Lulu’s 8th Annual Tropical Re-Union Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony

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Event Category  

Dates & Times

Feb 13, 2016   11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Location

200 East 25th AvenueGulf Shores, AL, 36542

Event Info

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For all of the lovebirds out there, this one is for you! Come celebrate your love and commitment at LuLu’s 8th Annual Tropical Re-union. Couples – Come out and enjoy the festivities with a complimentary champagne toast, complimentary wedding cake, flowers for the “brides”, certificates of re-union and some great music will help to make this day perfect. This event will take place on Saturday, February 13th, 2016 with registration beginning at 11 a.m. The Vow Renewal will take place at 2:00 p.m. Come spend the day with friends, family and all of us here at LuLu’s as we celebrate YOU!!

Contact Us

PHONE: 251 967-LULU (5858)

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Gulf State Park; Future Plans and Updates

Recently a community meeting was held to present the final plans for the updates for Gulf State Park.  The community has been meeting for some time about the proposed changes to be made to the park with money received from the 2010 Oil spill that damaged the local wildlife and tourism industry.  Some of the ideas have been very controversial, some are extremely welcome and needed changes.  Overall the final plan appears to be s community enhancing project that will rival larger Nature preserves.

Some of the many changes proposed include rebuilding the Dune system in this area that is so protective to the island. A Convention Center will be added a little further back from the original conference center on the beach side of the refuge land. The hiking trail system will be expanded and part will be paved. Some of the streets in the park will be closed to cars and a tram system will be in place. The Camp ground will be expanded and improved. The golf course will be converted to an educational area, and much much more.

Take a look at the exciting future plans here at Gulf State Park IMG_1245

Golfing along the Gulf Coast

Alabama’s Gulf Coast boasts more than just beautiful sandy beaches and fantastic weather. Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and the surrounding areas are home to several of the state’s best and most beautiful golf courses. In fact, the state’s top rated course – Kiva Dunes – is located between Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores, just down the road from our beautiful beach houses and condo rentals.Golf Gulf Shores

The golf community in and around Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan is comprised of many wonderful golf courses, including four pristine and famous golf courses within the limits of Gulf Shores. Each offers challenging holes, stunning scenery, and a variety of landscapes. These beautiful courses offer unique and memorable golfing experiences, with most just minutes from the landmark of Fort Morgan.

Cotton Creek at Craft Farms

3840 Cotton Creek Circle

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

This course is the original Arnold Palmer signature design, offering challenge and Southern charm. It’s one of only two of Arnold Palmer’s Alabama projects, and it’s sure to impress. It features rolling fairways, rippling greens, dwarf Bermuda grasses, several lakes, and more than 7,000 yards from the tips.

Cypress Bend at Craft Farms

3840 Cotton Creek Circle
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The sister course to Cotton Creek, Cypress Bend is the other Arnold Palmer masterpiece in Alabama. Year-round conditions are lush and green, making it a must-play course no matter when you visit Fort Morgan or Gulf Shores. It holds a 4 ½-star rating from Golf Digest and features “staggered tee boxes, sprawling bunkers, top-quality putting surfaces, and year-round lush conditions.” The lakes accented by cord grass offer a breezy, coastal feel at almost every hole.

 

Kiva Dunes

815 Plantation Drive
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The number one rated golf course in Alabama, Kiva Dunes is truly stunning. It was designed by former U.S. Open Champion Jerry Pate and is Alabama’s only beachfront golf resort. It has been named among Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Best Public Golf Courses,” and showcases the native sand dunes, lakes, and natural wildlife areas. The 7,092-yard course is secluded, seaside, and is convenient to the full-service clubhouse on site.

 

Peninsula Golf & Racquet ClubIMG_1123

20 Peninsula Blvd.
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Created by Earl Stone, this 27-hole course on Mobile Bay features more than 7,000 yards from the tees. It is located on 820 secluded acres, with the Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve on two sides of it. It has been consistently ranked 4 stars by Golf Digest, and it is home to an abundance of natural vegetation and lakes.

There are also several wonderful courses nearby, some of which were designed by famous golf pros!

