Saturday: Our first plane took off from MKE around 11 AM and we landed in Memphis between 12:30 and 1 PM. After lunch at the Blue Note Cafe (the only area in the airport that allows smoking), we made it to our gate and took off for Mobile. Got in around 3:30 and found my Grandpa waiting for us. Grabbed our luggage and away we went, all 5 of us (Mom, Dad, Hubby, Grandpa and myself), to Grandpa's house in Moss Point, MS (about a 40 minute drive). Spent the evening hanging out on his front porch, just talking and enjoying the weather. Had deli meat and cheese sandwiches for dinner (Grandpa bought enough ingredients to feed an army). Passed out shortly after 10 (soooooo tired).
Sunday: First full day down south! We porched it in the morning, then headed off to Biloxi to have brunch at the Grand Casino. Hadn't been there since Katrina. It used to be a casino boat, but the storm put it up ON the highway. When they rebuilt, they did so on the land-side of the highway as a regular building. Of course, I was the ONLY one in the group to get carded (Hubby's less than a year older than me and NEVER gets carded). Buffet was good, but not as spectacular as I remembered. Played some penny slots after eating. Put in $20 and eventually cashed out at $15 (got up to $26 at one point and down to about $3 at another, so I figure I did alright). Headed out along the coast and hit up Souvenir City, a favorite store of mine from childhood visits (though, it has also been relocated/rebuilt). Got a cute ornament of a starfish wearing an eyepatch and a pegleg. Mom bought me a mini souvenir license plate with my name spelled right (a rare find!). Headed back to Moss Point and spent the rest of the day napping and porching. Deli sammies for dinner again.
Monday: Headed toward Mobile, AL to spend the day at Bellingrath Gardens & Home, which I haven't done since I was about 12. Though it's still early in the season, the flowers were beautiful!! We took the river cruise and spotted an osprey up in its nest. We were followed/flocked by seagulls (partly because kids aboard were feeding them popcorn), which was actually fairly amusing (if not a little noisy). Grabbed some lunch at the on-site cafe after the boat and continued wandering around the gardens. Found a snake along the way, which wouldn't have been so bad if Mom wasn't terrified of them. Made our way out and headed back to Grandpa's for the rest of the day. More napping and porching. Deli sammies for dinner.
Tuesday: Had breakfast at the local Waffle House (a true novelty for us Yanks) and then headed back toward Mobile to see the USS Alabama Battleship. Dad and Hubby disappeared down some stairs, so Mom and I wandered the ship for awhile. There were some interesting things to look at, but this trip was more for the guys (as Monday's trip was more for the girls). Dad and Hubby also went down into the USS Drum submarine, but Mom and I have some issues with claustrophobia, so we stayed on deck (so to speak). When they were done, we headed to Pascagoula to see what their beaches looked like. They've cleaned things up quite a bit, but there's nowhere to park (and, as such, no one there). We also grabbed lunch at Lucky Seafood, where we had some good po-boys (not quite the same as in New Orleans, but still good). We headed back to Moss Point for a bit and checked out the swamp in Grandpa's back yard. Saw some movement, but couldn't tell what was in there. Went to dinner at Steve Barnhills, where they have a $5 all-you-can-eat buffet. Food's actually pretty decent, too! But they were out of hush puppies, which really saddened me. I didn't get to have a damn hush puppy the whole trip! Boo.
Wednesday: Same path back (Mobile to Memphis to MKE), and about the same times. By a little after 5 we were already on our way to pick up Miss Maxine from the doggie dorms. Boy was she happy to see us!! We had a great time, and it was sad to leave Grandpa and the warm weather, but we definitely missed our puppers and our own bed. Also, I'm still covered in bug bites that itch randomly like crazy. Ugh. Stupid noseeums (little black gnats that you can't necessarily see too well; thus "no see 'ums").