Winding Down, Gearing Up

Our trip is winding down. I’m blogging from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi tonight. We’ve made the westward turn and on Wednesday, we’ll turn north for home. No more 80° days for a while, I’m guessing. The high was somewhere in the mid 50s in Memphis today. Here on the coast, it was a balmy 79° when I last checked. I shouldn’t complain, I suppose. In the past 2 weeks, we’ve had about an hour of daytime clouds. :)

I was FINALLY able to get a nice long walk in this morning! It felt soooo good that I went for another, shorter, walk this afternoon. I’m looking forward to doing the same tomorrow, if the weather holds. I’m really getting geared up for a return to my normal exercise routine on Thursday.

And I may hug my crockpot when I get home. I may not be much of a cook, but I’m looking forward to meals prepared by ME! One thing I don’t plan to have for a while (in addition to vast amounts of sugar) is grilled chicken salad. I’ve had 10 variations on the theme over the past two weeks.

I’m surprised (and depressed) at how few restaurants there are now on the beach highway. You may remember that this area was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina 5+ years ago, and while rebuilding is happening, it is going very slowly. Along the beach, there are about 7 Waffle House restaurants, a mall food court, and casino buffets. We had to back-track to the interstate area for chain restaurant salads yesterday. Today we spotted a locally-owned seafood restaurant and a Mexican restaurant we’ll try before we go home.

While there are a lot of these sightings along the coast:

biloxi vacant beachfront lot

Vacant lot (one of hundreds)


Abandoned Casino Site

Abandoned Casino Site

…there are also signs of beauty and hope:

azalea

Azaleas, strutting their stuff!


Flower Garden, Ocean Springs, MS

Flower Garden, Ocean Springs, MS

I’ve visited the area dozens of times over the years, and I don’t think I’ve ever been here when everything has been in full bloom. After seeing so many vacant lots and abandoned buildings, the flowers were a definite mood lifter.

As were these:

Biloxi Tree Carvings

Biloxi Tree Sculpture


Biloxi Tree Sculptures

Biloxi Tree Sculptures

Rather than cut down the dozens of the magnificent live oaks along the beach highway that were damaged in the storm, the mayor commissioned a “chainsaw artist” to create sculptures from them. The results are a beautiful visual reminder that good things can come from troubled times.

And of course there had to be a little drama. Not quite as significant as petting an alligator or almost being part of a trio of squished bloggers, but important nonetheless.

Wallet

Abandoned Wallet

I found this wallet on a pier this morning, while out on my walk. No one had been on the pier for at least a half hour and no one was in sight. I debated what to do while I watched the mullet (mullets?) fly around, and I finally decided to try to find its owner. I took it to the hotel desk, where we opened it and discovered no cash, but there were a few debit cards and ID cards. No luck with the phone book, and a quick google of the address showed a run-down mobile home and an article about an arrest made there for an outstanding grand larceny warrant, so…if your initials are NLC, you’re male, 5’6″ and 135 pounds, and you’ve lost your wallet, I turned it into the Biloxi Police Department, with whom you (or your wife) may already be acquainted. And that was the Drama of the Day.

No clue what we’re up to tomorrow…possible just some decompression from all the sunshine and fun times before we head back to the real world. :) Hope things are going swimmingly for you!



17 thoughts on “Winding Down, Gearing Up

  1. THAT is a lot of restaurant eating. Wow. I admire you for being able to eat like that and maintain your weight. I think my trouble is, I cave. I could order the salad, but I choose otherwise. Gotta take some lessons from you. LOVE the plants , and LOVE the tree sculptures. Wonderful.

  2. Traveling is nice, but there’s no place like home!

    I sure hope NLC reads your blog, although I’m guessing he’s not going to collect it at the police station!

  3. While you wind your way through Mississippi with the senior set, I’m in Maggie Valley, NC with my MIL. The things we do for those we love……. Today I’m looking forward to lots of shopping which we know is not my thing! She’s a good sport with the eating thing will go anywhere I suggest. The thing is – she will only order EXACTLY the same thing I order, so that puts me in a spot with trying anything creative!!

    I love the tree sculptures!

  4. Beautiful pics Cammy – thank you!

    Yes, getting back to our own routine is nice even though getting away is fun too. We have a timeshare we bought in the early 80’s before they were popular & I have a kitchen when we travel which is nice…

    The wallet.. WOW!

  5. Thanks for sharing your trip to the Gulf Coast, which is one of my favorite places on earth – childhood memories die hard, if ever. Galveston has many “chainsaw sculptures” in the 100+ year old trunks of live oaks that were killed by hurricane Ike in 2008. It’s amazing what artists can do! Azaleas and oleanders always meant spring was quickly going to be followed by summer. I can smell the warm salt air from here…

  6. I hear you about the chicken salads when out and about. With so many people trying to watch their weight you would think restaurants would make an effort to come up with more options!!

    Your trip sure looks wonderful, though, and I love the idea of the tree sculptures. I had never heard of that before.

  7. Hi Cammy, thanks so much for sharing your photos. So sad about the vacant lots, but the flowers and those sculptures are wonderful!!! I hear you about the home cooking. Eating in restaurants IS nice, but it’s also nice to come home!!! Enjoy the rest of your time away!

  8. I hear you about the multiple grilled chicken breast salads you end up eating when traveling. Been there and done that too.

    Loved seeing those tree sculptures and what a great idea to do that. The flowers are gorgeous. Just makes you smile to see the beauty nature has to offer this time of year.

    Safe travels to you!

  9. There’s no place like home! I get tired of grilled chicken salads in restaurants. I like those at home much better for some reason.

  10. Well, it sounds like quite an exciting day! Love the pictures. I have forgotten how nice it is to see color (I miss it, so!). Safe travels home, Cammy.

  11. I love those sculptures and the idea behind them.

    Grilled chicken salad can get wearing….hello crock pot!!!

    Beautiful flowers…love how bright and cheery they are!

    Enjoy the rest of your time away and safe travels back home.

  12. you had me at mullets.

    one night a few years ago I had insomnia and watched an entire documentary about the mullet.

    RIVETING (seriously).
    welcome home.
    Im late to the soiree so I think you’re home?

  13. Aww, you’re not in FL anymore! :( Beautiful flowers. Have safe travels back home.

  14. oh what a fun trip. The azaleas are gorgeous. I’ll be happy when they are blooming here. What is a flying mullet? I have never hear such a thing.

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