Category Archives: Mississippi

Mississippi Part IV: Tupelo and Oxford

When we made the reservation at our campground in Tupelo, I must have still been feeling the sting from our remote location in Lincoln County. I wasn’t willing to do without amenities like wifi, cable and shopping again just yet. As a result, we strayed from our usual plan of selecting State Parks and picked a Good Sam Park inside the Tupelo city limits – literally right across the street from the mall.  The price was right, the online reviews were great, and the place was tiny. It was more of an overnight stop for traveling motor coaches and trailers rather than a nice campground where one would spread out and enjoy nature. Our very narrow spot was up against a concrete retaining wall and all the pads were gravel as opposed to cement or asphalt. I declared our “yard” a grotto for the week, but since it rained most of the time we only built one campfire outside anyway. The upside was the gravel meant NO MUD, a great trade any day of the week.

As far at the City of Tupelo was concerned, we were excited about all the things to do while we visited. Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, so that was sort of the theme for the week. We found our Elvis CD in the library of our Bose System and let him serenade us during our stay. We got to see the home where he was born, the church where he first sang gospel, the drive-in where he ate, the hardware store where he bought his first guitar (after pitching a fit because his mom would not let him have his first choice of a rifle on his 10th birthday). There was a walking tour downtown marked by brightly colored guitars at each point of interest. The city even has Elvis Presley Lake and Campground on the outskirts of town.

Our campground was also right down the street from the Headquarters of the Natchez Trace Parkway, which has a very nice Visitor’s Center/Museum. We took the dogs over one afternoon and hiked on one of the paths leaving from the facility. Between our campground and the entrance to the Trace there was a row of about 10 or 12 well-spaced abandoned cottages. These 1940’s (ish) brick bungalows were someway connected to the Trace. The roads into the area were blocked off and the landscaping and buildings behind the barricades were in complete disrepair. I couldn’t figure out if these might have once been living quarters for Trace staffers or maybe cottages rented out to guests… They were so charming, it seemed sad that they sat empty instead of being restored and utilized (especially with a healthy economy and so much tourism thriving at the next stop light). My background in historic preservation and community development had me intrigued with this area all week.

Our campground showed a “nature trail” on the site map. Desperate for a place to take a walk, Piper and I set off to see where it went. We discovered it led around the corner through some brush and directly into the parking lot of the mega apartment complex adjacent to us. The dogs and I were hoping for a little bit more scenery on our walks so I started sneaking into the abandoned cottage area behind the “Authorized Personnel Only” signs to get the exercise. Although much prettier, our new walking path was still a bit creepy – just slightly too quiet and still. No matter what time of the morning, day, or evening, I tried not to look up into the windows of the houses as we walked because I half expected to see some ghost or homeless hermit staring back at me.

The only scary story I have about Tupelo has nothing to do with ghosts down the road, but rather our next door neighbor, the white faced horse. On the afternoon we arrived, we noticed two horses in a field that shared a barb-wire fence with the campground. You could tell they liked humans because they were hanging out by the mailboxes waiting for the arriving guests to come over and pet them on the face and say hello. All animals love Mike and Mike gets along with all animals (except the ones he catches or shoots… they probably don’t like him too much). Anyway, Mike would go over to visit the most friendly horse and bring her carrots or apples. Now our dog Piper is a city dog and doesn’t know anything about farm animals or wildlife. When Mike and Piper would go on a walk, he would take Piper to the fence and let him stare at the horse while Mike fed her a treat. Mike and the horse had great visits while Piper stood there trembling with fear and excitement. Since he stopped barking at her after a few times, we thought he was getting better adjusted to this huge farm animal with the white face and crystal clear blue eyes.

One afternoon as we were about to load the dogs into the car, Mike said he was going to take Piper to visit the horse first. He had a carrot he wanted to bring her. Cessna and I decided to walk over with them. Mike and Piper got to the fence, he called her over with a whistle and a flash of the carrot, and she trotted right up to him at the barb wire. After she ate her carrot she leaned down to smell Piper. He was still shaking uncontrollably but even I was starting to relax as I witnessed such a sweet moment – dog and horse making friends nose to nose. I was starting to wish I had brought my phone so I could capture the postcard shot with my camera – but only briefly because it was just then that Piper LUNGED at the horse and tried to bite her on the nose! Hallmark moment over, imminent disaster on tap.

