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Our future started here....

As you all know, there were (and still are) places on our bucket list, but Biloxi has been on mine since I met Michael. You see, Michael was born here, as were his 2 sisters. So when I say "our future started here", I mean it quite literally. He would occasionally pick on me for wanting to visit here, but I'm happy to report, he's now glad I made it a priority. As we were first driving down the street past Keesler AFB he grew a bit quiet, and when I asked if he was okay, his reply was something that I had not thought about before; He said "my parents drove these streets...." Meanwhile the only thing I was originally thinking about was the fact that the man I love drew his first breath here. Perspective is everything...

The visit here has been wildly different from our visit to Doc's in Gulf Shores, even though it's only 2 hours away. Where we biked everywhere in Gulf Shores, here we are able to walk to the places we've come to call our "stomping grounds". We have been welcomed into the "regulars" group at Shaggy's, that includes a couple in their late seventies named Tiny and Asher. She even offered to give me a manicure at her house and feed me wine in the process. She is just adorable!

At Woody's we have a favorite bartender named Mikaela, and she makes a spectacular Ole Fashion. They've got a place called Fat Bottom BBQ that was worth a stop. Then there is The Reef, another fantastic place to hang out and munch on good food. They also have this really cool mural on the building. What they all have in common is that they are local businesses and we are all about spending local.

We are camping directly across from the beach that has a beautiful boardwalk. The sunsets are spectacular, but the weather has been interesting. One day with the A/C and the next we're using the heater. But you know what there isn't here? SNOW! And that was the goal...avoid snow at all cost. And with that in mind I give you this....

As I write this, the train is going by for the umpteenth time and in the beginning it was great, but if I'm honest, I'm going to enjoy not listening to that anymore. There's much beauty around here, but up close; post Katrina, it seems rather 'Boggy and Sad". I mean no disrespect when I say that, but sadly they are still recovering from that wretched storm.

When speaking to the locals they say " you should have seen it before". One man even said "Because we aren't New Orleans, we got left behind". I remember when Katrina happened and I remember thinking how everyone was talking about how bad it was in Louisiana, but how very little they spoke about Mississippi. And now nearing 17 years later, the community still struggles. The empty lots are visible scars of a storm that essentially never left. But to the people that stayed, and the people that came after the storm, this is home and there is no place they would rather be. It's an attitude that is contagious, because when we first arrived, I thought this would be our only visit, but after some time spent here, you can't help but want to come back, if not for all the great foodie spots, but for the people.

Since we began traveling again, I've been reminded how it's ALWAYS been the people. The places we've traveled to over the years have all been special in their own way. I find that when we tell stories about our adventures the best stories are more often than not about the people, not the places.

During the last couple of years we have allowed ourselves to become separated from each other. I truly hope, one day soon people will remember this; We have been, and always will be, better together than apart.....

Until then, Be well, Be happy and Safe Travels.

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