What Not To Bring To Fort Morgan

One of the most common questions we receive is what should I bring to my beach vacation?  We put a list of what we provide in your confirmation letter but for those of you planning ahead let me give you a more detailed list of what NOT to bring.

LINENS –  We provide linens!  Professionally laundered sheets and towels are provided for each property we rent.  We also provide a kitchen towel and cloth for your kitchen use.  What you will need is BEACH TOWELS.  While we typically have several sitting around that were left by guests. We cannot provide them for everyone!

COOKWARE, POTS, PANS, SILVERWARE!  All of these are provided!  You should have everything you need to make wonderful meals for you and your families.  If you need something special like a crock pot, you definitely need to bring that along.

HAIR DYE  –  For some reason coming to the beach brings out a need for change in our guests!  We see this change most often in hair color.  I’m not sure why but dying your hair on a beach vacation is an extremely common thing!  Not only does this often ruin linens that you have to pay for, it also is basically a waste at the beach.  Between the sun, chlorine, and salt water that’s enough to ruin the best hair do.

INSTANT TAN – Ok Guys, you are coming to the beach to play in the sun!  I completely get protecting your skin with sunscreen!  This is a good thing and we totally support it!  There is no need to bring instant tan and apply it while you are at the beach.  Almost everyone is here to get a tan, so you are all in the same boat together.  So pale people on the beach is the norm. Please don’t bring your instant tan and ruin our linens with it!!!!

YOUR TOOLS – We have a full maintenance staff fully equipped to handle everything from a major leak to a battery change.  All you have to do is call us and let us know.  We will have someone there as soon as possible to fix it.

YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS – If you check in and you find a cleaning issue of some sort all you have to do is again is call us.  We will have a housekeeper in to solve any problem you may run across.  We pride ourselves in our housekeeping and never want a guest to feel that they came into a dirty condo.  So always call us!

WORK – In this day and age with all of the technology we have it easy for someone to bring their work to the beach with them.  We suggest that you never take work on vacation with you.  Vacation is for getting away and leaving work behind, relax, get some sun, and have fun.  Really take a break even for a few days for the office.  Everything can wait or can be assigned to someone else.

PROBLEMS / DRAMA – It is hard to relax if you bring your problems with you.  It is good to deal with drama and problems before you come to the beach or leave them behind for a little bit.  Being at the beach with the calmness of the water and warm breezes it tends to give people a new perspective on all things in their life so leave those problems and drama behind for a while.  Come back with a new view on life.

I am of the opinion that you should leave your phone and laptop behind as well!  This is a little extreme for most people but keep in mind service is limited in this area and technology only lets people find you on vacation!

We hope you can make it down to to the beach with packing a little as possible and have as much fun as possible while you are here.  If you have any questions on what to bring or what not to bring.  We are happy to help!  Let us know what you think.  What do you have to bring and what should be left behind????

Christmas At The Beach!

I am crazy about Christmas.  My tree is already up at home and I am really enjoying decorating our office slowly.  Our very beachy area has one fun event after another for locals and visitors to the Gulf!   A list of some of my favorites is below.

 COASTAL CHRISTMAS EVENTS
AS OF DECEMBER 5, 2012

To get the whole scoop on Coastal Christmas, please visit www.alabamacoastalchristmas.com
Nov 12 – Dec 12  Santa’s Helper | Toy Drive
Nov 27 2012 Christmas Tree Lighting at The Wharf
Nov 29 Christmas Market by Delta Kappa Gamma @ Lester’s in Orange Beach
Nov 29 Gulf Shores Christmas Open House
Nov 30 – Dec 2 Junior USTA Tournament
Nov 30 Holiday Open House
Nov 30 Taste of the Islands
Dec 1 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 1 Christmas Angel Breakfast
Dec 1 Pics With Santa
Dec 1 Dinner Party
Dec 1 Gulf Shores Christmas Parade & Beach Celebration
Dec 2 – Dec 10 Nativity Open House
Dec 2 Chris-myth Busters
Dec 2 Children’s Christmas Musical- GSUMC
Dec 2 Handel’s Messiah
Dec 7 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 7 Edward Jones Holiday Open House
Dec 7 “Light Up the Arts” on the Coast
Dec 8 Santa Drop at the Flora-Bama
Dec 8 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 8 5K Jingle Bell Run
Dec 8 Cookie Extravaganza
Dec 8 Merry Market at The Wharf
Dec 8 Billy Claus Arrival at LuLu’s
Dec 8 Wharf Christmas Open House
Dec 8 Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade
Dec 9 Christmas Concert at GSUMC
Dec 11 Santa Claus at the Orange Beach Public Library
Dec 12 Friends of the Library Christmas Open House
Dec 13 Chamber Holiday Open House
Dec 14 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 15 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 15 Breakfast with Santa
Dec 15 Santa’s Sleigh Pet Portraits BARC! Fundraiser
Dec 16 CLC Kids Program
Dec 21 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 22 Sail with Santa on Wild Hearts
Dec 25 Christmas Potluck
Dec 29 Flora-Bama Make it to the Line Run/Walk
Dec 31 – Jan 1 Flora-Bama New Years Eve Bash
Dec 31 Noon Year’s Eve
Jan 1 Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip
Jan 1 Hangout/Kiwanis/Gulf Shores Polar Bear Dip