Glenlakes Golf Clubsolider creek

9530 Clubhouse Drive

Foley, AL 36535

Lost Key Golf club

625 Lost Key Drive
Perdido Key, FL 32507

Rock Creek Golf Club

140 Clubhouse Drive
Fairhope, AL 36532

TimberCreek Golf Club

9650 Timbercreek Boulevard
Daphne, AL 36527

Christmas Celebrations in the Gulf Shores Area

It is that time of year and all across our area it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, despite the warm weather. The street lamps through out the area are lit up and covered in garland.  Recently the City of Foley had their Christmas Tree lighting and welcoming Santa. This year the event was quite grand with Santa escorted by the Police and Fire departments. This year the City of 20151204_183333Foley went all out adding tons of new lights in the Train Park, and around the newly built Centennial Clock Tower. Guests to the Tree lighting enjoyed regular sized trees decorated by local business and community organizations, hot chocolate, carols sung by local children’s choirs, and a count down to lighting the of the Dr. Seuss like tree.
The second most popular spot after visiting Santa in the pavilion was the miniature village. This area has miniature replicas of local city landmarks and even little trees to light up the tiny town. This area features buildings that are a couple of feet tall and painted and even occupied by townspeople or sometimes Santa’s elves. This popular little village had a line just as long as the line for Santa.  20151204_180849 The newly constructed clock tower with star and surrounded by angels was a favorite spot for photos.
Foley isn’t the only place that has holiday festivities this time of year. Gulf shores recently hosted a Christmas Parade on the streets and in the Inter-coastal Canal both are a site to see as they are dominated with lit up boats. Lighting the boats for Christmas is a tradition that is particular to coastal towns. If you haven’t seen a boat parade you need to make time to see one of these parades.

The Gulf Shores Christmas Parade closes down Hwy 59 and proceeds right down through the heart of town ending just before the beach. Of course candy and prize are tossed by passing floats. Holiday music fills the air as light covered floats and boats head toward the gulf. As inmost small towns everything shuts down when a parade comes through the streets. The high school band plays and marches and different sports teams and the homecoming court is part of the action as well. A great parade to sit and enjoy and then you can continue your evening at a local restaurant.  IMG_4523 The annual Christmas boat parade starts at 6 and continues on until it is done. Many people stake out their spot early on the canal or a pier and pack a picnic to enjoy the parade.Fresh Market Christ Boat If you are not up for roughing it and a picnic enjoy the parade from the side of the canal enjoy it from one of the many canal side restaurants while enjoying a wonderful meal. Be sure to pack your hot coco and your camera and enjoy all the fun of the local Christmas activities.

Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL

Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama, offers lots of fun things to do, from geocaching, biking, and days on the beach to golfing, fishing, and exploring the nature center. Open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., you could spend the entire day exploring here! The two miles of gorgeous beaches offer room to kick back in a chair, throw a Frisbee or football, or splash around in the Gulf. Beyond the beach, enjoy recreational activities, the Nature Center, and more.

Nature Center

A nice place to cool off and meet some interesting critters, the Nature Center at Gulf State Park is home to native plants and animals. The “living museum” aims to teach people about caring for the environment and its many living things. It’s open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and entrance is $1 per vehicle into the campground area.IMG_1199

Fishing & Education Pier

The pier at Gulf State Park has 2,448 feet of fishing space along the rails. You’ll find trash cans, lights, and bench seating, as well as some great chances to catch some fish. There is even an indoor seating and concession area, as well as a retail store where you can get tackle and souvenirs. The pier is also wheelchair accessible.fishing pier

Refuge Golf Club

Set in the scenic Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Refuge Golf Club is a beautiful 18-hole championship course designed by Earl Stone. It features 6,593 yards of landscaped courses, along with a driving range, putting green, and pro shop. It’s open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week with reasonable daily fees. Play 18 holes for $24.99 ($21.24 for seniors and $12 for children) or nine holes for $14.99 ($12.74 for seniors and $10 for children). Cart fees are $9 and $15 for nine holes and 18 holes, respectively.

Hiking, biking, beach fun

There are 15 miles of trails in Gulf State Park, spanning Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Trails feature a variety of terrains, providing opportunities for people of many skill levels to bike, walk, and run.
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Dog-friendly fun

Gulf State Park is dog friendly in several areas! As long as your well-behaved four-legged friend is leashed, you can bring him or her along on the trails and at the picnic area.IMG_1194 You can even unleash pets at the Dog Pond at Lake Shelby, where they can run, play, and swim. The dog park is on the west end of the parking lot below the Gulf Adventure Center. Just be sure to check the rules before heading over.

 

Food Crawl on the Gulf Coast Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan offer more than just seafood

You might think that your only option for food in Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, Alabama, is seafood. And while seafood is delicious, and you probably do want to splurge on it while you’re at the beach and can get the freshest choices, the restaurant options in these Gulf Coast towns provide something for almost every taste. Take a virtual trip around the world as we show you some of the restaurants that represent a variety of cultures and tastes. You can satisfy your sweet tooth, grab a quick burger, fill up on Southern favorites, or splurge on a sushi dinner.

Seafood
Of course we can’t leave off seafood – it’s a staple here at the beach! Tacky Jack’s 2 is a great pick shrimp_20pic_20107-122x79in Fort Morgan, and it’s just across the street from Sunset Properties. Along with a varied menu, Tacky Jack’s 2 will cook up the catch you bring in from the day’s fishing! Connected to the Gulf Shores Yacht Club & Marina, this local favorite promises to serve up fresh seafood. You can even sit outside, eat, and watch as the fishing boats head into shore for the day. The Original Oyster House has seafood and Cajun specialties (and an expansive salad bar), and DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen offers daily lunch specials starting at just $6. Other great seafood restaurants in the area include: Mikee’s Seafood, the Shrimp Basket, King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant, and Cosmo’s (in Orange Beach).

