For many years I dreamed of going on a vacation just the two of us. My mom and I didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. Her being a single parent, struggling to make ends meet with the bills meant vacations were the LAST thing on her radar. Going to the mall was our vacation. Literally LOL. As I got older and became a health & fitness coach I fell in love with traveling the world. There are many perks to being a coach but one of my favorites are the vacations they send me on. I have gotten the opportunity to see some beautiful places and after my first visit to the ocean I made a goal to take my mom to the water for her very first time. What an incredible feeling it was to see my moms face light up as her feet hit the sand!
Our trip wasn’t long due to a tropical storms and the pandemic but we had the very best time during our short trip. I will forever cherish these moments with my mom. So let’s dive in…
Preparing for your road trip:
-Pick your location
-Determine what days you will be gone
-Book your hotel/Air Bnb
-Service the vehicle you will be taking (tire rotation, oil change, detail)
-Make a packing list
-Research restaurants & things to do in area
-Make any reservations needed
-Create a playlist OR download an audio book
-Prepare healthy snacks
-Get a good nights sleep
-Workout/stretch the morning of
-Take all the Hype Juice!!!
Deciding on a location:
Due to the current situation of the pandemic we weren’t comfortable with flying quiet yet and thought road tripping would be an additional adventure that we could enjoy together. So we knew the location would need to be in reasonable driving distance, have an ocean, and of course have a beautiful beach area as this would be her very first time having sand in her toes. My mom being in Oklahoma & myself in Fort Worth that also came with it’s challenges on deciding the perfect place for our mother-daughter getaway. We decided on Orange Beach, AL, a place I have been wanting to visit for a long time. It’s approximately 10 hours from my house so my mom ended up driving down to me the day before we left. It also has those beautiful white sand beaches that are to die for so another bonus and great option for our trip.
Before the trip started…
Our mother daughter relationship is amazing, me being an only child and no father in the picture meant we have spent a LOT of time together just the two of us. It comes with its positives for sure, but don’t for a second believe that we don’t argue and bicker at each other from time to time. Before we left, we both agreed that the entire trip was going to be FUN, no arguing, no negative attitudes, just the two of us bonding and creating incredible memories. I think putting that into motion and being on the same page of what we wanted to get out of this trip together was huge!
Traveling to our destination
We left Fort Worth Sunday morning at around 7:30am, not in any sort of rush to get there, we wanted to take out time. In fact, our initial plan was to drive halfway and get a hotel when we started feeling tired. Of course the excitement and new scenery kept us wide awake and we ended up driving all the way to our destination. We didn’t have our hotel booked for the first night since that wasn’t the plan so I called and got our reservation a day earlier, which thankfully worked out perfect.
Our road trip took us through 4 states in total, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. My mom and I had been to Louisiana prior to this but never actually drove through it, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite state to visit but the big tall trees are incredible. Mississippi, was beautiful and it down poured on the way there and back harder than I had ever experienced before. I’m sure it didn’t help that hurricane Hanna was hitting during our travels but it was still breathtaking with the abundance of greenery and driving through the enormous trees . Once we arrived in Alabama we were driving over a lot of water which was fun to experience with my mom.
We didn’t make many stops on the way to Alabama as I had packed a cooler with healthy snacks to stay on top of my nutrition but of course restroom breaks were a must not only for us but my moms dog Dolly as well.
Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Orange Beach-Gulf Shores –
This hotel is STUNNING! We stayed in a king suite on the first floor and we both loved it. Hardwood floors through out, rooms were large (perfect for our morning workouts), very clean, and they took COVID precautions very seriously which made me feel much safer traveling during this time. Obviously pet friendly, they even provided treats and water for your pet at the front desk. The staff was so sweet and they have an incredible outdoor pool area with corn hole, hot tub, fire pit, and a ton of lounge seating around the pool as well as an indoor pool.
What to eat: Playa at Sportsman Marina –
Hands down my FAVORITE place we ate at. The Mahi-Mahi was delicious. We actually ate here and ordered this two nights in a row. We enjoyed dinner outside on the patio which was extremely peaceful and such a gorgeous view of the marina.
What to do: Sun bathe at the beach, walk/run The Backcountry trails, check out the Interpretive Center for a hands on educational experience about restoring the enviroment, mini gulf, shopping, and so much more!
My biggest advice when taking a mother-daughter trip is to first….TAKE ONE, have fun, be present, and most importantly TALK. One of my favorite moments was taking a 3 mile walk on the trails just having conversation with my mom while there were no distractions other than God’s beauty that He created in Orange Beach, Alabama. Living 6 hours from her, being an adult, going through my own struggles through life, it makes me appreciate the moments of just her an I again so much more. It’s been almost 6 years since we have spent more than a day just two of us hanging out and getting to know each other through all of life’s changes. What a blessing it was to be with her as she experienced her first trip to the ocean and connect with her in new ways.
I definetly think we will be making our mother-daughter road trip and annual thing as well as taking my hubby back to Orange Beach!
Xoxo, Taylor G.