Growing up in Mobile, I have always considered Gulf Shores as my home away from home. Not only did we make frequent day trips since we live an hour from there, but we have always had a family trip to the beach every summer since I can remember.
Old Gulf Shores
When I was very young, my grandmother bought a beach house right across from the Holiday Inn, and we enjoyed unlimited access to the beach.
After Hurricane Frederick in 1979, condos began popping up in Gulf Shores everywhere. They built a condo right next to my Grandmama's beach house. Inches away from the a/c window unit. The condo builder offered Grandmama an end unit if she would sell them her house. So she did.
When Grandmama died in 1988, she willed her condo to her three children. To make things easier on everyone, my Mom & Dad bought my aunt and uncle's share.
In 1998, we (my sisters & I) convinced Mom the market was good for her to begin to try to sell the condo (which was across the street from the beach) and buy a condo ON the beach. :)
Enter Ocean House #2601.
My kiddos have grown up in this condo.
They celebrated birthdays in this condo.
We rang in many New Years in this condo.
We slept late in this condo.
Invited many friends to this condo.
Watched countless sunrises and sunsets in this condo.
even a rainbow or two..
and a moonrise...
Our kiddos learned how to swim in the "best pool on the beach".
The white sands in front of Mom's condo have provided hours of football, skim boarding, & picnics.
This condo balcony has witnessed many morning quiet times. Many dolphins spotted. Many eager prayers. Many major decisions made.
The condo's tiny kitchen has had many breakfasts cooked with love. Many sandy sandwiches made. Many capri suns and water bottles filling the fridge. Many times of the smoke alarm going off.
The kitchen counters have held lots of solo cups with Sharpie written names. Lots of Starbursts and Reese cups. Lots of cereal boxes. Lots of grocery lists.
This condo has held lots and lots and lots of laughter and love.
And not just by us. By MANY. For a time, my Mom rented it out every summer to our friends and extended family. There are so many people who have been blessed by my mom sharing "GrandMart's Condo".
Earlier this year, we convinced Mom again to sell the condo. This time, not to get a nicer one, but to get out from under the responsibility of upkeep and condo fees, etc. I can't count how many times Mom said "Yall are the reason I want to keep the condo!" She loves seeing us enjoy it so much. Mom is so selfless like that!
But praise be to God! Today Mom sold the condo. Closed. Sold.
Bye Bye condo.
Bye Bye Ocean House #2601
Have you ever been all gung-ho about something that you knew was the right decision? And then, when it came down to the moment of "do it", you want to stop the tape and say "NEVERMIND!"
I had a moment like that two hours before Mom closed on the condo. I called Rob and asked him could we come up with the money to buy the condo and out-bid the buyer?
He was so merciful not to hang up on me. :)
So Bye bye boardwalk to the beach.
Bye bye hose to wash our feet off that made the water smell like sulfur.
Bye bye old kitchen chairs that broke and made countless people fall to the floor.
Bye bye security guard that always made us get a parking pass.
Bye bye scary elevator to the 6th floor. We never knew if you would break down or not.
Bye bye couch beds that made you feel like you were sleeping on the Titanic.
Bye bye beach closet that held all the sand toys a child could ever dream of.
Bye bye dishwasher that blocked all the cabinets if someone was loading it.
Bye bye hot water heater that lasted for about 3.5 members of my family.
Bye bye baby pool with all the sand in it.
Bye bye grill where many a man grilled burgers for their family.
Bye bye familiar condo smell when we first walk in the door.
Bye bye cable TV.
Bye bye beach bowl that we always used to fill with candy.
Bye bye Ocean House.
We will miss it.
And thank you Granmart for 15 years of Ocean House fun in the sun! How could "thank you" ever express our grateful hearts? We love you! And we are SO thankful that God orchestrated every detail to sell the condo....His timing, as always, is perfect!