Often times my job sends me to areas of the world I have never been. After recieving the email I was going to be one of the judges World Food Championship in Alabama excitement filled my body. I was going to be a food judge!! EEK, taste delicious food = dream job!! Where on earth was Orange Beach, Alabama and how was I going to get there? I quickly Googled the location and found an airport to fly into. After booking my flight I arranged a rental and started packing my bags. After a 2 hour flight I arrived at the rental place completely unaware how my trip would unfold. Often times, I do not research much about an area when I am working because I do not want a preconceived notion. When they handed me the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring keys I about fell over!
I was given a complimentary rental for my trip. All opinons are my own.
Back home in New York, I drive a 4-wheel drive Chevy pick up that let’s just say: “it has seen better days”. The Mazda was completely out of my element in such a grand special way. Leather seats greeted my restless aching “just got off a stuffy airplane” body with comfort. By the time I drove out of the parking lot and onto the wonderfully wooded roads, I felt like I had drove this car for years.
You may not realize this but the Atlanta airport is only a short 5 hour drive from the Gulf Shores. Ok, maybe you might not think 5 hours is short BUT it was a lot cheaper to fly in there and drive down. I saw things on my journey I had never seen before. Cotton fields. That may sound weird to some but they are such an iconic thing in our American history (mostly for negative reasons but still) it was humbling to see them in person. I really felt for those who lived, breathed and died working those fields. I wondered what other history these states had to offer. Once in the Gulf Shores area I stopped into a Welcome Center.
Immediately, I realized I was no longer in New York. Now say what you will about us northerners BUT Southerners have a very appealing personality ( I think anyway)! They are so honest to goodness respectful. I am not sure which state the formalities get lost and we get New York attitudes but Southern hospitality is so refreshing! With a wonderful visit from the Welcome Center ladies, I found some great attractions to visit on my trip. I bide my appreciation and was off to shop at some local beach houses.
Where is Orange Beach, Alabama you ask? It is on an island as South as you can go. It features sandy WHITE beaches that have NOT been over humanized. What do I mean by that? I walked the beach for hours on my first day there and could not find one speck of trash! I am not throwing anyone under the bus but where I come from that is UNHEARD of!! These Southerners have every reason to be proud of their area. It is gorgeous and I can’t wait to share with you all my experiences on this trip. More to come on that next week!!
After a day of travel and exploration I headed to my hotel for the night. My Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring served me well and gave me some wonderful surprises along the way! Since I had such a jam packed first day it was late into the evening when I headed to my hotel. I am one of those people who drive with high beams on. Yeah, roll your eyes my spouse does that too, haha. Can I just say one of the FANTASTIC features was the ability to sense light while high beams are on. When the car sensed a car coming in the opposite direction it automatically lowered my beams. Once the car had passed and it did not detect light it reapplied the high beams. GENIUS!!! Where has THIS feature been all my life. I think people like me would not get a bad “high beam” wrap if this existed ealier. Now, you might think that is a small feature but to me personally this was one for the books!
Excited to see how my trip went?
What to share in my exciting adventures?
Follow me on Social media and tell me what your favorite part of my trip was!!