As the horse reared back on two legs the fury in her eyes led me to believe she was trying to figure out if she should trample and kill the human or dog first after she jumped the fence. She made a loud noise with her teeth bared, so maybe she was planning to trample Mike while she bit Piper back at the same time. The barb wire fence seemed at the moment like a tiny delicate string hanging loosely from two wobbly posts. I ran with Cessna to the car wondering what I was going to do in Tupelo for the rest of my life. I was sure Mike was going to be killed, we were obviously going to be kicked out of the campground and I refuse to drive the bus – so that meant I was going to be stuck in northern Mississippi until I had no idea. While I was frantically trying to figure out my future as a homeless widow, Mike had managed to talk the horse back to four legs on the ground and most thankfully still across the fence. She still wasn’t happy, but she was willing to listen to his apology. He started petting her on the face, and she kept trying to turn and bite him when she thought she might have a good angle. He had no more a carrot, so she wasn’t going for the food – she was trying for his upper limb. I kept yelling “get in the car”!

I finally couldn’t take it anymore, so I started the car and was planning on going who knows where when Mike finally got into the passenger seat and explained he couldn’t leave until she knew it was okay again. He was right, she was calm again, and I was still shaking more violently than Piper was… but not from excitement and curiosity. For the rest of the week Mike visited the white faced horse without his dog in tow.

Tupelo is also very close to lots of civil war history. Significant Battles in Tupelo and Brice’s Cross Roads during the summer of 1864 are outlined and commemorated in these nearby National Historic Sites. We had an interesting drive and history lesson as we explored the details of these events one afternoon. The Union Army self-destructed at Brice’s Cross Roads because they carried too much crap across swollen water instead of leaving the wagons and supplies on the far side of the creek. Another subliminal message that we weren’t crazy for liquidating all of our stuff before we started our adventure. Looks like if we decided to carry too much baggage on the journey we would be destined for failure… at least that is one of the personal messages that can be interpreted at the conclusion of this history lesson.

We took a drive over to Oxford on a wet and cold and very windy Sunday. It rained the whole time we were in the car, but the wet stopped just after we made it to the charming university town. The skies were still dark grey and the wind was howling, but at least we didn’t need umbrellas. We walked the dogs around the Ole Miss Campus. I got lost, but Mike knew the way back to the car. They were actually playing a home baseball game on campus against Texas A&M at 1:30 that day, but we didn’t watch because it was too cold and I wanted to visit the Faulkner Home, Rowan Oak. Sorry Aggie friends, we sort of hoped you would play well. We drove back home after we ate a yummy late lunch at an Italian restaurant on the historic Courthouse Square.

The last exciting thing we did in Tupelo was to visit the Automobile Museum they have in downtown. It was very impressive. The 120,000 square foot facility has over 100 cars lined up in chronological order. There is a speaker at each car which you can press and it will give you a brief 5 minute narration of the history and interesting facts related to each car. Every car is an original except for one replica of an 1886 Mercedes Benz. Of course they have a Lincoln that Elvis owned and also one of Liberace’s cars. A real car enthusiast could spend hours or even days there. We made it through in a little over an hour, and then went to explore some local restaurants for happy hour and dinner. Tupelo has lots of live music on Fridays and Saturdays, so we had plenty of options on places to investigate.

Just as we ended our time in Mississippi, the rain ceased. We traveled to northern Alabama on a beautiful blue sky day and started the month of April in The Heart of Dixie.

 

The Grotto

The Grotto

Elvis Presley Birthplace and Park

Elvis Presley Birthplace and Park

Elvis' Lincoln

Elvis’ Lincoln

Mike's friend, Piper's foe

Mike’s friend, Piper’s foe

Hiking along the Natchez Trace

Hiking along the Natchez Trace

 

 

Tupelo Automobile Museum

Tupelo Automobile Museum

 

Mississippi Part III: Jackson/ Vicksburg

We wanted to stay near Jackson since it is the State Capitol and it is a daytrip from Vicksburg, both places we wanted to see on our trip through Mississippi. Since we were detached from the modern convenience of google.com at our last stop, finding a place in the area was a bit of a challenge. We have a checklist of items we like to have at each campsite and all parks do not always check each box. I really like 50 amp power and a sewer connection. Mike prefers we pick camgrounds with water and fishing available. The size of the coach dictates we need long and level pads with not too many low hanging tree branches above us, and plenty of room on each side for slide-outs. A giant perk is a strong wifi signal and some retail establishments nearby for running errands. Things like tennis courts; golf, or disc golf are extra exciting. Our budget is about $25 per day, so we tend to select state and national parks because they are always less expensive. Although I do lots of research reading reviews on various RVing websites, we don’t always know what we are going to get until we arrive. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is marginal, but it is always completely different from any other place we’ve stayed before.

