Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Coastal Getaway

This will be quick on the writing side, there is a lot of pre-Thanksgiving craziness going on at our house tonight, but I wanted to get this on here.

I just wanted to share the photos from our trip over the weekend, to Biloxi Mississippi. No real occasion, just felt like slipping away for a few days. We left Friday after work and came home Sunday evening. It was a gray weekend, which you can see in all the photos, but we had a wonderful time. The first thing you notice about Biloxi is that there is still a great deal of damage left from Hurricane Katrina. These photos were taken from the hotel room window, of the surrounding area. You can see how close we were to the water. It seems as though they are making great efforts to rebuild still. (The first photo is the foundation of what used to be a hotel.)

Our quest for smashed pennies took us to a few spots over the weekend. Here is the Jefferson Davis home, Beauvoir. It suffered a great deal of damage from Katrina, in fact many of the pieces on display inside had just been returned a few weeks ago, after being refurbished. Jefferson Davis lived here after the Civil War, as he was homeless when all of his property was confiscated. After his death, the home was turned into a home for Confederate veterans. The Sons of Confederate Veterans still own the property today.

Look how huge the windows and doors were. These were in the his and her master bedrooms and lead out onto the porch, where the family slept sometimes in the summer.

Also on the property is a cemetery where hundreds of soldiers are buried. And one favorite work mule, Polly.

Later that Saturday the penny hunt took us to Stennis Space Center where we were able to take a free tour.

We were able to ride a small bus out to the area where they test the engines used on the space shuttles (and before that, Saturn rockets for the Apollo program). These photos don't do the gigantic size of the platforms justice. I wish we could have gotten out to take a closer look, but I understand national security issues.

Later at the museum we were able to see a few engines close up (above). Inside the large (free!) museum there was a lot to see, including this beautiful mosaic. Sorry for the quality of the photo, it was beautiful.

Also this very interesting sewing project, where the members of the American Needlepoint Guild are creating pieces based on all the uniform mission patches from over the years. Since I've been cross-stitching since I was young, I found this collection quite compelling.

James gave a try at the simulator, where he had to land the shuttle on a runway. It was more difficult than it looked.

He also tried "building" with gloved hands inside this container. It was just large Lego-like pieces, but the challenge was still there. I did not do well at all, but James managed to put all the pieces together easily.

Does this outfit make me look fat?

We actually walked right by the elongated penny machine, it was so cleverly disguised. We've never seen one that looked so unique!

We stopped to check out a few lighthouses along the coast, this one was oddly enough right in the middle of a busy highway. The one below, I'm not really sure if it used to be a lighthouse or not, but we couldn't think of any other purpose for it.

Although it was extremely cold and blustery along the beach, and rainy most of the day, it didn't seem to bother the various sea birds we saw that Saturday afternoon.

We ended Saturday night by going over the bridge into Ocean Springs, where we found this cute little Italian restaurant downtown (and lots and lots of shopping, but everything was closed already darn it!). Al Fresco's Bistro had outdoor dining, and despite the cold, we took advantage of it. They had heaters hanging from the ceiling, and we were actually quite warm while we ate by the fountain (notice the red tint to the photo- from the heaters). The only bad part- the portions were huge but because we were at a hotel and leaving the next morning, I couldn't take the rest of the yummy gnocchi home with me!

We ended the weekend on Sunday with a stop at a Bass Pro Shop in Alabama, which had a penny machine (I think they all do) and brought our penny total for the weekend to 13. We enjoyed Biloxi, although we could have enjoyed better weather, but we've put it on our list of areas we would like to go back to one day. Plus, I want to go back to Ocean Springs and check out all that shopping!!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

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