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ALABAMA COAST OBSERVER DECEMBER 2013
Newspapers | Business Products & Services / Business / Arts / Arts / Biographies / Culture / Festivals & Events / Music / Community / Lifestyle / Newspaper / Advertisement / Advertiser / Gifts / Shopping / Style / Environment & Ecology / Food & Gourmet / Holidays/Vacations / Hospitality & Entertainment / Hotel & Restaurants / Outdoors / Seasonal / Tourism & Travel / Transportation / Travel 2013-11-30 14:16:21
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    STRUMILA PUBLISHING Mailing Address PO BOX 1334 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 (251) 504.1001 OFFICE www.coastobserver.com Coast Observer Virtual www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/ GulfCoastObserver/current/ Search: Alabama Coast Observer OBSERVER STAFF Cheli Strumila Editor/ Owner / Graphic Design cheli@coastobserver.com Ben Fant Graphic Design Robert Baudier Photographer WRITERS Kelly Lott Restaurant Reviewer kelly@coastobserver.com Kelli Parris Attractions & Bar/Nightclub Writer kelli@coastobserver.com Christine Cramer Lifestyle/Historian Writer christine@coastobserver.com Bryan Bennett Fishing/Outdoor Writer bryan@coastobserver.com ADVERTISING SALES Kelli Parris Advertising Rep kelli@coastobserver.com Coast Observer strives to provide a very accurate informative publication. At times entertainment listings change and mistakes are made by Human Error...or they are put there for those of you looking for error...if this happens we apologize but are not responsible for any typographical errors that occur or changes in listings. The contents of Coast Observer may not be reproduced in any form without written permission by the Publisher and Owner, Cheli Strumila. All rights reserved. If you have anything you would like listed in Coast Observer, any stories or poems that uplift the spirit, or if you have any ideas you think would interest the rest of our readers, we are always open to new ideas!! This is your paper too!! This Month’s Features w Lucy B Goode w Frank Brown Songwriters Festival w Baumhowers w Bay of the Holy Spirit Jubilee Adventures & Watersports Page 6 w Beach Services w Boat Rentals w Fishing & Charter Boats w Kayak & Canoe Rentals Attractions Page 8 w Amusement Parks w Bazooka Ball & Laser Tag w BiPlanes w Dolphin Cruises Dining Heeelllloooo Gulf Shores Orange Beach & Foley!! God rest ye merry, gentlemen Let nothing you dismay Remember, Christ, our Saviour Was born on Christmas day To save us all from Satan's power When we were gone astray O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy O tidings of comfort and joy Tis the Season and I can’t seem to get that song out of my head!! I Love Love the Christmas Season!! So much Love and Giving is shared during this time more than any other time of the year!! With the Christmas season comes all the wonderful holiday events!! On December 6, Gulf Shores will host it’s Annual Parade complete with floats, throws, elves and of course our dear friend Santa!! On December 14 the waterway will be filled with the glow of Christmas lights during the "28th Annual Light Boat Parade". I don’t know about you, but this is one event I look forward to every year!! In addition, there is a new website and facebook page that has been launched called “Coastal Christmas!!” We found their sight to be very informative so we’ve shared some of the great events planned this season all throughout this issue!! But there was so much more we couldn’t fit in so make sure you w Check out our Review on Diamond Jim’s & Mrs Donna’s w West Beach Grille Football Giveaways w Battle of the Badge w Gulf Coast Youth Football Fest w Reachin’ Inside to Touch Your Soul w Paddleboard Rentals w Parasailing w Sailing w Waverunner & Jet Ski Rentals w Go Carts w Hot Air Balloon Rides w Miniature Golf w Zoo w Dine at our Restaurant Advertisers Golf Courses Page 15 Museums & Historic Sites Page 15 visit their website www.alabamacoastalchristmas.com or their facebook page www.facebook.com/CoastalChristmasAlabamaGulfCoast and start planning all the fun events you want to be a part of!! Last year we started doing something a lil’ different with our December Issue. We started thinking about some fabulous local venues we were honored to feature back in the spring and summer. But with the winter comes a whole new crowd we love called the “Snowbirds!!” So we decided to revisit