Feature Image - Sunset of Mississippi Sound from Margaritaville

Easter and trip to Margaritaville

It seems like an odd combination doesn’t it? Celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead by coloring eggs brought by a mythical rabbit. Give gifts of candy laid in wicker baskets lined with plastic grass and have sulfur smelling gas from eating egg salad sandwiches for the next few days. Easter Egg Hunt on the deck of the boatIt has to be one of the most confusing holidays ever.

But the kids enjoy the day; it allows us to tell a story about redemption and family and coming home, etc. So what do you do after an Easter Sunday sugar rush, you go online and book a quick trip that is completely unplanned and spur of the moment.

The ‘Redneck Riviera’ as it is referred to, is officially the stretch of land along the Florida Panhandle and Alabama shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. It is surprisingly beautiful beaches, the clearest water in the US shy of KeyWest and not nearly as busy as other US tourist destinations. Unofficially it is the larger stretch of beaches from about Gulfport Mississippi all the way down to Panama City Beach Florida.

Sugar Sand Beaches Destin areaWe booked a room and left around noon on Easter Sunday to go to Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi. One of our neighbor’s kids had mentioned it to Chasity saying they had so much fun there. It didn’t sound like a child-friendly destination so we did a bit of research and that is precisely what the resort is. It is a 23 story hotel that built on a jetty between the Golden Nugget and Harrah’s Casinos on the Mississippi Sound. One entire floor is a giant arcade, carnival games and some small activities like an elevated ropes course, a hanging chair roller coaster, and a rock climbing wall. Sprinkle in skeeball, bowling, air hockey, indoor golf games, baseball and enough arcade games to make your mind spin; this is a kids paradise.

Kids on the Pool Deck at MargaritavilleThe 5th floor is a giant water play area with a large swimming pool and a swim-up bar. There is also a lazy river, two large water slides, a water obstacle course and an entire toddler water play area with slides, sprayers and a soft bottom in the event they fall.

It is all Jimmy Buffet themed, which is near and dear to our live-aboard sailing lifestyle. From island music to TV’s with music videos just about everywhere, resteraunts and bars, all with an island theme, this was a great close by get-away.

I had too much going on at work to be able to take time off, but with free internet and enough nooks and crannies to tuck in, I was able to work each day.

Lazy river on the 5th floor of MargaritavilleI would work from about 6 am – 3 pm or so and then join the family for evening swimming, gaming and a few off resort adventures. My favorite place to work was out on the patio’s on the 10th floor and 11th floor. These were general access, but most people didn’t know how to get to them unless they had a room on that floor and would come out of their balcony onto the large patios. They had tables and chairs, and it was almost perfect. I say almost because the people from floor 11 through 23 seemed to enjoy throwing food off the balconies to the seagulls.

Chasity coming down the water slide at MargaritavilleIf you have never heard the sound of one seagull turned into 40 within seconds all vying for the same french fry, it starts to look and sound like a pack of dogs circling some prey and howling at the prospect of a kill. Add to that the constant chance of a bird shit shower; it would get frustrating. After a few moments of this, I would typically yell upward, “Hey, there are people down here” to which the feeding frenzy would stop for a few minutes until it would resume from another balcony above.

Another day, sitting on the patio that is furthest point out over the Mississippi sound and looking toward the Barrier islands between the Gulf and the Sound, someone above me about ten floors decided to drain a cooler over the balcony. That was frustrating. Some people can be very inconsiderate.

Kraken RingThat certainly didn’t ruin our time. We swam, went to the beach, played arcade games and slept very well each night. We often would be in bed by 9:30 or 10 with the pool closing at 9 and be fast asleep to repeat is all the next day.

We took a side trip to see a guy that makes jewelry out of coins. I have wanted a good and original nautical ring for some time, and while I have looked at hundreds of them, I didn’t find something I liked. Most were more motorcycle related with skulls on them or small engraved waves for nautical themes.
McKinlee Driving us to TafitiThis guy was able to use a silver collector coin with a Kraken on it and shape it into a thick silver ring. We got a cool heart one for Chasity and also a cute necklace that had an octopus on one side and an owl on the other. I also now think I may want to try to make my own too. That may be a cool thing to try.

I took a couple of hours one afternoon to go to a seafood and maritime museum in Biloxi. Chasity and Deb didn’t have an interest in going to that, so I took Swab, and we had a good time.

Biloxi SchoonerWe learned about Biloxi being the seafood capital of the United States in the early 1920s and how the oyster, crab, and shrimp were fished and packaged. It was interesting to learn about the shrimp peeling machines that were invented here that allowed for the shipping and growth of the shrimping business.

We saw the beautiful Biloxi Schooner which Deb and I had sailed on before and even walked through last year at the Wooden Boat Festival in Madisonville LA.

All in all, it was a great week. It was a break from boat work and allowed the girls to have a great time playing in the pools and the water. I am shocked at just how much time Chasity would spend in the water if allowed. The water was still pretty cold, and it didn’t bother her one bit.

Below is a video of the trip with a few highlights.


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