Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi

Not until I actually LOOKED at my own blog, did I realize I still had not posted about our trip to Mississippi. I know, bad blogger :/.....sigh. Somehow, I just cannot keep up!! In April, after our quick trip to Battle Mountain, we headed to Mississippi to pick up a new truck for VMP from...where else? Mississippi Tank! I was really looking forward to this, as I'd never been to MS before! Les and I flew to Jackson, MS via Houston, TX. This last leg of the flight was very smooth, even though storms were predicted for the area. After landing in Jackson and getting our rental car, we drove to Hattiesburg...a bit more than an hour away to the south. It was daylight yet and we were struck by how GREEN everything was....well, that and how many dead armadillos were beside the hwy.! Every one of them on their backs...four legs pointing straight up....guess the little fellas are top heavy ;) That night as we lay in our hotel room, we could barely hear the thunder and lightening going on outside. Not much time to watch TV, and never mind the weather channel; we got up the next morning and expected to head over to MS Tank. Several phone calls later, it's clear the truck will not be ready today. The perfect opportunity to go explore. We've never seen the Gulf of Mexico, so we head further south to Gulf Port. Once in Gulf Port, the folks at MS Tank said to take Hwy 91, and we did! White sandy beaches and brown water. What?? no Caribbean blue waters?? Nope. White sand, brown water. Bleh. Is it always like this we ask? Yep. That's it. Hmmmm. Not what we expected...but it seems the Mississippi River is responsible for the brown in this area. We travel east to Biloxi. As all good Harley riders do....we find the local Harley shop. Not much to see there either....even though it's been a few years since Katrina hit...the effects are still visible. The Harley dealer is still in "temporary" quarters. Their previous location was simply "washed away". It's nearing dinner time and well, where do the locals eat? We want some real food! Hippie Nick (from the Harley dealership)....yes, that's what he's called....directed us to Darwell's Cafe. Now, Hippie Nick says be prepared...it's sort of a "Hippie joint".....er,ok. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise? Darwell's did not disappoint!! All I can say is YUM YUM YUM! I had their combo special; shrimp creole, cray fish etouffe, and seafood gumbo. Les had blackened filet mignon with lump crab and Darwell's special sauce. I think we will talk about this meal for years to come!! The next day the truck was still not ready, so we had a chance to enjoy breakfast at one the famous "Waffle House" restaurants, which are on absolutely every corner in the south. Pecans in the waffles... Then we killed more time at a Hobby Lobby. Wow!! That was a first for me too...a Michael's/Joanne's on steroids!! Huge! Les even liked this place :) Finally around 5pm. our truck was ready. We hear storms are coming in, so it's a good time to leave. The wind is blowing.....and only several days later did we find out that Alabama had been hit by a record number of tornadoes that day...179! Finally on our way, it was smooth sailing. Unfortunately, we were nearly TWO days behind schedule and so our days were long and longer :/. Arriving home in the wee hours just before dawn 4 days later! Some of the places we saw along the way....Art Doctor's new home in Show Low, AZ. , The Evergreen Cemetary (which made us laugh each time we thought of it because it was everything BUT green!), Route 66, Colorado river(first clear water we saw coming west...all others were brown). The states we were in...MS, LA, NM, TX, AZ. The best hotel on the trip...Comfort Suites, Clovis, NM. Best meal :) Darwell's Cafe, Biloxi, MS. Most surprising find...pipe wrench found in visor of the truck..aparently forgotten by someone at MS Tank; it rode up there for over 200 mi. before we discovered it. Most annoying...high pitched whine the wind in visor made anytime we reached 60 mph.(duct tape to the rescue). Whew! We have 3 weeks till we leave again!