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alabama

Canadians go crabbin’

Nope not crabby, crabbin. Meaning we went to catch crabs!

So the story starts a bit earlier… last week we went to discover a local park in Orlando and it turned out to be “park day”. Which meant there were a bunch of eco-exhibits, including one teaching kids how to fish. If the kids passed all their fishing lessons (which were not hard, but interesting), they were given a fishing pole. Super cool idea! So both Millie and Andy came away with new fishing rods.

Now that we are in a good fishing area here in Alabama, we were asking the neighbours about the fishing spots. They were very helpful, and told us that we should also go “crabbin’”. Apparently the cabin we rented, came with a crab trap. We thought it was a decoration, but no – they informed us – it was a working trap.

How does it work? Well as we found out, it sounds super easy. 1) put chicken necks into the bait hole (which they sell for 1$ at the local store) 2) tie a rope onto the trap 3) through the trap in onto the sand at the end of the pier at sunset 4) tie up the rope 5) go pick up the trap the next morning.

Ok so it isn’t that easy. We tried 2 times with errors (not enough bait, trap stuck on a rock) but on the 3rd night we got one!

Since he wasn’t too big we let him go, but we had fun watching him for a bit (and learning how to identify that it was indeed a “him”).  The crab boil will have to wait until next time, but we all had fun learning / trying.

Next we are off to Houston where we will stay with friends for then next 5 days. I’m very excited to see them and to be in a house!  It is about an 8hr drive through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and into Texas.    Theses states are all new to us as we have never traveled in this corner of the USA before.

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Those blue claws/legs are brilliant!

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When I think of kayaking, I think of being alone on a beautiful calm lake. Yeah…not with kids and dog! We went 4 miles like this.

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And a more artistic shot…good contrast with the nature and plastic. Unfortunately it was too deep and we couldn’t get it out. The little legs on the shell are of a hermit crab.


4 days of recovery

New Orleans has been on our minds since we started planning this trip. Both Gino and I were looking forward to discovering the music, food and architecture. Yet the cool thing of not having plans is that plans can change.

In our last night in Orlando around 9pm, we were planning our next stop – New Orleans. We were online and looking for a place to stay…which lead us to checking out what we could do there – walk around, museums, music, etc and the neighbourhoods looking into safety. It was a bit overwhelming and finally we decided we were just too tired to try to tackle New Orleans with 2 tired kids and a dog. I suggested “Lets just rent a little beach cottage and recover from all this “Disney” (and Andy’s flu-bug in the middle of it all!)”…. Gino agreed.

So by 10:30pm, I was sending out requests for little beach cabins along the gulf coast…and by 8am sunday morning, we had a positive response! Someone accepted our offer and we rented a little cottage in Orange Beach, Alabama.

This place is awesome!   I had never heard of, nor thought of Alabama as a beach destination, but I definitely want to come back here someday.   The people are super friendly – seriously – everyone you meet is just like you’ve been friends forever.  It is a refreshing attitude to find. And RELAXED doesn’t begin to describe it.  Dogs, boats, fishing and beaches everywhere.

The cottage we rented comes with:  a surf board, a stand-up paddle board, a sea kayak, boogy board, fishing gear, crab net, beach chairs, coolers, 6 bikes, a kids-bunk-house, a sandy volleyball court and a golf cart!

We came here to relax, yet have kept busy fishing, swimming and playing on the boats.  We’ve used the golf cart to go everywhere…super fun for all especially when we let the kids drive it.

Anyway, in my last post, I said yes Disney is worth it, but I’ll add in a last line — plan an extra week of recovery time.  We left Disney with two kids we could hardly tolerate.  When my kids are fatigued, that comes with attitude, fighting, huge tantrums (eh Dan/Sophie?), and frustration for all.  It took 4 days of good nights, long naps and easy days to “find” our kids again.  It seems like they are finally back.  ;-)

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Now how awesome is this mode of transport?

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Our little beach house. Actually it looks little, but still is a comfortable 2 bedrooms + bunk house.

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Best friends

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Finally brave enough!

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She caught a huge fish…but he got away by breaking the line.

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Andy is getting braver in the water every day

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Toys for everyone here.

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The monarch flutters back in our life for a day. This one at a butterfly exhibit in the park.