March 21, 2015 (by Angela)
Note: This post is brought to you by Hardee’s free Wifi in Waveland, MS
Weekends along the Gulf Coast of southern Mississippi have been fun in the sun for the two of us the vast majority of the time. Jim and I have made, and are continuing to make, some magical memories. The first weekend may not have been so exciting since it was spent getting set up; we did not do that much other than to drive around long enough to find the closest Wal-mart. (While this chain is not our favorite place to shop, it does allow us to get a variety of items with one stop.) This weekend and last have been completely different. Jim wrote about our fun in Bay St. Louis in Pi Day, Live Oaks, and “Soup”er Mud Fest, but he did not tell you about our yummy meal at Trapani’s Eatery. Jim was hungry for a Po Boy, and this place advertised some of the best, so we popped in. He ordered a Shrimp Po Boy, and I had a Meatball Po Boy. As far as I’m concerned, the Dinwiddle Delight dessert we shared was the highlight of the meal. He and I found ourselves vying for the last few bites of the blonde-like brownie underneath the ice cream, almonds, amaretto, and whipped cream.
Yesterday, he and I headed out to explore the small community of Pass Christian, Mississippi, which is located on the other side of the bridge crossing the bay from the small town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Leaving Buccaneer State Park, we followed the shoreline highway through Waveland to Bay St. Louis. Once we crossed the approximately two-mile bridge over the bay, we entered Pass Christian. Jim and I had spotted Shaggy’s on our first drive to explore the area between the park and Gulfport, and we knew on first sight it was a place at which we would eat. Yesterday was the day to go to Shaggy’s at the Pass. I think we had the best table in the place, which was a corner table outside surrounded by the marina and looking out toward the Gulf of Mexico. The sun was bright and warm, but the golden yellow of the table’s umbrella shaded our eyes, and the mild ocean breeze kissed our cheeks. Jim once again ordered a Shrimp Po Boy (he said that this one was even better than the one from Trapani’s), and I ordered the chicken salad on a croissant. We sipped our tea from tall glasses as we totally relaxed in the sun, felt the breeze brush our cheeks, and watched the boat traffic and birds.
Leaving Shaggy’s, he and I wandered through some of the shops found in this seaside town. We visited a local hardware store, a gift shop or two, a soap shop, and ended in Pass Christian’s Olive Oils and Vinegars. After about an hour of tasting the various special blends and making combinations of our own, we left with 4 bottles, two of oils and two of vinegars. Since we knew we’d be stopping again at Serious Breads, located in Bay St. Louis, to purchase fresh artisan bread, Jim was armed and ready for bread and dipping sauce heaven.
Before leaving Pass Christian, we stopped into Hook Restaurant, where we had some of the best made in house Key Lime Pie we have ever had. While we could have shared one piece, we would have been fighting over the last bite. Each of us devoured our personal slice of tasty pie.
Jim needed a haircut, so we asked our server at Hook where the closest barber shop might be. She sent us on down the road to Long Beach. Sure enough, we found a nice barber shop that was busy but not overly so; it did not take long for him to be ready to explore some more. Next to the barbershop was another grouping of stores to investigate. One in particular caught Jim’s eye; it was KewlKites. Long story short, after a brief perusal in the shop, we left with a new RV “yard” decoration – a macaw to “fly” around as the wind deems for our enjoyment. Making our last vendor visits of the day, Jim and I went to Bay St. Louis to get our bread and to purchase a dress for me that he and I had seen and liked the Saturday before. It is so comfortable!
This morning, he and I headed out for the local Farmers’ Markets. We missed seeing the one in Pass Christian on our first trip through and ended up at the market in Long Beach. Though small, we got some bang for our efforts. We scored 3 rib eye steaks and 3 pounds of ground grass-fed beef, a pound of mozzarella cheese, a small container of milk, and a dozen eggs – all from a local farm. Making another pass at Pass Christian, we found the Memorial Park where the market is located, and enjoyed both the park and the vendors. Here we purchased red potatoes, onions, garlic, romaine lettuce, fresh rosemary, pork rinds (for Jim), local honey, and some goats milk homemade rosemary and mint soap. Chewie got to walk with us through this market, and he was a very good boy, waiting patiently for us and allowing small children to pet him if they wanted to do so.
We’d hope to stop back by Serious Bread and the dress shop again, but a race of some sort and an arts festival had the downtown area of Bay St. Louis blocked off, so perhaps tomorrow I may go again. A couple of years ago, Jim and I got into the TV show Hart of Dixie, which is set in a small, fictional town named Bluebelle, Alabama. He and I made fun of the way the storyline indicated some type of festival or community-wide activity seemed to take place almost every weekend. After spending almost 3 months in the small towns in the counties along the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coast, we are no longer laughing. Community is important in these places, and they really do seem to have something going on almost every weekend that can involve the community and visitors alike.
After a quick brunch at the local Waffle House, Jim wanted to scout out some other RV parks, so we wrapped up our day by visiting Bay Marina and RV Park and McLeod Park. I’ll not tell you about those here since Jim will write a review of each soon, and I’ll link his posts to this one. On the way to McLeod Park, Jim and I saw someone parked along the side of the road selling fresh strawberries. As we headed back to our campsite, we stopped. The man and his young son had a trunk full of fresh strawberries that had been picked just this morning. While I would have loved to purchase more (he gave us a taste test before we bought anything), we ended up with two quarts of the luscious fruit. (Ask Jim about this next photo.)
Home again, it was mid-afternoon. All three of us had enjoyed our romp, but since the temperature was around 80 and humidity was building, the air in the RV felt good. Jim endured the heat long enough to put our macaw up in the “yard,” and then we settled into the RV for the afternoon. We’d hoped to make it back to the beach to watch the sunset, but in the last hour clouds have been moving in. It may be that the forecasted rain, which we have missed so far, may find us before our date on the beach this evening can come to be. Still, I’m not going to complain; it has been a beautiful, enjoyable, magical weekend together as we’ve explored farmers’ markets, eateries, and seaside shops in the small towns of southern Mississippi.