Our best option that checked the most boxes near Jackson was a campground operated by the Lower Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. The park is on the shore of the giant Barnett Reservoir near Brandon and just across the dam from an entrance into the historic Natchez Trace Parkway. The campsites were extremely close together, and it was spring break so it was totally full. The upside was that there was a Kroger literally across the street, a walking path out our front door, and two enormous parks adjacent and across from us. The park next to us had soccer fields, a YMCA, tennis courts, play grounds, a fishing pier, a pavilion, tons of tables and cooking grills, and tons of space for friends and families to spread out for picnics or games of touch football. The park down the path and across the street from us had a boat launch, more picnic pads, a frisbee golf course, another pavilion and more wide open spaces. Our immediate area around the coach was nothing to look at, but our surroundings would keep us busy for the week.

The first day was the usual: scope out the neighborhood, find the nearest Petsmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Kroger, Liquor Store (in Mississippi you can buy beer in the grocery store, but the winos and boozers have to go across the nearest county line to stock up). On our first day exploration we found some very nice tennis courts in the town park of Flowood. Since it was spring break with beautiful warm clear bright weather, the park was full of happy and energetic children when we went back to play tennis. When Mike and I find a place to hit the tennis ball, we take the dogs onto the court with us and shut the gate so they can run crazy while we are hitting. Somehow they manage to run and chase each other without getting pelted by any of the balls flying through the air. These two golden retriever rescues did not get the tennis ball gene, so they could care less about chasing them down for us. They do their thing, we do our thing, and we all leave when we get tired and thirsty.

As we were hitting with Piper/Cessna releasing energy around us, we were kinda getting some spectators. Piper is loud like me, so you can hear his bark from anywhere around. A couple of little kids stopped at the fence and wanted to pet them – it was kind of like we were a zoo exhibit. Then a couple of older kiddos asked us if they could come inside the fence to our courts with their skateboards. There was another set of courts behind us that was empty, but I guess we looked more fun. So since Mike loves kids so much, I said sure! Now we were hitting the tennis ball, one kid skateboarding, and one kid getting Piper to chase him while he is retreiving our stray balls pretending to be a ball boy in a tournament (but returning them to us during the middle of every good rally). Maybe I should have saved the zoo comment until after I told you this part too. We lasted about an hour, exhausted the dogs and kiddos, and left to go find somewhere on the water where we could take the dogs and have an afternoon cocktail in the sun. No such place exists, so we went back to the Monaco and made our own spring break happy hour at our picnic table on our square of grass near the street light and electrical boxes.

Since our campground was located right by the dam, there was a spillway just a short drive from us. Everytime we crossed the spillway there were hundreds of people down there fishing. We drove down to investigate further and found out they catch brim and catfish down there. I talked to a kid who knew everything about fishing in and around the Barnett Reservoir. He said in order to catch crappie (Mike’s preference), we should go to the Palahatchie Shore Park and fish on the rocks. They were spawning at the moment and he said to throw out a line about 10′ from the shore and that is where they were. Mike and I drove down to the rocks and did more recon to find the best fishing spot. He bought a 3-day license while we were there and fed us dinner of fresh fried catfish one night. No crappie, but fried fish is fried fish if you ask me. Always yummy.

Another day we drove into downtown Jackson and explored the historic Capitol and the current Capitol buildings.  I learned the origins of the Teddy Bear and Memorial Day,  and made a note to download some books by William Faulkner and Richard Wright to my Kindle. The House and Senate were in session, but had called it a day at noon and gone home for the weekend. The stained-glass windows in the ceiling of each chamber’s domes were spectacular – and the desks on the floor were incredibly messy. I just kept looking up because I had to fight the urge to go straighten all the paperwork everywhere.

For lunch we ate at a magnificent historic cafe called the Mayflower. It was opened in 1935 by greek immigrants specializing in FRESH seafood. It was a long and narrow space with traditional booths along one wall, tables in the middle, and a counter along the other wall. The waitress was our age but called us ‘hon’, and was very patient as we inquired about almost every specialty dish on the menu. We sat in the very back booth that is usually reserved for a local judge – has his plaque on the wall and everything. We enjoyed a scrumptous lunch of greek salad topped with lump crabmeat, a cup of gumbo, and broiled redfish topped with shrimp and oysters – served with home made fries. The owner was there of course. I asked if I could have a side order of just one broiled soft shell crab. He came to my table to apologize and tell me that he could not do that because the crabs were too small and not even from the gulf and he wasn’t going to serve me something that wasn’t quality. I love it! No problem, I appreciate you looking out for me and not ripping me off!

