62 In Life

A Night Away in Point Clear, AL

Hello rovers. If you have retainers would you please retrieve them and put them on your teeth.

I have now had my braces for 6 days, only about 175 more to go. I knew they were going to hurt, but I may have forgotten just how bad. WhenΒ  I was waiting to have them put on, I overheard a mother telling the front desk staff, “Johnny was hurting so bad from his last adjustment that he had to miss school.” I was thinking, “Yeah right, Johnny’s milking that one… missing school for having his braces adjusted, that’s absurd!” Then I had mine put on and the next day, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get out of bed or leave the house… I felt so bad for little Johnny because surely he has both top and bottom braces! I’ve also come to the harsh realization that I can’t eat things that are crunchy or hard. I feel certain most of what I used to eat was crunchy or hard. I’m adjusting {no pun intended}, but occasionally find myself sucking on crackers and chips until they’re soft enough to swallow. Please don’t feel too sorry for me. My husband reminds me that this is self-inflicted. I remind him it still hurts. πŸ™‚


Our weekend started Friday night at the Orange Beach Scarecrow Festival where the kids got sugared up with roasted marshmallows while I sucked on Lays potato chips, one at a time. The real adventure, however, started Saturday morning. Last week we decided to take a little “getaway” boat exploration to Point Clear for a night, a 37 mile journey that was about as much fun as we can imagine having. The plan was to meet Erika, Chance and Sloane there for a couple days. The weather was perfect, sunny and cool, but just a smidge windy!




John Martin cracks us up because he has a really hard time staying awake on the boat. He can be sitting straight up in my arms and fall completely asleep. We weren’t very far into our journey when I looked over and he was completely sacked out.


The wind really picked up when we hit Mobile Bay, and we were all wishing we had windbreakers or a house boat. JM and Morgan were cuddled on a bean bag chair, while Paige and I huddled down on the bow.


The trip ended up taking considerably less time than we anticipated, and we arrived in Point Clear before our room was ready. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this area, Point Clear is on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and is just south of Fairhope. Point Clear has a fabulous historic hotel that sits on Mobile Bay called The Grand that is very kid friendly {unless your kids are being loud in the hotel room and then they send the “hall police” to regulate}. Since we arrived early, we opted for a picnic, an acorn hunt, and a little pool time until our room was ready.




When we checked in, I took a picture of the room because I knew it would never look the same, and I was right.


Once we bombarded the room, Justin stayed with the kids and I was able to sneak out alone for a walk down the “boardwalk” that runs south of the hotel but between the bay shore and the homes that are water front. What a treat it was! Huge, old Live Oaks and Spanish Moss surround beautiful old homes.






That evening Erika and Chance {who were staying in Fairhope} picked us up at the hotel, and we headed into Fairhope to join Krista and Michael {our old friends, and new dentist} at Camellia Cafe. The food was delicious and the company was even better! We laughed a lot and enjoyed fresh, local food, seafood, and great conversation! I’m so sad I didn’t get a group picture.

The next morning we started slow with coffee and breakfast, and then strolled around the hotel property to take in all that the hotel had to offer {ducks, trees, winding brick paths, & a playground} before loading back onto the boat for the journey home.













It wasn’t even 24 hours later that we found ourselves back at the marina, loading up for the journey home! It had been almost a year since we got away, just our little family, and like our trip last year to the Grayton State Park cabins, this one was just as memorable! Erika and Chance {& Sloane} came over Sunday morning to see us off. We didn’t get to spend as much time with them as we had hoped because they had passed around a stomach virus last week that we didn’t exactly want. I know they’d like a trip re-do and we’ll gladly go back again for a weekend soon! Sister documented as we untied and took off from the marina.


on the boat_1

deckhand d

We “hugged” the shore on our way home and took in the sights from the bay. We were going into the wind which made it even a little more windy, but again, so worth it. What a great little adventure we had! The trip both ways was as enjoyable as our time in Point Clear. On the way home we detoured into the Bon Secour River to see the shrimping boats. Once on the Intracoastal Canal we stopped at Lulu’s for lunch.










