Places We Remember

Posted January 28, 2019 – Narrated by Carmen

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There are places I remember all my life

    Though some have changed

Some forever, not for better

    Some have gone and some remain

        – Lennon-McCartney (The Beatles)

On driving days we play a game called “Where Were We?


In the morning, Jim always drives first because my job is to consume strong coffee while he sets the GPS for an hour down the road where he’ll pull off and switch places with the caffeinated me.

Arizona sunrise

We always play “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson – our pulling out song since Day One. Sometimes I think about changing it to “Let’s Go” from the musical Drat! The Cat! but that’s only a flirtation. Willie still inspires. I sing along to the final refrain, which somehow fires off the neurotransmitters and, presently…

The “Where Were We” game begins.

Where were we on our birthdays in 2017…? What National Parks have we visited since we started out…? Where did we kayak last…? Name all the places we met up with Frank and Debbie DiBona…

Naples Florida
Meeting up with Frank and Debbie Dibona in Naples, Florida

When one or both of us is in doubt we call “time” to check the blog on my iPhone. Without WordPress the details would be an epic senior moment.

San Diego Mountain rocks

But sometimes our memories hit a rock wall. Last month while driving into a fiery Arizona sunset we remembered that we forgot to blog about some wonderful places! So, here we are trying to pick up the pieces and jigsaw them into the record.

This unchronological episode is as much for ourselves as LIB followers.

But first, let’s pause for a more recent moment. How about that Super Blood Wolf Moon?

What a great send off for a wonderful campground that we will miss very much. Here’s to the staff at Chula Vista RV Resort & Marina. Thanks for the memories.

So, back to what we forgot.

To make the record as complete as possible, we’d like to share our experience at two campgrounds: a National Park in Ocean Springs, Mississippi (a stellar get-away for art and cuisine) and, a floridorable private resort right off the Tamiami Highway in Sarasota called …

Sunny South RV Resort!

Sarasota Sunny South

Last January, as we headed north to Disney World from the Keys, Jim made reservations for Sunny South.

As soon as we settled in, our neighbors told us how lucky we were since they had to book well in advance to enjoy this cheerful, clean and unpretentious Florida retreat.

“Sunny South is a hidden gem,” they said. “Please don’t let the secret out,” they said …

And here I am blab, blab, blabbing … My apologies to the regulars. The Blood Moon made me do it.

Sarasota Sunny South

For starters, the place is cuter than the ding-dang dickens – and that’s what I mean by floridorable (yes, you heard that word here first – contact my agents at Pico de Gallo Enterprises.)

No, it is not on a beach. In fact, it’s wedged into a suburb right off the Tamiami Highway, butted up against a Ram dealership.

It’s small. There’s no golf course or tennis court or baseball field like the mega parks – but Sunny South has three specialties that no other Florida RV Resort can top:

  • Family managed
  • Excellent service, and
  • Loyal regulars.

We’re talking high-touch. Capese?

And it doesn’t hurt that it’s only three miles from Sunny Side to Siesta Key and a short drive to Lido Beach and Longboat Key.

There’s plenty to do there and to eat! From hot dogs to oysters, the waterfront restaurant scene is unsurpassed.

Pleasant morning strolls through the quiet neighborhood and Casey Key and people-watching on Siesta Key and cycling the Legacy Bike Trail kept us guilt-free in foodie land.

And, we didn’t even have to leave Sunny South for a great meal! Chef John caters a fabulous Sunday breakfast and mid-week dinner. The meals are included for guests who make reservations! His pasta e fagioli knocked our calzini off and brought tears to my eyes with memories of my happy childhood home in Pozzouli, Italy.

We’d have stayed longer but we didn’t reserve far enough ahead. Next time we’re in Sarasota we won’t make that mistake!

Davis Bayou National Park

For a crash course in Mississippi – look no further than Davis Bayou National Park, on The Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs – a beautiful, vintage Southern town.

Davis Bayou National Park

Voted a top ten “Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living in 2015, Ocean Springs is an unexpected portal to art, culture and bayou cuisine.

Ocean Springs places art above all else – except, maybe, grits.

This is sacred ground for Mississippi pottery where collectors and enthusiasts, worldwide peruse the studios, showrooms and museums. We stop here as often as possible to pay our respects.

