PART 1- ON THE ROAD
Hey Y'all! Greetings from the south. More specifically, we are wrapping up our latest stay in Gulf Shores, Alabama. But before this, was a visit back to Biloxi. On our way there, we stopped at another Corps of Engineers State Park. This one was on Enid Lake (Chickasaw Hill) in Enid, Mississippi. It's been a very dry season, but this was still a very beautiful spot and we enjoyed a couple of days here before continuing on to our next stop in Meridian, Mississippi.
This was all done in an attempt to make Stella's life easier, because it's all about Stella, duh! Instead of making 4 or 5 short hops from Piedmont to Biloxi, we opted to make one long run and stop for 2 nights, followed by a short run and a 1 night stop. Well Stella being Stella, she made both of those runs interesting....
Let me give you a little insight to our travel routine. When we are packing up, Mike does the outside work, and I do the inside. At a certain point I take Stella and put her harness on her and attach her leash to another leash which is around the dinette. This way she can reach her food if she wants to- which she never does on travel day, but also so she doesn't make one of her famous escapes. I also make a "tent" for her on the dinette. This way while we are traveling she can't see outside. Our thought is that she gets motion sickness. Seeing the shadows run by the windows, it's like a strobe light to an epileptic- not good!
Anyway, when we were packing up to leave Piedmont, she caught on to it being "travel day" and parked her ass on our bed in the furthest corner with her back to us. Okay people remember, she's a cat, so she's already an ass, don't tell me you can't picture this scene in your head....lol So I decided, what the hell, it's been awhile since we tried letting her go leash-free, let's give another go. So all is packed, we get on the road and all is well...for about an hour- and then it was almost another Chicago screech (it was an OMG we are going to die moment), but this time I'm on the lookout for it, and this time we don't come as close to death as the previous episode. At this point she has made her way off the bed and is now on the floor, has absolutely NO traction and is going out of her mind. And while I'm guiding her to the dinette, where I have her tent all ready for her, I say in my best cat mom voice "I freekin' told you so"! On goes the harness, the leash, and the extra leash (for distance) and under the tent she went, and all was right with the world.
Back to our travels- Next stop Benchmark RV Park in Meridian, Mississippi. It was an easy in and out campground. Clean and had everything we needed. A shower, a shady spot and a picnic table to enjoy our victory drinks.
Our next stop was Biloxi, but thankfully things worked out in such a fashion that we would be traveling right back through Laurel, MS. Quick re-cap; we love the HGTV show 'Home Town' and spent a night here parked at the Veteran's Museum and had absolutely no issue stopping again, especially since we were going through around lunchtime. So with me in my Museum shirt and Mike with his Scotsman shirt we hung out in Laurel for a couple of hours before moving on. It's such a special place, with really great people. If you get the chance, I highly recommend it.
Remember just a paragraph or 2 ago when I said that Stella made both of these stops memorable? Well this is the second story. When we left Meridian, MS I was clearly not paying attention to the whereabouts of our Queen Stella! As it turns out she was up in the Penthouse- that's what we call the space above the cab. So when we pulled in the slide, she was still there and getting her down from there at that point is a bit challenging. I had hopes that she might be okay, because it was just under an hour to get to Laurel, and I thought....maybe..... And in all fairness to The Queen, she was fine until we were on a loud, bumpy patch of road and she just couldn't take it anymore. And again, we were both listening for it, and since I arranged the curtain in such a fashion that she could- with some guidance, climb down to her tent and once again.... all was right with the world. What you have to keep in mind is that when she comes down from the Penthouse, she is directly behind Mike while he's driving... and I'll just leave the rest of that potential hazard to your imagination....You're Welcome...lol
So we had lunch at Pearl's (Best Fried Chicken EVER), and wandered the newly paved streets of Laurel. We left with some books, and shirt for a friend back home, and more memories of a town that we will gladly visit again. It was time to get back to Biloxi, and to Tiny & Asher...
PART 2- TINY & ASHER IN BILOXI
I want us to grow up and be these two. This year (2022) they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and next year they both will celebrate their 80th birthdays, and they are the biggest reason that we came back to Biloxi.
When we came here last year, it was about seeing where Mike and his sister's were born. When we came here this year it was because Tiny said "You have to come back next year". And so, (as with Roger and Trudy in Summerton, SC), we couldn't let them down.
We arrived back in Biloxi on Saturday (9/24) for a 1 week visit. The reason for only a week? To be perfectly honest we spent the month of December here last year, and we slept very little (thanks to the train and neighborhood drug dealer) and drank in great quantity. So in the interest of our health and well being we decided that one week would be best.
We set up camp and walked to Shaggy's with the hope of catching up with all the regulars from last year, but especially Tiny and Asher. Luck was on our side. We enjoyed some lunch and by the time we were done eating, they were walking through the door. And so began our week in Biloxi.
I should mention that just before we arrived, Mike started having issues with one of his teeth, and it was causing him great pain. The very first day we ran into Tiny and Asher, he told Mike that he would reach out to his dentist and see what he could do. Since this was a Saturday, by the time Monday came, Asher had worked his magic and Mike had an appointment on Wednesday morning. It's good to have people like that in your corner. Asher even let us use his car while we were in town. I mean seriously, how cool are these people?
We spent alot of time with them and even had dinner with another couple that they met in much the same way that they met us. We toured parts of Biloxi that we had not last year. They brought us to a couple of other "local" hangouts and showed us where things were before Katrina. They also made some suggestions on places we should visit. It's great to have familiar faces to go back to.
We spent some time doing some exploring. One place we went to was the Biloxi Visitors Center (and museum) where they showed a documentary about Katrina and I'm here to tell you...wow.... The grit and heart of this town is just amazing. The city is also the hometown of Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise. Everytime we come here I find myself growing more and more attached to this place, and actually so does Mike.
As it turns out we were there the week before "Cruise Week". During this week around 10,000 classic cars come to town. We did see a few of them and we were thankful we would be missing it. You see, where we usually camp is right in the thick of the action, and it would be just too much. I do have to say that these people with these unique and beautiful cars definetly have an opinion and aren't afraid to express it. It's actually quite refreshing. I know that it's no everyone's cup of tea, but here it is anyway.
We'll keep traveling trying to see all we can until we can't anymore, but we will always look forward to visiting Tiny and Asher and their beloved Biloxi.
Until then... Be Well, Be Happy and Safe Travels.