a couple of our favorites and share them with our Snowbirds since they were not here months ago to learn of such Awesome venues that we all love!! For our restaurant features, we decided to revisit our friends at City Grill, Tacky Jacks & LuLu’s. And for our bar feature we decided to share our favorite Papa, Papa Rocco’s!! So make sure you stop by and tell’em we sent ya!! As we close out 2013 with the Season of Love & Giving, make sure you take a moment to see if there is a shelter or food bank out there that is in need of help to feed, clothe, and even spread some Christmas Cheer to those that are going through tough times and really need some kindness, Love and hope shown to them!! So what are you waiting for...Get out & have some fun and enjoy everything that life and Gulf Shores / Orange Beach / Foley has to offer!! I know I’m going to, so I’ll see ya there!! Until Next Month ... Cheli PS...Don’t forget to join our facebook page www.facebook.com/alcoastobserver or download our smartphone app for more updates and to post your fun & exciting events!! And you can always check out our most current issue virtual on the web by going to our website coastobserver.com and clicking on “Alabama Coast Observer” cover. Alabama Coast Observer w December 2013 w 3

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    Orange Beach, AL­­This little marina started supplying fuel and fishing tackle to the local fisherman where the fisherman would nosh, drink and share their “tales” after a long day of fishing. Located in Orange Beach off Marine Rd., the quaint marina evolved into Tacky Jacks Grill & Tavern in 1980. An already successful business man, George Skipper, purchased the marina in the late 1990’s and gave it the loving improvements that have set the standards for todays Tacky Jacks franchise. Having become a major tourist destination for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are now 4 locations in the area. Tacky Jacks objective is to provide a fun atmosphere with a well­trained staff offering a visit that one can’t wait to repeat! And, Cheli and I can’t wait to return, we went twice in this one day for the overall Alabama Gulf experience! Beginning with meeting Susan Sizemore, head of PR and event planning to being greeted by our precious waitress, I was amazed at the size and hominess of the newest location in Gulf Shores at the curve on Canal Rd., just southeast under the Intercoastal Waterway. Each Tacky Jack’s has it’s own personality with the same goal; providing quality, value, family and community ideals. Each location sports a huge fish hanging from a scale to have your picture taken with, and, all donations go to the Make a Wish Foundation and are matched by the corporation! Our waitress served me a Famous Tacky Jacks Bushwacker topped with 151 and an Abita Root Beer that I used as a chaser. This combo was very satisfying, almost like a root beer float. At this point, we understood that our day was going to be fabulous!! For appetizers we had Blackened Gator Tails, now one of my new favorites! Tacky Jacks version of a Southern Favorite­­ Fried Green Tomato Fries, Firecracker Shrimp ­ fried and glazed in Asian chili sauce ­ move over bangbang, these are awesome! Smoked Tuna Dip ­ seared ahi­tuna that is the Perfect Coastal Treat, and Mexican Garbage ­ the ultimate loaded beef and cheese nachos served in a mountain a top a tin resembling a garbage lid! I was very happy with all apps as each had it’s spin on coast favorites with a special Tacky Jacks touch!! Since Cheli makes sure she breakfasts at Tacky Jacks on every overnight trip, she asked if they would please make the Farmer’s Omelets for me to try. Voted One of the “Top 100 things not to miss while in Alabama,” the Farmers Omelets was a deluge of diced smoked ham, sausage, and slab bacon with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and home fries folded into a fluffy omelette smothered in cheese served with homemade biscuits just like Grandma used to make!! Oh my, if you are anywhere near a Tacky Jacks at breakfast time, you Must do it!! We then sampled the Shrimp and Grits ­ one of the latest southern crazes, served perfectly ­ spicy seasoned shrimp over cheesy grits. At this point I had the award winning Bloody Mary, doing everything all backwards anyway, right??!! Even though we are sampling, when we were served the Mahi Fish Tacos, we were like “stop it already!!” About to explode from