Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ship Island weekend

So Dav and I went along with our friend James to Ship Island on Thursday. With the oil slick getting closer and closer every day, we figured that this may be one of our last chances to go. Dav and I have been to the gulf coast many times, but never to Ship Island, so on Thursday we picked up James and took off for the beach.

We got there just before noon and hopped on the ferry. It was approximately an hour ride. We got to stand on the top of the ship and spotted numerous dolphins. It was so much fun being on the bow of the boat, wind whipping through my hair. i was now also grateful that I had cut my hair short... it was flying everywhere!!

For reasons I cannot explain, whenever I go to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I feel more alive and like a child again. I feel like a part of me that was missing is now complete. I feel so happy every time I go there, whether I am doing anything exciting or not. I really want to move there one day, maybe take a job at the Ocean Springs call center, if Dav could find work there. But I digress.

We arrived at Ship Island (which is approximately 11 miles off the mainland) at around 1 PM. We toured Fort Massachusetts, which was a fort that was built just following the War of 1812. It was fascinating to see the craftsmanship. There was still a HUGE cannon on the top wall. It has survived so much... Hurricane Camille (which split Ship Island in half) and a 40 foot storm surge during Katrina. Amazing.

After the hour-long tour of the fort with the park ranger (who kept referring to the oil spill as "the recent 'incident' in the Gulf"- I think he even used "air quotes"), we walked to the south side of the island. The water was much clearer than that on the mainland (even though it was still green). It was so clean. We jumped into the water. The waves were even rather large. You could probably surf there. I got knocked on my ass a few times!! The sand was beautiful, white and clean. We picked up a few sea shells and almost walked the entire length of the island (a few miles long). The amazing thing about the island is that it is just nothing but beach and water (well, there is a concession stand and umbrella/chair rental place but that's it). It's completely unspoiled and very, very serene. We didn't see any tar balls or oil, thought there was boom set up around the edge of the water near the fort. Needless to say, I fell in love with the island and want to go back. I sincerely hope that I will be able to do so.

After arriving back in Gulfport via the ferry at around 6:00 PM, we checked into our hotel and I sat down in a chair and found a pool of sand on it when I stood up. I then proceeded to take a long, much needed shower. That evening we ate at a restaurant in nearby Ocean Springs that James recommended, called Shady's. I really enjoyed it. I've never been to downtown Ocean Springs, but it is very quaint and artsy. I would describe this restaurant as "eclectic," as it had everything from pad thai to seafood to barbecue on the menu. I had a pulled pork sandwich that was AMAZING, Dav had shrimp, and I think James had a grouper sandwich. We sat outside on the patio (did I mention that the weather was amazing that day? It was a little humid, but the ocean breezes felt fantastic. It rather sunny, but there were a few clouds).

The next morning, we ate a huge breakfast and hit the outlet mall. I bought a giant bottle of b12 at Vitamin World, and Dav bought a new watch face for his Fossil watch (gotta love the outlet).

We were home by around 4:30 and I was EXHAUSTED. My legs hurt from walking up and down the sandy beach. We took a ton of pics which I hope to upload either here or to Facebook soon. All in all, it was a fantastic trip that I will not soon forget.

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