It is Time for a Girl’s Getaway!!!!

I don’t know about you but I am ready for a break.  Thankfully, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I can’t wait.  Between the election , the looming fiscal cliff, the hurricane in the North East and one national scandal after another good new doesn’t come along nearly often enough.  My personal plan is to spend at least some of my little bit of time off helping the economy!  We don’t have much to spend but I will be looking for  few special things for those I love.  My Plan is to not only hits the Black Friday Sales, but do A little unconventional shopping as well let me give you and your girlfriends a few great ideas!

If you and your girlfriends are heading this way to do some shopping this is the best time and one of the best places areas to shop.  We have your traditional stores that are all over the country but we also have Tanger Outlets where you can find almost anything you want if you are shopping for fashion or for your home.

Tanger offers great coupons and they are having a Midnight Madness Sale starting Thanksging night.  I may spend a little time at the outlets but my shopping tends to be a little less traditional.

I like to give and get gifts of experiences, maybe a romantic dinner, or a glass blowing, or painting class.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is a treasure trove of experience gifts to give.  My Dad is history buff, and my Mom loves genealogy.  I know some great places to send both of them.  There are museums where I can find the perfect book for dad or maybe even get him involved with volunteering for an archeology dig in the area.  I think a day trip for my mom to the Creek Indian Reservation in Atmore will help her to add some much needed information to our family tree.

My sister in law is starting a new career now that her boys are all in school and she is in need of a little wardrobe update.  I think I am going to get her the biggest bang for her buck.  There are tons of resale shops across the area.  A gift certificate or two or a preloaded debit card, maybe even cash would be great for her and of course a baby sitter for her and a shopping buddy.

For my little nephews, I think either movie tickets or zoo tickets, although they are big fans of toys like every other little boy.

Maybe a little online shopping for that.  For my brother well he is a little more tricky.  A planned guys night for him and buddies, or brother in law or a trip golfing with some friends.  My husband is the most tricky of all.  He is kind of techie but loves new experiences too!  So I think I will be getting him something for his current technology and maybe a great new sweater or scarf and well I don’t know but I’ll figure it out.

In this area there are tons of unique stores, outlets, thrift stores, antique stores and specialty shops.  Basically you can find anything you are looking for in this area for everyone on your list!  So pack up your shopping shoes, your girl friends and your beach towel.  Knock out your shopping and then relax and enjoy the rest of your girls getaway in the sun!

Alabama’s Gulf Coast: Where Kids Drive Home the Fun!

This is this first in a series of Blog Posts from and article by Annette Thompson of Sweet Home Alabama site.  She has some fantastic ideas for family friendly vacations across the Gulf Coast! 

Some of the best family memories are made on a beach vacation. Ditching your regular routine and setting out for Alabama’s 32 miles of sandy seashore welcomes a bit of magic into your lives. The special times aren’t simply limited to the beaches though. The entire coastal region – the wetlands, rivers, and bays – is a rich playground full of a variety of adventures.

Youngsters will not only like to play in the surf, but they also will soak up the culture of the coast. So plan your trip with a healthy mix of downtime combined with several outings to explore the watery ecosystem and the region’s role in American history. And don’t leave out a few squeal-producing activities.

Surf’s Up!

Until your teens or tots sink their toes in the sand, you haven’t really arrived at the beach. So make haste down AL Highway 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) to land’s edge where you can slather on the sunscreen and catch a wave. All of the major resorts in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach maintain beach services with lounge chairs and umbrellas (typically about $25 per day), and some even rent kayaks or catamarans (typically about $50 an hour).

