Over the past few days I’ve ridden through the Gulf Coastal Region of Florida and the word that comes to mind is “breathtaking”. The beaches are pristine and like no other that I’ve experienced in my time here on this beautiful planet on which we live. If the Universe is willing I hope to one day return to these parts. Here is a short video of Navarre Beach located on Santa Rosa Island south east of Pensacola, FL.
My travels also took me to Biloxi, Mississippi which was incredibly historic and filled with new experiences. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, it was one of the areas devastated by the tropical storm Katrina in 2005. Some of the buildings were under 30 feet of water, while others were washed away as a result of this powerful hurricane. As I drove along the shoreline the many empty lots with only the remains of a foundation or a deserted parking lot reminded me of how lives were dramatically changed as a result of the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. Many of the businesses have rebuilt or renovated after the storm and life continues to flourish in this beautiful city. An example of this is the White House Hotel which was one of the places submerged under 30 feet of water. It reopened in the past year after extensive renovations.
The visit to this elegant hotel and restaurant was recommended to me by Ed Miles, a wonderful volunteer I met at the Biloxi Tourist Information Centre. Another beautiful location in the city!
Here are a few photos of the historic French Quarters. The area is filled with beautiful little shops, businesses and restaurants, including the Half Shell, a wonderful oyster bar where I had dinner. Yes I did it! I tried raw shucked oysters on the half shell.
In addition to having a wonderful restaurant district, the city has a number of casinos…another first for me. I’ve lived a sheltered life and not played the slots before which resulted in another favourable experience. I walked away $33 richer after a few minutes…Ben & Jerry’s were the next to benefit…a win-win experience from my perspective 🙂
Biloxi also has a working marina and is home to a large fishing fleet. The sky is reflective of the heat which reached 38 degrees Celsius earlier in the day. Yup…it was a little warm riding into the city. Earlier that day I managed to miss two major showers as I rode towards Biloxi. You have to love that!
This was seen on the back of a state police vehicle…a great investment strategy 🙂
From here my journey has taken me to New Orleans, Louisiana – It’s an amazing fun filled city that is worthy of a blog of its own! I’ll get back to you when the music stops 🙂