Goodbye Florida, Hello Mississippi

Kayaking the bay. View of the bridge into Ft. Walton Beach

After 3 months it is time to say good bye to Florida and the Fort Walton Beach/ Destin area. The last 3 weeks we actually had more good weather than bad. The last 2 weeks John and Gayle were there and there were some fun times at McGuire’s and just generally catching up. We went to the villa they were renting in the Military Rec Area one morning for donuts and coffee. Several other Cedar Rapidians and a local friend of theirs were there. We had so much fun that breakfast turned into lunch and the party continued. Though their stay was short it was fun to have them here.

We also were able to meet with fellow bloggers John and Sharon of the On the Road to Retirement blog. I have followed their blog for a long time and we have some things in common including a love of microbreweries so we met at Props. It was fun getting to know them and catching up on their travels. They were headed to Betty’s in Louisiana and I am sure it will be a fun time. Betty is known for her hospitality and the RV park is actually her front yard. We were thinking of going there but in the end decided against it; we know we would spend too much money and right now we have other places for that money to be used. We will go to Betty’s someday and when we do I want to go and do everything Betty recommends.

Sharon also turned me on to an app for my phone called Nike Training Club. It has workouts for all levels and it uses mainly body weight and a few simple pieces of equipment all of which I have. I’ve done a couple of the beginner workouts and they are tough, can’t imagine the advanced ones. Thanks Sharon, I love it! 
Alex and Janie, and to think he is the shortest of his brothers.

The thing I will miss most about the Emerald Coast is spending time with my nephew Alex. We went to a wine tasting and dinner last Friday night. He is such a great young man and we got together about once a week. I will definitely miss him. His brother Austin and fiance Ashley are coming to visit at the end of the week and he is pretty excited about that. 

On Saturday we packed up and moved on to Buccaneer State Park on the gulf near Bay St. Louis. This park took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina and has spent the last few years being rebuilt. All the facilities are brand new. This park had a water park with a wave pool too. All that had to be rebuilt and finally opened at the end of last season. The park now has 206 FHU sites and last weekend I think they were all full.

It is Mardi Gras season on the Gulf Coast and that is serious business around here. This last weekend there were parades in almost every town right through today, Fat Tuesday. It looks to us like the schools and lots of the businesses were closed today. We decided to take in the local parade in Bay St. Louis. The weather was awful, with cold (for here anyway) and rain, but it didn’t stop the parade. This isn’t a large parade but everyone was having fun and because of the weather there weren’t too many people which meant lots of beads for everyone. We enjoyed it in spite of the rain.

It is nice to be back in a park setting. The longer we do this the less I like crowds and cities. Give me a park, even one filled with kids and crazy people and I am a happy camper. I chose a site here with a fire ring because I have missed my campfires but just one problem: no firewood. We asked at the office where to get firewood and were told in town at the grocery store. Well after 2 grocery stores and multiple convenience stores, no luck in finding the elusive fire wood. There were plenty of people who have fires even in spots with no fire ring but I guess they all bring it from home. We are so used to parks selling it and not wanting you to bring it in, it caught us by surprise. I guarantee the next time I see firewood for sale, I will be buying several bundles.

Just before we left Florida we got a call that my older brother Larry had suffered a heart attack. The blockage was taken care of but they found other blockages too and so tomorrow he will be having bypass surgery. Heat disease and type 2 diabetes run in my family as it does in so many. Just a reminder to all of us that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in this country. I know there is much more John and I need to do to stay healthy this way and it is sad that it takes someone close being affected by it to drive the point home. Please have Larry and his family in your prayers, I really don’t want to think about a world without my big brother in it. 

So stay safe and healthy and 
Happy Trails..............................................


  1. We are at Buccaneer too, site 41, leaving on Thursday. Ask again at the office we talked to a gentleman,don't know his name but probably in his 50's with black hair, and they were cutting trees and just gave us some. We've had family and friends with cancer and heart attacks, one of the many reasons we've gotten into this life so early, thoughts and prayers for your brother.

  2. We met John and Sharon last year in Texas. Nice people. So sorry to hear about your brother. He will definitely be in our prayers!! Sure hope the weather gets better pretty soon. It's cold and rainy in Destin too. This whole winter has been a few nice days and then a bunch of crummy days. But, it still beats up north.

  3. Prayers going out for your brother. It is never too late to take care of ourselves. Another great park is the Palmetto Island State Park near Abbeville, LA. if you are heading west.

  4. So glad you've been having a good time, despite the weather. This hasn't been the best winter, no matter where you are. We stayed at Betty's last year, and loved it. Want to go back next year, we should be traveling through there in January or so. I'll put Larry on my prayer list. We all could take lessons from living a healthier lifestyle, but it still could happen.

  5. glad to see you got a little Mardi Gras experience... Sharon said she was glad to see you liked the Nike ap... so fun to meet up with you two and I am sure we will do it again down the road...

  6. So sorry to hear about your brother Janie. He will be in our prayers. Glad to see that you are having some new adventures. Hopefully the weather has now improved and you will see lots more sunshine.

  7. We had such fun getting to know you two! Can't wait til we meet again on down the road! I was so happy to hear you like the NTC app. I love it, too and use it regularly (when the sun is shining)! Safe travels and prayers sent for your brother!


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