We arrived last Wednesday at Buccaneer State Park. Located in Waveland, Mississippi along the gulf coast in the Mississippi Sound. The city of Waveland was incorporated in 1972.
President Andrew Jackson once lived and owned land in Waveland, a property called Jackson Ridge but better known today as part of Buccaneer State Park.
Sister city, Bay Saint Louis was incorporated in 1818 as Shieldsborough and later as Bay Saint Louis in 1882. It is the county seat for Hancock County. Mississippi.
First settlers here were the French and the Spaniards. When the New Orleans, Mobile and Chattanooga Railroad was completed in 1869 the town became a resort for wealthy planters and tourists.
All the stories from these two cities are not happy ones. A total of 239 people lost their lives just from the Mississippi Gulf Coast due to Katrina. Waveland and Bay Saint Louis were 80% under water.
We visited the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum in Waveland. Waveland and Bay Saint Louis were both hit hard by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and the devastated communities were hit again in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.
Inside the museum there were a vast array of photos, newspaper clippings, artifacts and a quilt collection made of material found after Katrina.
The museum was formerly a school and inside is a waterline showing where the water rose to. Thirty-two feet was the highest recorded in the Waveland and Bay Saint Louis area.
There use to be a carousel at the site and plans to rebuild are in the works. These are some parts of the original carousel that were recovered.
This is Mrs Solveig Wells. Mrs Wells quilted 55 small quilts after Katrina out of recovered material in the next 18 months. Each of the quilts have some special meaning that are outlined in a book at the museum. She also did a self portrait. All these were donated by her husband after her passing.
Here are some of the pictures they had on display.
Some before and afters.
This is a mosaic from city hall which was destroyed and restored and now in front of the new city hall in Waveland.
When you drive down the streets and along the beach there are reminders everywhere of the toll that was taken on these small towns.
Mother Nature sure can wreak havoc on us when she wants to. Bay Saint Louis has rose above the disaster far better than Waveland. Over 2000 residents left Waveland after Katrina. My heart goes out to this community and I hope they can get back to where they were.
Here are a couple of the beautiful homes that have been rebuilt on the coast in Waveland.
Tracy and I spent the day in Old Town Bay Saint Louis. There are several eclectic shops and eateries here. The town is very much a day trip destination. The shops you see in most of these pictures are survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Tourism is their number one industry here.
Here are some of my favorites from the day.
The Buttercup where I had coffee and a bagel and Tracy had hot chocolate, it is very quaint and friendly.
The Antique Maison, looks were deceiving here as we thought it would be a small shop but it was huge inside. This place had local art, antiques and even voodoo dolls.
The Social Chair Shop
A bell rang and Tracy got her wings!
The Smith and Lens Gallery
The French Potager and a little horsing around!
Some of the upscale clothing shops were the Bay-Tique and Southern Accents Boutique.
The Shoppes of Century Hall, which had local art, clothing and home decor.
Green Canyon Outfitters
The California Drawstring shop.
The Fashion Express, Flair, The Shoe Boutique and Bijoubels
Another favorite was Clay Creations. This store even had a painting of the Friendship Oak on the side of it.
We even saw one of Santas helpers delivering cookies to the local businesses.
We stopped for a bite of lunch at Tripletails. We split a huge order of chicken nachos and they were very good.
Some other eateries included The Daiquri Shak, The Mockingbird Cafe, Serious Bread Bakery and The Sycamore House. There are others too, a coffee shop, ice cream parlor and some local pubs.
We drove by this place called Ruth’s Roots when looking for parking and were very amazed when we went back. The garden built on the property of Ruth Thompson in dedication.
A community garden with oddities such as rabbits and chickens.
A dragon by the name Augustus
A very colorful piano.
There was a huge deck with chairs to sit and contemplate life or to socialize with neighbors and a chess set if your into that.
There were also murals painted by local artists and a painting of Ruth by Michelle Arnold.
It was a delightful day here in Old Town Bay Saint Louis. Watching the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers.
I can attest for Tracy and myself when I say, when you live in a camper you don’t spend money because you have no room for extras, but it is fun to explore.