Since the Natchez Trace Parkway was so close, we drove along it a little way for both directions. We took it to Vicksburg on our last day to explore the Civil War Battlefield Museum and the downtown area. The drive down the Trace was beautiful and peaceful, the Battlefield was incredibly interesting and educational (we took the dogs, so they got to read all the markers and hear all the stories too), and the City of Vicksburg was a huge disappointment. I was all excited to head downtown after our morning explorations and find a great little restaurant, look around the shops, and admire the historic architecture. There were about 3 stores, no restaurants, the place was dirty, but they did have music piped outside on the sidewalks. After searching for somewhere authentic to eat we settled for the buffet at the Lucky Lady Casino. Mike got the 1/2 price discount since he is over 50 – so that made it taste a little better.

On to Tupelo to channel Elvis, explore more of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and see more Civil War History.

Mississippi State Capitol (the current one)

Mississippi State Capitol (the current one)

spot n86

Our spot #N86

The Battlefield at Vicksburg

The Battlefield at Vicksburg

Mike has Choctaw in his lineage, so we went to the boundar and listened for ancestors to talk to him.

Mike has Choctaw in his lineage, so we went to the boundary and listened for ancestors to talk to him.

Dinner

Dinner

The shore of the park next door on our sunset walk

The shore of the park next door on our sunset walk

The pier at the park across the street, you can see all the trailers from our campground across the water.

The pier at the park across the street, you can see all the trailers from our campground across the water.

The Pear Trees have been blooming in MS this whole month. They smell delicious!

The Pear Trees have been blooming in MS this whole month. They smell delicious!

Fishing at the Spillway

Fishing at the Spillway

 

Mississippi Part II: Rural Mississippi

We had an easy trip from Waveland to Wesson. We got an early start, the weather was wonderful, and the drive was a piece of cake. Our next stop was Lincoln State Park on the border of Lincoln and Copiah Counties just east of I-55 – north of where we left and south of the Capitol, Jackson. This park was completely different from the last. We were back in the woods. No traffic sounds, only birds calling and the sound of wind high up in the trees. Lake Lincoln is small but very scenic and peaceful. As we set up our camp we met our neighbors, a group of about 10 couples from a Baptist Church in Baker, Louisiana. We were all going to be there for about the same amount of time, so we declared ourselves a neighborhood looked forward to having the same friends around us for the whole week.

We got settled in that afternoon – had our traditional “first night” martinis inside the bus so as not to offend the minister and his wife across the street from us. We started our campfire and turned on our music – it was all going just a bit too smoothly. After about 6 hours, later into the evening, everthing suddenly went black on our site. No lights, no music, no nothing. Well hell, was it our problem or the electrical box? Mike fidgeted with some things and reset other buttons, but no power for the Martins. Luckily, we have a giant generator! We turned it on, finished our evening, and went to bed worried that something was terribly wrong with the bus.

One notable thing about Lincoln State Park is that they are woefully understaffed. There is the Park Ranger, the Park Manager, and the lady in the front office. That is all. The next morning we walked up to the headquarters to let them know there was a problem with the power at our site. The lady in the office gave us a brochure and a map of the park. Great, thanks… and the power? The Ranger came by to take a look – tightened some screws on the box and told us the problem was probably our rig. He got the power running again and when he left he said he would be back to check on us later. Three seconds after he left we had no power again. Generator back on. No more Ranger for the rest of the day or night. The generator was no problem for us at all, but we felt bad for our neighbors. Who wants to camp in such a relaxing environment only to have to listen to and smell the exhaust of a diesel engine running for hours on end?

The second day with no power we walked back to the headquarters to report our situation again. This time the lady at the desk asked us if we had checked in yet… Yes, two days ago. The Ranger came by again and gave us permission to move to an adjacent spot that happened to be on a different power line – to see if it actually was our problem or if the park’s electrical box might need some work (or replacing). We packed up all the gear and situated ourselves for a drive around the loop to spot #28. When we hooked into that box, everything worked great. Yay, no more generator!

