2/13/18 – 2/15/18: Samantha and Brad’s baby shower was coming up, and we wanted to get back to Minnesota to get Kate’s parents, as well as all the party supplies we had there. But we still had a few days before we had to make the trip back. We really didn’t have anything planned after New Orleans, so as we were talking about ideas, Kate says, “I think we should go and sit on a beach for a couple days”. Good idea! We looked at the map and decided to spend our last couple days at Pensacola Beach in Florida.
It was only a 2 or 3 hour drive, but we wanted to take our time, so we took the back roads. We stopped in Gulfport to take in our first sight of the Gulf of Mexico (and a beach)! There was a marina nearby, so we took a quick stroll through, looking at the shrimp and fishing boats. It was also Mardis Gras, and we discovered that New Orleans isn’t the only place where it’s celebrated. In Biloxi, we passed a parade in the opposite lanes of the highway, which slowed us down a bit. And in Mobile, we had to take a detour through town due to the parade happening there. On the way, we also found the hometown of Forrest Gump’s friend Bubba, Bayou LeBatre. After all that, we didn’t check in to our motel until around 8PM.
The following day was overcast, misty, and cool. We sat in the motel room most of the morning just lounging (a good thing), and then found a small cafe down the road for lunch. We spent the afternoon just walking on the beach, picking up seashells, and watching people surf. The waves weren’t huge, probably 4 to 5 feet, but enough for some to go have fun. There was a couple, Bill & Cynthia, getting married on the beach – just them and the officiator – so we took some pictures and later emailed what we took to them.
On our second day, Kate’s birthday, the weather improved greatly. The sun was shining, the skies were blue, and temps were in the 70’s. Just what we were looking for! We went down to the beach, plopped down in the sand, and sat there, watching the birds do their thing and the waves roll in. After a while, we walked down to the water and let the waves crash against us. Then we went back and sat again for a while. It was getting a little warm, and the gulf was a little chilly to swim in, so we returned to the hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the lazy river. All in all it was a perfect day, and a perfect end to our second road trip.
But we had to go back, as we had a baby shower to prepare for. On our way north, we saw the temps slowly drop. When we stopped for the night in Nashville they were in the low 40’s. From Nashville to Janesville, WI, we drove through rain, snow, a rain & snow mix, and finally freezing rain near Janesville. By the time we got to Scandia we were back to full-on winter, with snow on the ground, temps in the teens and twenties, and another snowstorm on the way. We really don’t miss this kind of weather.