Gulf Coast, part 1: Mississippi & Alabama

Leaving New Orleans, our next destination was Daytona Beach, FL. But since that trip was over 9 hours of driving time, we broke it up and made a couple of overnight stops along the Gulf Coast.

We didn’t spend much time in Mississippi, essentially just driving across the southern tip of it. But the Mississippi highlight was this exit marker off of I-10.

When I was a kid, my dad traveled often for work. I always asked where he was going when he left for trips, and often the answers were strange words like “Chattanooga” and “Pascagoula”. I naturally assumed he was teasing me and making up silly words. These couldn’t be real places. Imagine my surprise when I got a little older and found them on a map. Those are real places?! As a teenager I had the chance to visit Chattanooga, fully verifying its existence. And on November 8, 2012, though we didn’t take the time to visit, this road sign fully verified Pascagoula. Silly, maybe, but worth a photo.

IMG_3178 croppedIt’s blurry, but it counts!
Also, Cracker Barrel. Ubiquitous.

We stopped for our first overnight at Hilltop RV Park in Robertsdale AL. While we respectfully thank the hosts for the unique experiences we had staying there, we would not choose to return. Here’s a campground review:

Hilltop RV Park
Price: $25/night, after some discussion at check-in about whether we had to pay for the kids or not.
Location: Not so close to anything, as far as we could tell. It’s not far from the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida border, in the southern tip of Alabama.
Facilities: Adequate bathroom/shower building. There was also a common room/kitchen area, but we never used it.
Site-description: Grass sites with small trees and new-looking picnic tables
Neighborhood: Snowbirds. Somewhat exclusively, already in early November. The RV park markets itself to retired couples who want to spend the winter in a more moderate climate but who perhaps can’t afford to winter in Florida. Hence the pricing confusion over the kids. They don’t have a policy forbidding children, but they were obviously not used to having them.
Website: http://www.hilltoprvpark.com/
Comments: Of all the nights we spent in different campgrounds around the whole country, this one is the only one that refused to check us in under my name, because I’m a woman. Since Staffan was usually driving, it was usually easiest for me to register us when we first arrived. Apparently the registration needed to be in my husband’s name, and I needed to show his driver’s license as well as my own, to verify that we are married.
There were a few other things that made this RV park a bit quirky. They may be very well-suited to their niche, but family travelers may want to find another option. It was an okay place to spend the night, but we were happy to get back on the road in the morning.

IMG_3067_a

 

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