Return to the Gulf Coast (Part 1)

(4/15/09) - Shelia and I take a few days off and venture back to visit relatives, relax and check up on the progress being made as the Mississippi Gulf Coast continue to rebuild...

Shelia and I finally made it back to the Gulf Coast!

After a few days visiting her grandmother in southern Mississippi, we ventured back to the Gulf Coast to see how things have progressed since our last visit in 2007.  I must tell you the folks along the coast have come a long way since Katrina hit in '05 and if you haven't paid a visit to that area in some time, plan a visit or vacation's really nice.

In the process, we made a few detours...drove a bit of the Natchez Trace Parkway...and visited some other historic towns we've never been to before.

There are a ton of pictures so I've split this up into parts.

Welcome to the Mississippi Gulf Coast!  This is just west of Gulfport in Long Beach, MS looking at US 90, the Gulf Coast Highway.

Our first stop was for some coffee from the newly opened McDonalds in Pass Christian.

One of the many new homes being constructed along the Gulf Coast Highway in Pass Christian.

Here's one of the more classic beachfront homes that have been restored since Katrina.

Another classic home in Pass Christian that has been restored.

Many of the homes located along Scenic Drive in Pass Christian were here before Katrina, before Camille (1969) and are still standing with some modern renovations.

The home that occupies this spot is not the original home, but is a replica of what was known as "the Dixie White House"  or Beaulieu in Pass Christian.  Presidents Grant and Wilson stayed in the original home.  Much of it was destroyed by hurricane Camille in 1969 but has been beautifully restored and was updated again after Katrina.

Another beautiful beachfront mansion in Pass Christian still undergoing renovations since Katrina.

This is a new Walmart Supercenter going up in Pass Christian.  Notice how far off the Gulf Coast Highway the new store sits.  I remember the original store was much closer to the highway...and the coastline.

Driving east along US 90 we still see empty lots where beautiful homes and restaurants stood before Katrina.  But incredible progress has been made in the past four years.

This is historic St. Michael's Catholic Church in Biloxi.  While the hull of the church withstood the wrath of Katrina, much of the beautiful stained glass was washed away.  As you can see, some of the glass is still missing.

Looking from St. Michaels across US 90 is the new Isle of Capri casino and hotel.

(This picture I took especially for fellow Parrothead Shane Holinde).  Construction is coming along on Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Casino and Hotel which is scheduled to open in 2010.

Storm clouds over Biloxi Beach.  Call me weird, but I love it when there are thunderstorms on the coast.  I didn't get my wish this day as most of the storms were further north.  This shot is looking west toward Gulfport.

Here is another shot at Biloxi Beach looking east toward Biloxi.

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  • by Phyllis Location: Morgantown, KY on Jun 2, 2009 at 04:14 PM
    Chris, your pictures were just wonderful, I would like to go back some time, haven't been for a lot of years and injoyed the pictures so much. Thanks, Phyllis Howard
  • by David Duffer Location: Bowling Green KY on May 27, 2009 at 11:29 PM
    Hi Chris, I have a Brother,and nieces and Nephews that live in Biloxi and WBKO 13 came and interviewed my Nephew's Mother-in-Law when they had to swim out of their house and hold on to a bridge when Kitrina came. It is good to see the progress of the rebuild... And even though the mother-law and husband and little girl all did go back to Biloxi MS they did appreciate all the help they got while they lived here in BG KY.. Thanks for all the pictures Chris..
  • by kathy Location: rockfield ky on May 14, 2009 at 01:07 PM
    my husbands sister lives in gulfport and we went to visit the year after katrina i couldnt believe what i saw we go for the big car show in oct every year and we went the year before katrina when i saw biloxi there was nothing left except a few homes and trees foundations where homes where so yes they bhave come along way we are going this year for the big car show if you love old cars its the place to go its in oct it is called cruisin the coast hope to see ya there
  • by mary ann osborne Location: Hardyville,KY- Hart Co. on May 2, 2009 at 01:12 PM
    the pictures are beautiful.
  • by Janice Location: Bowling Green,KY. on Apr 29, 2009 at 06:08 PM
    Hi! From the pictures it likes you two kids had a great time. I sure wish my husband liked to travel.All he wants to do is watch TV.Your one lucky girl Shelia!! I love all the old homes and I am looking forward to more pictures.Those old homes are beautiful and I am happy to see them being restored.Thanks! Janice
  • by Anonymous on Apr 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM
    when can we expect more pics from the coast?
  • by chuck Location: morgantown on Apr 21, 2009 at 04:35 AM
    I also was born on the coast mobile ,but used to spend lots of time in Biloxi. It was incredible how it changed everything,(the storm). I loved it there. Gulfport (edgewater mall.), Bueana Vista motel as you first went in there, The HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER, seafood resturant,on highway 90,eating fresh seafood and looking at the guld ,the waves rolling in ,the sea gulls. the as you drive along seeing another grim reminder, the boat,(USS Hurricane Camile) parked in its resting place after Camile hit. I worked in the shipyard,(Ingals)in pascagoula, in the 70s, ALL so much diffrent now. Its been a year since I was there. thanks for sharing ,,,,chuck.
  • by Sherry Location: Simpson County on Apr 20, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    Chris, thanks for all the photos.....having been on the coast and seeing all the old houses in shambles it is so nice to see all the work that has taken place since I was last there. Thanks again for sharing your vacation with us.
  • by Lynne Carey Location: Bowling Green on Apr 19, 2009 at 04:28 AM
    I went down twice to work after Katrina and spent that first Christmas afterwards in Pass Christian, Waveland & Bay St Louis running a toy/christmas program for a church there. It is great to see the progress. I hope we get to go back down again. The first time I went into Waveland I just sat and cried at the destruction. Unless you see it first hand you can't understand the utter devestation. Seeing it will change you. Thanks for sharing these.
  • by gloria Location: logan co. on Apr 16, 2009 at 11:06 AM
    Chris, love your shots of the coast. Some of my family live there, so i go down at least a couple of times a year. I went down about 3 months after Katrina, could not believe what i saw.I was just there April 4th.---April 7th. It is coming back to the beautiful coast i love. Can't wait for margaritaville to open.
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