The neighbors must not have been too put out with us because they invited us over for a hamburger lunch one afternoon, and brought us some fried fish on another evening. Come to think of it… we shared hamburgers on the day we moved the coach to a new spot – maybe that was their kind way of thanking us for turning off the generator.

Another slight problem we encountered was that we had no wifi signal or phone service at this park. When we get to each new place there are a few tasks I like to complete immediately. First, I like to update our blog while things are still fresh in my mind. Second, I like to do research on what day- trips we want to take that week. Lastly, I like to research where we want to stay next and line up some reservations for us. That was all a very large problem with no internet access.

In order to “get connected”, I drove into the small town of Wesson and parked in the parking lot of the local community college to access my email and the internet. Another day I went out to the edge of a fishing pier where I got three bars and parked myself there to try and download some information – to no avail it was just too slow to tolerate.

On the third day we drove into the next largest town, Brookhaven. We found a diner from urbanspoon.com that was highly rated. I took my laptop in and finally secured  reservations for the next week while we ate a terrible lunch. The reviewers for Bob’s Cafe must have been family members, but it was all okay because we finally had a plan for the following week! We stopped at a downtown bakery to bring the neighbors back some sweet treats, and then picked up groceries at Piggly Wiggly.

The next couple of days were spent doing nothing – riding the bike, walking the dogs, fishing (for Mike), planning the evening menu, and burning the campfire. All the things you do with no internet, phone, or television (well, we did get NBC so I’m sort of exagerrating).

Toward the end of the week we took a road trip into Natchez with the dogs. What a beautiful and historic town. We walked around to look at the wonderful architecture, read every historic marker, and stopped into every establishment (that allowed dogs) to take a break and have a drink. The first Catholic Cathedral in Mississippi was built in Natchez. The architecture and stained glass were majestic. Across the street from the church they had built a little recreation hall to accomodate classes and other activities. We noticed that they had a fenced-in yard and the gate was unlocked. Since the dogs lost their yard in September of last year, they have basically been on a leash since then. I thought it would be a nice treat for us to sneak into the yard and let them run around and go crazy until they got tired or someone kicked us out. We got inside, let them loose… and Cessna immediately went under the shaded porch and laid down. Uuhmm, not exactly the idea I had in mind lazy dog.

I started talking to a couple of local girls at one of the watering holes and asked what else we should see when we were in town. They directed us to an historic plantation turned B&B called Dunleith. In addition to the guest rooms, they had a wonderful pub and restaurant in what I think might have originally been the slave’s quarters. We had cocktails by the pool, then put the dogs in the car and went inside for a scrumptous dinner. We started with duck eggrolls covered in gumbo gravy and sprinkled with crawfish on top. I won’t bore you with a description of the rest of our meal, but just know I’m still dreaming about it today.

By the end of our week, the park was starting to fill up with families camping over spring break. Piper and Cessna made friends with all the kids on our loop, and we had company at our camp every day for love and kisses between children and canines. Despite a rocky start and my slight panicky feeling of technology withdrawal, it was a great week. We loved our time at Lake Lincoln State Park and would return in a heartbeat.

The view from the boat launch

The view from the boat launch

Our second spot, #28

Our second spot, #28

Me at the edge of the pier wishing for internet access

Me at the edge of the pier wishing for internet access

Lake Lincoln

Lake Lincoln

Cathedral in Natchez

Cathedral in Natchez

Mike in "Improper" Natchez

Mike in “Improper” Natchez

The Mighty Mississippi River

The Mighty Mississippi River

 

Mississippi Part I: Gulf Coast

We arrived in Waveland, MS to check into Buccaneer State Park last Thursday. Although only a couple of hours from where we left, this landscape was completely different from the previous swamp. The park is directly across the street from the Gulf Shore, so there was no more mud! Instead we were walking on sand and the trees were not blocking the sky anymore – there was blue up there! I was already falling in love with The Magnolia State.

The State Park has marsh lands around the edges, the Gulf of Mexico at the entrance, and large moss-draped oaks scattered throughout. Use of this land was first recorded in history in the late 1700’s when Jean Lafitte and his followers were active in smuggling and pirating along the coast. The French Buccaneer, Lafitte, inhabited the old Pirate House located a short distance from what is now the park. If you fast forward through history a bit, the park site is also known as Jackson’s Ridge. It was used as a military base operated by Andrew Jackson during the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson later returned to this area and built a house on land that now encompasses the park boundaries.

