February 1-14, 2023 Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas

Had a peaceful nights sleep in the Harrahs parking lot in Biloxi. Mississippi. Woke up early and went inside to do a little gambling. Hit big by winning 40 free games!!!

After the big win, we drove down to Gulfport Mississippi to a casino called Island View. This place had a great players club bonus. For signing up you got $20 in slot play and $20 in restaurant coupon. We headed immediately to the Buffet. It was the best buffet we have ever had. And it was free for us just for signing up for the players card. But even if we hadn’t done that the buffet was only $14 dollars and I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was. I should have taken video. I only took one photo of the amazing funnel cake that they make fresh when you order it. Plus they had gelato as well as a zillion kinds of desserts!! They had a carving station with like 7 different kinds of meat. If you are ever in this area do not pass up this buffet!!

After the buffet we did a little more gambling at this casino and I WON ANOTHER 250 dollars!!! I can’t even believe it!!! Mississippi has been very good to me. There are a bunch of casinos here and they overlook the water. It’s been kind of overcast and chilly but this would be great on sunny days. I really like this area a lot. People are super nice and very rarely do you come across people that are jerks. There’s just something about that southern charm that makes us happy.

Next day we headed further west toward New Orleans. We found a Harvest Host location just outside of New Orleans. The Faubourg Brewing Co. and it was our lucky day because they have $1 Grilled Oysters on Thursday’s. There were plenty of vans and RVs in the lot. It was a decent place to spend the night.

Woke up to some pretty cold temps. So grateful for that WeBasto diesel heater that we have. We were planning on going into New Orleans today but it’s just too cold for outdoor walking so we decided to put it off for a few days and let the temperatures warm up a little. So instead we are heading to the movies to see Knock at the Cabin. This looks really good, sort of like The Terminator but minus Arnold.

My favorite coffee

The movie was awesome. M. Night Shalahan is great. Creepy and scary, just like I like em. We headed to Fairview-Riverside State Park. when we pulled up to the booth, they told us they were booked solid and totally full. I knew that was not the case s I saw online that they had 20 tent sites available so we inquired about them and lo and behold they had 29 sites available. It’s crazy how they look down upon the tent people or Van people like us. So we settle in to tent site number 14.It was still pretty cold so mostly just stayed in the van. I made these awesome tostadas for dinner and we just hung out and watched you tube. Sometimes vanlife is just plain boring.

Next day we went on a short boardwalk hike through the swamp and then packed up and headed out. It was a 1 o’clock check out so we were in no rush to get anywhere especially since the cold weather is gonna stick around for a few days.

We headed a little more west spent the night at Cracker Barrel and then continued on to the border of Louisiana and Texas staying at the casinos. There were two casinos in the same parking lot. Both of them right in the water. We went inside and on my second spin on the slot machine, I won!!!

The good news is I played with that money for the entire day and night. The bad news is I lost that money by the next morning. It’s all good as I was gambling the whole time with the casinos money which takes a lot of pressure off and makes it more fun.

We had some really bad Asian food and walked the boardwalk, spent some time in the hotel lobby and then called it a night.

We crossed over into Texas and made reservations at Sea Rim State Park. The Texas State Parks charge admission fees per person regardless of whether you are camping or not. They also sell State Park passes for $70 for the year. The pass gets you into the state park for free and also gives you your second night of camping for half price. We plan on staying in Texas for about a month so we purchased the pass and it will pay for itself after 3 State Park Visits. This Sea Rim Park is nice . It’s on the Gulf in the middle of nowhere . The beach is super hard packed sand. We could have driven the van onto it and camped on the beach but the wind is pretty brutal and it’s still a little cold so we chose a campsite just off the beach. We didn’t notice when we made the reservation that this campground only had pit toilets which means no running water for showers.

A storm was heading our way so we wanted to get to higher ground. Headed north towards Houston. Stopped to kill some time and watch a movie. Decided on “A Man Called Otto.” I guess if you like tear jerkers and sad movies then it’s for you. We were the only ones in the theater and the seats were super comfortable so that was good. After the movie we just drove a little bit down the I-10 to a Loves truck stop and spent the night.

Headed out in the morning to another Texas State Park. It’s nice to be able to get a camping spot at these beautiful state parks in Texas. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t spend more time at the State Parks in Florida. It’s pretty much impossible to get a spot anywhere in Florida no matter what day of the week it is. I’m loving this State Park Pass. Saved another thirty dollars staying here.

We had the entire place to ourselves on Thursday night and then on Friday, the boy scouts started coming in and they took over the entire place. They were EVERYWHERE!! And we were smack in the middle of it all. Very entertaining and great people watching. We headed out and we’re planning on going to the Blue Bell Ice Cream factory. Unfortunately it’s closed on the weekends so maybe on the way back east.

Stopped at a Buc-ees instead to kill some time.

We stopped at a few small towns, walked around some antique shops and then just spent the night at a Loves Truck Stop. Did some much needed laundry and food shopping and headed to Bastrop State Park.

We got a great spot in the State Park, made some nachos and watched the Super Bowl on Greg’s phone.

Did some hiking in the park the next morning. This park was built by the CCC which really any park that the CCC worked on us just so beautiful. The CCC was the Civilian Conservation Corp which was organized by FD Roosevelt. Their stone work is so amazing!

Next day our friends Scott and Christine came in with their camper for a few days. Greg and Scott used to work on Carnival Cruise Ships together. Scott’s a comedian so it’s always a funny time when hanging out with the two of them. They took us into Bastrop for some dinner and we had a nice walk along the river. It’s a great town.

The weather is supposed to get into the high seventies today and tomorrow so we will do some outdoor activities with the Hardy’s. Hiking, bike riding and all that fun stuff. More pictures to follow in the next blog. Happy valentines Day to every.


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