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  • Christine
    October 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    But a million dollar smile for the price of 180 days will be worth it! Hope you find lots of yummy soft foods over the next few months. Your pics are beautiful as always πŸ™‚

  • Meredith
    October 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Oh my goodness, my family and I go to the Grand Hotel every year on vacation! I am now 23 and we still make a little family vaca there! My dad grew up going there too! Love seeing your pictures of it. πŸ™‚

  • Danielle
    October 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I had braces on my bottom teeth when I was 25 for about a year. All due to not wearing my retainer! πŸ™ Who knew you still had to wear it 10 years later!!? Ask for a permanent one after! They put a tiny little wire behind your teeth that is not noticeable from the outside. I usually forget it is even there.

  • The Mom
    October 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    In the days before we had four little ones, The Husband and I used to leave the one, two or three children (four proved to be simply too much!) at the beach house in Cinco Bayou with my Momma and grandmother and steal ourselves away to the Grand Hotel for a little anniversary weekend. For years it was the highlight of my summer, and something I looked forward to all year long. We would fish from the docks, take long walks, swim to our hearts’ content and sleep in. My idea of heaven. Back in the day, you also had to “dress” for dinner and the men wore coats and ties and the women dresses. Things may have loosened up a bit, but the beauty is as timeless as ever. So glad that you and your children got acquainted with the Grand’s beauty. It was a trip down memory lane for me!

  • Star
    October 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    At 32 I am wearing my first set of braces ever, and it is PAINFUL. I have Invisalign but it still hurts. I can’t imagine having to deal with this pain and manage everything that you do. I’m impressed!

  • Amy
    October 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Staying at the Grand Hotel with my mom and 4 yr old daughter is one of my happiest memories.

  • Kate@Daffodils
    October 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    So beautiful! Glad yall got away. And hope those braces stop hurting soon!

  • Christie
    October 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for the reminder! Going to put the ol’ retainers in right now before I retire to slumber. Beautiful photos and family!

  • Rebecca
    October 12, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Thanks for posting the pictures. My Mom is a Southern belle who grew up in Mobile and I have many fond memories of visiting Fairhope and The Grand.

    My Mom had braces put on her teeth when she was about your age [I guess — I really don’t know how old you are. :)]. She used to put on double rubber bands to move her teeth twice as fast. It worked! I don’t know how much ahead of schedule her braces came off but she has the reward of beautiful, shining, straight teeth now.

    Have a lovely day!

  • HannahJ
    October 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

    What a beautiful family getaway! That cinnamon bun has my mouth watering still….and despite the fact that I got my braces off ummm at least 15 years ago I can STILL recall that pain- something you never forget- SO SORE!

  • Angie
    October 12, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Just got my braces off (I had top and bottom) Lived on Tylenol after the adjustments!!! lol Loving my smile now!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Love the stories and pictures!!

  • Meredith W.
    October 12, 2011 at 6:52 am

    My son is the same age as your Rover (born 6-25-08) and I’ve been thinking this week how it seems he has morphed from looking like a toddler to looking like a preschooler nearly overnight. It appears the same has happened to your boy too. How quickly they grow!

  • Kristee Dowling
    October 12, 2011 at 7:05 am

    First of all, you sucking on a Lays chips took me straight to my childhood. Hazel, the lady that kept me growing up would suck on a chip, like nobody’s business. (fyi, she didn’t have braces) Next, I want that cinnamon roll with my coffee this morning. YUM! Last, love every single picture you posted. Y’all truly look like a poster family.

  • Christina
    October 12, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I have been reading your blog for a long time (and love it). I remember when Erika visited you and left her retainers behind. The girls put it in their doll house πŸ™‚ I had braces in college, 10 years ago, and still wear my retainers every night. If I miss a day or two I can feel that my teeth have moved when I put my retainers back in! Crazy! I hope you adjust quickly. I’ve never seen your bottom teeth but your top teeth look amazing! Do you whiten them? Great smile!

  • Anna
    October 12, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Family trips are so important! Thanks for sharing all the great photos.

  • Brooke King
    October 12, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Beautiful photos! We vacationed in Gulf Shores this past summer, so it’s nice to see some photos from down in that area! LOVE Lulus!!

  • Whitney
    October 12, 2011 at 7:59 am

    You’re lucky girl Darbs. Look’s like life and the lord are treating you very well.