the large portion sizes of each dish, we shared one of these delicious tacos! We had ours with fried Mahi Mahi in a warm & soft flour tortilla topped with shredded lettuce, and blended cheeses served with a special spicy sauce, with hot and crispy tortilla chips! Susan was now trying to convince us that we had to try so many more menu items, but, alas, we could not do it at this point! So we promised her that after we finished refilling all our newspaper racks across the coast, we would make our way to the Original Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach and try to sample other menu favorites!! Another breathtaking view before us, the hunger just was not!! (Imagine that!!) Yet, we still, just for you the readers, ordered a couple more items!! Ugh!! I’m so full I can barely breath as it is!! We had the Seafood Salad ­ choosing our shrimp and crawfish blackened, over romaine lettuce with tomato and cheese. Cheli says, “I really like this blackening seasoning!” And, if she wasn’t such a chicken, would have loved it on the Gator Bites as well!! Tacky Jacks Build a Burger offers a 1/2 lb chuck, hand pattied burger served just about anyway you could want. We had the Bleu Burger topped with bleu cheese crumbles. And yippers it was delish!! Our server laughed at us when we ate 2 bites of each dish and had them boxed up as well!! I wondered out loud to Cheli, “where do they find all these beautiful waitresses?!” As we rolled our butts out the door, some tourists were asking for recommendations. Well, the funny thing is, we are here reviewing their food...so we made sure to tell them all about our favorites which were many!! LOL, it seems the tourist at my employment seem to find me for that very same question! Let me tell you...!!! Tootles Alabama I can’t wait till we meet again!! Kelly

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    2nd Annual Merry Market Friday, December 13 ­ Saturday, December 14, 2013 Orange Beach, AL ­ The 2nd Annual Merry Market will be held at the Events Center in Orange Beach at The Wharf. Market is a shopping holiday extravaganza that is open to the public and admission is free to everyone. You will find unique and one­of a kind gifts for your loved ones. Santa’s Workshop will be available for Children ages 5­11 on Saturday only. Children will make an ornament to take home, decorate cookies and play games while their parents shop at Merry Market Children will make an ornament to take home, decorate cookies, decorate Christmas cards and play games while their parent’s shop at Merry Market. Tickets for Santa’s Workshop are $6 if purchased by December 10th and $10 if you purchase after December 11th. Merry Market shopping hours will be Friday 2pm­7pm and Saturday from 10am­6:00pm. On Saturday stay at The Wharf and enjoy the Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade from the marina. If you are interested in participating as a vendor download the application today! For more information or to purchase tickets for Santa’s Workshop If you owned waterfront property along the Gulf Coast between April 20, and December 31, 2010, you may be eligible for thousands of dollars in compensation through BP settlement fund (as long as you have not already signed a release with BP), simply for owning your waterfront property during that time, and regardless of whether you had vacation rentals or not. If you sold waterfront property along the Gulf Coast between April 20, and December 31, 2010, you may be eligible for tens of thousands of dollars in compensation through BP settlement fund (as long as you have not already signed a release with BP). If you entered into a sales agreement to sell your waterfront property after April 20, 2010, and closed prior to December 31, 2010, you are automatically entitled to compensation regardless of whether you can prove loss of value to your waterfront property or not. Our process for this type of claim is simple, and we do everything for you. Our 15% fee is due only if we collect from BP. Otherwise there is no obligation. Call us or email us now with your waterfront physical address and we will check your waterfront property’s eligibility on our interactive map for potential loss compensation. Areas covered in Alabama include all Gulf front beaches, Dauphin Island, Ft. Morgan, Little Lagoon, Cotton Bayou, Terry Cove, Wolf Bay, Palmetto Creek, Soldiers Creek, Ole River, Bayou St. John, and other areas.