Serene, mossy Davis Bayou Campground is the ideal place to experience this messy, humble and unaffected art paradise, providing hiking trails, cycling trails (still under development) and kayaking.

White sand beaches are not to be expected. This is a marshy, murky preserve where gators and their young’uns have names …

Yet, the natural bayou is in sharp contrast to the shopping and nightlife waiting just around the corner to grab you and do serious damage.

We were there to visit family – My dad and sweet Aunt Sonia – and to make another visit to the Walter Inglis Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs …

What could be more delectable than to climb a blade of grass with the dew still on it and spend the morning swinging in the wind?

        – Walter Anderson

… and also the Ohr-O’Keefe in Biloxi.

When I found the potter’s wheel I felt it all over like a duck in water.

    – George Ohr, The Mad Potter of Biloxi

The two museums – just a couple of miles apart – combined with breakfast or lunch – …

… is the prescription for all maladies … an unforgettable day … an immersion in southern culture. And the enthusiastic volunteer docents add to the charm.

This coastal haven makes my heart swell with the blessing of art, and for my Mississippi heritage and for all that is good and decent in the world.

“So soon as man shall see light in another man, he shall possess light himself.” – Walter Inglis Anderson

It’s a spiritual feast where I depart with a mission to be a better person, more patient, compassionate and observant, and one who is pleased that she had the wisdom to pack a fresh hanky …

“Our lives only improve when we take chances” – Walter Anderson

And I know I’ll never lose affection

    For people and things that went before

I know I’ll often stop and think about them

    In my life I loved you more.

    – Lennon-McCartney (The Beatles)

20 thoughts on “Places We Remember

    1. Oh, Sabrina, you and Morgan make me blush. Thank you for being with us. We really do feel your good energy!


  1. Another amazing post and visit — not sure when this was since I suspect you were recently here…but it looks and sounds lovely (and so poetic)

    1. Hey Jan!

      We’re doing a pitstop for doctor visits. I have a shoulder injury that needed some therapy and I’m much better now. Now, on to Tucson for the gem and mineral show. Meeting Dad and my sister, Deb and my Aunt Sonia – very excited about that!

      Thank you for being with us and so glad you liked the post.

      Safe Travels!


  2. Wonderful piece. Especially as I sit here in the frigid midwest awaiting our departure to Pine Island FL. Thanks again for your work.

    1. Always great to hear from you Bill. Snow refugees from Chicago showed up here yesterday. My sister in Tennessee is snowed in today. It’s mid-low 60’s here – a cold winter for San Diego – but those Chicgoans seem quite pleased. Perspective.

      We hope you enjoy Pine Island! We’ve never been there, but that has to change.

      Safe Travels, old friend!


  3. Your excellent blog continues to remind me of our 6 years on the road. I especially enjoyed your pictures and comments of places near Sarasota, where we spent a lot of our time. We met you at Ho Hum a couple years ago and learned of your inflatable kayaks. I now have one and enjoy it on the French Broad River near Asheville, NC whenever I can. I look forward to your future posts with the fine photos and descriptive commentary. Thank you!

    1. Your comment reminded us that we need to go back to Asheville and camp on the Broad River. We loved Asheville and would have stayed longer but had to evacuate due to a storm. Thank you for being with us and Safe Travels!


  4. I have always enjoyed your blog but this is a particularly timely post for me. We just booked a couple nights at Davis Bayou in April after a few nights in New Orleans. I have been searching for accounts of this section of Mississippi. As a fellow Airstreamer and blogger, I appreciate your perspectives, writing and insights. Thanks for the information and inspiration.

  5. Another great post, Carmen. We are looking forward to leaving the chill of Michigan for the Keys in February. We have reservations but will do drive-by Sunny South for a future trip.

    Happy trails,
    Kathy and Steve

  6. Carmen, listening to your narrative lowered my blood pressure at least 20 points! Always enjoy the adventures you and Jim share. We so enjoyed meeting and getting to know you both at the 2018 International Rally. Hope we can meet up again; if ever you plan to be in the Little Rock area or at NTAC, please let us know!

    1. Hey Michael! We’re hoping to visit you and Judy in the Spring. We will keep you posted on our whereabouts and as we near Little Rock. Thank you for your encouragment!



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