    I love The Grand! Last time I was there I was over served at a polo match and refused to get out of that giant bath tub when I got back to the room. Real mature.

  • paige
    October 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

    if i believed in reincarnation i would totally vote to come back & fly through your window & be a rover. what an awesome little world darby doll
    could you be any cuter sportin that pink & green?
    i think not

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    October 12, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Bless your teeth. I still say pain from orthodontic appliances and braces is one of the worst kinds. Looks like y’all had a great little vacation! Point Clear looks beautiful…especially those big mossy trees.

  • Jessica
    October 12, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Beautiful pictures, Darby! Looks like you had a wonderful little getaway!

    And like the previous poster commented, ask for a permanent retainer after you get your braces off. I’ve had mine in for 19 years & most of the time, forget it is even there. And an added bonus, my bottom teeth are still perfectly straight! πŸ™‚

    I hope your mouth gets to feeling better soon!

  • Brittaney
    October 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

    My husband makes fun of me because I still wear my retainers. But I’d rather wear them than get braces again. Hope they ease up on you soon!

  • Melanie
    October 12, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Poor poor teeth!GORGEOUS photos as always! Nice to have a few of you from Erika:) Makes me want to take my family on a little get a way! Does the Auburn FL game this Saturday count???? HA! WAR EAGLE!!!

  • caw
    October 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

    you look Glamorous!! so adorable !!
    beautiful pictures. beautiful family.

  • Cherish @ Southern Soul Mates
    October 12, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Point Clear is gorgeous!! How nice that your family was able to have a little getaway even if it was for only one night! Love your pictures!! You looks fabulous-can’t even tell you have braces!! I’m sorry they’re so painful! Have a blessed day!

  • Michelle
    October 12, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I have been reading your blog for a while now… Your children are adorable and I always like reading things about places I am familiar with. I’m originally from Mobile and spent my childhood summers in Point Clear and at the pool at the Grand hotel. I have never commented before, but this time I had to– that picture of the wharf you have along the boardwalk is my wharf! Our family home is three doors down from the Grand. Love to see that it is famous now πŸ˜‰

  • Kelly@Bungalow Blue
    October 12, 2011 at 9:39 am

    You have such a beautiful family! Looks like you guys had a blast!

  • Amy Brewer
    October 12, 2011 at 10:00 am

    We left OB on Friday and I was sad we missed the scarecrow festival! But, I know how windy it was. We were hoping to watch some of the boats practice for Thunder on the Gulf on Thursday but they had to postpone due to the winds. Love Fairhope and Point Clear but it has been years since we were there. We may have to plan a side trip there in the Spring. Good luck with the braces. I caught my mistake early and had a retainer made, but eventually stopped wearing it and now wish I had.
    Beautiful family and beautiful pics!

  • Deanna
    October 12, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Advil or Motrin for the braces, take some about 30minutes before your adjustment should help! Pictures are beautiful!!

  • Lindsey
    October 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

    oh my! those pictures are so wonderful! makes me so happy to see you guys enjoying such a fun weekend together. the fam is just beautiful! please frame the picture of you 5 on the boat. and you are hilarious sucking on potato chips. tell morgan to watch for her letter from elle. i have no idea what it says:). miss you.

  • Konie
    October 12, 2011 at 10:34 am

    What a fun fun family time!!! Your family is experiencing time together that you will FOREVER look back on and cherish:) I followed Abby’s family adventures last year…..and look forward to YOURS this year:) Enjoy this time….it passes quickly! And I agree with Lindsey, beautiful pics and the boat pic definitely needs to be in a frame…..and on the cover of a magazine!!:))

  • cath
    October 12, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Looks like a great trip. My aunt and uncle stay at the Grand when they go on business.Someday, sigh.

    Oh just reading your words about the pain instantly reminded me of my time in chains. Back in the day when the bands went completely around each tooth. I drank no eating for a week….hmmm that may be a good weigh loss program for me now. I don’t know if the throbing from the pressure or the scrapping of the inside of my lips hurt more.
    You poor thing, get lots of wax and NSAIDS.

