Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Act Like a Tourist

It's a fact of life that most people living near attractions, entertainment venues and resort areas postpone their own experience because of the close proximity. I suppose there's a mindset that because these pleasures are easily accessible putting them off temporally is not a big deal.

This is certainly true for a beach resort. I can testify to the fact that those of us in the Hospitality Industry and Real Estate Sales business are "slammed" during summer when typically a person would go to the beach. However, it's spring and fall that locals really take advantage of our wonderful weather and beautiful surroundings on the gulf coast in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, Alabama and Perdido Key, Florida.

I've tried to make a point of spending family time acting like a tourist, which basically means actually taking the time to enjoy what other people travel here to find. One spring during the time azaleas are at their peak my family spent the day at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, Alabama. We did everything offered to visitors - the Delta Cruise, the tour of the historic Home and of course the tour of the Gardens. It was a real treat and an obvious reason for tourists to visit our area.

Last week I was feeling a need to connect to the beach. My cure was taking time to have lunch at a local's and visitor's favorite spot - Sea-N-Suds Restaurant. This well-known restaurant was damaged during Hurricane Ivan but amazing not to the extent imagined. The ramp to the restaurant was completely gone however. Now a brand new ramp accesses Sea-N-Suds along with an newly built and expanded pier. The restaurant sits over the water so the views up and down the coastline are fabulous. New construction exists close to this special spot but the character of a beach resort is highly evident at Sea-N-Suds, as if time stood still at the beach. So I spent my lunch hour with two colleagues surrounded by tourists. And for that brief time I felt the island vibe again.

I realize this Blog often contains references to those places I choose to eat. But if you've visited our coast you know it more of an experience than merely a meal. Our laidback lifestyle and great food make for a winning combination.

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