Tuesday March 4...10:50pm
Finally time to get back on the road!
Had a great sleep last night. Well, after the huge thunderstorm passed through our way. On the local TV station they were calling for a tornado warning with possibility of large hail...and that was only about 40 miles north of us. We didn't get anything that bad, but we did get a bad thunderstorm around 10:30pm ...windy with lots of rain and lightning. Whiskey was scared and she wouldn't stop shaking. But after that, I slept right through till 7am or so.
It's still a little windy today, but we have to do some driving despite the fact that the wind won't make the driving any fun. We have quite a few big bridges to go over today...oh well. And so we left New Orleans around 10:30am and headed for Gulfport Mississippi. We had to drive right through downtown New Orleans on the freeway. Traffic was okay though, and it sure helps getting through a strange city when you've got a GPS unit. Not sure how we used to do without it!
As we got to the North East side of New Orleans we saw a lot more devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina that has not yet been repaired. Entire neighbourhoods of houses that have been abandoned. And other residential areas where every second house remains empty and boarded up, where the next house has been repaired and looks like new. Remember, it's been two and a half years since the hurricane. As we headed east and got close to Gulfport Mississippi, we drove along a beach highway that leads into Biloxi area. Most of the homes along the section facing the beach would have been million dollar homes. But they were all devastated during the hurricane, and are only now starting to be rebuilt. Most of them have been torn down and all that remains is the foundation and anything that was concrete. It looks odd seeing the swimming pool in the backyard of a house that doesn't exist anymore.
We are parked up at the Island View Casino in Gulfport Mississippi. All of the casinos on the gulf coast were wiped out in Katrina. This was one of the first rebuilt and phase 1 opened only one year after the hurricane. It's almost finished now, and it's a big resort with a hotel and everything. Just across the street, there are vacant lots where there used to be houses. There's a lot of work to be done in this area yet, I can just imagine how bad it was. This area was also hard hit during hurricane Camille in 1969. Why would anybody build in an area like this...?
But this casino is very nice. We're parked in the front lot facing the beach, and we're parked for free for the night. And, they have a "players club" in the casino....this means that when you sign up (which is free), they give you a "players club" card and you swipe it in a computer and it awards you bonus slot machine free play. Ruth won $10 and I won $15. We played for about 2 hours on the penny slot machines and by the time we cashed out, Ruth had $2.80 or so, and I had $21...as well, the casinos here give you free drinks provided you're sat at a machine playing. So we walked out this afternoon with about $23 cash as well as being entertained and we are parked for free! I love this stuff. Then, we went back in after supper and played for another hour or so. We lost track a little, but we think we're still up about $18 and we never risked a cent of our own money. Did I mention we're parked for free? Oh, and we get free internet as well...too funny.
Tomorrow we're going to stop at another casino and join their "players club", and then we're heading for Mobile, Alabama.
It's a little chilly this evening. Current temperature inside the motorhome is 12C. Supposed to go to 3C outside tonight, so will have to get the extra blanket out.
Total Nights Sleeping in the RV... 138
March Fuel $ 0.00
March Grocery $ 0.00
March Overnight Costs $ 54.00