  • laurenbtrain
    October 12, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Darby, I want to thank you for your efforts to still eat potato chips even though you have to suck them til they are mush. My husband works for Frito Lay and he appreciates your sacrifice as well! πŸ˜‰ I too have a permanate retainer (on top and bottom) that I got installed a few weeks before I got married. I didnt think the whole putting in and taking out my retainers on the honeymoon was the most romantic thing and despite some challenges with flossing, I have been happy with the permanent! Your pictures are wonderful and your family is precious! I always look forward to your blogs! -Lauren

  • Caroline
    October 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Permanent retainer is the way to go fo’ real!! Demand one!!

  • Laura Beth
    October 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

    It looks like you had a GREAT time with your family. I always LOVE the number of pictures!! It’s inspiring. Your kids are precious, & I am especially fond of Rover’s AUBURN jacket :o) War Eagle! My husband and I were at The Grand the summer celebrating my birthday. It is absolutely beautiful!

  • The Mommy
    October 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Beautiful getaway! Beautiful family! Love the pic of your son passed out on the boat πŸ™‚

  • Katharina
    October 12, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Darby – very beautiful photos as always! I really like the one with you and the children! I am glad you enjoy the summer with the entire family πŸ™‚ So jealous of the good weather… and now my first cloth question ever on a blog: I really like your white sweater…where did you buy it?

  • Maren
    October 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Awww!! Braces are so frustrating, but so totally worth it. I had them (and all sorts of different pieces of metal) for a total of 6 years. It was awful at the time, but I am so thankful that my parents made me get them! πŸ™‚ My dad said I could have got a pretty sweet car if it wasn’t for those braces, though ;). And your top teeth are SO gorgeous, I’m sure you’ll be excited to having matching bottoms!!

    tip: make sure they cut the wire in the back short enough. I lived with wax on the back bracket because the wires cut up my mouth so bad! πŸ™ Hang in there!

  • kristen
    October 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    What a fun getaway! I missed not getting to go to The Grand this year. So much fun for the kids. But then again, had our conference not been moved, we wouldn’t have been able to see y’all:)

  • mandy
    October 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Hey…Looks soooo fun! Glad you all got to be together and get away! I was scrolling around etsy and saw these and thought of you. I was thinking of when you stamped onesies for JM and then I thought these were cute for your shop, with various holiday stamps on them for diff. times of the year! I may attempt some of these this weekend for the neighbors…but so cute!!! Love, Mandy


  • Larkin
    October 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Your post made me so happy. We have a place on Bon Secour river that my great grandfather bought 60 years ago. I have grown up going there and love the shrimp boats and cruising through the bay.
    Since I live in Texas right now, I only get there a couple times a year. Enjoy your time there and if y’all haven’t yet you should venture over to Magnolia river. It is gorgeous as well and they still deliver mail by boat there. Jesse’s is my favorite place to eat there.
    Another great place to eat is Tin Top, though you can’t get there by boat. Have fun.

  • Heidi
    October 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Sorry to hear about the painful braces. I could use some on my bottom teeth but don’t have the gumption to torture myself yet! As for the rest of your post, I swear you have about the most photogenic family on the planet!!! So cute. You should all be in an ad because you could probably sell anything with all that genuine cuteness.

  • Jennifer
    October 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I live vicariously through you everytime you post about my beloved Baldwin County. My Mom’s boyfriend owns a home a few doors down from The Grand and I have spent many days in Point Clear and Fairhope. There is just no place like it! My Mom also lives in Gulf Shores and your posts always make me smile and long to live there more and more! Enjoy every moment of your days in paradise:)

  • Regan @ The Professional Palate
    October 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I so very much remember how bad braces hurt, especially after adjustments. The worst was the short period of “rubber band” time (which obviously you won’t have with only 1 set). But it truly is an intense pain.

    Your post & pictures are beautiful, as always.

  • Lindsey
    October 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    So glad you and the fam made it to our little world! I was married not far from there and had my reception in the The Dining Room at The Grand. All the photos look so great! I’m so happy it was good weather for you all!!

  • Misha
    October 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Your little “vacation” looked fabulous. Sorry your mouth is in such pain but in 175 days, I’m sure it will be worth it all.

  • Jill
    October 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Glad you got to spend time in our neck of the woods this weekend… We love boat trips from Point Clear to the Gulf and back! So glad y’all had fun!