This entire region was very interesting to me. It has been 8 years since Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005. The citizens are vigorously rebuilding on private property and the Public Works Departments are staying busy reopening newly constructed sidewalks, streets, bridges, piers… even beaches are being rebuilt as they truck in tons of sand to dump and spread where the water meets the sidewalk. Things are either sparkling new or still completely devastated – there is no middle ground. Right next to beautiful new gleaming beach houses and freshly renovated commercial buildings are empty foundations, stilts leading up to only air, lone fireplaces sticking out of dirt, and overgrown lots peppered with FOR SALE signs. The park itself was completely wiped out in the storm and is virtually brand new – except for the giant water park and other buildings that are still under construction at this moment.

This terrain is still as vulnerable as ever, and who is to say that the next storm won’t also completely wipe out this latest round of construction and improvements… but there is an overwhelming sense of optimism and community around these parts. Things just felt “lighter” to me as we explored the area.

Of course, each time we get to a new spot we have a few standard chores to tackle as we situate ourselves. On our first full day in town, we went over to Pass Christian and discovered happy hour at a little spot called Shaggy’s in Pass Harbor. Our goal was to ask the bartender if he knew where we could find some firewood. We got the number of a local guy, called him and went over to his house to load up the back of our Honda with about $20 worth of oak scraps.

On Friday evening we drove over to Gulf Port to have dinner at St. James Catholic Church’s Friday Fish Fry. Our friends B.J. and Neva help organize the fish fry for 5 Fridays during lent, so we went to have some good grub and catch up with them. We came back through Bay St. Louis that evening and stopped into a couple of local spots for after dinner drinks before we headed home. Our last stop at the Ugly Pirate was charming and fun. The clock inside the tiny joint is stuck at 5:00 and the smells of delicious pizza encircled us as we sat down to examine all the pirate paraphernalia.  The father/son owners gave us a great education on the town’s history and what the community has been through to rebuild after the storm. They even gave me some excellent brochures and maps to use while planning other activities during our stay.

Saturday was cold and blustery, so Mike stayed at home and watched golf while I bundled up and went into Bay St. Louis to explore their Historic Walking and Biking Tour. I walked to look at the wonderful architecture, historic cemeteries, and public wood sculptures from dead trees. I also ducked into every store I could find along the way to get out of the miserable weather. More friendly merchants, more civic pride. I bought a bar of soap and flagged a few things I would come back to purchase the next day after I had Mike’s wallet in hand. That was the night we were preparing dinner when our Cajun neighbors stopped over to see if we would like to taste a dozen of the fresh grilled oysters they had just spent much of the afternoon shucking. Wow, yes, and YUM!

Our last day, Sunday, was my favorite on this stop. We had talked about going back to Gulfport on Sunday morning to attend church with Neva and BJ. However, Neva suggested we go to a church in Bay St. Louis instead. Thank you Neva. Here is what the tourist brochure says about St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church, “The ‘Christ in the Oak’ mural behind the altar of this 1926 church is a nationally recognized work of art”. Here is what I can tell you about this small conservative white building at 301 S. Necaise Ave: There were only two white people in the whole choir! Lots of Amen’s and Hallelujah’s during the prayers and homily. The church’s motto is “you are never too bad to come in… you are never too good to stay out”. The music was extraordinary in every way. It was the most un-catholic-ish mass I have ever attended. I was crying one verse into the Prelude and all my mascara was completely gone by the time we got to the Gloria. It was a great experience. We left there and stopped, as promised, to pick up a loaf of fresh baked sourdough bread and a Mississippi Pickle Fork on our way to the local fish market for some fresh shrimp. That afternoon I made shrimp and corn chowder because we were hosting Neva and BJ for dinner. I love dinner guests! It is so much fun to talk to other people besides just ourselves once in a while. Mike agrees.

Now we are leaving the gulf coast and heading north up the state to Lake Lincoln. Back to a rural setting with bright stars and less noise (which translates to less shopping and weaker wifi).

oysters from neighbors

Grilled Oysters from our Neighbors

 

Our Spot #22

Our Spot #22

Washed up Boat

Washed up Boat

Blown across the street from the water

Blown across the street from the water

More sculptures from dead trees

More sculptures from dead trees

The cemetery had many headstones carved from wood instead of cement

The cemetery had many headstones carved from wood instead of cement

First Sunset

First Sunset

Sunset at the Gulf of Mexico

Sunset at the Gulf of Mexico