Driveabout: Day 16
When you arrive at a destination in the dark, part of the extraordinary wonder of travel is seeing what the morning reveals. The Boomtown Casino RV Park, which looked like little more than a parking lot with shore power, actually turned out to be pretty nice. The website promised a water view and, if you were on that particular side of the campground, that's kinda-sorta what you got.
Today's drive would lead us back into Florida with a plan to skirt the Gulf Coast and make the slow, easy return home. The casino dinner left much to be desired and we were hoping for some kind of beachside brunch diner to kick off our journey. We ended up at Bayview Gourmet Restaurant in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and had a delightful brunch of Fried Oyster Rockefeller Benedict, South of the Border Skillet and a carafe of mimosas. I tweeted Guy Fieri and asked why The Food Network hadn't been there yet. Better get the scoop before some other show does!
Then, eschewing Interstate 10 for State Road 90, we tooled along and enjoyed a leisurely ride through Gautier and Pascagoula, then crossed over into Alabama briefly, through Grand Bay, Irvington, Theodore and Mobile, where I pulled us back onto I-10 to make up some time so we could pick up some groceries and make it to our campground before sunset.
Stopping in Pensacola, Florida at Joe Patti's, which is one of the most incredible fish markets ever, we grabbed some fresh scallops, shrimp, ahi tuna and Gulf grouper before taking State Road 98 over the East Bay bridge and into Gulf Breeze. We arrived at the Santa Rosa RV Park just in time to set up, pour some margaritas and sit by Lucky as the sun set upon the day.
I've been extremely blessed, fortunate, to see as much of the United States as I have. There are plenty of beautiful places from coast-to-coast, but nowhere on the continent is quite like Florida. Its attraction is undeniable and if you're a lover of seaside locales, it's absolutely unbeatable. Though we're still on the road until Tuesday, we were technically "home" and it was sweet to sit and watch the amazing colors cast by the sinking sun. We lucked out in getting the coveted "corner site" that puts the awning side of your RV facing the Santa Rosa Sound.
Though only available for one evening, we decided that this was a good place to extend our stay and we planned on moving to another site on the water tomorrow. I cooked us some scallops, shrimp and corn using the "corruption" seasoning that we'd picked up from Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken in Memphis. Florida sunset, fresh seafood, margaritas and an ocean breeze. Welcome home, indeed.