I FINALLY finished editing our vacation pictures from last Sept/Oct and got them uploaded to Flickr. I'm still absolutely in love with my Sony RX100m2! Unless the m4 is absolutely amazing, my little m2 will be going to Disneyland in October. That will officially make three Disney trips for it and the longest I've ever used a camera for my vacations. I'm still not ready to jump to a DSLR and if I'm sticking with a point and shoot, it might as well be the best!
For those that are new around these here parts...my friend Kate over at The Suddenly Kate Show, came all the way from England to visit my little neck of the woods and, despite having a debilitating illness, she made the trek with me to my favorite place on earth, Walt Disney World. We took the long way, down through Biloxi, so I could show her a bit of our country. There are less than a handful of places I can go and feel comfortable besides work and home, Disney World being #1, but Biloxi and Gulfport have always been #2. Right after my marriage ended, I used to just drive the 7 hours down there, walk along the beach for 20 minutes, then just drive back and I often did that almost every weekend pretty much for no reason at all.
When I drive to Disney, I often go through Biloxi either to or fro and will take the Chattanooga way for the opposite leg. Both journeys add several hours, but the "short" way to Disney from Northeast Arkansas is one of the worst drives ever! It's long and boring with miles and miles of nothing, half highway and half interstate, both of which have their own travel issues. I enjoy driving but I much prefer to do so when the scenery is not only beautiful but familiar and the extra hours are definitely worth it.
Granted, despite taking the long way, we were still on a schedule, so stops were limited. Our first stop was at the Biloxi Lighthouse Pier:
I absolutely hate the feeling of sand on my feet, but I absolutely love the feeling of ocean water on them and I could have literally stood like this all day:
But we did have more road to hit and it was lunch time, so onwards to Ocean Springs we went. Living in the South, especially within an hour of Memphis, BBQ is a very passionate thing. One of my favorite places to get BBQ is actually a chain called The Shed. From the outside, it's a pretty scary-looking place:
and it's also pretty scary on the inside made up of bits and pieces of just about everything:
but the BBQ is definitely worth it!
I wanted to show her more beach, so instead of hitting the interstate past Mobile like I usually do, we took yet another pit-stop down to Pensacola and the Gulf Shores National Seashore. I haven't been down there in many years and the beaches are so much prettier. There are a lot of forts along the Gulf Coast, but I've always steered clear due to my issues with "haunted" places. I was feeling pretty bold on this trip and decided that it was finally time to take a chance. If you're going to jump off the ledge, make it a high one, so I chose Fort Pickens, which not only served as a Civil War fort but as a WWII fort. Poor Kate couldn't walk around very much at all, but I hope she enjoyed the mild sea breeze while she patiently waited on me.
The Civil War section was amazing with tunnel after tunnel twisting every which way, going up and down and I had no issues walking pretty much every square inch of it:
The reinforced WWII section was the scary part:
I was pretty much restricted to the outer areas, all the inner rooms were pretty much off limits because they were creepy as hell so I just stuck my head in (and the camera further). How I didn't manage to at least capture an orb was kind of amazing:
I ended up having to walk around the Civil War half a bit more to counter the WWII half's effects:
I walked around as long as I could, but it was time to hit the road again. I had forgotten how beautiful the National Seashore was...just a road a thin strip of sand on either side and completely surrounded by water:
I needed one more beach walk, so we stopped one more time at Santa Rosa. Fort Pickens was a bit too much for Kate, so she chose to stay in the car. There was absolutely no one around me and I had the whole area to myself:
well, except for a jellyfish:
the waves were so much stronger, but so much more enjoyable!
We needed to stop for the night, but I wanted to get as close to I75 as I could. We managed to get to Quincy, just this side of Tallahassee, so I was pretty pleased and knew that the next day's drive wouldn't be a long one, but let's save Day 2 for another post!