Sunday, January 04, 2009

A day trip to the Gulf Coast

Hubby and I took a ride the other day to test out the GPS unit he got for Christmas. It was quite interesting and the little device got us where we wanted to......eventually.

We started out at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune. A beautifully serene place, this park has many different trails that offer so many beautiful scenes to enjoy and photograph. More on that later.

Upon leaving Crosby, we decided that we'd like to take the back roads from Picayune to Bay St. Louis, where we wanted to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Rickeys.

Using the directions from the GPS, we headed down the service road that the Arboretum is located. Not too far down the road, we noticed this sign, which
speaks volumes about "aggressive sports" in this area.
click on pictures for a larger version




We continued down the road, obeying the instructions given by the GPS. Here are the results







Just a little past this part of the road, we came upon a man driving a big old earth moving vehicle. He looked at us kind of strange as I waved. We continued on.
Until we came to this




Sooo, hubby had to turn around and we backtracked.

When we passed the earth-moving-farmer-guy, we stopped and hubby apologized for us trespassing on his land and blamed it on the GPS. The farmer had an extremely strong Mississippi accent and did not smile. I'm just glad he wasn't pointing a shotgun at us. The farmer explained to us that he had owned the land we were driving through for 20 plus years and had just purchased 40 more acres and was clearing it out. He gave us directions to Bay St. Louis (follow the dirt road till you get to the NASA highway) and we retraced our steps all the way back to where we started.

The NASA highway is apparently a combination of Highway 607/3 Notch Road/Texas Flat Road which runs adjacent to the Stennis Space Center. Newly paved, it's smooth as a baby's butt and there is NOTHING - no houses, no businesses - along this road.

We finally made it to Rickey's, despite the GPS and found it closed! So we ventured down to historic downtown Bay St. Louis and ended up at




The Buttercup Restaurant on Second Street. Home of one fantastic flame broiled burger!




The restaurant looks like it was built using the Katrina Cottage structure and is very light and airy. Great waitstaff and food. We will return.

After eating a half pound of beef each, hubby and I decided that we needed to walk for an hour or so. In an antique shop down the street from the Buttercup we enjoyed browsing around while listening to the music of Coco Robicheaux. Very nice.

It seems like a lot of folks that own businesses in downtown Bay St. Louis are from New Orleans. The quality of their shops, the quality of their service and just the fantastic New Orleans outlook made it an excellent trek.



As we were leaving, I noticed some new construction on Main Street:






Three years post Katrina Bay St. Louis and its neighbors continue to work tirelessly to rebuild with the help of thousands of volunteers. Although this courthouse looks completed, the roads around it are still torn up in the midst of reconstruction.

I wanted some more info on Hancock County so we could be sure that we knew the dates of upcoming festivals. So we backtracked through about a mile of roads-in-work to find the Visitors Center located in the new train depot.

We found it, but it was closed for the holiday weekend. The building is charming, with a middle east feeling










And it was worth the drive because we discovered a "restaurant district" right next to the depot that we will have to check out in the future.



The GPS is a great tool, but beware those back roads!

1 comment:

Jon said...

Waveland and BSL are staging good comebacks. Unfortunately if you drive further east into Harrison county, namely Pass Christian and Long Beach, most of the land within three blocks of the beach is still a wasteland. very sad that our local governments haven't done what it takes to encourage and enable re-development of one of our biggest tourist attractions and sources of revenue.

-Jon