Saturday Night on Dauphin Island

Last week, my family took a trip to our favorite vacation spot. The best thing about Dauphin Island is that it’s relatively unknown. There are very few condos at Dauphin Island, and because it is the less tourist-riddled little sister of the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores/Pensacola area, you skip out on the surf shops that flood each corner.

We have been coming to Alabama since my brother was 3 or 4. He’s 11 now, so you can do the math and see how influential this beach is in our memories and lives. This year was no exception. I plan on posting some in-depth reviews of our favorite Dauphin Island hotspots and locations, but for now, I wanted to give you a peek into our day-to-day life on the island.

We arrived on Saturday, and decided that it would be a lot of fun to take a quick trip to the beach that evening before the others arrive. Our family typically travels in a large group… me, my parents, my brother, my son, my grandmother, her sisters and brothers-in-law, and this year, my sister flew in from Germany to join us. Because we were still waiting for the others to arrive (my sister, grandmother, great aunts and uncles), I was just hanging out in the condo, when my brother approached me. The conversation went something like this.

Jeffrey: “Hey, Jenni.”
Me: “Hey, what?”
Jeffrey: “Go get your camera.”
Me: “Okay. Why?”
Jeffrey: “I found the perfect picture for you.”
Me: “Sure. Where’s it at?”
Jeffrey: “Oh, just right out there. It’s just sunset and it’s really pretty and there’s a little log and I wanted you to take a picture of me standing on it.”
Me: “Okay.”

We ambled out the door, past the place where you wash your feet, and I’m thinking the log is going to be pretty far in, near the sand. Uh, no. I get there and I say “Okay, where’s this log.”

Jeffrey points way out, close to the water, saying “It’s that one, over there!”

But, unfortunately, as much as I hate to admit it, Jeffrey was right. The light was perfect. The timing was perfect. If I didn’t hoof it out to that log, I would miss a really great moment that his eye happened to catch. So, we walked down the beach.

Luckily, it had rained all week before, so the sand wasn’t as hard to walk on as usual. See the picture below? Yeah, that’s not ocean. That’s rain, piled up on the beach.

Zach loved the feeling of the breeze blowing through his hair as we walked towards the beach. I also think he was intrigued by the crashing waves!

See that look of pure joy on his face? I can’t get over how cute he is! After quite a trek, we made it out to the log that Jeffrey had found. Isn’t it just such a fun shape? It was a good prop for a few photos, including this shot below of Jeffrey with his arms stretched wide!

I had put Zach up on the log for Jeffrey to hold him and play with him for a few minutes. Lately, we’ve been having a few problems where you say “smile,” and you get that weird, self-conscious, teenage smile that isn’t really a smile? Yeah, I get that a lot. That’s why it’s so refreshing when I end up capturing a cute candid shot between those smiles, featuring some real, genuine giggles.

I also asked Jeffrey to take control of the camera a few times. He’s only 11, but he has an incredible eye for a good shot, and he can always tell exactly how to frame a picture, the times of the day that have just the right light, and he often uses my camera to get better shots than I do! I swear, he needs his own Nikon, doesn’t he? He snapped this adorable shot of me lifting Zach high above my head so he could look over the beautiful beach sunset.

Since we were this close to the water already, we decided to take the trip to the edge and dip our toes in. As we approached the water, we noticed some funny little prints in the sand!

Then, it was finally time for my little guy to dip his toes into the ocean for the very first time. Jeffrey took about 100 shots of his first trip in, so it was really hard picking a favorite shot to share with you! I ended up narrowing it down to a handful. Bear with me, I think my son is the cutest thing ever and I would feel like a terrible mom if I were able to narrow it down any more than this!

Look at him march towards that water like he owns the place! I love it! He had such confidence, even going into such a vast, sometimes scary, body of water. I mean, look at it! It’s HUGE compared to that little boy, and he just charges towards it!

I love how Jeffrey was able to capture very intimate mother-son moments when he was snapping photos. He framed the images so well… I swear, he would make an incredible photographer. He has skill at silhouetting that many pros I know don’t have.

Zach kept doing this funny little lean backwards, like he wanted to lay down on the water. It was so adorable, but I kept having to really work to keep him upright, since he kept wanting to really duck into the water.

As you can see, he loved the water. Look at the pure joy radiating on his face! He is such a fan of the soft waves of Dauphin Island, such a fan of the peaceful ocean air. I have certainly raised a water baby, after all.



  1. We were there 2a weeks ago! It had rained 14″ so all the beaches and roads were flooded and we took the ferry to FL to find dry beaches. Beautiful island!

  2. Love the pictures. He really is super cute. Thanks for sharing his enjoyment of his first trip to Alabama.

  3. Gorgeous pix indeed! Jeff has an eye for photography, that’s for sure! And your son… Man, “cute” doesn’t even begin to describe him!

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