Miss Weswey - Mississippi

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 28, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Alabama
Monday, November 19, 2012

I finally arrived in Biloxi to a big hug and warm welcome from Karen and Chloe Steenkamp. Chloe had been so excited for my arrival that she was still awake at 9pm when I arrived. It was such a treat to finally be with friends, just sorry that this weekend was the opening of hunting season and Patrick was out in the woods somewhere lying in wait for 'the BIG one'. Incidentally, up till last night they hadn't shot a deer but one of the boys had shot a turkey - quite a rare sight round Thanksgiving one would think!

The Steenkamps stay in a little rural town called Vancleave, in Mississippi - completely out of cellphone range for the service provider I had. The yards are like small holdings and the houses are so pretty. We arrived home and still sat up and chatted till almost midnight. Chloe too. Now the cutest thing is Chloe addressed me as Miss Lesley. As Karen explained, it's a southern form of respect. But my heart melted every time she said Miss Lesley (Miss Weswey), in this tiny little two year old American voice.

We woke up on Saturday morning and obviously Chloe came to check on Miss Weswey. The first thing, and only thing I could think of at that point was to get 2 weeks worth of clothes washed. Karen also miraculously managed to removed the permanent lipstick mark from my new white shirt. Go figure - I had only put the shirt on once and whilst carefully applying my stay fast long lasting dark red lipstick, it dropped out my hands onto my brand new snow white T-shirt. This never happens when I wear black. But Karen, bless her, managed to get the stain out and presented me with two loads of clean, dry clothes. Karen then made me a cream cheese bagel for breakfast with a huge cup of vanilla coffee. Now the bagels taste like hot cross buns and are also delicious. All i seem to be doing down south is eating. We then got ready and in between, I got into trouble from Chloe a couple of times for leaving the light on in my room.

We then headed out to go and buy po-boy, dressed and pressed. A po-boy is a French roll with meat and salad and mayonnaise on it (that's the dressed bit) and it is then pressed in a toaster. A bit like a subway roll which is pressed and toasted. We then headed down to the beach and sat on the pier and ate our po-boys. I then had a bit of a drive through in Biloxi and Gulfport ending at a outlet mall which is essentially factory shops. Chloe, the fashionista that she is, insisted on going into the clothing stores that had her size. Quite by chance Karen pointed out the dippin' dots that someone was eating and told me it was ice cream. I had seen these stalls and people eating them on a couple of occasions and could not quite understand why anyone would want to eat 100's and 1000's. Coz that's what it looks like. It was really a no-brainer when Karen mentioned it was ice-cream. De-li-cious! Will definitely have another couple of those before my trip is up. I had seriously hoped to have lost some weight with all the walking and exercise. Not happening!!

We all had an early night last night in preparation for today - a trip to Walmart. Chloe was up with the sparrows, as we're all of us. She clearly loves Walmart. But we decided we would leave the Walmart trip till later this afternoon and then Karen would drop me off at the bus station after that. Poor Chloe was on to us the whole day about getting ready and when are we going. Eventually Karen talked her into having a nap first so Chloe sat on her lap whilst Karen read a couple of stories. The problem is, she read so beautifully and softly that before I knew what had happened, and somewhere between a huff and a puff and Ill blow your house down, I was fast asleep on the couch...

When we eventually woke up, Chloe told me to hurry up and put my shoes and socks on and we were off to Walmart. I had packed my case and seriously, it was lighter than it was when I arrived and I'd left nothing behind, except the dirt that was ingrained in my clothes.

Walmart is just enormous. And you can honestly get anything you can think of there. From a dispensary to having your tyres changed an everything in between. I was really like a kid in a candy store. There is just too much to choose from. There's about 5 different packet sizes of M&M's for example. I ended up with a box. And the cereal and chips are the size of our rubbish bags back home. Yes there were a few odd people and going out in your pyjamas and slippers is definitely a qualifying criteria for Walmart entry. But the really weird bunch I unfortunately missed since I chose that specific time to "go to the potty". But I did buy a bag of bits and bobs so I've had my Walmart experience. Then it was time to head to Biloxi Greyhound station.

Except Biloxi's Greyhound station was closed. Pete was behind the counter and I enquired nervously about being able to get on the bus to Orlando at 9pm. It was now 5:30pm and pitch dark outside. I told him I had a Discovery Pass and he said that's no problem, I don't need a ticket I can just hop on the bus. Well you can understand my cynicism with the experiences I've had with Greyhound. I told him that in Memphis the driver wouldn't let me on his bus - Pete couldn't understand this. I then showed him my pass and he also looked a bit confused. But he did say that Biloxi was merely a satellite station and that I could simply hop on here and then when we stop in Mobile, Alabama, the mother station, I could go inside and get a ticket. Ja right! So I'm going to hang around a closed station only to be told that the driver won't let me on the bus? I think not! So Karen kindly offered to drive me to Mobile some 70 miles and across the state line, so that I could get a ticket straight away from the mother station. And that's exactly what we did. I also checked my suitcase in and strategically tried to balance it on my leg at the same time, but the lady simply pulled it towards her to put the tag on and that was it. No questions asked. I am now convinced they took me for a ride in Memphis. With ticket in hand we said our fond farewells and Karen and Chloe headed back to Vancleave, Mississippi. And I am now waiting for my bus, scheduled for 12:25am to Orlando Florida. I should arrive there around midday tomorrow and then my rush will start again...

So until Orlando...
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