We drove from New Orleans through Mississippi (Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula), then Alabama (Mobile, that's about it), and into Florida (Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Fort Walton Beach, Destin) and ended up at Grayton Beach.
Some photos from the drive:
Kevin tried to snap a quick shot of this castle-like building out the moving car window. It didn't quite work, but the mood is cool anyway. You can still sorta see the castle-like building:
Downtown Mobile, Alabama:
Live bait, Battleship Park:
We decided earlier today that we'd stop at Grayton Beach State Park for one night (maybe two) and we left early enough to make it just fine. I'd miscalculated the time though, because I didn't account for the two one-hour stops we made for two conference calls Kevin had scheduled for the day, so by the time we arrived at Grayton Beach it was dark (just after 7pm). We pulled in and as we approached the little registration booth, we noticed that there was one of those striped "don't pass" arms blocking the road. Kevin got out and looked around for a phone number or instructions, and there was nothing. Nothing but a sign that said "Hours: Something or Other until Sundown."
I pulled out my iPhone and found a number to call, that then gave me another number to call for people arriving late who HAD reservations. We thought we'd try that, but then my cell service went away. Awesome. At some point as we were sitting there at the gate, another camper drove up behind us and told us the code, so we went in. We drove around a loop and there were plenty of unoccupied spots, but nowhere was there any indication of a "register/pay here" booth, or a camp host, or anything. And it was pitch dark.
We kept trying to call that number and finally got through and the guy said he didn't get the call from the reservation center to give him the occupied spots stats so he had to assume they were full for the night. He said as long as were self-contained we could go park in the parking lot by the boat ramp for the night, and go back to the booth in the morning. (We neglected to tell him "Hey, we got through your fancy gate and we're driving around the campground and there are PLENTY of empty spots!" for fear he'd tell us to move on down the road.)
We thanked him, headed to the boat ramp parking, and it's just fine and right by the beach. The wind is warm and we can hear the waves. I think it'll be gorgeous in the morning.
We unhitched and headed into town to grab some dinner at The Red Bar. Fresh fish (blackened grouper and mahi mahi) with big salads…a martini, live music…great atmosphere and very good food. We'll have to go explore a little bit during the day tomorrow.
After we got back to trailer we walked out toward the beach with our flashlight. There are boardwalk walkways because you're not supposed to walk on the dunes. (The sand is super fine, powdery, white white white.) We stopped at the end and watched the waves crash for a few minutes, and then my flashlight caught something in the sand. It was this cool little crab, about four inches wide, with a little headless fish in its claws.
Here he is:
And here are the grassy dunes in front of our car with the headlights on:
Arty, huh? 🙂