Posted January 28, 2019 – Narrated by Carmen
“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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 …
“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)