Gulf Shores, Alabama

This year for the holidays in December, our family decided to go on a road-trip adventure. We decided to go to Alabama, USA. While our backyard was covered in snow, we thought it would be great to head somewhere a little warmer for the holidays.

We rented a place in Gulf Shores, which is south of Mobile, AL, and is on the Gulf of Mexico. The cottage we rented was only a five minute walk from the beach. I was interested to note that all the structures in the area were on stilts (beams). This is to preserve the building an case of a flood.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7861.

We had a great time at the beach nearby. The sand was a different texture than that of freshwater lake sands. I’m guessing this is because of the salt in the seawater.

I had fun on a skim-board, which is a thin wooden board that you throw down into very shallow water and jump onto. It’s fun because you just glide barely above the sand on a thin layer of water. Beach stores sell them.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7860.Two of my brothers also made this mosaic out of seashells.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7858.We noticed a bunch of little holes in the sand all over the beach, and when I dug one of them up, I found a tiny land crab!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7859.The waves were very high and powerful and we had to be careful of the undertow, which is a current that pulls against incoming waves underneath the surface, and can pull you right under.

One day we met up with some friends at the Explorium in Mobile. The Explorium is a big science centre with lots of neat stuff to look at and do. Another day we went on a boat tour of Mobile Harbor where we saw navy ships, a container ship getting unloaded, and a WWII ship which is now a museum.  Our friend Dan – who inspects ships – explained all about each of the ships we saw.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR7862.We stayed in Alabama just less than a week. We had a great time, and because we went on the off-season, there was hardly anyone else on the beach. Next time you’re looking for your next travel destination, I recommend looking into Gulf Shores, Alabama. It’s a great place to visit.DCIM100GOPROGOPR7809.

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Trip to Toronto

img_4804This summer my older brother Duke and I went for a neat little traveling adventure.  My Great Uncle and Aunt – David (who got me started on uni-cycling) and Joan – live in Toronto, Canada’s largest city in population, and we went to visit them.

Dad dropped us off at the bus station where we got on the bus for Toronto.  When we arrived in Toronto David and Joan picked us up.

First, they took us to the Kensington Market, a market where you can shop for all sorts of interesting things.  img_1101After touring around and looking at lots of food, clothing, and other stuff, my Aunt Joan dropped us off at the Billy Bishop airport which is right beside the sailboat club where Uncle David owns a boat.

We went for a sail with some of Uncle David’s friends.  We sailed way out on Lake Ontario, then back in and around Toronto Island, where we saw a bunch of wind surfers and encountered a sailboat race.  On the way back to the boat club I got a chance to steer which was pretty cool.  We had dinner at the boat club and then headed back to David and Joan’s house where we talked about the plan for the next day.

Next morning the four of us woke up at around 5:30 a.m. and drove to the park where David and I began unicycling and Duke and Joan went for a walk around the park.  image1We unicycled 10 km (6.2 miles); David on his 29” unicycle and I was borrowing his 24” unicycle.  We drove home, then walked to a nearby diner for breakfast.  After breakfast we walked to the nearest subway station and rode around on subways, streetcars and buses for the rest of the morning which was cool for me because I had never been on a subway before.  At around noon we took a bus back to David and Joan’s home and had a snack and some quiet time, during which David let me try out his 5’ tall ‘giraffe’ unicycleimg_1128and 36” unicycle.750_8663I took them down to a nearby park to practice.750_8680An hour or so later we drove to the Beach where we walked around and enjoyed some fresh air.  It would have been a great day for swimming but we just dipped our feet in.

That evening we walked to a restaurant nearby the Beach for dinner.  We had a nice quiet dinner and then walked around watching different bands set up for a jazz festival.

Next morning around 5:30 a.m. Uncle David woke me up and this time just the two of us went to the park to do some early morning unicycling.  This time I was using his 36” unicycle which can go much faster with less peddling.

When we got back from unicycling in the park I packed up my stuff and then we had homemade porridge for breakfast.  After breakfast I practiced a bit more on David’s giraffe unicycle.  Later that morning David and Joan drove us back to our home, and on the way back we stopped at a bakery for a snack.

What a great weekend of fun and excitement!