts, live music, zoo animals and face painting. Count down to noon and celebrate the New Year with kid-friendly fireworks and a huge beach ball drop.

Dec. 31 @ 8 p.m. – The New Year’s Eve Beach Bash at Gulf State Park Pavilion starts at 8 p.m. with a large bonfire, campfires with s’mores and a live DJ on the beach. More live entertainment happens under the pavilion featuring the musical sounds of Top Hat and Jackie. Two fireworks shows at Gulf State Park Pier happen at 10 p.m. and midnight.

Jan. 1 @ 11 a.m. – Slip and slide directly into the Gulf of Mexico at a non-traditional Polar Bear Dip starting at noon at The Hangout. The local Kiwanis Club is installing a 33-ft, 2-lane slip and slide to deposit you directly into the Gulf waters or you can walk right into the water in a more traditional style. This free event includes a free buffet for all participants at The Hangout afterwards that includes musical entertainment by Grayson Capps and prizes for best costumes and best teams.

Cool deal: Gulf-front accommodations at coastal condos and beach houses are 50% off 4-night rentals for this holiday when you use promo code 13NY50 valid for stays 12/28/13-1/4/14.

See you at the beach.