Randal and I have been wanting to do more ‘touristy’ activities since we moved to Fairhope Alabama in April 2015. So, we decided to do a little “crocodile hunting” on Saturday….well, it was alligators actually….at the recently renovated Gator Alley Boardwalk in Daphne Alabama.
It was yet another hot day (93 degrees) with high humidity so we made sure we dressed accordingly. I chose a pair of white shorts (Walmart) with a ‘flowy’ top, which I purchased at Belk. I found the sandals at Walmart and the wristlet (purse) was free from my days of selling Arbonne several years ago. I bought the sunglasses at Costco for $125 at the same time that I purchased my first set of eyeglasses. (My eyeglass story will be coming soon.) The sunglasses have the same prescription as my regular glasses but the lenses are similar to the Transitions lenses, which automatically darken when in the sun. I highly recommend Costco for eye-wear as we had a very positive experience there.
Before heading to Gator Alley, we decided to have lunch at a cute little restaurant in Daphne that we haven’t tried yet – East Shore Cafe. We were both really excited to try it but when we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed they had a “Closed” sign posted. Randal walked up to the door and noticed that someone had taped a green piece of paper on it. It looked like it said something about taxes but he wasn’t sure. It was very strange and disappointing.
We eventually settled on a restaurant that we’d eaten at before – Rosie’s Grill. After ordering our ice tea (what did you expect!), we chose the chips with salsa and queso as our starter dish. Both the salsa and queso were excellent. We both picked the chicken salad sandwich and they were very good as well. Overall, it was a very tasty meal and we would recommend Rosie’s Grill as a dining option if you ever find yourself in Daphne Alabama. [Aug 4th, 2017 update: The owners of Rosie’s Grill closed it and are purchasing the Gumbo Shack in downtown Fairhope and replacing it with their own El Camino Taco Shack, which will feature some of Rosie’s fresh Mexican menu items.]
After lunch, we made our way over to Gator Alley Boardwalk. There was hardly anyone there – probably because it was SO hot. (By the way, it’s free!) As we made our way down the boardwalk over the water, we encountered a young family making their way back to the parking lot and I asked them if they saw any alligators. Both the little boy and girl excitedly responded with a “Yes, we did!”. But the little boy went on to tell us they had seen a gator just sitting by the rocks and they had seen a crab with only one arm. (I guess the gator had crab craw for lunch!)
Randal and I continued walking down the boardwalk peaking into the water underneath us but still no luck. We finally stopped about halfway along the boardwalk and looked along the rocks and along the bank on the opposite side. Randal noticed something sticking up out of the water and pointed it out to me and yep, it was the top of the alligator’s head.
We crossed over to the other side to get a better look and we could see the gator’s entire body. I’m guessing it was probably 5 feet long. Other than slightly turning its head to take a peek at us, it didn’t move at all. Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) we didn’t see the 1-armed crab. But we did see a second gator swimming down the estuary. (We learned what an estuary was by reading the signs along the boardwalk! haha)
After our big gator adventure, we decided to drive into Fairhope and check out the local brewery, which was another item on our ‘tourist things to do for locals’.
Fairhope Brewing Company started in 2012 and they brew several different kinds of craft beer that are sold throughout Alabama. After sampling several of their brews, I chose the Beach Day IPA and Randal had the Along Came a Cider. They were both very tasty and the ambiance in the tap room was very warm and inviting. We will definitely visit again and we’ll also be sure to bring our out of town guests here when they’re in town. Overall, it was another fun (hot) day in the Heart of Dixie.
Have you visited Alabama? If so, where did you visit and what did you do? We love hearing ideas of fun things to do, especially as we get closer to the Retirement Stage of our Lives.