Look beyond the high-rises to discover less-crowded strands, where you’ll feel as if the entire beach belongs to your family. At these tranquil spots, you’ll need to bring your own blankets, chairs and umbrellas for comfort (don’t forget a cooler with cold drinks, snacks and wet cloths to wash hands and faces). One of the best sites along AL Highway 182 is Gulf State Park (20115 AL Highway 135; 251–948–7275 map). The 3.5 miles of sugary sands separate Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The park features the second-longest fishing pier (1,540 feet) anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico. (Kids younger than 16 don’t need fishing licenses, but adults do. They can be purchased right on the pier.)

Start planning now for your next beach getaway!  We hope to see you soon.

Enjoy Thanksgiving at the Beach!

The Beach is not the first place you think of to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Let me tell you the Top 10 Reasons to Have Thanksgiving At The Beach!

10. You can bring your traditions with you or leave them home.  Turkey at the Beach is great but seafood is our speciality here.  You can pick up your seafood Thanksgiving to go and enjoy the afternoon at the beach.
9.  No fancy china!  If you come to the beach for Thanksgiving your vacation rental is the fully equipped with all you need for the simplest to the fanciest dinner.
8.  No Decorating!  You don’t have to worry with holiday decorations when you have the beautiful beach scenery just out your door.
7.  No Snow!  Escape the cold weather for warm sunny days and cool evenings.
6.  Swimming on Thanksgiving Day!  Some of my favorite memories are swimming on Thanksgiving with all of my cousins before and after dinner.
 5.  Sales, Sales, Sales at the Tanger Outlets only 40 minutes away. 
4.  No cleaning prior to company coming and no big cleaning after they leave.  Do your dishes take the trash out and put the dirty linens by the washer.  Your Done!     
3.  Invite the family.  There are houses available if you want to stay together or everyone can have their own condo and go their separate ways. 
2.  Cooking or not when all is done you are still at the beach!  Warm days, beautiful sunsets, sandy toes, and salty air.
1.  Great memories are guaranteed any time of year at The Beach!

 

The Blue Angels Are Coming Home

Our favorite High Fliers are heading home this week!  The Homecoming Air Show is held at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, on Friday and Saturday, November 2 and 3, 2012. Gate admission is free. Gates open at 8 am each day.The show begins at 9 am, with the Blue Angel Flight Demonstration Team scheduled to fly around 2 pm. The Blue Angel pilots do sign autographs after the show. Over 100,000 people are expected to view the show daily. Visitors are directed to the air field parking from both gates, but are encouraged to use the shuttle parking lot to avoid very long walks. Buses will make the rounds, taking patrons to and from the air show site. The show includes static displays of aircraft of all types, food, beverage and vendor booths, virtual reality experiences and other attractions that make this show a favorite excursion for folks from all over the country. There will be a Kids’ Zone, virtual games and bungee jump to entertain children of all ages. For those who have never attended an air show, be advised the aircraft can be VERY noisy and young children need protection for their ears. It can also be windy on the tarmac and layers of clothes are recommended. Patrons may bring blankets and chairs, however, no coolers, backpacks, food, drinks or pets are allowed. (Baby and infant needs are allowed – but no glass bottles) Small camera and diaper bags are allowed but subject to search. A handicap area is set aside for wheelchairs and an accompaniest only.
Admission: Gate admission is free. Bleacher seating is available for pricing and to buy tickets visit Blue Angels Website .  https://www.naspairshow.com/

Fort Morgan Ship Wreck

A must see while you are here was recently unearthed during Hurricane Isaac.  Hal Scheurich recently wrote the article below for Fox10tv.com.  Be sure to visit the ship while you are here.  It will be covered up again soon! 

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) – Only a shell of what she once was, the 150 foot sailing vessel thought to be the Rachael, is attracting attention again on Fort Morgan.  Word had spread that the storm surge from Hurricane Isaac had uncovered her once again and plenty of folks came with their cameras.

The Rachael was an early 20 th century schooner that ran aground.  Buried for decades, hurricanes expose what’s left of the vessel every few years.

“It’s just something that you really have to go see,” said Adriana Mutan as she walked around the burnt wreckage taking pictures.  “I mean, I’ve seen so many pictures…heard so many stories and now I’ve seen it.”

