Gulf Coast has taken more than its share of beatings, Katrina
was no doubt one of the worst. We were intimately
acquainted with the destruction she caused in New Orleans from
our daughter’s ill-fated
attempt to attend Tulane University. But the worst
storm’s fury was felt on Mississippi’s shores.
damage was still evident as we drove along the coast toward
Biloxi. Massive broken pilings that once held extravagantly
themed casinos housed on barges,
stand like lonely skeletal dinosaurs on the water’s edge.
Most of the casinos have been rebuilt on shore now. But plenty
of open lots scattered along the beach road now sit empty. These
were prime real estate occupied by grand oceanfront homes and
flashy tourist attractions prior to Katrina.
There was a fair amount of remember when The Treasure Bay
was there or I think that was where the hotel we stayed
at used to be conversations while we walked along the beach
our first evening.
some of the devastation, lemons were made into lemonade
in a most unusual way. In 2007, chainsaw artist Dayton Scoggins
carved egrets, seagulls, pelicans and dolphins out of the
stumps of broken trees left behind by the storm. A few years
later another artist, Marlin Miller, was inspired by these
original carvings and added over a dozen more. Now twenty
Katrina Sculptures stand in the median of Beach
Just up the boulevard
where we found The Sailfish, billed as a “Living Marine
Adventure Cruise.” While it may not be a genuine shrimp
boat, it is
a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. The fact that
it is not a commercial fishing vessel allows them to do a little
unregulated fishing closer into shore. And it
gave us tourists
a first hand look at just what comes up out of the sea when the
nets are pulled in.
we were sufficiently filled in, and away from shore, it
was time to do a little shrimpin’. The nets are weighted
so they will sink, then let out a few hundred feet behind
the boat and simply drug along for awhile. At this point
there was nothing to
do but wait and enjoy a beautiful day at sea.
the nets were drawn back in, the ever present squawking
seagulls and patiently waiting pelicans let us know that
our catch was successful. Mike and Steve slowly pulled the
nets aboard, being careful not
to tangle them, and removed the various critters for our observation
as they went along.
Hmmm, seafood dinner sounded pretty good. Captain Mike kindly
across Beach Boulevard from the harbor, Mary Mahoney’s Old
French House Restaurant is a must on any visit to the Mississippi
Gulf Coast. This Biloxi tradition has been serving incredible
Creole dishes since 1964, when
Bob and Mary Mahoney converted the oldest house in town into this
remarkable restaurant. The building dates back to 1737 and our
walk around the courtyard
was an historical journey in and of
shrimp remoulade featured huge shrimp, right out of the
water, with a perfect French-style remoulade sauce on a
bed of greens.
Like crab? When Mary Mahoney’s makes a crab cake, they make
Then there’s the Shrimp & Crab Au Gratin. Words failed
Growling stomachs held at bay for a bit, we decided to use this