Mexican
If you’re in the mood for tacos, burritos, chips and salsa, and your other Mexican favorites, try photo 1Tequila Mexican Restaurant, Cactus Flower Cafe, or El Toro Mexican Restaurant, all located along Gulf Shores Parkway.

Italian
Whether you want pizza, pasta, or calzones, Gulf Shores has a few great options. Stop by Papa’s Pizza or Crico’s Pizza & Subs on Gulf Shores Parkway, or head to The Wharf to try Villaggio Grille. Papa Rocco’s has pizza, oysters, and live music, and Old World Bakery offers dine in, carry out, and free delivery.

Sushi
Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach, Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar is worth the drive for great sushi. Enjoy an outdoor bar, unique boutique shopping, and a dog-friendly atmosphere on the patios. Aji Sai Asian Cuisine also has a wide variety of rolls made fresh (located at The Pelican Place at Craft Farms).

Southern
Because they’re located on the Gulf Coast, restaurants in Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, AL offer the Southern classics. Dine on grits, cornbread, fried pickles, turnip greens, and all those other great Southern comfort foods at area eateries such as Original Oyster House, Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe, LuLu’s, and The Hangout.

Breakfast
If you can bring yourself to get out of bed and away from the beach early enough, there are several great breakfast spots in Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores. Just across the street, Tacky Jack’s 2 offers 20140225_102905mimosas, Bloody Marys, breakfast burritos, and more. Or you can head into Gulf Shores and get some coffee and treats at Cafe Beignet. Down the road in Orange Beach, Cobalt The Restaurant serves a breakfast buffet during spring and summer and a Sunday brunch year-round from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Vacation Rental Company Vs. Rental By Owner

We often get questions about the advantages of renting from a rental company verses from an owner directly.  Well, both have their advantages. The information in this blog comes from a previous post on our blog about who to vacation with and a new blog written by Tricia Howarth for the Vacation Rental Managers Association about how to rent your property. Speaking from the rental company side the advantages we see come from the problems people who rent from owner mention to us as they come through.  As a rental company we are here on site if there is a problem big or small we are here to help!  If you have to change rooms for some reason, say a leak, we have a large selection of properties to offer you in place of the problem room.  A rental company is just a phone call or a few steps away, where as most rental by owners are a phone call away but often in another state with just a cleaner to help you with problems.  Having a rental company  is handy for information, or if you happen to lock yourself out, or just the strange emergencies that come up.  We have people stop for everything from restaurant suggestions and clogged disposals  to Jellyfish stings, and missing bottle openers.  The nice part about a rental company is they have a staff of people close by to help with any and all problems.  Because of the large stock of condos we can often match or beat the pricing of a Rental by owner and provide additional service that guests want and need to make their stay worry free!

As Ms. Howarth mentioned on the other side of things if you are renting your property to make money you should make an educated decision. Most people by a place at the beach or the mountains to enjoy! They don’t usually want to spend lots of time and effort making reservations dealing with tax issues, marketing your property and maintenance calls, not to mention regular information calls about the area surrounding your property. She gave a great question to consider, “How does the return on the time it takes to do all these items compare with your regular earning potential during these hours or the value of time spent doing things you love?”

Property managers have contingency plans in place for emergencies and security for your property and for vacationers personal and financial information. These plans include onsite personnel, specialty locks and codes and. Are you prepared for computer hacks, or accidents on your property? DO you carry insurance that will cover if something does happen? How do you know your property is secure if you don’t hire someone to check on it? Property managers have the insurance, plans for accidents, and personnel in place to keep your property and your guests and their information secure. Keep in mind implementing any of these on your own is an added expense to your bottom line. Or it will be included in what you will pay in management fees each month.

Think about when you are on vacation. It is nice to have all the perks, the special attention of a staff to answer your questions. After all without happy guests you are not making money. Management companies hire specialists in guest services who are personable and happy to help twenty four hours a day, seven days a week even on holidays. Are you friendly at 4 AM when you get a call about being locked out or someone not having the Wi-Fi code? The satisfaction of your guests is what brings in future rentals. One bad review because your home wasn’t clean or the AC didn’t work when your guest arrived can ruin your future rental potential for an unexpected amount of time until you can get some positive reviews to counter act the negative information. Haven’t you heard good news travels quick bad news travels even quicker.

Exposure is not in the form of a beautiful printed pamphlet any more. You need a website to advertise on, and other options to advertise your property through multiple venues to allow the most exposure. These are fees that are also included when going with a management company.

