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Published: February 10th 2020
New Orleans Airport
Sun and green grass!
When you start to get overwhelmed at work and need a break, you start looking for where you can go quickly and cheaply. For me, that ended up being the Gulf Coast so I could finally cross some more states off my list. As far as the basics, I got a cheap $75 round trip flight on Spirit from O'Hare to New Orleans and found a condo right on the Alabama coast for $56 a night. You can't really get a better deal than that! Every time I fly Spirit I say I won't fly it again and then I do. The advantage on a short trip like this is I did not need to bring a bag bigger than my backpack so it was worth it. This time the flight left on time, arrived on time and there was very little turbulence, which is always good. The New Orleans airport is one of the nicer airports I have been to. The rental cars are located a short shuttle ride away from the terminals and the whole process was very smooth. Soon I was in my fancy Chevy Equinox and on my way!
The bulk of my drive today was
on Interstate 10 and was a pretty nice ride. I drove over Lake Pontchartrain, which is something I was hoping I would get to do on this trip. The portion that I-10 crosses doesn't look that big on the map, but this is a big lake and it was quite the experience. I stopped at the Mississippi Welcome Center and noted how fancy it was. I picked up a map and learned the state is only 75 miles across, which is a quick drive on an interstate. I did make one more stop, Gulf Islands National Seashore. This National Seashore is found in Mississippi and Florida. The Mississippi side has a great visitor center just a short drive off the interstate in Ocean Springs. I arrived in time to take a ranger lead talk about alligators. The bayou is perfect habitat for gators and the ranger led us to a pond just off the road that the local juveniles call home. We only saw one little gator but many turtles. I would have liked to spend more time here but I had to be on my way.
Shortly after I crossed into Alabama, my third state of the day.
Yet another fancy welcome center with some interesting sea creature statues outside. I-10 curves north towards Mobile and then crosses Mobile Bay before continuing on towards Pensacola. I exited the interstate onto Hwy 49 towards Gulf Shores. I would imagine this route will be quite busy starting next month with spring breakers and then the summer crowds, but today the traffic was fairly light. I stopped at a Target to pick up some breakfast supplies and headed on to my Airbnb.
The place I am staying is west of the town of Gulf Shores, just a few miles before Fort Morgan. The complex has several outdoor pools, tennis courts, basketball, a putting green and other amenities. The fact that it's right on the beach with unobstructed views was the selling point for me. The condo is a small studio with a queen bed, a bunk bed, small sitting area and a balcony that faces the water. It's perfect for a solo traveler like me! For dinner, I went to the Sassy Bass located right on site. After a short wait I was seated and ordered the fish n chips. I don't know what kind of white fish it was,
This building is beautiful!
but it was delicious! I ate the entire thing. By the time I was done it was dark and not good for walking down to the beach so I will be content tonight to listen to the waves from my room.
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