A WEEK IN GULF SHORES, AL

Gulf Shores, AL is one of our favorite beaches just because it has a lot of fun activities + it’s the closet- decent beach to us! It’s 9.5 hours away, which is never a fun car ride with kids! On our way we stopped twice for the kids to stretch their legs + eat. As soon as we arrived at the beach Zach started unloading while the kids + I ran to the beach. This was Ezra’s second time at the beach + Harvey’s first out of my tummy. It was a rainy trip, but it was nice to have overcast skies with kids! The kids had a blast playing in the sand + Ezra’s favorite thing was to build caves for his Dinos.

We brought food to make at the condo, but we did venture out to Picnic Beach, which was new from being there last year. We went back three more times, because the food was so amazing + fresh. http://www.picnicbeach.com Our favorites were the tuna poke bowl, bison burger, brisket bowl, chopped salad w/ salmon, bbq beans, + sweet potato fries. The gulf punch detox drink was AMAZING! This place is a must if you’re in Gulf Shores. 

Our next favorite place in Gulf Shores is Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It is such a nice zoo + our favorite part of it is getting to do the kangaroo + lemur experience. The kids absolutely LOVE it! http://www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.org 

We visited Adventure Island arcade + omg the kids AND Zach had a blast! https://www.adventure-island.com 

Up next we visited Gulf State Park Pier. The kids loved running down the pier! Someone let the kids touch the fish + crabs they caught.

We rode bikes twice + it was so nice riding on flat ground. I love riding in Arkansas, but its more of a workout than enjoyment. We rode a 7 mile loop at the Gulf State Park + rode all around our condo. It was so fun!

We decided to take the kids to play putt-putt golf, but didn’t want to go to a popular place since we knew it would be a disaster with the kids. They had the best time + it was nice going to a place less crowded because we could go as slow as we wanted/needed! https://www.shrimpysgulfshores.com

The last night we ventured to Orange Beach for a wedding at Cobalt, The Restaurant. It was such a nice environment with great food! https://www.cobaltrestaurant.net

We made a daily vlog during our trip, here's the link to check it out!

DAY 1 - https://youtu.be/opGAf_6mL9I

DAY 2 -https://youtu.be/Sd-gozSWbqk

DAY 3- https://youtu.be/NoCAZDgKRHU

DAY 4 - https://youtu.be/hDif8Co9-YE

DAY 5 -https://youtu.be/3re8h7IterI

DAY 6- https://youtu.be/-19UDGQmv-8

And below is a full recap, not day to day! 

Hope you enjoy the slideshow below of random pictures from the beach!

XO The Cashio's

@STEADYSTREAMINCASHIOS

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MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

We’ve always been close to Memphis, but shied away from coming here because of everything you hear about crime. I actually imagined everything about Memphis to be horrible. Well, I’m happy to report that is NOT true! We absolutely fell in love with Memphis + we are not really city people. We much prefer mountains, but we will definitely be coming back.

Here’s a recap of our trip. Hope you enjoy!

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First Evening:

We arrived at out Vrbo in downtown right across from AutoZone Park, the Memphis Redbirds stadium, around 6! It was the perfect location- you can see the ball field, you’re a half mile walk to anything you want, and our place had parking! We walked to Beale street and I was really impressed. Growing up in Louisiana we visited Bourbon a couple times, and living there as a young adult we went to party in Nola. And y’all, Beale is soooo much cleaner + nicer than Bourbon. Don’t get me wrong there’s things I love about Nola, but Bourbon isn’t one of them. After our walk down Beale we found an amazing ice cream place called Margie’s 901. Wow, talk about a lot of ice cream that they give you, but oh so yummy!! Ezra got the sprinkle cone with cotton candy ice cream, Zach and I got the pyramid which was a mixture of chocolate and Carmel goodness on a heath cone and white chocolate dipped cone. Then we walked back home. We never felt weary of our location or scared at any point. While I’m sure crime is still all around us and it’s always best to travel in groups, we were pleasantly surprised.

 

Second Day:

First things first MEMPHIS ZOO. Y’all this was the best zoo we’ve been too. It was huge! Older, but super clean. Walking along the trail it had a good mixture of outside and inside things to explore which was nice because it’s been getting in the triple digits lately. We even got to ride a camel! We highly recommend putting this on your list! For lunch I got bruschetta balsamic waffle fries.. and y’all it was soooo yummy. Waffle fries, mozzarella, tomato, basil, + balsamic glazed fries!

Our plan was to come back to our apartment chill out in the a/c then go grab a yummy dinner. Everyone told us to go to central BBQ, but when we got there the line was so far outside we decided to skip it that night. We drove back to our parking and walked to find something to eat. We stopped at Blues City Cafe on Beale and waited for 25 minutes before we gave up and ended at Hard Rock Cafe because there was no wait! Journey + Def Leppard were in concert that night so Memphis was extra packed! We loved Margie’s ice cream so much we went back for dessert after Hard Rock. Then we walked back to our apartment and crashed.

 

Day 3:

We woke + went to the Bass Pro at the Pyramid. This place is amazing! We strolled around and ended our time taking the long elevator ride to the top! The views up top are spectacular! I will say though, glass as the flooring is a little intimidating! I was the last one to walk to the edge. But after I conquered my fear the view was amazing.

After Bass Pro we tried again to eat at Central BBQ and this time we finally beat the crowd! The food was so yummy! Zach got their pulled pork sandwich. My in laws split the bbq platter, Ezra enjoyed a grill cheese, & I got a mixture of sides (Mac and cheese, green beans, & bbq beans). Then we went back to our apartment, got the stroller, and walked all around downtown. Our favorite street was S. Main St! We walked all over & visited the MLK museum.

