So, after our 2 days driving South, we finally got to arrive at our beach house (rented through HomeAway) in the Gulf Shoes!
What did we do?
Honestly, we did not do much! We spent every morning on the beach, each sun bathing or walking along the ocean. Most afternoons were spent on the beach as well, with the guys playing frisbee, football, soccer, or building sandcastle and the girls talking and sunbathing. But we did not get bored for a second! The time went fast, too fast even.
By the way, for our first day on the beach, we did not have any sunscreen and we did not worry about it because we thought the that sun was not that strong. But it was. It does not take much to get sunburn, especially when its the first sun you exposed to! So, do not forget the sunscreen!
I already told you that the weather was great, but during the evening, it sometimes got windy (which is normal when next to the beach) and very humid! There were also a looot of mosquitos or at least little things that give you scratchy spots! So, do not forget the anti-mosquitos spray!
Something strange: when on the beach, on the other side, we could see the oil drilling field. We don’t have that in France, and we thought that it wastes the landscape.
There are some exceptions.
On Monday, we all took the cars and drove to the pit of the island, around 7:30, to admire the sunset. The sky was of a pink, purple color and that was breathtaking!
On Wednesday morning, few of us went hiking, not far from the house. It was a nice walk and the weather was perfect for that. The guys desperately looked for crocodiles in swamps, but weren’t lucky!
After coming back from the beach, we decided to play BeerPong. We put everything in place and decided to start with two teams: Team Gee vs Team Rest of the World (Gee being a dorm at Rider). We ended up playing several parties, doing guys vs girls or any combination possible.
We also had the chance that one of the girls likes to cook! So, she took care of cooking for us all, which was amazing and very nice of her! We mainly ate simple meals such as pasta and rice with sauces, but it was so much better than the food at Daly’s (our campus dining hall)!
What you should know about Alabama (and what we learned)
- Alabama is one of the most religious states in the U.S. On our way to the Gulf Shores, we came across many churches, crosses, religious-based “ads”, and even religious programs on the radio.
- Mardi Gras is very popular in Alabama, and especially in Mobile, where the oldest carnival began.
- People from the South are very very nice (very different from NJ).
- People on Tinder (especially girls, since one of the guys was checking) do weird things. Like a girl had a picture with a dead dear, with blood on her face. I mean, what?!
- The beaches are incredible, and more credit should be attributed to Alabama!
- The song “Sweet Home Alabama” is not the state’s official anthem (but it is a nice song, and we liked listening to it when crossing the Alabama border).
We have been talking about going to New Orleans before even leaving for SpringBreak, as many of us heard only very good stuff about this city. We thought that being in Alabama will be our chance to go there.
So on Thursday morning, around 8:00am, we all sat on the cars and drove to New Orleans. We arrived around 12:00pm and started to walk around. Here we are, in the French Quarter!
Very fast, we stopped at a restaurant called Bubba Gump, as we absolutely wanted to have shrimps/sea food. It was a really cool place! The food was amazing and this restaurant is based on the movie Forrest Gump. Something original were the boards on the tables that said “Run Forrest Run”, which means that we do not need anything and that the waiter/waitress do not need to stop to our table and another one “Stop Forrest Stop”, which indicates the waiter/waitress that we need something.
The weather being so warm, we went for a walk after finishing lunch. We first headed towards the Frenchmen street, as someone heard that it was one of the most famous street here. Unfortunately, there was nothing! Too bad! But at least we saw some parts outside of the city center. What was striking was the colored houses! Its so joyful, and the architecture is great as well.
Then, we walked down Dauphine Street, and stopped at a bar for a refreshing beer (we were able to smoke in the bar! Al right, it was widely open, but still).
We continued on Bourbon Street, THE STREET! It’s the main street to go out and party. Its amazing. I mean, from both sides and all along the street, you have bars, clubs, stripclubs, people can drink in the street (as long as you have a plastic glass), and even smoke weed freely. We stopped at a little bar to get a raspberry and vodka slush (it was blue and colored the tong ), but there was more sugar than alcohol.
Something that you see a lot there: tattooed people! It’s crazy, like almost all the people that we saw had tattoos.
We decided to continue the trip by going to the port, along the Mississippi river. So we just hanged there for a little while, admiring the boats, the port and the view.
We wanted then to meet with the others, because we split in two groups, to have a drink before going back to the Gulf Shores. Unfortunately, it rain showered… so we waited for a few minutes that the rain stopped and directly headed back to the cars.
Time to go
Friday was our last day in our beach house. We started to clean and pack our stuff.
On Saturday morning, we woke up at 7:00am so that we had time to clean, pack the car, and be sure everything was in order. Around 9:30am we were ready to go! I can tell you that it was reluctantly that we left this little paradise… Leaving the sunny beach to go back to Rider University, where it snowed the day before, was not really ideal. But no other choice!
The way back was not as tiring and long as the way South. We stopped less often and switched drivers more often, which made it easier. Here again, we stopped at our American friend’s grandparents on Saturday night, and woke up early on Sunday to be back at Rider around 5:00 pm.
I had an amazing springbreak! I am glad that we all organized this trip together, and that everything went well! No arguments (or very small ones), no boredom, but just relaxation, enjoyment, and great moments! This was my first and only springbreak, and I will not forget it! 🙂
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