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    A Orange Beach Sailing Adventure 4575 S Wilson Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.SAIL (7245) www.sailob.com Gulf sailing adventures specializing in family day trips and romantic sunset getaways. Come experience true offshore sailing just 10 minutes from our dock! Located at Hudson Marina. ABC Parasail 26651 Perdido Beach Blvd. East Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.8877 www.abcparasail.com Float high above beautiful coastal Alabama waters. Visit our website for complete details. Action Charter Service 888­558­3889 www.FishEmeraldSpirit.com www.ActionCatCharters.com As local family owned boats, our personalized customer service and southern hospitality excel. Capt. George and his lifetime passion for fishing (and catching) is unsurpassed. We are consistently rated 5­star in every category by our customers. We provide year round fishing trips from 4 to 48 hours to meet your wants, needs and budget. Visit our Facebook page for specials or call toll free any time to book your Reel Fun! Alabama Kayak Adventures 251.379.5143 www.Alabamakayakadventures.com Kayak the Gulf Coast with Alabama Kayak Adventures Inc. Paddle inshore waters and discover native wildlife, or hook the big one on an inshore or gulf fishing trip. "get the paddling you deserve". Alabama PaddleSports 251.279.0703 www.alabamapaddlesports.com Alabama PaddleSports is a delivery only, kayak and stand up paddleboard rental company that offers the Gulf Coast area the best in paddlesports delivery. Bad Habit Charters 23650 Cotton Bayou Drive Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.6899 48' Newton, air conditioned, three bedroom, two bath enclosed salon on board cooking facility. BeachnRiver Kayak Rentals 18743 Keller Road ­ Foley, AL 36535 251.971.8359 beachnriverkayakrentals.com Offering single and double sit­on­top kayaks for self­guided still water floats from a shaded, onsite shallow launch at river's end of the cool, clear, spring­fed waters of the Bon Secour River located just 10 min from Gulf Shores beaches. Blue Reef Watersports­Parasail 27075 Marina Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.504.7411 www.bluereefwatersports.com Group discounts. Your premier watersports activity center. Offering Parasailing, Jet Ski rentals, 2­hour guided jet ski tours and Dolphin tours. Call for reservations. Serving Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key. Chute em up Parasail 27212 Marina Rd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.7673 Have a birds­eye view of the beautiful gulf coast aboard the largest most comfortable parasail boat. Longest flight time. Bring your cooler! Down Under Dive Shop 1129 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.3483 www.downunderdiveshop.com Specializing in exciting scuba charters, guided snorkel trips, PADI and NAUI instruction, exotic group trips, equipment repair, and an excellent selection of quality scuba equipment. Gary's Gulf Divers 27844 Canal Rd. Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.747.6563 www.gulfdiver.net We are a full­service scuba diving center. We offer rental gear and charter boats for scuba trips, scuba training, spearfishing trips, snorkeling and much more. Located at Sportsman Marina. Gulf of Mexico Trips 1577 Hwy 180 Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.540.2628 www.gulfofmexicotrips.com We offer a fleet of rental boats and watercraft including pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks, surfboards and bicycles. In­shore and deep sea fishing charters and scuba diving charters are both available. Gulf Shores Beach Rentals 3873 Gulf Shores Pkwy Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.609.4577 Toll Free: 888.896.9854 www.gulfshoresalbeachrentals.com For all your vacation needs! We Deliver: Beach Chairs/Umbrellas, Kayaks, Bicycles, Grills, Baby Equipment and much more! Call today to set up a reservation! Happy Harbor Water Sports at Sun Harbor 27212 Marina Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.6111 www.happyharbors.com Pontoons with slides, waverunners, craigcats, run­a­bouts, kayaks, bikes and more! Ships Store, Fuel Dock and boat storage.. Hudson Marina 4575 S Wilson Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.4127 Toll Free: 877.783.3474 www.hudsonmarina.net At Hudson Marina you can experience it all. Fishing, dolphin cruises, dinner cruises, jet ski and pontoon boat rentals. You will have fun here year round! Ike's Beach Service, Inc. 800 West Beach Blvd Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.3757 www.ikesbeachservice.com Beach chairs, umbrellas, full size cribs and beach wheelchairs, kayaks, high chairs, roll away beds. Lucy L Charters 26350 Cotton Bayou Drive Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.454.6693 www.lucylcharters.com It's all about you! Fish, fun, family and friends. We take up to six people. The boat offers the luxuries of home. We offer fishing trips, sunset cruises or design your own trips.. Orange Beach Parasail 26619 Perdido Beach Blvd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.8359 www.obparasail.com Up to 2 passangers can ride at the same time! Experience the thrill of a sky high ride over the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach Our boat ­ Six Chute'R is docked @ Zeke's Marina Perdido Beach Services 25328 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.981.4807 www.perdidobeachservices.com Lounge chair and umbrella rentals. Delivery of beach equipment to private homes and condos. Water sports rentals: Kayaks, Sailing, Boogie Boards, and Sunscreen product sales. Perdido Key Parasail 401 East Beach Blvd. Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.7433 www.perdidokeyparasail.net From 800 feet in the air, enjoy spectacular views of our emerald waters and stunning beaches. We offer Jet Ski and Banana Boat rides. No trip to the beach is complete without a stop at Perdido Key Parasail. Sea Rocket 27212 Marina Rd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.923.9862 Cruise the scenic gulf coast and intracoastal waterways. Dolphin tours. We'll pick you up. Shoreline Pontoon Boat Rentals 251.989.2205 Toll Free: 877.637.9527 www.pontoonboatrentals.com Boats are delivered to the customer at a boat launch within a 20 mile radius of Foley. Very nice, clean and maintained boats. Must be 21 years or older to rent or operate. Sky High and Pleasure Island Parasail at SanRoc Cay 27267 Perdido Beach Blvd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.946.9000 www.pleasureislandparasail.com Independently owned and operated, Pleasure Island Parasail is your one stop beach destination for Jet Ski rentals, beach chair rentals and world class parasailing adventures.Two Locations: Pink Pony Pub and San Roc Cay Marina. Wahoo Water Sports 29603 Perdido Blvd Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.979.0150 www.wahoowatersports.com Waverunners, pontoon boats, and dolphin cruises. Open 9 a.m.­ 6 p.m. Seven days a week. Located at Flora­Bama 6 w December 2013 w Alabama Coast Observer

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    MYSTICAL ORDER OF MIRAMS TASTE OF THE ISLANDS BENEFITING:TOYS FOR TOTS & ORANGE BEACH FIRE AND RESCUE LADIES AUXILIARY Orange Beach, AL­­The Mystical Order of Mirams are proud to announce the 6th Annual “Taste of the Islands" to be held on Friday, December 6, 2013. This year our culinary extravaganza will host over 35 restaurants from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and surrounding areas. The Wharf Conference center will be the location for this holiday gala, which will consist of food sampling, all inclusive cocktails and musical entertainment. Our charities of choice are Toys for Tots and Orange Beach Fire and Rescue Ladies Auxiliary. The Mystical Order of Mirams are known for supporting our community during this holiday season. Please bring an unwrapped toy to benefit local children in need. Musical entertainment will be provided by Modern Eldorados. The band will keep you dancing throughout the night and will be sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Taste of the Islands is the perfect venue to host your holiday party! Let us do the work, as you take all the credit. Tickets to this All­Inclusive Holiday Gala are $50 per person. Reserved seating and tables of 10 are available for $500. Reserve your table early as they are limited. To purchase tickets or a table online, please visit www.mirams.info. Tickets can also be purchased at Wildflowers Boutique & Life’s A Canvas­Orange Beach and Too Hot Mamas­ Gulf Shores. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door on a first come, first serve basis. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6. If you are a restaurant interested in participating, please contact us. For additional information, please contact: Becky Johnson, sec.becky@gmail.com, 251­923­9917.

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    Adventure Island 24559 Perdido Beach Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.974.1500 www.adventure­island.com Rides and thrills for entire family! Mini­golf, bumper boats, gokarts, paddle boats, and lazer tag arena. Kiddie rides and 100+ arcade games. See the 5­story volcano erupt nightly! Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.5731 www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.org Explore the natural habitats of more than 400 animals. Elevated viewing decks offer close­up viewing of everything from alligators to wallabies, plus Reptile House, Aviary, Petting Zoo, Gift Shop, Concessions, shaded picnic area. LIONS, TIGERS AND BEACH. OH MY! Alligator Alley 19950 County Road 71 Summerdale, AL 36580 251.946.BITE (2483) www.gatoralleyfarm.com See over 150 alligators in their natural environment with an opportunity to feed them! Meet Captain Crunch, the world record holder for bite strength­he's over 13 feet long! Enjoy bird watching and a Giant Snake Safari. Seasonal feeding times: 11:00 a.m.­ 1:00 p.m.