Only eleven more days left in 2008, and what a year! We started out as full time RV’ers and ended up living full time in LA (Lower Alabama).
We started 2008 in a campground located on the Ross Barnett Reservoir in the greater Jackson, MS area. Sometime in January we moved to the Plantation RV Park west of Summerdale, AL. We spent a couple of months there exploring what’s known as lower Baldwin County Alabama. During this time we saw a small house, maybe 700 square feet, for sale. Not thinking much about it for a while, but finally called to find out the selling price. The cost was way too much for us. Mae Dean was telling a woman, a Snowbird, about this place and the lady said that there was a mobile home for sale in a small mobile home park (only 31 units) next to the RV park where they were staying that was a fraction of the cost of that little house.
Out of curiosity, more than anything else, the next morning I drove to the mobile home park to see what she had been talking about. What I found was a small two bedroom mobile home with 2 baths and a full kitchen that was completely furnished. The unit had both an attached screen porch and carport. The only thing needed to move in were some towels. To top that, it was at a price that we could afford. Gasoline at that time had almost reached the $4.00 a gallon mark, and was, much to our regret, forcing us off the road. To make my story short, we ended up buying the place.
Now for a little about the area. Alabama has two counties that front the Gulf of Mexico; Mobile County, where the city of Mobile is located, and Baldwin County where we live. Baldwin County is the largest county in the state and one of the 3 largest counties east of the Mississippi River. From top to bottom it’s almost 100 miles long and from west to east about 40 or 50 miles. The county is basically divided into what is know as upper Baldwin and lower Baldwin by Interstate 10. We live in the lower portion some 6 or 7 miles west of Foley, and 7 or 8 miles southeast of Fairhope just off US-98. We are, as the crow flies, 12 to 14 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico and the city of Gulf Shores.
I would think that the tourism is the leading industry in the area, but there is a lot of agriculture too. Wheat, corn, cotton, potatoes, pecans, sod, strawberries, and soy beans are among the things I have seen growing in the area. Most of the tourism dollars are spent in the Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key area, but there are a lot of RV parks north of there where the Snowbirds from the upper Midwest spend the winter.
There is no shortage of festivals in the area. Starts with the Strawberry Festival at Loxley in March, then the Sausage Festival at Elberta, the Hot Air Balloon in Foley, another Sausage Festival in Elberta, a Heritage Festival in Foley and the Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores. I’ve left out all of the Mardi Gras parades and the Saint Patrick Day Celebration. Also did not mention what was happening in Fairhope or Daphne. So much for where we live.
For us, 2008 started with two daughters and 3 grand children. Ended with two daughters, three grand children and one great grand daughter! Maggie was born on June 25. Mae Dean and I began the year married for 49 years and will end it on December 31 with our 50th wedding anniversary. The only sad thing that happened was the death of Mae Dean’s mother on December 1st. Mrs. Ellington was 93.
We still have our old motor home and I don’t think that we have all of our traveling out of our system just yet. Maybe we will fire it up and take a couple of trips during the coming year. One would be to North Alabama (Huntsville and Fort Payne area) and maybe the Smoky Mountain National Park area. Another would be the Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC area. We do have a short cruise to Cozumel booked for January 2009.
I hope that all of you have a great Christmas
and a VERY HAPPY 2009!