IF you have the time, patience and money to Rent by Owner it is certainly a rewarding way to earn an income. The professionals in this field are excited and happy to help when you are ready to put your property in their hands.

Tripping.com’s Best Beaches in Alabama

According to their website; Tripping is the world’s largest search engine for vacation rentals. They also have a wonderful blog and from their research Fort Morgan is the number 2 beach in Alabama. Fort Morgan has historical draw and quiet beautiful beaches. No wonder it ranked number 2 in their research. We have a few more reasons that Fort Morgan is one of the best choices for a beach trip in Alabama.

Of course Tripping.com is correct. The Civil War era Fort Morgan is a wonderful place to visit and has huge historical significance. The battle of Mobile Bay was a big turning point in the war and was recently reenacted at the One hundred and fiftieth anniversary. This was almost entirely a sea battle and took place just off of the coast. The battle pitted two generals against one another whose backgrounds were so similar one would think the details of their lives were made up. This battle is certainly worth the research for anyone who is interested in our country’s history. The battles details range from captivating to humorous and even some of the gore that comes with war. Absolutely worth the time and the trip to the end of the island to visit Fort Morgan.

This article was about the beach! So let me tell you a little about why Fort Morgan has the best beaches. Fort Morgan had miles of federally protected beach which means it is untouched by development. In most places the island / peninsula is only half a mile across. So this means you have easy bay access to fish, kayak, boat, or participate in any number of water activities that are not easily enjoyed in the sometime rough gulf waters.

Then you also have the gulf beaches that are sugar white and as I mentioned basically untouched by development. You can explore eighteen miles of beach all the way to Fort Morgan on foot in the water or even take a bike trip down Fort Morgan road. This beach is home to shore birds, dolphin, fish, sea turtles, skates, sting ray, manta ray, tons of shells, crabs, snails, sea stars, and even the rare horseshoe crab. The school children in the area are involved a program that breeds and hatches out horseshoe crabs to repopulate the area waters with this ancient species.

Many of the Fort Morgan beaches are dog friendly as well. So if your furry friend travels with you they are welcome in the Fort Morgan area. The only place dogs cannot go are the refuge areas. Those are located in different areas all down the Fort Morgan peninsula. These refuges are set up to protect local wildlife and habitat. Some of these areas have hiking trails that include the pine Beach Trail, the Jeff Friend Trail and the Gator Lake Trail. These are fun and informative trails for any interested in nature. Late summer and Fall is a great time to visit the area to witness the cool weather and the sea turtle hatching season, bird banding, and the numerous festivals.

In our opinion Fort Morgan is the top beach to visit in Alabama. Fort Morgan has a little bit of everything for any traveler. Water sports, Nature, history, BEAUTIFUL scenery, great restaurants and quiet beaches. You should check it out for yourself! See you soon.

Beach Vacation From the Rental Company’s Point of View

For the longest time no one I knew friends, family, strangers believed that my job was an actual real job as an assistant manager for a property management company at the beach. Everyone thought I just checked a few people in each day then had the rest of the time to go and play in the sugar white sand and emerald green water. There are so many more things involved. Some are fun, some very time consuming, some frustrate you to no end and others give you a laugh every time you think of them. More often than not we are playing a counselor in some form or fashion listening to people who really need a getaway from their everyday life.

My first funny experience was a couple of guys who just walked in off of the street. They were already feeling really good and continued to drink once they checked in. They went up to their room and came right back down because they did not remember what their room number was and their keys were coded. I told them their room number and even wrote it down for them. I ran into them again at the elevator later and once again they unsure which room to go to. I had them wait right there while I grabbed a sharpie and wrote their room number on their hands. They were sure not to get lost now.

The very time consuming situations come into play when people simply refuse to read the information that we send them. This leads to very long phone conversations about what to bring and what there is to do in the area. Not to mention we have to deal with the angry calls from people who did not know what they rented or where they are going, or where to get the keys for their rental. Take ten minutes and read or watch the videos they will save much confusion.

The most frustrating thing that I have had to deal with is the guest that calls with lots of complaints but does not allow us to attempt to fix them. We try very hard to send you into a property where everything works and it is clean and beautiful for your stay. However if we miss something please give us a chance to make it right. It typically only takes a moment and we can make your stay that much more enjoyable.

One of those situations that will make you laugh every time you think of it is different for each of us. For me it is some of the funny things kids say when they are so excited at check in. Or the dogs enjoying their first trip to the beach and playing in the water. For my bosses it is the people who called and being very serious asked them to turn the waves down that they were too loud and they could not sleep. Sometimes the requests we get are over the top and there is absolutely nothing we can do. Sometimes we are so frustrated we want to run screaming out the door but most of the time we love our job just like you. Helping people have a wonderful vacation well its one of the best, most challenging jobs I have ever had.