I cannot believe that our time here at my family’s beach house is coming to a close! It is amazing how quickly time passes, when you spend your days laying out, boating, shopping, reading, cooking and eating.
But that’s not all we’ve done. Our trips to this house are full of traditions. Not only do we savor the fresh produce available from the surrounding farmland, enjoy boat rides and lazy meals, and love listening to my dad recount days of childhood trips to this same house, but we also have a few places off the beaten path that we must visit each year. Otherwise, it would not be a complete trip.
One tradition goes back, well, before I was born: dinner at Wolf Bay Lodge. This once-dive-of-a-restaurant has grown in popularity over the years, and as far as I’m concerned, has some of the best shrimp that you can find at a Gulf restaurant. Unfortunately, the original building (in Wolf Bay, of course) burned a couple of years ago, but that hasn’t kept the restaurant down, nor kept us away. We gladly made the drive to their new location in Orange Beach to keep our tradition going strong.
In addition to Wolf Bay, we made a time-honored tradition of visiting a little cheese farm located on Highway 98. We all have our favorites at Sweet Home Farm, (mine are Perdido Ash and Tuscany), and love the taste-tests of different cheese varieties as much as we like “talking to” the chickens and turkey on our way into the tiny shop. Another reason that I love this little treasure: we served cheese from Sweet Home Farm at our wedding reception!
A new tradition that we have added to the list is blueberry picking. Just before we moved to Pennsylvania last year, my husband and I joined my mom in picking just over 8 pounds of blueberries. This year, we went with my brother and sister, and the four of us harvested almost 20 pounds! As we’re preparing to pack leave, I’ve bagged and frozen about six quarts of the fruits of our labor to enjoy throughout the rest of the summer.
If you find yourself in south Alabama, looking for something to become your family vacation tradition off the beaten path, I highly recommend these little hidden jewels to you!