  • kt c.
    October 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    My retainers have been in (ouchie!!) for the last few nights. They still go in(barely!!) whew!! Thanks for inspiring me. And one of these days, my pics will turn out as good as yours. Yeah right. A girl can dream though. πŸ˜‰ miss you!!

  • dorajane
    October 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    My children cannot hold their eyes open on the boat either! What a great trip! I plan to duplicate it one day πŸ™‚

  • Angela
    October 13, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Darby and Justin
    LOVE IT! John Martin on the boat, reminds us of the hundreds of pictures we have of Banks sitting straight up, wearing a life vest, sound asleep! What is that? Thanks for the memory jog of the Grand! We love the Grand and have amazing memories of our children enjoy the beauty there. Enjoy. We miss yall, great seeing you recently.

  • Melanie
    October 13, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I laughed out loud at the story about little Johnny…so something I would do! Beautiful trip to Point Clear!

  • kayce hughes
    October 13, 2011 at 8:41 am

    You must have gotten your braces on the same day as my two daughters. We have been serving up a lot of smoothies around here.

  • Gayle olson
    October 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    You are so gorgeous, I feel like I am watching a movie! I want to visit your area!

  • katie
    October 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Darby I got braces on last Tuesday. I had them twice as a child. I am 33. Wear your retainers is right, why didn’t our orthos tell us it was a life-long thing??

  • molly
    October 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    you’re an incredibly blessed and lucky woman.

  • Hayley
    October 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I spent the first seven years of my life in Jackson, MS and The Grand was where we would do our summer vacation. I hadn’t thought about it in years and only have a few precious memories of the place. Thanks for sharing, it warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face on this Friday afternoon as I reminisce about family vacations at that beautiful place.

  • Kelly B
    October 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Love your blog, look at it all the time (like everyone else)! Finally getting around to commenting. I just always get sucked in by your beautiful pictures.

  • Jen
    October 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I’m 38 and have had braces on my bottom teeth for 3 months now. The pain will get better! Pack a little kit for your purse: anbesol, wax, toothbrush, toothpickers, floss. Helps when you are out to eat.Good luck!

  • molliesmom
    October 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Oh my gosh!! What a great place you live. I visited Fairhope, Ala in April and fell in love with the area. We ate at Lulu’s one night but then we just soaked up the amazing atmosphere in Fairhope. We ate at a restaurant out on the pier by the Rose Garden twice – huge compliment that we went the same place twice on a vacation πŸ™‚ I need to look up the name but it was on the pier and had the best seafood gumbo in the world. My husband is from Ala and I had visited Mobile years ago but I had no idea what a gem that coastal area is. I’m from Charleston, SC so for a coastal area to charm me that much is huge – I am a devoted Carolina girl stuck in Atl.
    marcie @madebymolliesmom.blogspot.com

  • kathleen
    October 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Every time I visit a new place I will seek out a local bakery. Upon entering, I will scrutinze the selection in the case and if nothing appeals to me from a pastry perspective; I will judge by the bread offerings…any way in Fairhope…… a g r e a t vintage book store in Fairhope I found Another copy of a book I needed to replace as I loaned it (this particular book) to a co-worker then this individual retired the following week!!!!!!!! un returned unbeknownst to me this book i well, it was VINTAGE– need I say more— not a kindle download.—– Consider it a retirement gift jim. Anyway, I found the book in Fairhope and bought a copy of the book that put Fairhope on the Literary map The Poet of Tolstoy Park a must read according to garden and Gun Magazine another publication worth subscribing to really I dare say. the book store was well worth the wander — the bakery –well i am spoiled , for a french leaning bakery in my town –has raised the bar considerably from which I do judge I admit..perhaps the Tarpon springs tourist dives have well lowered my expectations

  • Julia
    October 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I love the pictures of the houses. We found some great shops when we went to Fairhope.

  • Abby
    October 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I LOVE this trip and these pictures. Did you know that Kate Middleton wore a white jacket just like that when she and Prince William went sailing in Canada? Do you even know who Kate Middleton is :)?

    I can’t wait to try the pumpkin bread either! I may wait and just try your paleo brownies πŸ™‚

  • Lynn Forrester
    November 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Darby, I’m missing Mobile Bay SO MUCH after seeing this post! I hope you’re doing well – miss seeing your sweet face at CBS. Blessings!