by Erin Napier
We made the last minute decision to make a run down to my parents’ condo in Orange Beach for the day because I checked the forecast and it said “Sunny, 82.” We’ve not been to the beach in over a year and we could do all the work we needed to do from our computer, so we loaded it up and hit the road for a few hours in the sand and sun.
We had lunch at my family’s old favorite in Perdido Key, The Sunset Grille. It’s a tiny little whitewashed shack that sits on the water in Happy Harbor and seats several dozen people. It’s never too busy, the shrimp poboys are good and cheap, and there’s always just the right amount of local color (like, say, the Polka Dot Man, as we lovingly call the leathery 70 (or 50?) year old feller who’s been rowing up and down the river with boozy women on board whilst wearing only a tiny little homemade, red, polka dot loin cloth my entire life). Most folks don’t know about Sunset Grille and that’s why we love it. It’s out of the way and you don’t have to fight the monstrous LuLu’s or Hangout crowds to get a good meal right on the docks.
The table full of ladies from Memphis and Houston next to us kept me company. Would you believe they were talking about how they had all visited Laurel last fall for the gardening symposium and that’s how we struck up a conversation? They know Josh and Em! The world is a tiny place.
And now… I will attempt to sleep without touching my back. Got my first scalding of 2014. I reckon I’m ready for summer.
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!