There are so many cool and old buildings that are still being used down S. Main St. After exploring all S. Main had to offer we went back to the room to change and walk back to Aldo’s Pizza Pies. This place was amazing. We chose to sit outside on the patio and ordered a Margherita and the Bring out the Gump pizza. It fed 4 adults 1 child and we still had leftovers! We walked off all the pizza we ate to AutoZone Park for a baseball game. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what team played, but it was the best experience we’ve ever had at a game. Normally, we get seats during the game + surprisingly Ezra loves baseball so much he stays still. But this time we decided to get tickets on the Bluff(lawn) section down the right field line and Ezra was in heaven!!! The second his foot touched the grass he started to roll down the hill like the other kids were doing. He ran around pretty much the whole game. We couldn’t stop him if we wanted. He had a BLAST!! One cool feature about the game was that after every Saturday home game they have a fireworks show. And I must say, this fireworks show is a must see! You definitely get your moneys worth. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the game and will definitely be back again. By the time the fireworks ended we were all wiped! So back to the apartment we walked, maybe like 200 yards if that, to zonk out.

Day 4:

This day was our day to head back home. These days are always dreadful because: 1- you have to pack up, 2- you have to drive back home, and 3- you have to go back to reality. Since it was our last morning we decided to go eat breakfast at the oldest café in Memphis, the Arcade Restaurant. This neat little gem had some amazing breakfast. I am so glad we chose to eat breakfast there. This diner will throw you back in time with all the old portraits of downtown Memphis and vintage wall art. We each enjoyed our meals and even though Ezra wanted pancakes he barely touched his. But hey, thats what kids do. If you haven’t seen the video of him trying to wake Harvey up to go eat pancakes and blueberries go check out our youtube video of this Memphis trip. Its pretty hilarious! 

Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves in Memphis and will be back soon. I strongly encourage you and your family to visit Memphis and see all it has to offer. 

XO The Cashio's

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A WEEKEND IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR

We spent the weekend enjoying everything Mountain View had to offer! We went to the creek, explored Blanchard Springs, + ate some yummy food! Hope you enjoy our video!

Wonders of Wildlife

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This post is mainly just pictures of our fun experience at the “Wonders of Wildlife” Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, MO. We heard about it through a friend + decided to go with my in-laws while they were in town. Guys, you are missing out if you don’t make the trip to experience it for yourselves. Going into it we didn’t have any clue what all it entailed, but we knew it would be a fun experience for Ezra. He is such an animal lover + we go to the zoo once a week. All he talked about on the way there was going to see “big fish”. Our first stop was Lambert’s Café in Ozark, MO. Personally I’m not a huge fan, but my husband loves it just because they throw rolls. Ezra was in heaven; all he could eat fried okra + hot rolls. Have you ever tried “hog jowl”? …It was on the menu + Zach decided to give it a whirl. He’s never had it before + I haven’t cooked with meat in 4 months so he jumps on any opportunity to eat meat. He assumed it would be a slab of meat; Nope, just a plate of bacon. I’m not kidding a full plate of salty bacon. Be sure to ask him how his tongue was later that night. On our way home he complained it felt like it had been cured from all the salt he ate! I’ll share the picture of his plate.. If you ever want to try it, just be warned it is s-a-l-t-y.

We made our ticket reservations for 1pm, they ask you if you’re buying your tickets online to pick a time. We bought the combo ticket for the museum + aquarium.  I didn’t even think to bring in snacks for Ezra, honestly because I assumed it would take us two hours at the max. It took us 4.5 hours to make it through + we could have stayed longer, but we had a 3.5 hour drive home. Next time we will plan ahead + stay the night so we can spend all day! I heard somewhere that they have been working on this place for NINE years. With that said you can see it took an army of people to pull this off. Hats off to all the designers + builders. IT. WAS. AMAZING. Everything was so lifelike + educational. Ezra is obsessed with deer and there was a whole room of deer with unique antlers. I’ve never been a fan of hunting + I’m thankful I don’t have a husband who hunts. (Mainly because I’m selfish + don’t like him to be away from family) But in this room it had each deer head mounted, the name of the hunter + where they killed it. It was so neat seeing all the different deer from all over the country + learning about how the antlers are different. This was a “please, no touch” room – which is really hard for grandparents. Its easy for mom + dad to say no, but I’ve realized when it comes to grandparents I don’t think the word ‘no’ is in their vocabulary. 

 

It took you through each habitat/climate region or adventure. You get to see everything! Ezra is also in love with elephants so the African adventure was right up his alley. He pitched a fit when we couldn’t stay at the elephants all day.

Then you end up at the aquarium. So from the outside this place doesn’t look that big, but when you are inside you are constantly questioning how in the world all of this fits inside. Since I was a kid the aquarium has always been my favorite. Maybe because I think the ocean is so beautiful when you see all the amazing fish that live there. Unfortunately I’m deathly afraid to get in the ocean or lake for that matter. But I think it is mesmerizing. So getting to see all these amazing creatures with the safety of the glass is very comforting to me. Here are our pictures from the aquarium. There are so many areas we didn’t get to stay as long as we wanted. I am already planning our next trip! Ezra is almost 2.5 years old + he didn’t complain once at how long we were there. At the very end we could tell he was exhausted, but he never threw a fit, which if you know any toddlers you know that’s a rare occasion. He didn’t want to leave either. He loved it so much! I strapped Harvey to me so he had the luxury of sleeping + eating whenever he wanted, but next time I might bring the stroller just because it is such a long walk. Please, please, put this on your families’ bucket list!  

XO Colleen Cashio