Springtime on the Gulf

Spring Break 2019 we took a short vacation to the Mississippi coast. Our destination – Pass Christian, Mississippi – is one of a string of small communities that provide a view of the Gulf of Mexico and access to the beach along Highway 90.

We are notorious as a family for running late so when my husband said we should try to leave around five a.m. I laughed heartily. Sure enough, we got off sometime after seven.

Early morning departure and sunrise from the driveway.

We have taken many a road trip over the years and the past few Spring Breaks have found us headed to the Gulf Coast of either Mississippi or Alabama. Traveling with two teenage girls, the cargo area of our Durango is jam packed with suitcases and gear. Although the inevitable arguments ensue, we generally enjoy our time together on the road; the girls are old enough to entertain themselves (aided by technology of course) and we only hear “are we there yet” a few dozen times! When lunchtime rolled around, the weather was cool and windy and we elected to have our picnic lunch in the vehicle.

By mid-afternoon, we reached our destination. We have stayed twice in the area in Bay St. Louis but this was our first stay in Pass Christian. We quickly found the house we had rented for a few days on Second Street. Whenever I book a house online, I do a lot of research and read all the reviews. Despite that, it wasn’t the best rental I had ever reserved. It was older and needed quite a bit of work but it was clean, had a nice deck and was only a couple of blocks from the beach. Much to Trever’s delight, the railroad tracks ran about 50 yards behind the house, providing the sounds (and rumblings) of the train all night long!

After a quick walk and photos on the beach, we grabbed some po’boys from Pirate’s Cove to take back to the house.

Pass Christian, Mississippi Beach View

Day two started off cool and cloudy so we decided to stay in and play cards that morning. After lunch, we drove around to a few shops in Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, made a stop for coffee, and went back out to the beach for a while.

That evening, we drove over to Long Beach to eat at Steve’s Marina Restaurant. We stumbled across this restaurant several years ago on a drive from New Orleans to Florida. We make a point to go back when we are in the area. The sunset was beautiful and the stuffed shrimp I had was amazing!

Gorgeous view of the harbor at sunset.

After dinner, we returned to the house and decided to start an obligatory game of Monopoly and plan the next day’s activities. (For the record, the obligatory game of Monopoly is never, ever finished.)

Due to a complete lack of agreement on what we should do, day three turned into a lazy day spent reading, writing, feeding birds, taking naps, and getting carryout for dinner. Too often we spend our vacations constantly going and doing when we really should be resting so it was actually a welcome respite.

Day four we drove over to New Orleans. We had never been to the Audubon Zoo, and decided to make that our primary activity for the day. It was a great day for a zoo visit and had lovely grounds. Afterwards, we originally planned to go down to the French Quarter but scrapped that idea because have been several times and we were tired and decided on an early dinner. We ended up at a little place in Metairie called Chef’s Ron’s Gumbo Stop – great gumbo and good service!

The last day of vacation is always a little sad and day five was our last full day in Pass Christian. We had contemplated a ferry ride out to Ship Island for the day but it would have been an (expensive) all day affair. So we spent the day relaxing, playing more games, and visiting a local bookstore. I took some time on my own to do something I enjoy when we visit historical areas – riding around and looking at various churches and cemeteries in the area.

We chose Shaggy’s in Gulfport Beach for our last seafood dinner. The view was nice, although the weather was chilly and a bit windy. The service was great (and our waitress was from Arkansas!) but I wasn’t particularly impressed with my food.

After a stop to take a few pictures on the beach, we went back to the house for one last card game and to start packing up. We left Pass Christian around 9 a.m. the next day and made our way back to Arkansas by that evening…another vacation in the books!

Karri Temple Brackett

March 30, 2019

Travel in the company of those we love is home in motion.

-Leigh Hunt

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