Wednesday, December 28, 2005
My day-to-day responsibilities sometimes cause me to forget just how wonderful our coast can be. But then I look out of my new office window located on the fourth floor of the newly constructed 24,000 square foot office building that joins our existing corporate headquarters which is undergoing major reconstruction. From this vantage point, the tallest in downtown Gulf Shores, I can see the buildings lining the shore. The buildings themselves represent progress, upscale amenities and more substantial construction.
One day this week the weather was absolutely perfect, sunny and 70's, and the temptation to drive down to the beach was too strong to resist. After a great lunch at DeSoto's Restaurant, that included my favorite blackened catfish dish, I gave in to that temptation. My only regret was the lack of a camera because it was a picture perfect day. The trip from Highway 59(Gulf Shore Parkway)west to the end of West Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores gave me a better perspective about the progress of new construction. It was exhilarating to see Crystal Shores West and Crystal Towers coming along so well. There were other new condominiums that are in the pre-construction phrase and at least one on the lagoon that I had missed completely before this week. I've really got to get out of the office more just to keep up the pace of our island progress.
Although I did not take the time or have the proper attire, a walk on the beach would have completed my experience of renewal and relaxation. I'll have to pencil in a time for that experience soon - I find it absolutely inspiring.
A lot of my blogs contain a reference to my eating habits but I think I write about these experiences because of our unique choices. We have a new choice of a new "take out" restaurant called the Wheel House, located in one of the oldest buildings in Gulf Shores. The newly renovated building is located across Highway 59 from Waterville. According to the press release about the new eating establishment their specialty is "fish and chips", now that's a new twist for our coast, although very popular in Great Britain.
Even though I momentarily forget the coastal wonders, they are not far from my mind and I have easy access to refresh my memory.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
As a tough year ends and we look hopefully toward the new year on our island the anticipation of better times ahead is invigorating. As a life-long resident of Baldwin County I believe the changes to our coast will enhance our lifestyle. The quality of life is already such a blessing and now we are beginning to enjoy the development of dining, shopping and entertainment venues previously only found in the nearby cities of Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama.
For example, just a year ago something as common as a movie theatre was not convenient. Our closest theater suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Ivan and the owner took the opportunity to undergo a major remodel project to add stadium seating. When the Starcoast Riviera Cinema 12 reopened residents and visitors to the area once again could view the latest movie releases in a neighborhood setting. In late summer the newest theater opened in what is the beginning of an upscale shopping center at Craft Farms - The Pinnacle. The Cobb Pinnacle 14 Theater is a stadium seating facility with all the latest comforts located within three miles of the beach.
The holiday season brings families from far and near to our coast to celebrate quality time together. Closely following those vacationers we are anticipating an active winter season with our friends from northern states. To enhance the experience of our visitors this winter we have expanded our Winter Guest Activities to include some new events. Tuesday (Dec. 13, 2005) as we opened the registration for these activities hosted exclusively for Meyer Real Estate guests, we learned quickly that our roster of events are meeting the needs of our customers. In fact, one event was completely reserved the first day and another event filled to capacity the second day. We are anticipating a great two months hosting the fun and getting to know our winter customers better.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
A year ago it all started with the escape of Chuckie the alligator from his compound at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo during Hurricane Ivan. Once the media learned about the missing Chuckie the word spread literally worldwide. Soon the attention focused on the Zoo attracted a special national report regarding the evacuation efforts and dedication of the Zoo director and her staff. Once Chuckie was located and returned to a makeshift habitat the news coverage continued. By summer there were rumors of an Animal Planet production and in August the project actually began. The end result after several months of filming will be a 13-week program featuring the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The program is tentatively scheduled to begin airing in February. Today the Zoo was visited by Jack Hanna who presented a gift of a young spotted leopard named Katrina because of the date of her birth the day Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast. At the press conference this afternoon Mr. Hanna was very complimentary of the positive attitudes, hard work, dedication and devotion of the Zoo director and staff. He encouraged the community to embrace the project of funding the relocation of the Zoo to a facility not vulnerable to the ravages of the gulfwaters during hurricanes.
I have no doubt that our communities of Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Foley, and Orange Beach will indeed take the action needed to provide a safe, secure home to these wonderful zoo animals who have been through so much. Not only was their home devastated by Hurricane Ivan but they were evacuated again in July for Hurricane Dennis and again for the third time in August for Hurricane Katrina. The Zoo has finally reopened after 14 long months of recovery. Amazingly the staff report that the animals have missed the human interaction of the visitors. It's great to see the restoration after 14 feet of water covered the entire zoo. And now the world will see the story of our community and the heroic efforts of a team of people who truly love animals and make the necessary sacrifices to do what is right.
Make sure you make plans to spend some quality time at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo on your next visit to the coast. Meyer Real Estate has a great family entertainment package featuring the zoo, mini-golf, and a trip to Fort Morgan. Call our Vacation Package Specialists at 800.213.9544 for details.