­4:00 p.m. Arena the Next Level 4720 Main Street Ste 205 Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.224.5297 www.arenaorangebeach.com The newest and prettiest family attraction on the Gulf Coast. Our Lazer Tag and Bazooka Ball are safe and fun for all ages. Bird of Paradise Biplane Rides 3190 Airport Drive Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.609.2043 Toll Free: 866.687.8359 www.866mustfly.com The Bird of Paradise takes flying to a new level…providing adventurous passengers open cockpit flights and romance of yesterday. Ferris Wheel at The Wharf 4985 Wharf Parkway Orange Beach, AL 36561 251.224.1000 Toll Free: 877.942.7325 www.thewharfal.com The Southeast’s tallest Ferris Wheel at The Wharf. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am­10pm and Sunday from 1pm­8pm. Tickets are $4.00 each. Gulf Bowl 2881 South Juniper Foley, AL 36535 251.943.4575 www.gulfbowl.com Join a league, have a party, or just bowl for fun. Restaurant, snack bar, party rooms, mezzanine viewing area, pool table room, family arcade/redemption and much more. Jimmy's Casino Shuttles 8275 Hwy 59 South Foley, AL 36535 251.943.2744 Toll Free: 866.943.2744 www.casinoshuttles.com Biloxi Casino trips are available from Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Foley, and Loxley, Alabama. Visit the IP Casino and The Beau Rivage Casino. At either casino, you get $15.00 in FREE PLAY. Exciting daily trips to the fabulous Biloxi casinos. The best deal in town. Call for reservations. Lakewood Stables 15523 Lillie Lane Summerdale, AL 36580 251.945.6711 Trail rides, Group parties, Riding lessons. Landmark Tours 26 Hoffren Drive Fairhope, AL 36533 251.928.0207 www.landmarktours.com Day tours aboard luxury buses. Trips planned for your group of 20 or more. We'll visit historical mansions, Civil War relics, forts and museums, nature centers, hikes, zoos, boat sightings of dolphins and alligators. Mobile Bay Ferry 51 State Highway 180 West Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.861.3000 www.mobilebayferry.com Vehicle/passenger ferry operating between Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan. Daily departures every 1 1/2 hours. Check our website for rates and schedule. Oak Hollow Farm 14210 Greeno Road Fairhope, AL 36532 251.928.4840 Toll Free: 877.OAKHOLLOW www.oakhollowfarm.net Open six days a week by appointment. One hour guided horseback rides on a 300 acre scenic farm. Nature trails, group hayrides, horseshoes, playground. Pirates Island Adventure Golf 3201 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.4653 www.piratesislandgolf.com Two 18­hole courses among waterfalls, caves, tropical plants, a pirate ship and sea fog. Sea Horse Stables 14537 State Highway 59 Foley, AL 36535 251.971.RIDE (7433) Trail rides, Pony rides, Birthday parties, and Riding lessons. Shrimpy's Mini Golf & Arcade 204 East 2nd Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.6464 18 hole mini­golf with arcade inside. Candy, chips, ice cream and sodas available. Fun for the whole family! Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Company 708 West Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 251.970.3598 www.gulfviewballooning.com Gently lift off into an adventure where you'll experience the scenic vistas of the Alabama Gulf Coast from a whole new vantage point! Great for weddings or honeymoon! The Track Recreation Center 3200 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.968.8111 www.gulfshorestrack.com Go­karts, bumper boats, Kids Kountry, arcade, mini­golf, skycoaster, and refreshment center. Wales West Light Railway & Family Fun Park 13670 Smiley Street ­ Silverhill, AL 36576 888.569.5337 www.waleswest.com Real train ride, 1 mile through rural setting. Train station, gift shop, tea room. Month­long event trains at Halloween, Christmas, & Easter. Day Out With Thomas in May. Parties. Waterville USA 906 Gulf Shores Parkway Gulf Shores, AL 36542 251.948.2106 www.watervilleusa.com The ultimate in family fun, is a 20 acre Water Park and Amusement Park located in the beach resort community. Amusement park opens March 5th. Waterpark opens May 14 on weekends only and every day after May 28th. 8 w December 2013 w Alabama Coast Observer

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    Gulf Shores, AL­­ We are so excited to be revisiting one of our favorite Alabama Gulf Coast hot spots, Lucy Buffett’s, Crazy Sista, LuLu’s!! LuLu’s was the very first restaurant we featured when we launched Alabama Coast Observer in May 2011, so what a treat it was for us to come back and enjoy some of our favorites, but also some of their new menu items that have become such a big hit as well!! And to learn of all the great new additions to the LuLu’s Crazy Sista franchise!! We are always completely taken aback by the growth of this self­contained, laid­back, kid­friendly, island­style­adventure complex! The original building ­ a massive open­hut styled bar and diner set at Homeport Marina was impressive and fun enough, but, now they’ve added a floating dinner barge, a pirate ship band stage and another huge tiki bar with limited menu next to the man­made white sand beach! With small children enjoying the beach toys and slightly older children