Bay St. Louis

This stop was supposed to be a quick overnighter, after which we’d continue to New Orleans just an hour away.  Then, weather happened.  We ended up spending 6 nights here while waiting for the weather to warm up and clear up for a NOLA visit.  We caught the tail end of the storm that became the “Storm of the Century” further north, dumping 12-18” of snow back home in West Michigan. For us it was heavy downpour of rain and temps in the upper 30’s to mid 40’s.

In spite of the weather, we managed to have a good almost-week here.  The highlights:

  • MsBoyink and the kids visited a local homeschooling family for most of a day. The kids got to play with age-mates while the Moms talked.
  • I got a number of significant work projects done this week - again amazed at what’s possible from a chair in the back of a 5th wheel trailer tucked into a small RV park.
  • We realized we were just outside the “buffer zone” for the NASA Stennis Space Center, where all the rocket engines are tested on large “stands” - and the tour was free!  NASA created this center in the early days of the space program, and actually bought out and cleared out 5 towns to create the buffer space around itself.  I’ve linked in some videos from the tests below.
  • This area was hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina, and we spent an afternoon driving around marveling at the damage that remains. The area is all at once deserted homes, blown-out shopping plazas, and skeleton-signs living intermixed with shiny new building and construction going on everywhere. I’ve never seen more ocean-front property for sale in my life, and wonder what the market for that property is.
  • The Bay Hideaway RV Park we stayed at was a delight - with some of the friendliest and most talkative people we’ve run into yet.  We had our first Mardi Gras King Cake, played bingo, and had a number of long conversations in spite of the weather.  The park also had some of the nicest and cleanest facilities we’ve run across yet.  They even gave Data a park t-shirt as we were leaving.  A recommended spot!

Unfortunately, we just couldn’t make a visit to New Orleans work out.  The weather forecast still wasn’t great and by now we were looking at a weekend visit with the additional busy-ness that brings.  We are also due in South Texas for a visit with my parents and the timing of that visit is important as my Mom is undergoing chemo and so has good weeks and not so good weeks.  Overall we’ve learned to adopt the mindset that we aren’t “missing” or “skipping” anything, we’re just “leaving it for a future visit” and we will get back to New Orleans again - but in better weather and on our terms for timing.

We tried something new here - we prepped the night before, getting the trailer cleaned out and hooked up to the truck.  All we had to do was get up, get breakfast, run the slide in and unplug the electric.  It worked well - we scored our earliest departure yet at 8:05 AM.  It made for a nice travel day, getting our hours in, lunch, and setup in a new site with some afternoon left to enjoy.  I think we’ll try that again!

Engine test stand at Stennis Space Center

Engine test stand at Stennis Space Center

Engine test stand at Stennis Space Center

Engine test stand at Stennis Space Center

Every Astronaut rides on engines tested at Stennis

Every Astronaut rides on engines tested at Stennis

Data and Storybird try to land the Space Shuttle

Data and Storybird try to land the Space Shuttle

Data at the Control Panel

Data at the Control Panel

Old control panel section.

Old control panel section.

Yeah, cheesy.

Yeah, cheesy.

Engine parts - quite intricate.

Engine parts - quite intricate.

Our first King Cake

Our first King Cake

Bingo night at the RV park.

Bingo night at the RV park.

Find the baby in the cake, and you get the hat and buy next weeks cake.

Find the baby in the cake, and you get the hat and buy next weeks cake.

Enjoying a sack lunch with a view in Pass Christian, MS.

Enjoying a sack lunch with a view in Pass Christian, MS.

Blown out store

Blown out store

Most of a pier left.

Most of a pier left.

Skeleton sign by the footings of a former store.

Skeleton sign by the footings of a former store.

Only the vault remains from this bank.

Only the vault remains from this bank.

Driving the coast.

GPS Song.

Data piloting.

TV Show at Stennis

Video of test.

Video of test.

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