So, we moved into the casino capital of Mississippi, Biloxi and our first day here was one of the coldest days we have had in a long time. It barely made it to 11 degrees Celsius. Between the weather, the loud whistle from the trains and the very loud band from the bar beside the park that kept us up most of the night, our start in Biloxi was not a great one. When we
decided to explore the coast on our bicycles we were greeted with some of the most unfriendly motorists we have found in the south, our 2 weeks here didn’t seem very promising. However, do not fret, it does get better!
We met some fellow RVers from Ontario, Ron and Virginia, along with their dog Rocky who leave the cold of the Sault St Marie winter every year and they put a friendly face to our new home. Soon the sun came out and the temperature warmed up and we found some bike friendly roads
and we started to explore. We headed out of Biloxi to the north, to the west and to the east. The nicest roads for cycling were to the north west of Biloxi, north of Gulfport, where we found ourselves in a more rural setting with some rolling hills. Okay, maybe not hills but more like mounds, but for the last two months the only hills we have found have been bridges.
We cycled downtown Biloxi and passed over the causeway into Ocean Springs. This was a nice little town of shops and cafes where we found some amazing potato doughnuts and good coffee amongst
the shops. When we go out for a cycle we always try to have a “destination” to get to, and this ride worked out very nicely! After cycling around the town we would circle back and ride past some of the casinos and the back bay area. In total we ended up cycling just shy of 350 km in and around Biloxi.
Since this is a casino town ( which we were not aware of! ) and we are not gamblers, we checked to see if there was any entertainment, the two things usually go hand in hand. There were no “modern” performers in the two weeks we were here, unfortunately. There seemed to be just a lot of cover bands playing, but Billy Crystal was coming in for a night at the Beau Rivage so we thought this would be fun. It turned out to be more of him talking about his life with a little bit of stand up comedy thrown in. It was ok, but not roll off your seat funny like we had hoped. I guess that is what you get with a 70 year old comedian!
We did find other entertainment though. The day after Billy Crystal we were in old Biloxi doing the walking tour and came upon the old Saenger Theatre where they were getting ready for the Gulf Coast Symphony to perform that evening. We ended up going back to hear them perform The Barber of Seville, some Russian polkas and then finished with Beethoven’s 5th. It was an amazing night of music and cost a lot less than the comedy the night before! Then to wrap up this entertaining weekend, Sunday night was Superbowl night. This usually is not v
ery high on our list of priorities but Ron and Virginia invited us over to their RV to watch it with them and we were honoured to go and help Ron cheer on his Patriots. There was a lot of talking and visiting while the game was going on, but we did manage to pay attention when the game got interesting near the end, with such a great finish. Ron was very happy!
Biloxi also gave us the chance to connect with another cousin. Carolyn Begue (Lichti) is one of our Zehr cousins that has been living down in Mississippi for almost 40 years. So, we have only met a couple of times, well, least a couple of times that I can remember! Unfortunately, her mother, my aunt Lillian passed away just as we arrived in Biloxi so Carolyn was in Ontario for a good part of our stay. The other unfortunate part was her husband John was in the hospital after a fall so we did not get to see him. We did finally connect on a very rainy day where we were once again under a tornado watch. We had our first feast of
crawfish at the Cajun Crawfish Hut. As we sat there visiting and eating a tornado was touching down in New Orleans just an hour away. One of the tornados came very close to hitting the park we were relocating to at the end of the week! We had a nice lunch and then she drove us over to Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis to sightsee a bit before stopping at their home for a coffee. The next day we made a trip back to their place to pick up some items we forgot there and had another nice visit over coffee and some fresh baked cookies.
One of the things we try to do is eat as local as we can when we go out. So, the crawfish meal was a big one for the area but the other thing we like in the US is “happy hour” where the drinks are cheap and usually some food is too! The casino that was a five minute walk from the campground had a really nice bar and
restaurant on the top floor that looked out over the Gulf, and Monday nights were half price tapas. It was so good, we ended up going twice for sunset and food. The second time Ron and Virginia joined us to make for a great evening.
We also discovered something called King Cakes, they are like a coffee cake with Mardi Gras coloured icing on top ( gold, purple green). At the donut
shop in Ocean Springs we had a King Donut. Then we stopped at a small bakery around the corner from us and bought a dozen miniature King Cakes. These were bite size and had a cream cheese and raspberry filling. So good! These were definitely a treat and we managed to only buy them once!!
Our last day was a little too cold to go for a bicycle ride so we went for a motorcycle ride to the
Harrison County Fairgrounds where the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Horse Show was just starting. We spent a couple hours watching the horses warm up ( and petting them of course! )and saw a few compete one of the jumping circuits. It is an amazing facility set up for this one eight week show.
Then on our way to New Orleans we stopped at Nasa’s Stennis Space Centre. This is their rocket engine test facility where every single
engine that the US Space Program has sent into space has been tested at. We got to take a bus tour of the facilities and saw the testing pads where currently they are
that will be going to Mars in or around 2020. We then spent a little time in the Infinity Science Centre before leaving the State of Mississippi and heading towards New Orleans and the start of Mardi Gras!