August 18, 2020 Biloxi, MS (Day 2)

We slept in and had a leisurely morning. It was nice to have an “open” timeline for ourselves today and just go whenever we got around to it. We spent some time tracking down our toilet part which should be delivered by UPS today. We left the campground around 11:30 to take a leisurely drive down Beach Blvd. (Highway 90). We wanted to check out some restaurants for lunch and/or dinner and make a stop at Tru Value Hardware in Gulfport, so Bob could do a quick repair on some wiring in the Jeep for the Brake Buddy. We headed west towards Gulfport.

We noticed that there were many empty parcels of land along Beach Blvd. After doing some research, we discovered that Biloxi and Gulfport were a direct target for Hurricane Katrina in 2015 and again in 2019 with the effects of a nearby hurricane that destroyed much of the coastline. Some of the old stately homes still remain, but many historic homes were destroyed.

We stopped at the hardware store and continued on our tour of the area. We drove as far as Long Beach to the west. We checked out the Long Beach Harbor.

The ocean was pretty calm today with winds blowing at only 6 mph.

The beach there was empty and stretches up and down the coast for miles.

This restaurant, Parrish’s, seemed to take drastic steps to avoid the next storm surge.

We drove into the Port of Long Beach–the second largest container port in the U.S.

From here, the ferries leave for Ship Island–an undeveloped island that people visit for the swimming and beach combing.

From there, we drove down to Gulfport Harbor and out onto the Fred Urie, Sr. Pier where Bob noticed some huge boat trailers parked in the lot. We wondered what type of boat was brought here on those trailers.

As we drove along the pier, we realized what they were for when we saw this.

They were some sort of fast assault jet boat used in shallow waters.

We sat at the boat launch where they were tied up and watched them load two of them onto the trailers.

They were pretty serious looking and had about 8 men on each.

This was a decorative lighthouse standing at the entrance to Gulfport Harbor.

We drove out to the end of the pier to watch this boat leave the harbor.

They have a beautiful public pier.

This gorgeous beach was also deserted.

Continuing on Beach Blvd., we passed Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis House. He was the President of the Confederacy. Inside the fenced complex was also his Museum, Library, and Cemetery. It’s a massive property. We didn’t go in, but we could see through the fence from the road.

We drove past the Biloxi Lighthouse which sits in the median of Beach Blvd. The lighthouse was erected in 1848 and was one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the South. It is the city’s signature landmark and has become a post-Katrina symbol of the city’s resilience and resolve. It has been kept by female lighthouse keepers for more years than any other lighthouse in the U.S. Unfortunately, it was closed due to COVID.

As we neared the commercial area of Biloxi, we came across some cool buildings. Sharkheads had a great shark’s head as the doorway entrance to the souvenir store.

This Bar-B-Q restaurant had a catchy name–Slap Ya Momma’s.

These wooden carvings, along with a few others, were seen in the median area of Beach Blvd.

We searched for and found McElroys Seafood Restaurant.

It was also set “high in the sky”.

We took the 3 flights of stairs to the top (instead of the elevator) where we sat outside on the deck overlooking the marina. It reminded us of home.

We both ordered a cup of gumbo and a crab po’ boy sandwich. Both were delicious! I asked the waitress if they had sweet tea and she told me, “Honey, this is the South. Of course, he have sweet tea.” Bob had a beer.

From the deck we could see all the way to Biloxi Bay.

We walked around below at the Biloxi Marina and saw Bob’s next boat.

On the other side of the marina were all the shrimping boats.

As we left the restaurant, we saw the Biloxi Arch welcoming people to the city. We hadn’t come down this section of Beach Blvd. when we arrived here yesterday.

We saw the Hard Rock Cafe. Every large tourist city has a Hard Rock Cafe and this was no exception.

We drove as far east as the Golden Nugget Casino and then headed back towards the campground. We stopped for gas ($1.72/gal) and right next door was the West Beach Boardwalk that never got rebuilt after the last hurricane.

This the historic White House Hotel, built in the 1890’s, which overlooks Biloxi Beach and is very near Kessler AFB. (My brother did his medical residency at Kessler AFB and that is the only other time I’ve been to Biloxi.)

The campground called to say that the toilet part had arrived via UPS, so we would pick it up when we got back. We got back to the campground around 2:30 and stopped at the office to pick up our package.

Bob had the part installed in 15 minutes and everything was good to go! Ha! Get it? Next he worked on some wiring for the Brake Buddy in the Jeep. I headed off to the pool for a nice refreshing swim. I had the pool all to myself…for awhile.

Then I hung out on the patio under the overhang and did some reading. There was a nice breeze blowing in the shade and I had a great view of the ocean.

Back at the bus, Auggie enjoyed sunning himself on the grass for awhile until he got overheated.

Then we all hung out in the AC, had some light leftovers for dinner, and Auggie and I took our walk. When we returned, the sun was just dipping below the trees and Bob was finished washing the front of the bus.

Tomorrow we don’t have any plans except to hang out at the beach across the street for a couple of hours and go out for dinner so Bob can get his jambalaya or etouffee’.

That’s my kind of day!

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