Sunday, May 8, 2016

Thursday May 5 - on south to the Gulf of Mexico

After a good night’s sleep and a nice hot breakfast we headed out of Birmingham towards the coast.  We were on the interstate the entire day until about 40 miles north of the coast when GPS took us cross country on a smaller road and we came out about 3 miles from our MS State Park – Buccaneer which is directly on the Gulf of Mexico in Waveland – near Bay St. Louis.  Nothing out of the ordinary about the travel day – sunshine and nothing outstanding about the traffic.  We listened to a mystery and stopped along the way for another picnic lunch.

Buccaneer State Park had been wiped out by Hurricane Katrina – in fact this entire part of the state of Mississippi was destroyed along the coast.   We stayed in this park on our return from the Great River Road Trip in 2012, They had rebuilt most of the park then but this time even more had been done with a large wave pool and slide pool built along with several campsites near the beach.  This area did not have bathrooms so we opted to stay in the part a bit further from the beach…a very nice area.  Camping across from us was a very large family group.  Three camping units.  Ben found himself in the men’s room with 6-7 little girls who were playing hide & seek!  When he spoke with the grandfather of the group – he commented he had quite a large family – the grandfather’s response to Ben – “of this is only a part of the family.  I have 8 children and 40 grandchildren!” 
Buccaneer State Park

Ah...the gulf!

The location of Buccaneer State Park is where Andrew Jackson located his headquarters for his battle against the French for the battle of New Orleans.  It seems Jackson also had a home built many years later on this land.  About 2 miles west of the park is the Silver Slipper Casino.  We had eaten their buffet when here in 2012 and we wanted to go back.  They had the Seafood Buffet Thursday through Saturday so that was one part of scheduling our trip….the other was to visit the SeeBee Museum in Gulfport – only open Monday – Friday.  

We got checked in to the campground just ahead of the rush.  We were settled in and as we were leaving for the Silver Slipper about 5:45 there was a long line of campers entering.  We made it through the buffet line just ahead of the rush as well.  The buffet was good but not quite as good as we remembered it.  Jane was looking forward to the Gulf Red Shrimp that had been hyped everywhere on the web. These were not good at all – it was likely they had been cooked several days ago and kept frozen as the consistency was not good.  Crab, lots of types of seafood, prime rib, and about as many things as you could imagine.  All good but not extra special.  We certainly ate more than we needed to and enjoyed looking around the casino – but were not interested in playing.  As we left we read the history of the Silver Slipper in Las Vegas.  Interesting tidbit – when Ben was making our hotel reservations for the nights we were going to stay in hotels – he decided to make one at the Sliver Slipper – thought that might be fun – when the reservation came back he had made it at the Silver Slipper but not in MS but in Las Vegas!!  Needless to say we canceled that!
Heading up to the gambling floor and the food

Silver Slipper in Las Vegas back in the day

Everything worked fine in the Sprinter – it had been months since we had camped so there is always the fear you have forgotten something!   

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