The park itself has a clubhouse, pool I never saw used, hot tub, bayou for boating, many permanent residents in a separate section, etc. The staff were nice. Given the choice of a very treed area, partially treed area, or open grass area, I chose one of the easy level pull-thrus in the grassy area to use my satellite dish. My Verizon air card got lots of signal though I still needed to use the external antenna to get any stability. They provided a key to the clubhouse so I had the wifi in the clubhouse as a backup for work.
I hit the beach first thing. Parking was easy with many many turnouts provided to park as well as free parking lots. Beach Blvd./US90 is a wonderful drive. The water is warm and waves very little. You have to walk out a ways to get in deep which was nice. Here and there are piers to fish and places with jet skis anchored in the water ready to rent. I waded way in for a while and flew my kites over the water. An RV couple seemed to be camped out in one parking lot with their motorhome across several spaces door to the sidewalk, awning and chairs out, sipping drinks and watching the sea.
You can see the scars left by Hurricane Katrina still with so many foundations along the highway laying empty and a few damaged buildings here and there. In the wide medians, a local artist has given new purpose to the damaged trees by carving them into eagles and dolphins. Forget finding locations with your GPS as so many are now gone or closed and new buildings are springing up.
The next day I headed for Louisianna. I had considered going into New Orleans but it can be a dangerous place for a woman alone with a cane and there had been a kidnapping off the street that week. After seeing their poor behavior after Hurricane Katrina and seeing numerous houses still in ruins, I was not really that enthused to go there myself. They also put all the somewhat expensive tours downtown with $10 parking. I prefer a tour that starts from the edge of town myself when it comes to big cities and $10 on top of the tour fee is just way too much. I chose instead to drive the world’s longest bridge over water which happens to be over Lake Ponchetrain nearby. There is a $3 toll going south only but it was worth it and apparently a lot of people drive the bridge solely for fun. It is over 24 miles long and bounces you up and down like riding a horse. On foggy days, they send cars out in small groups across it. Watch your speed because there are 7 crossovers on the bridge where cops are watching. Before going over, I stopped at the park to walk along the seawall and then went to Sunset Point where locals recommend going to watch the sunset beyond the bridge.
Off to Stennis Space Center another day. You catch the free tour bus from the rest area at exit 2 off the I10. Stennis is a rocket engine testing facility. They repair and test both rockets and space shuttle engines. The bus takes you around the test stands and to the welcome center museum which has both space and national weather system exhibits. They have an interactive mockup of the international space station, a rocket testing sim, and a space shuttle landing simulator. Be very glad I am not a space shuttle pilot. My first try I overflew the runway and had to go back around. The second I landed successfully though slow. The last two I crashed and burned. It wasn’t pretty. The food in the Rocketeria was pretty decent. I also purchased some freeze dried mint chocolate chip astronaut ice cream in the gift shop. It wasn’t bad at all though you have to get used to it.
I found a shrimp boat tour to go on over in Biloxi, MS. They take you out in the bay for an hour and show you how the nets work, how to catch shrimp, and the sorts of other fish the nets scoop up with the shrimp. We had pelicans and seagulls following us closely in hopes of a free dinner. They were not disappointed.
Since I was going by anyway on US90, I stopped at the home of the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. While not actually all that big, it has 2 other buildings which used to be guesthouses among other things, high ceilings, huge porches front and back, and an interesting bedroom setup in the back with them attached to the house but accessible only by going out on the back porch which provides more privacy. Mr. and Mrs. Davis did not sleep in the same bedroom. With his busy schedule as statesman, senator, president, and commander, I am not surprised. Out behind the house used to be beautiful rose gardens and beyond that is a stream as well as a graveyard from the time the house was used as confederate veteran’s home. The grave of the unknown confedrerate soldier is there.
For more pics, click here.