No one knows an area better than a local. I fell head over heels in love with the Mississippi Gulf Coast in April of 2005. I was so infatuated that I put on my best "salesmanship" proposal hat for my husband. I hoped that I could convince my unsuspecting husband of moving the family from the breathtakingly beautiful Glenwood Springs, Colorado to the Coast of Mississippi.
I did well. My sales pitch worked. We found ourselves settling into to a modest old home around June of 2005, in Long Beach, Mississippi. My two teens between bouts of hating me, were adjusting to Long Beach schools.
We could have bought a more impressive home even closer to the beach, but we chose to be debt free instead. Humble and modest. We settled on a home a block away from the high school and about 3 blocks from the middle school. This particular home had gorgeous old oak trees and was in an old established neighborhood. We were .5 of a mile from the beach.
Providence at times teaches me lessons through irony. We soon found ourselves evacuating for Hurricane Katrina. Upon returning-well, you know the stories... Nothing was the same. It was no longer the coastal area I had fallen in love with. Everything had changed. The cost of living which had been my chief selling point had sky rocketed. The pleasure of walking to the beach was taken away and replaced by armed guards and Constantine Wire to keep us away from the dangers of the devastation.
The Oaks that I had appreciated so much that I named them--were now lying on top of my house. We fancy that the Oaks gave their lives by lying down on our house to keep it safe from the wind; though, in doing so they knocked holes in the roof which let water in which created horrendous mold. I'll never forget driving back into the area-we couldn't recognize anything, not even our street.
At that time it seemed the MGC would never recover-the horrible mess was just too overwhelming. Now, almost 5 years after the storm the Mississippi Gulf Coast has made great strides in restoration; thanks to a great deal of help to those accustomed to pulling folks out of disaster-volunteers.
It seemed forever before any of the piers were restored; but, many of them are back now. I enjoy walking the piers and jetties so much it's as if they have burrowed into my soul. Not only is it a chance to be surrounded by beautiful and sometimes annoying coastal birds, but listen to the waves, the fish jump, and to get back to my promenade.
Now the promenade should not qualify as true exercise. I learned that I still need a gym, or, a solitary beach walk to qualify as exercise. The pier promenade is stop and go; a proverbial time to "smell the roses" so to speak. The pier promenade is a place and time to enjoy people AND the coast. The customs are to make eye contact; smile, greet, maybe look at a fisherperson's catch, or, nod your head. It's Mississippi. We acknowledge the living person. People are where our wealth lies. Warning!You simply cannot be in a bad mood walking a pier.
My favorite Piers are near Long Beach Harbor. A close runner up is the awesome newly constructed pier at Waveland, MS. Gulfport and Biloxi also have inviting piers. Mainly it depends on your schedule and where you are along Hwy 90/Beach Boulevard.
Best of all-enjoying the coast and the piers is still free. Parking is still free.
Now, if walking piers doesn't seem to suit you, we have plenty of casinos and golf courses. Give us a try.