enjoying a workout on the guide­wired survivorstyle jungle gym! And, the gift shop, loaded with Crazy Sista’s cooking helpfuls and sloganed T­shirts was hard for any shopping woman to pass­by!! There is also a fabulous outdoor kitchen where Lucy hosts cooking demonstration shows and another outdoor pavillion for private parties or maybe even overflow! And if this were not enough, opening in July right next to LuLu’s will be the Lucy B Goode, a new restaurant concept by Lucy Buffett, will feature a more intimate setting and upscale small plate options. The entire venue is amazingly fun and can you just imagine the staff­size!!?? Before the season has even kicked­off, the wait staff already employees over 80 who run a finetuned (Ship!!..LOL). We are always impressed with the service at LuLu’s!! As soon as your seated your server was SNAP­right there taking your drink orders! (Mudslides were delish after an afternoon of beach & beers!) Our waiter was very helpful in helping us order several of LuLu’s best appetizers, and SNAP ­ they were coming out by one runner after another! Now, if you can only imagine how excited Cheli and I already were, we were totally in awe of the efficiency with which this slam­packed place was run! (OK! Is that whatcha call an Alabama Slammer ­ Wham ­ Bam ­ Here’s your food Ma’am!!) Beginning with more food than two people can ever­even polish­off, just in appetizers, the staff was getting a kick­out of us as we impatiently waited for Cheli to get her many photographs of each and every delicacy!! Now, let me tell you, all of these are unique in the preparedness, and, not your average bar staples. We first dove into the fattest quesadillas I’ve ever seen ­ Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla ­ Buffalo chicken, sauteed peppers & onions, bleu cheese, jack­cheddar cheese and grilled pineapple, served with LuLu’s Fun Salsa & sour cream. OMG! I make quesadillas out of all my left overs, but these were way­fab! We then had the Smoked Tuna Dip ­ never from the can, and, oh yeah, chunky, smokey tuna with perfect seasonings! The Fried Green Tomatoes ­ a basket full of some of the best ever, and, here’s the kicker, only $6.95!! We’ve never seen them that affordable in our 14 years of doing reviews!! And the last appetizer ­ L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar ­ is a must­do!! Black­eyed peas in balsamic vinaigrette, definitly a LuLu’s original, was great by itself, but we ate it on the quesadillas, and on the fried green tomatoes as well!! Cheli also had to have her latest craze, the Greek Salad ­ Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, cucumber, red onion, and tomato with a little love, served with their own house Greek dressing, this salad was a masterpiece and may be topped with grilled, blackened or fried chicken, shrimp, or fish..or you can choose grilled or blackened Mahi or Yellowfin Tuna. With so much food to choose from, we actually only ordered three entrees, although, my choice was a basket that serves two (ha! ha!) After eye­balling fried crab claws all around me, it was a Must­Plus!! The Big Fry Seafood Basket ­ fried shrimp, oysters, and crab claws, and we had the fish blackened! Big Fry is served with seasoned fries, cole slaw, and, jalapeno hushpuppies. All these sides were great as well! I’ve mentioned baskets a few times, so, at this point I will tell you that LuLu’s is totally green (eco­friendly), all baskets and take­out containers as well, are made of biodegradable paper! Yeah! With all the salads, sandwiches & poboys left to choose from, (not to mention Mahi tacos), we HAD to have the Jerk chicken Sandwich, (Cuz, that’s what Cheli and I Love!!) ­ marinated grilled breast of chicken with LuLu’s Fun Southern Jerk seasoning (a Little spicy, bow­chick­a­wow­wow!) topped with grilled pineapple, dressed with your choice of chips. I ate on this for days, because, yes, I am the Spice Queen!! But, of course, we did the Cheeseburger in Paradise, just for you, ­ a juicy hand­pattied burger made with a touch of bacon ­ all natural grass­fed (Continued on Page 13)

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    Gulf Shores, AL­­The 4th Annual City of Gulf Shores Christmas Parade will be held on the First Friday of December. The parade will start at Club House Dr. on Hwy. 59, head south, and end at the Gulf Shore Public Beach. The parade will start at 6:30pm. Registration is available now by contacting Candice Carraway at (251) 968­1173 or ccarraway@gulfshoresal. gov Saturday, December 21, 2013 ~ 8:00am. Gulf Shores, AL ­ You’ll have one more opportunity to visit with Santa on Saturday, December 21 as Gulf Shores hosts Breakfast with Santa at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center. Beginning at 8 a.m., families can dive into a wholesome breakfast complete with sausage, bacon, eggs and pancakes before having their pictures taken with Santa. Admission for Breakfast with Santa is $5.00, while children 3 and under are free. 10 w December 2013 w Alabama Coast Observer

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