Spring Break Camping Trip 2017 to the MS Gulf Coast

I love state parks.  I have camped at KOA campgrounds before, but there is just something about a state park that I love.  When we started this journey, my husband and I both had ideas about places we wanted to visit.  Those places were almost exclusively state parks.

Our most recent trip was to Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, MS.  This state park was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago.  It is a beautiful location that is wooded and well kept.  Located just a short walk to the beach, this park is the best of wooded camping and gulf views.

During the summer months, campers can enjoy a water park on the grounds of the park.  There are nature trails, Frisbee golf, a large play ground and a pool.  This popular camping spot was quite busy even in early March before the warm weather begins.

We selected a spot in the back of the park that is a bit more wooded and shady.  The Treasure Cove loop, where we stayed, was recommended by the park representative on the phone.  And, we felt like we did have the best spot.

Our shaded spot was perfect for hanging a hammock and hanging out even it if was cloudy and cool!

While there are Gulf front spots, they don't include grills or fire pits.  They are also a bit longer away from the bathroom facilities.  Since the weather turned off cool and rainy, having a spot near the bathrooms, fire pit and a grill were all priorities for us.  The hot summer months might be nice for a Gulf spot, but the cool months would be better for a spot like ours.  Also, during the summer months, shaded spots would be nice for keeping cooler in the heat.

The days leading up to our trip I was frantically checking the weather.  Our winter had been unseasonably warm, but we were getting a late winter/early spring cold snap.  I didn't want to spend the whole time trapped in our camper during the cold and rain.  There is no way to know this when booking a spot months in advance.  The weather forecast was changing daily.  I finally quit looking!

I had big plans for this trip.  Meals were planned and prepped.  We wanted to go to the beach and play in the sand and take a hike.  But the weather had other plans.  I stocked up on Old Maid, Go Fish and puzzles to entertain us indoors.  And I knew that our plans were going to have to be flexible.

The day we arrived was fine.  We were able to set up in dry weather.  This gave us a chance to be outside and grill our foil packet dinner.  But soon after we snuggled in for the night, the rain started and lasted all night.

I prepped foil packets with potatoes and steak seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic for our first night's dinner.  It was great!  Leftovers were used for steak and eggs one morning.
We were plenty warm in our camper, but are still making some rookie mistakes with our camping gear.  It is a big learning curve with everything someone needs to successfully camp with no snags. The water pressure was super high and needed a pressure regulator.  Our sink drained slow.  We did spend a little time on a detour to Camping World for a few things to try and remedy these problems.

I'm still amazed at how much goes into a camping.  Tent camping is a lot easier in some regards, but our pop up camper is so much more comfortable.  With comfort is also more things to do and keep up!  I'm on board for the extra comfort, but we are still learning so much!

Our first full day was relatively dry and cool.  Since the weather was nice, we took advantage of being outdoors.  We built a fire, played with legos outside and made grilled pizza with banana boats for dinner.  It was a relaxing day that finished with a little puzzle fun at our table before bed.

Campfires and pizza are the perfect way to end the day!

No rain was in the forecast for our second day, but it did rain.  We managed to make it down to the beach for a walk around and pick up some shells in spite of the weather.  We had some time on the playground and walked in the misty rain.  No harm there.

We loved the beach even if it wasn't warm!

While playing on the playground, we met a family from Texas.  It was nice to swap stories and have other children for our only to play with.  The mom told me that camping had totally changed their family and marriage dynamics for the better.  I would agree with that.  The time together and working together is great for building strong relationships.  I've also had to learn to let a lot of things just go and be.

I'm a planner.  And when we camp, I plan all the meals and make plans in my head for activities and things to do.  But mother nature had other plans for this trip, and so I had to come up with other plans.  New plans.  Different plans.  The only schedule and plan that we were on is our own.

After rain and more rain, we decided to divert from our plan of grilling fish on our last night.  I knew that we were going to get rained out if we tried to use charcoal.  So we opted for a candlelight hot dog dinner indoors.  It was warm and fun.

We also learned about another piece of camping gear on this trip.  We were given an electric skillet the week before our trip and took it along with us.  I was so glad that we did.  An electric skillet might be the most underrated camping tool ever!  I was able to plug in and cook my dinner, warm buns and make nachos in one piece!  It was great.

We enjoyed a short game of Go Fish before dinner.   I had packed glow sticks and enjoyed them on a short walk with the dog before bed.  Pure, simple fun.

I enjoy everything about camping.  I like the purposeful work of doing tasks that have solely to do with our what we do to just live.  It is nice to take walk at the end of the day to the bath house to brush our teeth and get ready for bed.  I even like the mountains of laundry that I bring home to wash at the end of a trip.  It has meaning in our lives in a way that sometimes the day to day doesn't always have.

Sure, going to work to provide a living for our family has meaning and purpose.  My professional career is full of working hard, and this is balanced by playing hard - camping.  And camping is the play hard kind of fun that love and enjoy in a tangible way.

We have a year full of trips planned along with more changes to our Peggy Sue.  We hope to paint and apply new decals this spring.  We are cautiously approaching this task to make good decisions that we are happy with the results.

Camping is more than just the physical journey of taking trips.  It is a journey of learning something new about yourself and what it is needed to successfully complete daily tasks and chores away from home.  It has been such a fun journey for our family.  As we travel this year, I will continue to share our camping adventures on our blog.  I hope you will follow along as I share our fun, and I hope it inspires you to do something fun in your own life.  Happy camping!