Also in Bay Saint Louis is the beautifully restored L & N Train Depot which was built in 1928. It is now a visitor center and Mardi Gras Museum surrounded by a park with benches and wonderful old oak trees. The Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum occupies the second story.
I think they are waiting for a train.
Mardi Gras Museum
This was also the place where Robert Redford and Natalie Woods filmed “This Property Is Condemned” in 1966.
The 100 Men Hall.
Built in 1922, it is a longtime center for African American social life and entertainment. Many a jazz and blues entertainer graced the stage of the 100 Men Hall.
The 100 Members Debating Benevolent Association was incorporated in Bay Saint Louis in 1894. According to its chapter “the purpose of this association is to assist its members when sick and bury its dead in a respectable manner and to knit friendships”.
It is still used as a gathering place for music, laughter, fellowship and parties. The owner was nice enough to let us in to see it.
The weather here has been cloudy or rainy with a couple of sunny days. When it’s a sunny day we take advantage!
John and I took a day trip to New Orleans on one of those sunny days. Tracy stayed back at camp and tended to Harlie and Frannie. She had been to New Orleans before so she suggested it.
We parked at Basin St. Station and took a hop on hop off bus tour. We had several different tour guides and some were very good at what they do!
We got a great tour of the city this way and made the most of our day! We wanted to go into the St Louis Cemetery #1 where Marie Laveaux is buried but you had to pay $20.00 so we passed on that.
We saw the Superdome
We went down Canal Street. They don’t have medians in New Orleans, they have neutral ground. They also have Street Cars dating back almost 100 years still running.
We did not visit the WWII Veterans Memorial because we only had one day.
They took us through the Garden District. Which had the most beautiful historic homes and the “free” Lafayette Cemetery.
I was amazed at Mardi Gras World. So much spectacular color and craftsmanship. I will most likely go nuts with pictures here, forgive me, but they are beautiful.
John tried to run off with the Oscar!
Now back on the bus and headed for Frenchman’s Market. This place was great! Too bad I had all my Christmas shopping done or I could have found some very unique gifts. John did buy a nice cross bracelet.
We made our way down a few blocks to Cafe’ Du Monde
I have never had a beignet so I must try one, no two, oh my three! I will have a sugar high for weeks! Thank goodness for the coffee.
After stuffing our faces with this little French delight we took off to explore the French Quarter.
First stop Jackson Square.
Then onto St. Louis Cathedral.
We watched the street performers.
I partook of a couple of interesting voodoo shops.
We visited Preservation Hall.
Pat O’Briens courtyard.
These are a few shots of the side streets.
We visited the oldest church in New Orleans which started out as a mortuary but is now Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
You can’t see it in this picture but there were homeless people sleeping in the pews.
Are you hungry? I am hungry! We stopped into an establishment and John was brave enough to try gumbo and shrimp etouffee. Unfortunately all our food was cold so we sent it back and decided to find something else.
We finally landed at Spirits on Bourbon (you may have seen this place on Bar Rescue) where John got his gumbo and he liked it! Not me though, stuff looks like puke, sorry please take no offense from this northern girl. They had a guy singing and playing piano and he was really good. We might have stayed longer but Johns gin and tonic was $10.50!!!!!
We decided to meander down Bourbon Street and find some jazz and found Musical Legends Park at Cafe’ Beignet. An outdoor venue with a live band each night. They have bronze statues of jazz legends.
We ordered some coffees and sat down to listen to the Steamboat Willie Jazz Band. It was really good music and I would recommend it highly.
HaHa doesn’t it look like the statue is going to take off John’s hat?
Bourbon Street at night.
To the Thirsty Thursday girls back in Tennessee this is for you!
After a long day of walking it’s time to head back to camp. Good thing John had another first today! Starbucks! He said he would never pay $5.00 for a coffee but I bet he will treat himself to another in the future.
One of our favorite things to do in the evenings is to have a roaring fire weather permitting. I can build some pretty good fires too, great for just sitting back relaxing, reminiscing about the day and good conversation. Then this happens!
Just like traveling with teenagers!
We only got to walk the beach one evening so far. It was a nice sunset.
As I finish this weeks blog, I want to take this moment and wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas full of health, love and happiness.