This year, we wanted to go to the beach. I knew Jason was going to fly to meet us, so I picked 30A as it is close to an airport that Southwest flies to regularly. We had a great week and 30A was perfect. People ask all the time for trip recs because we take these road trips. I’m going to try to start documenting them so that I can remember.
We left on a Friday morning, I didn’t want to be driving from Dallas to our rental on 30A in one day. It is possible to do in one day, I just didn’t want to do it. I also didn’t want to take the New Orleans route as I was solo with the kids and that felt overwhelming. Our drive was easy except for some crazy rainstorms. We grabbed ChickFilA on the way out of Dallas for breakfast, my kids were sure it was their last ChickFilA experience for the rest of their lives. We ate lunch in the car, and then grabbed dinner at Cracker Barrel in Hattiesburg, MS. I didn’t want a quick dinner, I had been driving through rainstorms for awhile and needed a break. All of my kids love Cracker Barrel and will eat veggies there, so it was a win in my book. We ate an early dinner of 4:30, so we could get back on the road.
Night 1 we stayed in Mobile, Alabama. Several people had told me to stay downtown. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown Mobile.
- Pros to this hotel – it was within walking distance to ChickFilA and the children’s museum. Also, the front desk at this hotel was awesome. She knew I was a Hilton Gold member even though I had booked through Hotels.com and she had a goody bag ready for each of my kids. (They thought they were celebrities.) Our room here was also big.
- Cons to this hotel – the pool was tiny and they were holding a big family reunion that was really loud at all hours. I also didn’t realize getting across the bridge on a Saturday during high season was full of traffic. If I had known, I might have stayed across the bridge.
The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast at the hotel, and walked over the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. I had read really mixed reviews about this science center so I went in with really low expectations. I also know that it is really hard to find things that all my kids love. All of my kids loved this place. No one wanted to leave after almost 3 hours. There was a great human body exhibit. Even though there were several stations that were broken (which is what I had read complaints about) there was still a solid 10 stations that the kids could do. They were all very interactive. In the other part of the center, there were activities that the kids could do (make paper airplanes, build a lego boat and see if it floats). In this area, they had tons of staff helping kids. The staff in this area were amazing. My kids literally asked one of the girls if she could babysit them.
I hated that we had to go but I knew I needed to feed them lunch and get on the road to the beach. Lunch again at Chick Fil A because honestly it was the only thing in the area where we were. I thought downtown Mobile would have more but there really wasn’t much there. I’m glad I filled my kids up because what we thought was going to be a quick, easy drive turned out to be a whip of a drive in traffic and lots of storms.
My plan was to stop at Target on the way and get groceries. I went against my better judgement and the kids just wanted to get to the beach. When we got to the beach house, we unloaded, I ordered pizza, and decided to run to the store by myself for the things we needed immediately.
I went to the Publix closest to us, which was by Watercolor. It was insane. I have literally never experienced anything like it. You couldn’t get down the aisles. You couldn’t get your cart anywhere. And to top it off, it was insanely expensive. What I thought was going to be a quick 30 minute trip ended up taking well over an hour. I spent $600 on groceries that would have cost me about $350 at Target. Literally the honeycrisp apples were $3 a piece. But we had food and I didn’t have to take the crew out to eat every day, so we will call that a small win.
When I got back to the condo, the pizza had been delivered. It was amazing. It was from Bruno’s pizza. I honestly wish we had a chance to go back there to eat because it was so good. I had the Alys Beach, and I just got cheese and pepperoni for the kids. I did order wings for Gage because he doesn’t eat pizza and he said the wings were terrible.
That wraps up us getting to 30A and getting settled. I hope this helps you plan your trip to 30A. Next up this week is what we did on 30A.