According to the Alabama Historical Commission, the three mast schooner met her fate in 1930 while carrying a load of timber.  Commission archeologists Amanda Hill said the belief is the vessel ran into a storm and had too few crew aboard to maintain control.  According to interviews with witnesses that were alive at the time of the wreck, the ship was looted of its cargo and set on fire.

The ship has been exposed several times over the decades from beach erosion during hurricanes.  The last time was during hurricane Ike several years ago.  There was always speculation as to its origin.  Many even thought it may have been a blockade runner during the Civil War.  Assistant Professor, Greg Cook of the University of West Florida helped put those rumors to bed after doing a study of the vessel in 2008.

He noted that many of the riggings were post Civil War and dated to the early 20 th century.  After some more digging, it’s believed that the Rachael was designed and built in Moss Point, MS in 1919.

Billy Berrey grew up in Gulf Shores and remembers seeing the ship as a child.  It’s now closer in than ever and he’s worried about the amount of attention it gets.

“I’ve always thought it would be kind of cool for them to excavate this thing and move it…preserve what they can and take it to the museum,” said Berrey.  “The last time it was uncovered, people were pulling things off of it.”

There is a problem.  The ship now rests on private property and the folks that own the homes are concerned about liability in the event someone gets hurt by the wreckage.  They would like to see, at very least, the ship covered up.

The Alabama Historical Commission looked into that after hurricane Ike but found that it would cost too much to do anything with it and since it’s on private property, the owners would have to foot the bill.  They did say they would assist if someone else funded the effort. 

For now, the ship will sit until Mother Nature decides to cover her back up once again.  Owners just ask that sightseers like Dusty Bones and his family respect their property while they visit.

“We really like history.  We like going to see things like the Battleship and stuff like that, so to see a piece of this is really interesting.”

Although much is now known about the ship than just a few years ago, there is still much mystery and intrigue.  Who was on board and where were they going?  Was it a hurricane or just a bad storm that caused her to run aground?  They’re all questions that keep visitors coming to the little stretch of beach with they’re cameras ready to capture a little piece of

LA Adventures: A Guide To Lower Alabama

A walk on the beach, glass blowing, animal adventures an shrimping intrepid journalist, Jordan Rayne, was intent on discovering all that south Alabama had to offer.   I believe Rayne accomplished this feat in just a few days!  The trip started with a promise to keep everything about Lower Alabama a secret,  the recent article highlighting Rayne’s trip appeared in the American Airlines in flight magazine American Way.  This beautiful article highlights hidden treasures and local hot spots.  One of the hidden treasures highlighted is Sunset Properties!

We certainly loved the article as it mentioned so many of our favorite places and things to do.  We were completely surprised that we were mentioned in this article and humbled by the recommendation.  Take a look at Rayne’s adventure for yourself.

We hope to share our secret with you soon!

Bird Banding in Fort Morgan

I have said it so many time but I’ll say it again.  The fall is the absolutely the best time to be at the beach.  Warm day cool evenings and so much to see and hear.  At the Sunset Properties office we leave the doors open most days.  This of course invites all sorts of flying friends in.  We are regularly shewing out dragon flies and bugs of all sorts sometimes even a bird on occasion.   The birds are loving the weather as well.  You can hear them singing constantly.

This great weather and the plentiful food and shelter makes the Ft. Morgan area the perfect place for a lay over for our feathered friends.  They are heading south but they are enjoying the beauty of the Fort Morgan area before they keep going south.  Our tiny piece of land is a major landing strip for migrating birds twice a year.  When they land a dedicated group of volunteers take time to weigh measure and count each of these creatures.  This valuable information is shared with researchers all of the world studying birds.  We feel truly blessed to play host to the birds traveling through the area.

If you are here right now you can witness all the excitement in Ft. Morgan.  Just head toward Fort Morgan, and head off to the right when you start seeing vehicles.  The friendly volunteers will give information about what they are doing and information about each bird you see.  If you are very lucky you may even have a chance to let this gorgeous creature fly again, right out of your palm.  Try to come down in the next couple of weeks and join the bird banding team.

Hurricane Isaac Aug. 29 10 am

We had a few updates from the beach.  All properties seem to fine a t first glance.  Our maintenance guys were able to get through the high water to take a look at things.  The power is back on for now at the end of the island and Becky will be in touch with you if you are coming in today.  Isaac has stalled a bit so we still have highwater on the road for a little longer.  Be sure to check out our Facebook fan page for current updates at  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sunset-Properties/5872428286

Thanks to Becky, Jim, Mark & Kathy for all of your above and beyond work during the storm!