Living on the Gulf Coast has so many perks! This area is known for hosting numerous festivals and this past weekend did not disappoint. OWA in Foley, Alabama was the site for the annual Gulf Coast Balloon Festival. Forty beautiful hot-air balloons filled the Gulf Coast skies. I had friends from Baldwin County sending me photos all weekend long.
On Saturday, I arrived at the park around 5PM. I grabbed a lawn chair out of my trunk and made my way to the stage area. I settled in to hear B Street Benny, a New Orleans band, perform crowd favorites!
Thousands of folks were out enjoying the beautiful Alabama spring weather. It was so wonderful to hear live entertainment again. This was the first time since the 2020 pandemic, that I have been able to enjoy live music. As a person who absolutely loves concerts, this was truly a gift!
Watching the inflation of balloons in the background was wonderful. Around 7:30PM the lighting of the hot-air balloons wowed the crowds! I joined thousands of folks snapping photos on my phone, sending them to folks across the country!
The first time I attended a balloon fest was when I lived in South Carolina. It was fun to actually go up (tethered) in one of these gentle giants! I encourage everyone to make plans to attend next year's event. Rumor has it that OWA will be hosting it again and I plan to be there!
Foley Arts & Crafts Festival!
Earlier in the day, I spent a couple of hours doing one of my favorite things. I shopped with local artists and crafters at the 49th Annual Foley Arts & Crafts Festival. I grew up helping my mom, an artist, work festivals all over Mississippi. Patronizing local artisans is in my "DNA". I'll never forget buying some little ceramic deer from a lady at the Canton Flea Market. She told my mom that my little purchase had paid for her gas to go home. Never underestimate how much your dollars matter to locals!
Foley is a quaint little town in Alabama that is loaded with southern charm. This festival was located in a beautiful park and featured some wonderful booths. I sought out my latest obsession: Happy Bee Jewelry! Check out artisan, Giulia Sciutto's marvelous pieces by clicking here!
Lunch was incredible at a local favorite in Foley, called Portabella's. I am sort of a "snob" when it comes to Italian food and rarely eat it at restaurants. This little gem has some of the best pasta and pizza around!
I had the Greek Pasta with Gulf Shrimp and it was delicious. It was loaded with tasty shrimp, tomatoes, black olives, garlic and feta. Stacy L., my waitress, brewed up a fresh pot of coffee for me to enjoy with homemade Tiramisu. It was a wonderful ending to a delightful meal!
I encourage everyone to pass up the chain restaurants and dine with locals! Your dollars spent with your neighbors stay in the community!
Mother's Day Crawfish!
Mother's Day this year had to be one of the best I've had in years. My friend and boss partner, Lisa Harkey invited me out to her place for "mini-lobsters". John Guidry, a professional crawfish farmer, supplied and boiled some of the Gulf Coast's most sought after seafood for all of us.
I about made myself sick on these mudbugs! They were boiled to perfection. I can't thank John & Lisa enough for hosting an authentic Louisiana style boil.
Check out Lisa's company, AlaCoast Insurance on the website by clicking here!
I hope everyone had a beautiful Mother's Day with their family and friends. Life on this planet is meant to be enjoyed. Taking time to spend with folks you adore is an occasion well spent! Sharing wonderful coastal food and making memories is priceless!
Now it's off to the gym for me! I've got to burn off all that wonderful food I indulged in over the weekend. I'll leave you with this quote that came across my email today! Have a great week! ~Charlsie