This cold and rainy weather has got me thinking about how much I miss summer days spent in Gulf Shores with my family and the two best friends. Waking up to sunshine and the sound of crashing waves, eating crawfish étouffée for every other meal, falling asleep on the beach in between chapters of a good book, and playing hand after hand of card games in the post-sunset hours were typically what those days consisted of. Utter bliss and so many memories. As much as I love traveling to new places, nothing beats our traditional trips to Gulf Shores. Even after 20+ years.

After our trip in 2005, Mom and Dad told us that we probably weren't going to go back anytime soon. Instead, they wanted to spice it up a little, make sure that we got to experience other places, too. So summer voyages to Mexico, Wyoming, and New York ensued within the next few years.
But when the opportunity to return to Gulf Shores in July of 2009 presented itself, we couldn't resist joining the rest of the family for one "last" trip to our old familiar beachside. And here we are in 2012, planning yet another Gulf Shores getaway for June! It's funny how that happens, though. Even when you try to venture away from the places that are closest to your heart, you somehow always end up going back.